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Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish from the Bonner and Howard families papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Benjamin Franklin Bonner, son of William Henry and Matilda Blackburn Bonner, was born April 14, 1869 in Angelina County, TX. During his youth he operated his parent's ferry on the Neches River while attending school in Angelina County, and then became a correspondent for the Houston Post and Galveston News and involved with the lumber and mercantile business. In 1894 he cames to Houston as president of the Joe Davis Oil Co., organized Southwestern Oil Co., and established the first oil refinery in Houston and the first lubricating plant in the South. In 1901 Bonner organized the Bonner Oil Co. and in 1904 became vice president and general manager of the Kirby Lumber Co., rising to president from 1919 to 1923. He assisted Robert W. Wier organizing and incorporating the R.W. Wier Lumber Co. in 1907 and the Wier Long Leaf Lumber Co. and Gulf & Northern Railway in 1917, serving as president until 1926. From then until 1944 he served as vice president and a director of the Wier Long Leaf Lumber Co. and R.W. Wier Lumber Co. He helped organize the San Jacinto Trust Co. and San Jacinto National Bank and served as vice president of the trust company and a director of the bank. Service also included a director of the Houston Belt & Terminal Railway and board member of the Methodist Hospital, Houston. He married Annie Wier on April 22, 1891 and had two daughters, Garland (Mrs. George Howard) and Annie Wier (Mrs. Sheppard W. King). He died in Houston on Feb. 29, 1944.
The collection is arranged in six series: Series I: Benjamin Franklin Bonner and Annier Wier Bonner; Series II: Garland Bonner Howard; Series III: George Francis Howard; Series IV: Frank Bonner Howard; Series V: Family; Series VI: Photographs/albums
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was gifted by the family, via Sandy Howard Turner, Feb. 20, 2015.