BONAWITZ, Jonathan. Farmer, was born in Mifflin township, Dauphin county, Pa., September 27, 1833. George Bonawitz, his grandfather,, was the son of a German who came from the Fatherland to Pennsylvania and became a farmer. George was born in Berks county, learned tailoring, and worked at the trade both in Berks county and in Mifflin township, Dauphin county, where he came while still a young man. In this township he bought one hundred acres of land, part of which he cleared, and built on it a log house and barn, and made other improvements. Here he engaged in farming and stock raising. He married a Miss Koppenheffer; their family consisted of six children. His wife dying, he married a Miss Matter; her children were eight in number. George Bonawitz died in Mifflin township. He was a old line Whig. He belonged to the Lutheran church, new school.
John Bonawitz, father of Jonathan, attended subscription schools, and obtained a fair education. He went to farming and stock raising upon a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he had built a dwelling and other needful structures. He married Sallie Schoffstall, born in Lykens township. They had five children, of whom Jonathan is the only survivor; Kate, Polly, Henry, and Sarah, wife of Jacob Lesker, all being deceased. The mother dying in 1840, Mr. Bonawitz married Kate Harman, widow of John Mossner. They had no children. John Bonawitz died on the homestead in 1884. He was an old line Whig, and belonged to the Lutheran church, old school, and took an active part in church matters. He was a well-known citizen, and was universally liked.
Jonathan Bonawitz attended subscription schools and public schools during the winter, and worked on the farm in summer. He became a farmer, lived all his life on the homestead, and took care of his father in his old age. He cultivated one hundred and thirty acres of land, on which he made many improvements. Jonathan Bonawitz was married, in Halifax township, in Augurst, 1861, to Margaret, daughter of Henry Rutter of that township, born in Millersburg, Pa., in 1840. Their children were: Mary, wife of Peter Stine; Charles, farms the homestead; William E., physician at Fisherville, Jackson township; Katie and Frances, both in the millinery business at Berrysburg. Katie attended the Westchester State Normal School. Mr. Bonawitz is a Republican. He has been school director for one term, also tax collector, assessor and supervisor of roads. He is a member of the old Lutheran church, a Sunday-school teacher and superintendent. He is also the leader of the choir, and has been organist of the church from boyhood. He has been an excellent singer in his day. He is a favorite both in church circles and in political life. His home is a musical one, all the children being musicians. It is a delightful family, and a fountain of good to the community.
Historical Review of Dauphin County