This Page is about the genealogy of the BONJOUR families from Kansas. These families are decended from the people from the town of Lignieres, Switzerland in the canton of Neuchatel.

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Page Modified 28 March, 1997

Kansas, USA

Sophia L. Bonjour

??????e Interests of Centralia and S???????? ??? Morning, March 29, 18??

Mrs. Sophia L. Bonjour, wife of Jonas A. Bonjour, of Neuchatel, died at the home of her son, R. A. Bonjour, on March 24th and was buried Monday, March 25, Rev. Perry, of Onaga, conducted the funeral services. Mrs. Bonjour was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, June 88,1824. She went from there to England 1844 remaining there ten years, thence to the United States, and located at Neuchatel, in Nemaha county in 1854, where her home has been for forty-one years. She was married to J. A. Bonjour in 1855. Three sons survive the mother, Charles, who lives at Golden Gate, Washington, and J. A. and R. A. Bonjour, who reside at Neuchatel, they are leading and prominent citizens of that community. The husband and one daughter having proceeded the mother to the unknown land. Mrs. Bonjour had a large circle of friends and relatives who hold her in high esteem while living and honored her memory when dead. Many to whom her kindly hands had ministered while living pressed round her coffin and grave eager to pay the last tribute of love and affection to the memory of her whom they had held most dear. This aged pilgrim from early life had adorned the doctrine of her holy religion by a godly ???? and a chaste conversation. She ??????? Christian death and her

Alfred Bonjour (1832-1911)

Last Thursday, October 13, 1911, closed the career of another of the early settlers of this locality (Neuchatel) when Alfred Bonjour passes away at his home near Neuchatel after an illness of several weeks duration, aged 79 years, 9 months 6 days.
The subject of this sketch was born in Neuchatel, Canton, Switzerland, on January 7, 1832. In 1850 he came to America and settled in New York, and a little later moved to Indiana where he was married to Miss Zelia Melanie Simon in 1852. Thirteen children blessed their home -- all but four of them died in infancy.
In the early fifties (1850's) the family moved to Kansas and settled at Neuchatel, where for years he took a very active part in both the religious and political life of the community. He held various positions of trust among which were postmaster, trustee, and county commissioner. An event that made a great change in his life work was the death of his wife which occurred on December 4, 1890. He was married again in 1893 to Mrs. Louise Henry of Brock, Nebraska. As the infirmities of age grew upon him his life became more secluded. An illness of several months duration revealed his great patience and unbounded hope in Almighty God. His faithful wife was constantly near, relieving his sufferings as much as in her power.
Besides his wife, four sons -- Alfred A. and Ephraim, Neuchatel, Emile of Moline Kansas, and Alcide of Onaga -- 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren survive him and cherish his memory.
Funeral services were held last Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Markham of the Congregational Church of Onaga and interment was given in the Neuchatel Cemetery. The surviving relatives have the sympathy of the entire community. The above was brother to Charles A. Bonjour -- father of Pauline Perrussel.

Adeline Sophie Carrel (1864-1941)

Mrs. Adeline S. Bonjour, age 77 years, passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Frank Bishop, east of Frankfort on Wednesday evening, December 24th, at 6:30 o'clock, following an illness of several weeks. She was a well known resident of the Neuchatel and Onaga communities and has many friends who will regret to learn of her death. Adeline Sophie Carrel was born at Lamboing, Canton Bern, Switzerland, on August 20, 1864. About 1892 she came to America, coming directly to the Neuchatel community. Here she worked for a time. On April 5, 1894 she was united in marriage to Louis Bonjour, and together they made their home on a farm in that community. Three children came to bless their home, of whom one daughter, Irene, preceded her in death. Mr. Bonjour passed away in 1939. Surviving children are a daughter, Mrs. Cecile Bishop of Frankfort, and a son, Robert, of Topeka; also four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Mrs. Bonjour was a woman of fine character and deep devotion. She loved her home and stayed in it until after she was stricken in her last illness, ten days ago., and lived in Onaga. Her life was one of rich faith in God. She gave expression to this faith by her membership in the Neuchatel church to the time of her death, although in recent years she attended the churches in Onaga with great regularity.
Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the Congregational church in Neuchatel, with Rev. Wright Horton in charge. Comforting hymns were sung by Mrs. George Bonjour and Mrs. Ira Bonjour accompanied by Mrs. Maude Beiter. Pallbearers were George Bonjour, Walter Bonjour, Alfred Junod, Carl Dodds, Galen Dodds, and Ira Bonjour.
The body was laid to rest in the Neuchatel cemetery.

