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Promotion: Nearby Map of Wharton County

Bonus, near the junction of Farm roads 102 and 2614, fifteen miles north of Wharton in northern Wharton County, was established in the mid-1890s, when the construction of the Cane Belt Railroad (chartered by William Thomas Eldridge, W. L. Dunovant, and others) terminated at the plantation site owned by Eldridge and Dunovant in Wharton County. An extension of this line ran to another plantation owned by Eldridge and Dunovant just a few miles south and west of Bonus. In 1896 the community applied to the postal department for a post office and requested the name Alamo, but that name was not approved. Reportedly the name Bonus was chosen instead because the railroad owners were promised a bonus for building a line into the area. The Bonus post office opened in 1896. Bonus initially had relatively few White residents. Little mail was received at the community, and its post office was discontinued three times before being permanently discontinued in 1940, when local mail was routed through Eagle Lake or Egypt.

The syndicate and partnership of Eldridge and Dunovant encompassed land in the area running from Eagle Lake to Garwood in Colorado County and to Bonus in Wharton County. In the early 1900s a prison camp was established of Bonus, and prisoners were contracted to work the land and perform other agricultural jobs. The Dunovant-Eldridge partnership dissolved in 1901; Dunovant took the lands in the Eagle Lake area, and Eldridge took the Bonus plantation. In 1902, Eldridge shot and killed Dunovant.

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Merle R. Hudgins | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Alamo is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Alamo is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Bonus)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated