BONNEY, James H.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 643-644
For 25 years prior to his death, James H. BONNEY resided in Rockford [Winnebago County, IL], where he was known as a quiet, unobtrusive and upright citizen. He was born in MA, 16 Nov 1812, and died in Rockford, 25 Mar 1891, aged 78 years, four months, and nine days. To the last he retained considerable activity and mingled in the business men of the Forest City [Rockford was given the name "The Forest City" in a New York Tribune article in 1853], attending to his financial affairs, which consisted mainly in loaning money.
Harvey BONNEY, father of our subject, was born in the Bay State [MA], 23 Sep 1786, and died 26 Sep 1850. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah FISH, was born 22 May 1790, and died 04 Oct 1874. Their family consisted of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, all of whom attained to mature years and still survive, except two. Enos T., who was born 25 Nov 1834, died in Galveston [Galveston County], TX, shortly after the close of the Civil War, in which he had been an active participant as surgeon. His only son, Evans, now makes his home in Hattiesburg [Forrest County], MS. Charles W. died in Osceola [Clarke County], IA, at the age of 61 years.
The surviving members of the parental family are: A. H., who was born 01 Dec 1808, and now resides in Farmington [Franklin County], ME, a retired merchant, vigorous in mind and body; Sarah A., born 27 Oct 1810, now of Portage [Columbia County], WI; our subject; Hannah, Mrs. SNOW, born 27 Dec 1814, and now residing at Cambridgeport [Middlesex County], MA; Hiram B., born 22 Apr 1817, and at present living in MO; Emily B., Mrs. PRENTICE, born 24 Apr 1819, a resident of Portage, WI; Dr. Stephen F., born 05 Apr 1821, now practicing his profession at Taylor [Marion County], MO; William L., born 27 Sep 1823, and a resident of Boston [Suffolk County, MA]; Dr. Joel W., born 23 Feb 1826, and a leading physician of Quincy [Adams County], IL; and Perez F., born 14 Mar 1828, now in Cambridge [Middlesex or Worcester County], MA.
Although a native of MA, Mr. BONNEY received his education mostly in ME, where he learned the carpenter's trade of his father and followed that occupation during the summer seasons while he taught school in the winter. At the age of 23 he went to Boston and a few years later proceeded South; from there he returned North to IL and remained at Quincy for a time. Afterward he resided for a time in Davenport [Scott County], IA, where he married Miss Sarah Ann PARKER, who died two years after their union, leaving an infant daughter, now Mrs. James H. WINN, of Rockford.
After residing for a short time in Galena [Jo Daviess County], IL, Mr. BONNEY returned to ME, and there was married to Miss Betsey SYLVESTER, who survives him, residing in the old home at No. 204 South West Street. In 1846 Mr. BONNEY settled on a farm in WI, where he remained some 20 [p 644] years and became closely identified with local and State affairs. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he was a member of the legislature and he also served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. When he came to Rockford, he made his home on Avon Street for two years, and later purchased property which his widow still owns. He was one of the organizers of the Burial Case Company, in which he was a stockholder and Director, and also served as President for a time. Generous and kind, ready to bear his part in the church of his choice, the Congregational, active in support of the Republican party in his early life and later a strong Prohibitionist, a man of wide travel, having visited almost every State in the Union, it is not strange that at his death he was widely and sincerely mourned.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.