Louis Alfred Bonjour & Zelie Melanie Simon

Be it known, that on the 28th day of March 1855, a Marriage License was duly
issued to Amos Bonjour & Sophia Bonjour she of this county & both of lawful
age to marry without the consent of their parents or guardians all of was
proven by the affidavit of Eugene H. Droz which is on file. . . ."
Issued in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana.

This Marriage license was issued but not executed.

Marriage License executed 5-Aug-1852 in Noblesville, Hamilton Co. Indiana
between Louis Alfred Bonjour and Zelie Melanie Simon, affidavit by
Fred H. Bonjour

Louis Alfred Bonjour

From passport
Louis Alfred Bonjour
Farmboy of Lignieres
To USA (thru France)
18 years old
5' - 1 3/4 Thumbs
Lt Brown hair
Grey-Blue eyes
Thin angular nose
Medium Mouth
Beginning of a beard
Round Chin
Oval Face
Complexion: Colored (Ruddy)

Zelim August Bonjour (1848-1913)

The subject of this sketch was born in Lignieres, Canton, Neuchatel, Switzerland, on March 27, 1848, and died at his home in Onaga, on May 7, 1913, aged 65 years, 1 month and 10 days. His boyhood was spent in his native town where he acquired the principles of thrift and industry that characterized his whole life.
In 1873, he came to America locating at Neuchatel where he engaged in farming. In 1876 he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Mouton. She died shortly after the marriage, and later he married her sister, Miss Ellen Mouton, who died several years ago. In May, 1903, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Clarissa Surdez who survives. About 8 years ago they left the farm and moved to Onaga where they have since resided.
Mr. Bonjour was a member of the Free Church of Switzerland and was well versed in its teachings. After coming to Kansas he united with the Presbyterian Church at Neuchatel, and later joined the Congregational Church in Onaga, and when his health would permit, was a regular attendant in the affairs of the church.
Two years ago the first symptoms of illness made their appearance and gradually wore away the strong man. Few knew the deceased intimately and the goodness of his character. His many deeds of kindness were not generally known for he was a believer in the saying, "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth". He was a hard worker, strictly honest and fair in all his dealings, a good neighbor and was highly esteemed by all who knew him.
Besides his wife he leaves a sister, Mrs. Louis Cosandier, of Onaga and many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held at the Neuchatel Church last Friday afternoon and the church was crowed to its utmost capacity, many friends coming from as far as Centralia to pay their last tribute of respect to a good man. The services were conducted by Rev. L.C. Markham, of the Congregational Church of Onaga. Interment was given in the Neuchatel Cemetery. The bereft relatives have the sympathy of the entire community in their affliction.
Waunita recalls her mother calling upstairs (we had gone to bed) to say the above, her cousin, had died at sundown. He willed her a nice sum that drouth year!

