Bonanza Community

Below is an article written this week by Elaine Nall Bay for the Rains County Leader "Old News"
used with permission of Elaine Nall Bay.

(Feb 4, 2003)

"Bonzana" is a Spanish word meaning "prosperity". The  area located on the Rains Co. and Hopkins Co. line was
settled in the late 1860's or early 1870's and was originally  known as "Fowler's Store" when M.W. Fowler secured a post
office there in 1879. The post office was re-named Cold Hill  in 1883 and finally changed to its existing name of "Bonanza"
in 1898. "By 1885 the town had a gristmill and a cotton gin, Baptist and Presbyterian churches, a hotel, a blacksmith,
two grocers and a population of 100." (Handbook of Texas)

In 1913 Bonanza was on the boom.

Mr. Jim Potts sold his store at Bonanza to G.E. Bonham at the beginning of the year (Rains County Leader, January 17,
1913) About a month later, T.E. Gafford sold his stock of merchandise at Bonanza to Mr. Cates; Mr. Gafford moved to
Alba where he continued in the mercantile business. (Bonanza Doings, Rains County Leader, February 21, 1913) Soon after it appears that Mr. Cates turned around and sold the stock of merchandise; Mr. McMillian of Norman, Oklahoma bought the Gafford stock of goods and had put in a new and complete line of drugs.  
(Freedom Doings, Rains County Leader, June 6, 1913)

By spring of that year J.C. Henderson had his new store building just about completed and two more new buildings
were to go up in the near future.
(Bonanza Doings, Rains County Leader, April 18, 1913)

In less than two months, J.C. Henderson was running a restaurant and grocery store combined in his new store building. (Freedom Doings, Rains County Leader, June 6, 1913)

About the same time W.M. Stubbs was erecting a new 24 x 60 store building which was claimed to be the most up-to-date
building in Bonanza; it gave him considerable more room for his large stock of merchandise.
(Bonanza Doings, Rains County Leader, May 2, 1913)

By summer it was reported that Dr. Kemper was enlarging his building and was putting in a new line of drugs.
Guy Hogue had bought the Castleberry blacksmith shop and was doing a good business.
(Freedom Doings, Rains County Leader, June 6, 1913)

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