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 Texas : Towns / Gulf Coast :

BONUS, TEXAS

Wharton County, Texas Gulf Coast
FM 102 and FM 2614
15 Miles N of Wharton
(Between Wharton and Eagle Lake)

Population: 0042 (2000)

Bonus, Texas Area Hotels
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Bonus Texas overgrown trestle
Overgrown trestle
TE Photo, January 2010

History in a Pecan Shell

The town was the result of a plantation and a railroad. Business partners Eldridge and Dunovant owned a plantation here and it became the terminus of the Cane Belt railroad around 1890. They owned another plantation nearby. Crops were cane, corn, cotton and rice. The partners contracted prison labor and a camp was set up (in what would become Bonus) here in 1900.

In the mid 1890s a post office was applied for under the name Alamo, but that name was already in use. Since the owners of the Cane Belt had offered a bonus for the completion of the line, they resubmitted the application with that name – which was accepted.

The two men quarreled in 1901 and Mr. Dunovant assumed all of the holdings around Eagle Lake while Eldridge took sole ownership of their former holdings at Bonus. The seemingly fair split of property evidently wasn’t – for the following year Eldridge shot and killed his former partner.

Being a prison camp, little mail came through the post office and it was closed and reopened several times before a final closing in 1940.

In 1936 Bonus had a population of 50 which slowly declined to just 42 for the 1980 census. The railroad abandoned part of its line around 1940 and in the early 1990s the main line was removed including the ties and roadbed.
In 2000 the population remained at forty-two.

Bonus, Texas Today

Photographer's Note:
A few residential structures remain. One appears to be a community center – or a business devoid of signage.
Bonus Texas City Limit
Bonus City Limit
TE Photo, January 2010
Bonus Texas Structure
Bonus Structure
TE Photo, January 2010
Bonus, Texas
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This page last modified: January 11, 2010