Florence Maude Bonjour

Florence Maude, daughter of pioneer settlers Francis and Zylpha Jones Peer, was born September 25, 1886, in a little dug-out home on the prairie of Smith County, Kansas, near what is now the town of Lebanon. In about a year, her parents and sisters moved from this humble home into a newly-built "soddy!"
For several years, severe drought conditions had prevailed throughout the West; therefore, in September 1888 the Peer family put their meager possessions and five little girls into a covered wagon and began the long three-week trek to the Iowa farm home of Mrs. Peer's brother, who lived near the community of Reeve in Franklin County.
It was here that Florence spent her girlhood years and attended the country schools in that area.
On October 6, 1906, she was united in marriage with Archie Bonjour at Hampton, Iowa. Their first farm home was near Beed's Mill, now the site of Beed's Lake.
While Living here, she was baptized and became a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
In February 1926, they moved to the farm northwest of Fayette where she resided until her husband's death in 1957. Since then, Florence had made her home with her sons, Ralph, Clayton or Forrest, and daughter Bernice.
Following this last brief illness, Florence's death occurred the night of January 29. She had reached the age of 96 years, 4 months and 4 days.
In passing, Florence leaves many precious memories to be treasured by her children: Verl of Collegedale, Tennessee, Ralph, Clayton, Forrest, Dorthy (Mrs. Russel Dickinson) and Bernice, all of Fayette. Eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; one brother, Merrill Peer of Blythe, California; one sister, Lillian Hardman of Matteson, Illinois; and a host of nieces and nephews and friends also survive.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband, three brothers and seven sisters.

Betty Bonjour Labbe

Here is some of the information from "The History of Onaga And... book. This first one is on Betty (Bonjour) LABBE. pg. 50.
Betty Bonjour Labbe was born near Onaga, the daughter of Simon and Ellen Bonjour. She lives in Onaga. She has six children: Susie Shepherd, born in Onaga, lives with her family in Valley Falls. Dennis Lowry, born in Onaga, lives near Topeka with his family. He is now a carpenter, but was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad from 1971 to 1976. Randy Lowry and his family live in Manhattan. He is a barber. He was born in Onaga and served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Richard Lowry and his family live near Marysville. He served two years in the U.S. Army and has worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for several years. He was born in Scott City. Charlie Lowry was born in Lebanon, PA., and lives in Onaga, where he is employed at the Town and Country Market as a meat cutter. Bob Lowry and his family live near Marysville. He was born in Onaga, served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad for two years.

Everett Bonjour

The Next one is EVERETT Bonjour. pg. 62.
Everett and Bertha Nicewander Bonjour were married in 1951. They moved to the Armand Bonjour farm in 1952. Everett and Lee Dronberger bought the Onaga Locker from Mrs. Alice Bonjour the 1952. In 1962, they bought the Gurtler Hardware Store and moved to Onaga in 1963. In 1970, they sold the Onaga Locker to Larry Rollenhagen, the contents of the hardware store to Delbert Platte and the building to Charles Grutzmacher. Mr. Grutzmacher had the hardware store torn down to make a drive-in window on the west side of the First National Bank. Mr. and Mrs. Bonjour have three sons--Steve, who died; Roger, who lives in Topeka; Mark, who lives in Manhattan. They have one grandson. Everett Bonjour died July 10, 1972. A few years later Bertha married Merle Bonjour.

Lydia Bonjour

Next, LYDIA Bonjour. pg. 86.
Russell Larimore served in the armed forces during World War II. Russell and Lydia Bonjour were married on March 11, 1945, and lived in Harrington, Del., for four years. They came back to Onaga in 1949, and he established his own painting and decorating business. They have one son, Steve, of Milwaukee, Wisc., and one granddaughter. The History of Onaga And... pg. 111. Louis Alfred Bonjour and his wife, Zelie Melanie simon, were the parents of Alfred Bonjour. Alfred married Lina Junod, daughter of Alexander Junod, and they were the parents of Armand and George Bonjour. Armand married Alice Vautravers, daughter of Fred and Laura Jacot Vautravers. Alice and Armand had one son, Everett, and one daughter, Sylvia. Everett married Bertha Nicewander; and Sylvia married Paul Hartwich. Sylvia and Paul had five children: Lynn, Jerry, Cindy Falk, David and Stanley. Lynn married Pat Weltsch and they have two sons: Brent Eugene and August Lynn. Jerry has no children. Cindy married Milton Falk and they have three children, Dustin, Derek and Laura. David married Susan Rezak and they have two sons, Travis Christopher and William David. Stanley is married to Susan Kufahl.

