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In the summer of 2016, a sixth-generation descendant of James E. Bonine donated a set of furniture and other items that belonged to James and Sarah Bonine.  Go to the 2016 Christmas at the Bonine House to see some of these pieces all dressed up for the holidays.

Underground Railroad Society
of Cass County, Michigan
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For more about Mary Anne Bonine - Click here

Grace entrusted the quilt to her cousin, Kenneth L. Bonine, family historian, who wrote "The Bonines in America 1700-1975". Kenneth gave it to his son, Alan Kent Bonine of Galesburg. Mary Anne, Alan's daughter in law, says the family is giving the quilt to URSCC in hopes that it becomes part of the community's historical memorabilia.

This small footstool is also on loan to the Bonine House from the Pioneer Log Cabin in Cassopolis.  The underside of the stool is marked N and B, for Northrup and Bonine.  It is said that the business was a combination furniture store--and funeral parlor!  


​The Donnells and Bonines were neighbors, as shown in the early plat maps of Penn Township. The Donnell farm was on the west side of Penn Road just north of the James. E. Bonine home. Mary Anne likes to think that the Bonine women and Donnell women spent winter evenings together quilting and sharing each other's company. Perhaps some of their quilts were even used to warm chilled travelers on their road to freedom.

Susan Donnell gave the quilt to her daughter, Rose Elva Bonine Pemberton, born in Penn Township in 1865. Rose gave the quilt to her daughter Grace Marguerite Pemberton Rausch, born in Cass County in 1885.


Bonine House

Mary Anne Bonine and her son Dan Bonine present the Bonine family heirloom quilt to Mike Moroz, president of URSCC, at Bonine House

Bonine Family Quilt 

Donated to Underground Railroad Society

Press Release 3/28/2012

The descendents of James E. Bonine, who built the Bonine House at M60 and Penn Rd, have donated a family heirloom quilt made between 1850 and 1860 by his sister-in-law, Susan Donnell Bonine, wife of Lot Bonine. The beautiful, amazingly well preserved quilt, in the Carolina Lilly pattern, was presented to URSCC by Mary Anne Bonine and her son, Dan Bonine.


Gracie and Dallas Chester of Jones, MI gave us a wonderful wicker plant stand owned by Nellie O'Dell.  Nellie was a teacher in the Cassopolis school system for many years.  She wrote a history of Vandalia including the Kentucky Raid, and was connected with O'Dells Mill, site of the infamous 'showdown' between abolitionists and Kentucky slavecatchers.

This portrait of Lot Bonine, James E. Bonine's younger brother, is a gift on loan from the Pioneer Log Cabin in Cassopolis.  Lot's farm was across Penn Rd and a little north of the Bonine House.  The bricks for the Bonine House addition, as well as bricks for the recently demolished Quaker Meeting House in Vandalia, were kilned on Lot's farm.  His first wife, Susan Donnell, made the quilt on the bed upstairs in the house, and referenced above.

These furnishings were donated by descendants of the Asa Kingsbury family.  Kingsbury settled in Cass County in 1834 and set up a mercantile business in 1837 in Cassopolis.  He dealt extensively in real estate and was the first merchant in Vandalia.  In 1871 Kingsbury founded the First National Bank of Cassopolis.  James Bonine served as a bord member of the bank.  Later, his widow Sarah Bonine became the bank's largest stockholder.  Donated by Dave and Sue Dunlap of Cassopolis. 2011.  Dave is a Kingsbury descendent. 

This brown plaid dress, white slip, brown bonnet and eyelet collar was worn by Sarah Osborn Bonine (b. 1828, d. 1885), wife of James Bogue Bonine (b. 1825, d. around 1900), first cousin of James E. Bonine.  Donated by Julie Rusanoff Sheffieck and Polly Rusanoff Rosenberger 2012.

These ink bottles were found on the grounds of the Bonine House

Rare milk bottles from James E. Bonine's Elk Park Dairy donated by Phyllis Boughton Carlson of Niles and Chuck Miltenberger of Buchanan Feed Mills in 2012.  Shown are front and back views.

These photographs of Isaac and Sarah Talbot Bonine and their children were found as negatives in family historian Kenneth Bonine's collection.  The Isaac and Sarah Talbot Bonine Family.  Shown (top) are Isaac and Sarah Talbot Bonine, Evan Bonine, Sarah Bogue Bonine , James E. Bonine (bottom)  Jacob Bonine, Samuel Bonine, Lot Bonine, Lydia Bonine

This photo is of brothers Kenneth Bonine (Kenny, Ken) and James Russell Bonine (Russ).  Ken was the Bonine family historian, author of "Bonines in America."  The portrait was donated by Russell's daughter, Bonnie Bonine Vanderhoof.

This corner cupboard was donated by Mary Anne Bonine, great great granddaughter of Loesa Coffin Allen. Below, is a summary of the Coffin Family Tree.

Castor Set from Lot Bonine Home

1850's to 1913

Susan Donnell Bonine to Rose Pemberton to Grace Rausch to Kenneth Bonine

to daughter Cheryl Bonine-Garcia

December 2013 gifted to the Bonine House

Bonine House Gifts

Here are photos of gifts with connection to the Bonine House, or the UGRR, on display at the house.  If you have more information on any of these items, please contact URSCC.  Thanks.

Content copyright© 2014 URSCC. All rights reserved.

Underground Railroad Society

of Cass County, Michigan

urscc.org