George Bonnen, who carries on general farming in Dix township, his home being on section 20, has practically put all of the improvements upon this place and the farm therefore in its well kept appearance is the visible proof of his life of unfaltering industry. He was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1860, and is a brother of Harry Bonnen, who is mentioned on another page of this volume in connection with whose sketch is given an account of his parents, who in 1867 brought their family to the United States as passengers on an American vessel called America. They arrived on the 14th of October, 1867, and soon afterward started for Petersburg, Menard county, Illinois, where the father secured land and engaged in farming.
Through the period of his boyhood and youth George Bonnen remained upon the home farm and assisted his father in its development and improvement until the father's demise. He then began working for himself. He was twenty-six years of age when he left home, he and his brother H. H. having previously operated the home place for the mother. On the 15th of November, 1892, he won a companion and helpmate for life's journey by his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Huston, a daughter of John Huston, who is also represented elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Bonnen attended the district schools until fourteen years of age, when she became a student in Chatsworth Convent and is a lady of culture and literary attainment. Mr. Bonnen had supplemented his district-school education by a course in the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, which institution he entered when about twenty-one years of age.
Following his marriage he lived for one year on the old homestead and then bought eighty acres of land of Mr. Harris in Dix township, a part of the old Brassfield section. For this he paid forty-three and a half dollars per acre. Later he bought fifty-five acres adjoining this on the south and paid for it eighty dollars per acre. He now owns one hundred and thirty-five acres in Dix township, constituting a valuable and productive farm and his property interests also include two hundred acres in South Dakota. The Illinois Central Railroad touches his Dix township farm at the northeast corner and the place is conveniently located not far from Guthrie. It is now well improved, owing to the unremitting labor of Mr. Bonnen, who has erected here substantial buildings, providing ample shelter for grain and stock. He has also secured the latest improved machinery to facilitate the work of the fields and he annually gathers good harvests as a reward of the intelligence which he displays in the planting and cultivation of his crops.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bonnen have been born seven children: George Edwin, who was born on the 5th of January, 1894; Clarence Alfred, born April 5, 1896; Charles Henry, born February 16, 1898; Genevieve Bertha, whose birth occurred January 26, 1900; Edna Josephine, who was born February 14, 1902; Evelyn Gertrude, born March 27, 1904; and Mary Frances, who was born May 13, 1906. All are still under the parental roof.
Mr. Bonnen is a Lutheran in religious faith, while his wife is a communicant of the Catholic church. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp at Guthrie and he votes with the democracy. He was but seven years of age at the time of the emigration to the new world and although born across the water he is thoroughly American in spirit and interests and most loyal in his devotion to the stars and stripes.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 650-653.

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