John S. Bonner, biography c. 1926
[New Encyclopedia of Texas]
  Source: Davis, Ellis A. and Edwin H. Grobe, eds. New Encyclopedia of Texas. Dallas, Tex. Texas Development Bureau, 1926. Vol. I, p. 558.

JOHN S. BONNER is probably the pioneer oil man of Texas, becoming active in this industry nearly thirty years ago and has been continuously engaged in this business since that time. In 1919 Mr. Bonner came into the Humble Oil and Refining Company as vice president and sales manager, and his vast experience and executive ability have been valuable assets to this company. Mr. Bonner came to Houston in 1896 from Lufkin, Angelina County, and entered the oil business with the Joe W. Davis Oil Company, marketers of oil, and which has the distinction of being one of the oldest active oil businesses in Texas, and Mr. Bonner has been engaged in the marketing of oil since that time, and in this branch of the oil industry is without a peer. The Joe W. Davis Oil Company, after several years, changed its name to the Southwestern Oil Company and Mr. Bonner became vice president of this company. In 1903 the Houston Oil Company purchased the physical properties of the Southwestern, and on May 1st, 1903, the Bonner Oil Company, of which Mr. Bonner was president, was organized, and in July, 1919, the Humble Oil and Refining Company bought some of the physical properties of the Bonner Oil Company, and Mr. Bonner at that time came with the Humble Oil and Refining Company as vice president and sales manager.

A native Texan, Mr. Bonner was born in Angelina County on April 25th, 1873. His parents were pioneer settlers of Angelina County, where they were large land owners and farmers. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Angelina County, and later attended Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas. He began his business career in 1896, shortly after leaving school, and began in the oil business and has continued in this ever since. Mr. Bonner has since coming to Houston become interested in many of the commercial projects of the city, and is connected with many of the financial institutions of Houston, being a director in the Union National Bank and in the Wier Long Leaf Lumber Company.

Mr. Bonner was married in Angelina County to Miss Edna Ewing, a native of that county, and a daughter of James A. Ewing, a well known Texas timberman who now resides in Houston. They have two children — John S. Bonner, Jr., and Louis Franklin Bonner, both of whom are in college. Mr. Bonner is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of Arabia Temple Shrine, being first potentate of this Shrine. He is also a member of the Houston Country Club, the Houston Club, and the Lumberman's Club, and is quite active in the last named. In addition to being the pioneer oil man of the Lone Star State, Mr. Bonner is in all probability the best known man engaged in the oil business in Texas. He is a very popular man, not only in the oil circles of Houston and of Texas, but with all classes, including the executives of the company, and all the employees. Mr. Bonner has done much in the matter of development of Texas, and is always ready and willing to assist in any way possible toward the progress and advancement of his native State. Since coming to Houston, Mr. Bonner has been active in the work of civic improvement of the city, and is regarded as one of the most substantial, progressive and public spirited citizens of the South Texas metropolis.

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