Jefferson County Historical Society

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Daniel Bonacker, farmer by occupation, a native of Germany, born in
Hessen, March 8, 1827, is the son of Conrad and Elizabeth Bonacker.
At the age of four years the father died and at the age of thirteen
the mother also died, leaving two sons of whom he was the youngest.
He was thus thrown upon his own resources at a very early age.  He
received a good education in the common schools; in the year 1848,
February 13th, immigrated to America via Bremen and New Orleans, 
securing passage on one of the old-time sailing vessels which took
eight weeks to make the trip.  Not being satisfied with the Southern
climate, he concluded to go North, stopping at St. Louis. He immediately
came to Jefferson County, where he entered land or a homestead in Rock
Township, and, after working three years as a farm hand for $4 per 
month, he began on his own responsibility. In 1851 he married Miss 
Catherine Miller, also a native of Germany, born also in Hessen. She
died in 1859. Three children were the result of this marriage: August,
Catherine and Dora. In 1860, he married Miss Caroline Riechman, also
a native of Germany, born in Hanover. She died in 1876, leaving seven
children, viz.: Daniel, Ernest, Louise, Caroline, Edward, Lydia and 
Benjamin; the first and last of these have died since their mother died.
Mr. Bonacker has spared no pains in the education of his children.  
He lived on the homestead up to 1868, then moved to St. Louis, where
he remained two years.  In 1870 he returned to Jefferson County, 
settling on Big River, two miles from House's Springs, where he has
a farm of 200 acres of land.  He was in Company B, Eightieth Missouri
Militia, under Gen. A. J. Smith, during Price's raid through Southeast
Missouri. Politically, he is a Republican, and he cast his first vote 
for Lincoln, in 1860.