ALAMO HERO AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
Named in honor of Alamo hero James Butler Bonham, the city of Bonham was once also home to Samuel T. Rayburn, the historic and powerful leader of the national Democratic party, Texas legislator, congressman, and speaker of the United States House of Representatives during the early and mid-twentieth century. The Bonham community received an early start in Texas, formed from an 1837 settlement known as Bois d’Arc and renamed Bonham in 1844. The community served as supply base for settlers moving to northeast Texas as well as businesses in nearby Fort Worth. An influx of settlers after the Civil War prompted steady growth for the community. Bonham served as Fannin County seat, building banks, churches, a library, the Steger Opera House where touring companies performed. During World War II Bonham provided a prisoner-of-war camp and Jones Airfield where pilots received their training. Today, Bonham maintains the Sam Rayburn House Museum, home of Rayburn, and the Sam Rayburn Library Museum, repository of Rayburn’s personal books. The Library Museum’s featured attraction is a replica of Rayburn’s office during his long career as speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
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