The James Bonar Family


James Calhoun Bonar was born April 10, 1846 in Marshall County, Virginia, the son of Martin and Jane Porter Bonar. As a lad of seventeen he was mustered into service by the Federal forces and served with Co. A, 17th W. Va. Infantry, and was honorably discharged, June 30, 1865. He returned to the family home and engaged in farming. He married November 24, 1870, Margaret Jane, daughter of Andrew and Hannah Doty Gatts, Margaret Bonar being a direct descendant of Edward Doty who came on the Mayflower.

The Bonars lived at Glen Easton, Marshall County and here their children were born: Dory, dying as an infant; Arayard (Arizona) and Mont Loren. James Bonar was a farmer and became interested in lumbering.

In 1878 James Bonar came to Pleasants County looking for a home for his growing family. He purchased land on Mt. Carmel Ridge, back of the thriving village of Raven Rock. In the spring of 1879 Margaret Bonar, Arizona and Mont came by steamboat to Raven Rock. There James Bonar met them and by horseback they made their way up Java Run to the top of the hill where a log house awaited them.

James Bonar was a farmer and experimented with orcharding until the advent of the Ohio Valley Railroad. Then he devoted his time and interests to lumbering and timbering for the new railroad. He followed these things until his sudden death from pneumonia on April 21, 1900. His death marked the end of a long interest in the Republican Party in the upper part of the county. Margaret Gatts survived her husband several years. She suffered from cancer and died in Moundsville, where she had gone seeking medical treatment, April 3, 1904. Both are buried in the Bowman Ridge Cemetery in Marshall County.

Arizona Bonar was born February 15, 1875 and was raised in Pleasants County and married Martin M. Stewart. He was employed in the oil fields and for several years was road superintendent for the county. They lived at Edmund and had the following children; James Lawrence, married Pearl Pollard; Mabel Lorena, married E. T. Snively; Myrtle Virginia, married William Marple; Friend C., married Hazel Core; Hubert W. married Laura Mitchell; Frances Marie, married Fred Bell; and Walter W., married Pauline Houser.

Mont Loren was born May 22, 1877 and received his education in the county schools of his day. He was a teamster, driller and active in Republican politics, serving as Sheriff from 1929-1932. He married, November 23, 1898, Rachel Jane, the daughter of Jonathan and Patience Province Delong and they had one child, Ethel D. who married Samuel G. Hackney.

Mont and Rachel Delong Bonar built their home in Billsville in the early 1900's and lived there until Mont's death, November 6, 1950. In 1955 Rachel Bonar and her daughter Ethel Bonar Hackney moved to Rising Sun, Maryland to make their home with Samuel B. Hackney who was assistant principal of the high school there. Mrs. Bonar died there in November, 1972.

Submitted by Dr. Samuel B. Hackney for publication in History of Pleasants County, WV, to 1980, published by the Pleasants County Historical Society.


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