Wayne County

Edward Bonham

1884 Biographical Sketches of City of Fairfield

EDWARD BONHAM, merchant, Fairfield, is one of the old landmarks of Wayne. County,, Ill., coming to Fairfield Ill. in 1843.

He was born in Northumberland County, Penn., on the 30th of April, 1826.

His father, Thomas T. Bonham, was born in Pennsylvania August 16, 1790, and was tjere married, January 30, 1821, to Miss Elizabeth Jenkins. She was a native of the same State, and was born October 27, 1801.

His father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and in later years he became a merchant and contractor in the construction of what is now known as the Air Line Railroad. He came with his family to Illinois in 1838, at which time he located at Mount Carmel.

About 1840, he established a mercantile business in Fairfield, under the management of a relative, with whom he was associated. The death of this party, about 1843, was the immediate cause which brought Mr. Bonham to the town of Fairfield. Here he remained until the time of his death, which occurred April 24, 1871, very suddenly, at a time when he was in vigorous health. He was noted for his business ability and his fidelity to the Methodist Church, of which he was an active and zealous member, as well as for his sterling qualities as an advocate of temperance, His wife, who was also one of the pillars of the church, died in Fairfield March 9, 1862. They had a family of four children, Edward. being the oldest, and the only one now living.

He was educated in the common schools and in the Bloomington, Ind., University. With the exception of a few months, he has been in active mercantile business since sixteen years old, and is now the pioneer merchant of Wayne County. He is now associated with J. T. Fleming in a general mercantile business, and is President of the private bank of E. Bonham & Co.

Though not a politician in all that the term implies, yet he takes an active interest in the issues of the day, and wields no I small influence, which is enjoyed by the Republican party. He has served several years as Postmaster at Fairfield.

He was married in Fairfield, October 9, 1860, to Berintha E. Woodin, daughter of R. and L. Woodin. She was born in the State of Now York March 12, 1842. Their union has been blest with five children, two of whom are deceased-

  1. Thomas E. was born August 11, 1861, and died June 20, 1875
  2. Charles R., born February 15, 1863
  3. Lucretia E., born April 6, 1865
  4. Mary J., January 3, 1869
  5. Bertintha W.. December 12, 1880

Both Mr. and Mrs. Bonham are members of the M. E. Church.

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