Fannin County Courthouse, Bonham, Texas. Built in 1889
Location of Bonham, Texas
|• Total||9.4 sq mi (24.2 km2)|
|• Land||9.4 sq mi (24.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||610 ft (186 m)|
|• Density||1,100/sq mi (420/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||430, 903|
|GNIS feature ID||1352653|
Bonham is a city in Fannin County, Texas, United States. The population was 10,127 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Fannin County. James Bonham (the city's namesake) sought the aid of James Fannin (the county's namesake) at the Battle of the Alamo.
Bonham is centrally located in Fannin County in Northeastern Texas, about 12 miles (20 km) south of Oklahoma and has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24 km2), with negligible water cover. The distance to Dallas in the Southeast is about 68 miles (110 km).
Bonham, one of the oldest cities in Texas, dates back to 1837 when Bailey Inglish built a two-story block house named Fort Inglish. It was located about 2 miles (3 km) from the current downtown. Inglish and other acquaintances settled there in the summer of 1837 and the settlement was named Bois D'Arc. In 1843, the Congress of the Republic of Texas assigned the name Bloomington to the city, but finally renamed it Bonham, in honor of James Butler Bonham, a hero and defender of the Alamo. On February 2, 1848, Bonham was incorporated as a city.
After the connection to the Texas and Pacific Railway the city began to grow, and in 1885 there were six churches, three colleges, two public schools, three weekly newspapers, a saw mill, two grain mills, a power plant, and about 2300 inhabitants. 1890 saw the addition of streetcars, an ice plant, and the opening of the Texas Power and Light Company, the utility provider to the area. In 1925, the city was connected to natural gas lines.
During the Second World War, there was a training camp and an aviation school for the United States Army Air Forces in the vicinity of Bonham, as well as a prisoner-of-war camp for captured German soldiers. Parts of the camp, located approximately 0.5 miles north of US HWY 82, can still be visited today.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,127 people, 2,959 households, and 1,861 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,067.1 people per square mile (412.1/km²). There were 2,959 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 75.4% White, 14.8% African American, 1% Native American, .4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.4% of the population.
There were 2,884 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 32.3% had someone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.4 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 21% under the age of 19, 9% from 20 to 24, 31% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,277, and the median income for a family was $35,721. Males had a median income of $26,035 versus $21,897 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,301. About 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line.
By far Bonham's most famous resident was "Mr. Sam," Sam Rayburn, the longtime Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Rayburn's house and a library featuring memorabilia from his Congressional terms are popular museums in the city, and State Highway 56 through town (the former U.S. Highway 82) is named Sam Rayburn Boulevard (and runs beside both the house and library).
- Charlie Christian - guitarist
- John Wesley Hardin - well-known outlaw and gunfighter in late 19th-century Texas
- Roy McMillan - Cincinnati Reds All-Star shortstop
- Tom McBride - Major League Baseball outfielder
- Joe Morgan - Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman
- B. A. Wilson - NASCAR driver
- Danny Darwin - Major League Baseball pitcher
- Stephen Flowers - expert on the occult
- Kenny Marchant - United States Representative, Texas 24th District
- Jerry Moore - head coach of Appalachian State Mountaineers football team, who most famously beat then-ranked #5 Michigan, 34-32, on September 1, 2007, in what is widely referred to as "one of the greatest upsets in college football history."
- Homer Blankenship - Major League Baseball pitcher of 1920s
- Roberta Dodd Crawford - professional classical singer
- James Tague - writer and a key witness to the assassination of John F. Kennedy
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bonham has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.