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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 259-60


Civil War Flags.jpg L. L. BONHAM, an enterprising citizen Ringgold county, engaged in the lumber business at Goshen, is a son of S. H. and Susan BONHAM, who were natives of Ohio, but for forty-seven years have made their home in Iowa. L[eander] L[awrence] BONHAM was born in the State of Iowa [near Crystal Lake], April 29, 1842, a native of Mahaska County. He was reared on his father's farm, receiving a common-school education in the schools of his neighborhood.

At the age of twenty years he enlisted in the service of his country in Company I, Twenty-second Iowa Infantry, and participated in the siege of Vicksburg. After being in the service three years he was mustered out and received his final discharge at Davenport, Iowa.

He then returned to his home in Iowa, and April 26, 1866, was married to Mary E[lizabeth] WELSH, a daughter of Henry and Laura (WALKER) WELSH, who were natives of Pennsylvania. Mrs. BONHAM is a native of Iowa, born December 22, 1844. To Mr. and Mrs. BONHAM have been born nine children - Irvin W. was born March 22, 1867, and died April 5, 1885; Fred H. was born December 14, 1868; J. M. born May 25, 1870; Florence, born March 25, 1872; Laura, born October 25, 1874; Leroy, born March 27, 1877; Novella [Vaughn], born January 21, 1879 [Weldon, Clarke Co. IA]; Carrie, born July 1, 1883, and Eddie, born March 2, 1885.

After his return from the war, Mr. BONHAM engaged in farming in his native county, which he followed until 1868. He then removed with his family to Clarke County, thence to Ringgold County in 1882, when he established his present business, and is one of the leading lumber merchants of the county.

In his political views he affiliates with the Greenback party. He belongs to the Odd Fellows order, being a charter member of Lodge No. 53, at Goshen. He also belongs to the Good Templars order at Goshen, and is a comrade of James Connelly Post, No. 285, G. A. R. Both Mr. And Mrs. Bonham are members of the Christian church.

NOTE: Susan BONHAM, Leander's mother, died at the age of 75 years, 11 months and 15 days on January 14, 1895. Leander's father Smiley H. BONHAM died at the age of 64 years, 10 months and 19 days. Susan and S. H. BONHAM were interred at Green Bay Cemetery, Clarke County, Iowa.

Leander L. BONHAM died in 1929. Mary E. (WELSH) BONHAM was born in 1844, and died in 1924. They were interred at Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Union County, Iowa. Irvin W. BONHAM was interred at Green Bay Cemetery, Clarke County, Iowa. Fred H. BONHAM died in 1943 with interment at Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Union County, Iowa. Leroy BONHAM died in 1925; his wife Lydia A. was born May 5, 1874, and died October 12, 1954; they were interred at Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Iowa. Edward M. "Eddie" BONHAM died December 23, 1952 with interment at Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Union County, Iowa.

Novella Vaughn BONHAM married on February 3, 1897, Ringgold County, Iowa, to Willis Grant McFARLAND, the son of William Thomas and Mary Jane (REYNOLDS) McFARLAND. William Thomas McFARLAND, born July 29, 1853, Schyler, PA, and died Febary 2, 1935, Earlham, Madison County, Iowa, was a farmer and a minister. Mary Jane (REYNOLDS) McFARLAND was born October 26, 1856, and died November 1, 1932. They were interred at Benton Cemetery, Benton, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Willis Grant McFARLAND was born November 23, 1873, Diagonal, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died November 13, 1949. Novella and Willis were interred at Crystal Lake, Hancock County, Iowa.


Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 259-60, 1887.

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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