BONNER, EDWARD L.
EDWARD L. BONNER, a merchant of Missoula, Mont., born in Orwell, Oswego county, N.Y., Aug. 18, 1834, is a son of Ephraim Bonner, farmer and lumberman, and of Jane C. Acker, his wife. The pioneers of his father's race in America came from England and were among the first settlers of New York State, while the Ackers are of Holland Dutch descent. Tutored in country schools until the age of thirteen, Edward L. Bonner learned the rudiments of mercantile life in the Catherine street store of Lord & Taylor in New York city, and later in a store in Boston. Emigrating to Oregon in 1857, he tilled the soil, raised cattle, grew up with the country, acted as agent for The Oregon Steam Navigation Co., at Lewiston, Idaho, until 1866, and, before the close of that year, had taken a stock of goods to Missoula and Deer Lodge, Mont., and opened a store under the sing of Bonner & Welch. Out of this enterprise grew the present Missoula Mercantile Co., the largest and most influential house of wholesale and retail grocers in the Northwest, and a number of branch mercantile firms, including E. L. Bonner & Co., in Butte, now The M. J. Connell Co., and The E.L. Bonner Mercantile Co., of Deer Lodge. Mr. Bonner remains a large owner, but gives his attention now mainly to other enterprises. Large returns were gained from timber and tie contracts with The Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881-84. Having secured good timber privileges on the public lands, The Big Blackfoot Milling Co. came into existence at Bonner, Mont., in which Mr. Bonner is interested and which has constructed and now operates a very large saw mill plant. During the boom of 1886-91, Mr. Bonner operated in real estate in Missoula to good advantage and is yet president of the Missoula Real Estate Association. He is also an owner in The First National Bank. Married in Lewiston, Idaho, in 1865, to Carrie S. Kenyon, Mr. Bonner has three children, Charles E., Lenita J, and Bessie A. Bonner. The family spend their winters, as a rule, in New York city, where Mr. Booner is a member of the Manhattan club and engaged to some extent in business.