Bonham, county seat and commercial center of Fannin County, is on U.S. Highway 82 and State highways 78 and 121 on the northern edge of the Blackland Prairie twelve miles south of the Red River. Settlement began with the arrival in 1836 of Bailey Inglish from Butler County, Kentucky. In 1837 he built Fort Inglish, a blockhouse and stockade, on 1,250 acres of land located on Bois d'Arc Creek near timber and water supplies. John P. Simpson came soon thereafter, and Inglish and Simpson donated the original townsite, known as Bois d'Arc, as an inducement to settlement. Inglish also secured the town's first post office, which served an area of several hundred miles, including what is now Collin and Grayson counties. When Bois d'Arc became the Fannin county seat on January 26, 1843, the county extended into the Panhandle and Greer County, Oklahoma Territory; the area later became twenty Texas counties. Bois d'Arc was renamed Bonham on February 26, 1844, in honor of James B. Bonham, who died at the Alamo. By the early 1840s, C. C. Alexander of Cumberland County, Kentucky, established a business house to supply Fort Worth and nearby forts, and Bonham became a resting and supply base for homeseekers in northeastern Texas. During the Civil War the town was an agricultural center located at a strategic point near the state's northern border, though few people lived there between 1855 and 1870. Bonham was the site of Gen. Henry E. McCulloch's Confederate military headquarters for the northern subdistrict of Texas, and local merchants sold supplies to the government. After the Civil War an influx of settlers from the upper South increased the population and contributed to the town's educational, financial, and industrial development. Bonham incorporated on February 2, 1848, obtained a charter to incorporate land within a mile of the courthouse in 1873, and in 1990 operated under a charter granted in 1911.
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