Lazarus N. Bonham

From Ohio History Central

Lazarus Noble Bonham was Ohio's eighth Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture served as the head of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture.

Bonham was born in 1830, in Hamilton County, Ohio. In 1855, he graduated from Miami University and then embarked upon a teaching career. From 1856 to 1857, Bonham taught Greek and Latin at National Normal University in Lebanon, Ohio. For the next two years, he taught in the Dayton, Ohio school system and, in 1859, established Bonham's Female Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Among Bonham's students was President Ulysses S. Grant's daughter. Bonham served as principal and as a Latin instructor until he closed the institution in 1872.

In 1872, Bonham relocated to Oxford, Ohio. Here, he devoted the remainder of his life to farming. He served as editor of the Poland-China Record and of the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette. Having become a renowned breeder, in 1886, Bonham won election as Ohio's eighth Secretary of Agriculture, a position that he held until 1894. Upon retiring as secretary, Bonham became the president of Ohio's Board of Veterinary Examiners. In addition to these positions, Bonham also served as chairman of the Committee on Agricultural Exhibits at the Columbian Exposition, as well as a member of Miami University's board of trustees. Bonham died in 1918.