Charles Bonjour

CHARLES Bonjour pg. 111
Charles Bonjour came to Neuchatel in the spring of 1858, and homesteaded the quarter of land on which Neuchatel is built. He married Louise Zurcher in 1864. In 1877, he bought an organ and their home became the meeting place for the young people in the community. Their children were: Matilda (Mrs. Leon Besancon), Eugene (who died at one year of age), Charles (who was accidentally shot and killed), Pauline (Mrs. Julius Perussel), and Silas (who died at the age of two months).
Charles Bonjour II married Pauline Theys. They had two children: Sam Bonjour married Ellen Savajot, and Leonard married Alice Hammerly. Sam and Ellen had six children: Marjorie, Bud, Rosella, Betty, Mary Lou and Dale. Leonard and Alice had three children: Lydia, Lawrence and Merle.

Jonas A. Bonjour

JONAS A Bonjour pg.111
During the fall of 1857, Jonas Aimie Bonjour and his wife, Sophia, came to Neuchatel and eventually homesteaded the farm now belonging to the heirs of Walter and Anna Myers Bonjour. They had three sons: Charles J. (moved to Washington), Jonas Aimie (Amos), and Roland J. In 1866, Mr Bonjour built the first frame house in the township. The lumber was hauled from Leavenworth and Atchison. Amos Bonjour married Julia Theys and to this union were born: Goodlet, (married Anna Fairbanks); Rose (Mrs. Charles Hazlett); Gertrude (Mrs. Roy Keeney), Vira (Mrs. Clarence Mitchell), Aletha (Mrs. Paullesen), and Hazel (Mrs. George Dronberger). Roland Bonjour married Nan Burdette and to this union were born: Walter (married Anna Myers), and Effie (Mrs. George Talley).

Bonjour and Vautravers

Bonjour AND VAUTRAVERS pg. 112.
Fred Crevecoeur, who was author of "Old Settlers Tales", said that he had enough curiosity to ask two of the first settlers what had induced them to leave civilization and the beautiful country of Switzerland to cast their fortunes in a wild country. The answer in both cases was the same. "The spirit that inspired Horace Greeley to write Go West, Young Man, was the prime factor which caused our early pioneers to come here."
The Bonjours first came to Nobelsville, IND., from Neuchatel, Switzerland, during the early 1850's. Aimie Bonjour said he found Indiana a comparatively long-settled country. Friends told him they had found a raw, uninhabited country when they came, but now they were well off and in easy circumstances (the land was then worth $20.00 an acre in Indiana). He and some of the other Bonjours were told if they would go west where land was cheap, they might do well.
While in Switzerland, we asked how it happened that my great-grandfather, Louis Alfred Bonjour, and his brothers,Charles and Gustave, came to the United States, though the other brother, who was Philip Cosandier's grandfather, didn't't come. Were told that the oldest son in the family always inherited the family home and the parents usually helped the other sons get started with an occupation.
Louis Alfred Bonjour married Zelie Melanie Simon at Nobelsville, Ind. They came to Neuchatel in 1856. They had 13 children and only four boys survived. They were Alfred, who was my grandfather, Alciede, Emilie and Ephriam. The children, including one set of triplets, died in infancy. Louis Alfred built the stone house on the parallel a mile west of Neuchatel; it is now owned by Donald Bonjour, his grandson. My grandfather, Alfred, married Lina Junod who was born in Linieres, Switzerland. They were the parents of George Bonjour and Armand Bonjour, Everett's and my father. Our mother was Alice Vautravers Bonjour, whose grandparents also came to the Neuchatel area during the 1850's from the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. My mother's grandfather's name was David Frederick Vautravers, who was also Harvey Gray's grandfather. Mr Vautravers was a tailor by trade and during the winters of 1856 and 1857, while living in Leavenworth, he followed his profession, clearing a dollar a day making pants and vests, receiving fifty cents each for making a pair of pants or a vest. He and his wife came to Neuchatel in 1857, where they pre-empted 160 acres of land. Their son, David Frederick Vautravers, Jr., who was my grandfather, married Laura Henrietta Jacot who had come from La Choiz de Fonds, Switzerland to Neuchatel when she was 18. Their children were my mother, Alice Laura, and Walter Vautravers, who now reside in Onaga. My grandfather, known as Fred Vautravers, moved to Onaga in 1905 with his family. They bought the house in which Mrs. Andrew Hauk now lives. Grandpa was a carpenter and helped with the construction of many houses that are now standing. After moving from the farm, he soon became active in helping promote the growth of Onaga. Mrs. Ephriam Bonjour (Leonie) told me recently that in 1905, when the Congregational Church was built, Grandpa went to their place to solicit for funds. She also told me that the church was built by Mr. Droz, who built other houses in Onaga, one of which is the house south of the Onaga Clinic, in which the Marten sisters live.
Uncle Walter Vautravers sold cars in the building which is now the Onaga Locker. Walter served in the Navy during World War I. After the war, he married Ruby Millsap. They lived on the family homestead in Neuchatel and moved to Onaga in 1971. My grandfather Vautravers owned the building when the Onaga High School used it for a gym. In 1944, my father, Armand Bonjour, bought the building and started the Frozen Food Locker plant in Onaga. He operated it until 1947, when he passed away. After that my mother was the operator until she sold it to my brother, Everett, in the early '50s. Everett was the operator until Larry Rollenhagen bought it in 1970.
Sylvia Bonjoue (sic)

