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About Bonnie Illinois

Statistics & Facts
The population of Bonnie is approximately 450.
The approximate number of families is 183.
The amount of land area in Bonnie is 3.321 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.001 sq kilometers.
The distance from Bonnie to Washington DC is 676 miles.
The distance to the Illinois state capital (Springfield) is 116 miles. (as the crow flies)
Bonnie is positioned 38.20 degrees north of the equator and
88.90 degrees west of the prime meridian.

History of Bonnie, Illinois.
by L.H. (Roy) Delaney (Date unknown)

Between 1890 and 1896 local residents traded in a settlement that is now known as Bonnie Illinois. With the advent of the railroad the residents began to use the train for commercial purposes, transportation of products to, from, and through Bonnie, instead of by wagon or pack animals as had been used in the past.

Bonnie, Illinois was given its name in 1895, on the suggestion of Mrs. Rodey Kelley after P.M. Johnston's daughter "Bonnie Johnston".

P.M. Johnston, his brother Ambrose and Rodey Kelly formed a railroad company in 1895. It was called the Chicago, Paducah, and Memphis Railroad Company. The company work was subcontracted to themselves; and their objective was to build a railroad by procuring a 100 mile strip of land as a right-of-way from Altamont Illinois to Marion Illinois to lay its track. Their objective and work was completed in 1896. In turn, the CPM Railroad Company was sold to the Chicago, Eastern and Illinois Railroad Company in 1897, then sold to the Missouri Pacific Railroad company that presently uses the railroad through Bonnie. (*ed note Missouri Pacific is now Union Pacific)

On January 10th, 1914 a petition signed by 35 persons was filed at the Jefferson County seat to incorporate Bonnie from a town to a village. An election for the changes were passed favorably and the results were at the county seat January 16th, 1914. Then Tuesday, March 10th, 1914 an election was held in Bonnie to elect a Council of 6 trustees and 1 Council president.

The villages population grew and then began to diminish gradually as people became mobile with the advent of the automobile. However Bonnie's population has begun to increase again as people are seeking suburban living.

Bonnie, Illinois made April 14th, 1966 a day in history for the State of Illinois. All of its Village Board Members had died; therefore there was no official to file for a general election for new board members. In this instance, the State Legislature was compelled to issue a law permitting a Village or any other similar entity to circumvent this particular situation in the future.

Bonnie, Illinois being incorporated with a population of some 499 residents; now has both village and park boards. It has a new Community building named after one of its leading citizens, Samuel Marion Bennett, and a village park named after its first mayor, Lester Keller, who led the instigation to procure property for the village park. Bonnie also has three churches, and seven business': a furniture store, a radiator shop, a cafe, a tv tower manufacturing Co., a trash service , a ag research Co., and a plating company.

However because of economic reasons, Bonnie for fire protection has to rely on her sister village, Ina Illinois three miles to the south. And the city of Mount Vernon Illinois seven miles to the north to which its children are bussed to the respective education services.

Because of the enthusiasm shown by its residents Bonnie will continue to grow and succeed in its future ventures. For example it has one of the best little league softball fields in this area; and many other ventures too numerous to mention.

Information furnished by:
1) Samuel Marion Bennett, Bonnie, IL.
2) Harry Alvin Book, Bonnie, IL.
3) "Globe-Democrat", St Louis Mo.
4) "Mt Vernon Register News", Mt Vernon, IL.
5) K. Piper, Missouri Pacific RR, Mt Vernon, IL.
6) "These Trying Times", Ina, IL. April 28th, 1984

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