Thank God I have lived here most all the days of my life and let me say, thanks to all our '’Coming On” Industries, Cotton Mill, the Manufactory Plant, the Big Smith, the Cable Plant and the City Officials and to Ed Koenig, the very efficient City Manager, to Bonham Radio Station - KFYN - which stands for "Know Fannin Your Neighbor” and Doug Ray and Bob Holiday really Know their neighbors. God bless and help the 12 old ones present in 1888 who are still living in Texas and Oklahoma and help our grandchildren to take our places gratefully when "These Saints" go marching Home,
And as the great poet said years ago,
Let us build better and stronger lives
Build the more stately mansions, Oh my soul
As the swift seasons roll,
Leave they love - vaulted past -
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from Heaven with a dome more vast -
Till thou at length art free;
Leaving thine outgrown shell
by Life's unresting sea.
Mrs. Victoria Morrow - Bonham
Handwritten are the names in addition to the five of her family mentioned above who were there in 1888:
Mac Benton, Bonham, Texas
Mrs. Hattie Gouge, Bonham, Texas
Mrs. Tom Humphrey, Bonham, Texas
Mrs. A. P. Bolding, Bonham, Texas
Mr. C. Z. McLarry, Bonham, Texas
Mr. E. H. Benton, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(11 in all)
Victoria Morrow (1885 - 1970) was present at the laying of the 1888 cornerstone and the 1966 cornerstone.
The time capsule of the 1966 cornerstone, opened in 2018, contained the following letter by Victoria Morrow.
1888 - CORNER STONE - 1966
On May 16th, 1888, at the laying of the cornerstone in the Court House at Bonham, Texas Fannin Co., my Uncle Will Cleveland, who had hauled the stone from Freight T,. P. Station the day before, was there in that same big wagon with nine more of his family and ten of my mother’s family, Mrs. Victoria Phelans family, making 20 in all. It was an all day celebration and wagons & buggies were on road to Dodd City five miles to East and as far as Ector West. Uncle Will stood on platform east side of building with Masonic Lodges of the County. He is buried in Last Chance Cemetery near the Lannius Community with an old man carved Masonic head stone. These of my family who are still living who rode in that wagon the 16th day of May are as follows:
1. Mr. Elmer Cleveland, Sulphur, Oklahoma
2. Mr. U. S. Cleveland, Victoria, Texas
3. Mrs. Lee Cleveland Coker, Duncan, Oklahoma
4. Mrs. Minnie Dearing, Bonham, Texas
5. Mrs. Victoria Phelan Morrow, Bonham, Texas
On this occasion, Feb. 25, 1966 at the laying of the 2nd corner stone of the old Courthouse that has undergone the last several months a very satisfactory and efficient going over inside its welcome doors and outside its massive walls, by God's wonderful love and care for me these long 78 years I am permitted to be here the second time and present these 2 little mementoes to the great pioneers who have made Bonham and Fannin County what it is today.
A fire in the towers of the Courthouse in Dec. 1929 was very harmful to the clocks and the tower and the great clapper from the clock fell and our people felt like we were lost indeed. I was there and saw big, big men of County walking down South Side square crying like children. Co. Judge A1 Wheeler was crying and I was walking by his side. Yes, I was crying too. A jewelry man of Bonham managed to save a little slab from that clapper and here is a little memento that I bought for 65 cents as a charm (good luck) for my bracelet. One side of this is the date 1888 on other side is an Indian Head penny dated 1888. I part with these nostalgic gifts because I love the old Court House and the great names that come to my mind who helped to make Bonham - First Judge Choice Moore - a very efficient and capable young man that is going places and some who have helped me in kindness when I needed it are Charlie Nunn, Mark McMahon, Al Wheeler, Wilburn Faxon, Judge A. S. Broadfoot, Sam Rayburn, Mrs. Lou Rayburn and sisters, and niece Joyce Lightfoot. Deets Dorough, Mrs. Couch, Myrtle Hancock, Judge Harrison, Hon. J. N. Hughes, Philip Wise, Henry Holland, Luther Crawford, Dr. Carney, Andrew Gray, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. R. E. L. Kinkaid, Will Newton, Hon Sam Howard, Win Sallie Joe and Mrs. Grace Carleton and on and on—till like the sands of the sea—so the good people are of Bonham numbered.