Cosandier Family

pg. 68-69.
Philip Cosandier, son of Eliza (Bonjour) and Louis Cosandier, was born in Lignieres, Canton De Neuchatel, Switzerland, March 17, 1885. On November 26, 1887, Louis Cosandier sailed from the port of LaHavre on the French ship "La Bretagne" for Neuchatel , KS., landing at New York via Norfolk, VA. He was 39 years old. On May 5, 1888, Eliza and her four children sailed from LaHavre to New York. The children were: Pauline, age six and one-half; Louis, five; Henri Phillipe, three; and Paul, one and one-half. They landed in New York City and then boarded the train for Centralia, KS. Louis met his family in Centralia and took them by wagon to their farm north of Neuchatel. Louis Robert died in October, 1888. Another son, Louis Auguste, was born in 1889, and died the following year.
Philip attended school in Neuchatel and worked on the family farm. After completing his schooling at Neuchatel, his brother Paul attended a business college in Grand Island, NE. After his graduation was employed by Updike Grain Company in Omaha. Paul persuaded Philip to come to Omaha and work for Updike Grain. Philip worked there until 1909, when he and Paul purchased one of the two lumber yards in Onaga from the Farmers Lumber Company. Philip became general manager of the yard. He retired in 1965. From 1909 until Paul's untimely death in 1922, the two brothers bought several retail lumber yards in NE. and MO.
On January 3, 1912, Leah Rossier and Philip Cosandier were married in Topeka. Leah, dau. of Colin and Rosalie Gilson Rossier, was born on a farm near Neuchatel September 27, 1886. Her father, Colin Louis Rossier was born in Rougemont, Canton de Vaud, Switz,. August 29, 1840. Records show that the Rossiers had lived in Canton de Vaud since the year 1459. A Rossier was governor of the Canton. Colin Rossier's parents moved to Neuchatel, Switz. when he was still a child. When he was 17, he decided to come to America. He worked as a chef on a trans-atlantic steamer before coming to Neuchatel. He bought a farm three miles north of the little village names after his home in Switz.
Colin married Rosalie Gilson. To this union, six children were born--five daughters and one son, who died in infancy.
The daughters were: Leonie (Bonjour), Leah (Cosandier), Louise (Surdez), Lucy, and Tillie (Gorman). Colin Rossier died March 6, 1895. In 1898, Rosalie married Armand Chatelain. To this union, three daughters were born. They were Marguerite (Noell) and Alice, whose twin died at birth. Mr. Chatelain died in 1902.
Leah and Philip built a new home at 6021 Leonard, and moved into it in Feb. 1915. They were the parents of three daughters: Alice L. (Smith), Loreen A (Thomas), and Lucile M. (Berges).
Philip took pride in his seven grandchildren: Philip, Susanne and Paula Smith, Paul and Lou Ann Thomas, Reen and Julie Berges, and his great-grandson, David Thomas.
Philip died December 20, 1968, at the age of 83.

Fred Bonjour
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