Biographies of selected Bonitz family members


These biography pages were mostly derived from old writings in German.
I will continue to translate or at least summarize them.
Sorry for any incomplete sections in English.

If you would like to contribute any english biographies, or if you can support me in translating, any feedback will be appreciated.

Hermann Bonitz (1814-1888)

was born at Langensalza in Thuringia, Germany on the 29th of July 1814.
He was the 6th child of his parents. His father was Karl Friedrich Bonitz, a protestant priest and superintendent of Zwönitz in Saxony; his mother was the Langansalza mayor's daughter Maria Sophia Schmalkalden.
Hermann was student of the renowned "Landesschule Schulpforta", located in a former monastery complex in Naumburg.

Having studied at Leipzig under G. Hermann and at Berlin under Boeckh and Lachmann, he became successively teacher at the Blochmann institute in Dresden (1836), Oberlehrer at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium (1838) and the Graues Kloster Gymnasium (1840) in Berlin, and professor at the gymnasium at Stettin (1842).

Hermann Bonitz in Vienna

In 1849 he became professor at the university of Vienna, where he installed a faculty for the education of future teachers. In cooperation with F. Exner, he laid out a concept for the basic reorganization of the Austrian high school educational system, introducing mathematics and natural science into the schools of Austria, and substituting the wide reading of classical authors for the prevalent practice of speaking and writing Latin. In 1854 Hermann Bonitz became member of the imperial academy of Vienna, 1864 member of the council of education.

In 1867 Hermann Bonitz moved to Berlin, where he became director of the Graues Kloster Gymnasium.

As director of the royal academy for pedagogy at high schools and advisor to the ministry of education he made extensive contributions to the reforms of the high school system in Prussia. He was chiefly responsible for the system of teaching and examination in use in the high schools of Prussia after 1882.

Hermann Bonitz retired in 1888, and died on the 25th of July in that year at Berlin, aged 74.

Hermann Bonitz
Hermann Bonitz (1814-1888)

Hermann Bonitz married Bertha Maria Semmel of Gera in 1843. As a widow she stayed in Berlin where she reached the age of 97 years. Three of their children were born in Stettin, including their son Eduard Friedrich (born 1844), who was magistrate of a Berlin county court from 1879 until his early death in 1889.

Despite his achievements in reforming the school systems in Austria and Prussia, it is as a commentator on Plato and Aristotle that Hermann Bonitz is best known outside Germany. His most important works in this context are: Disputationes Platonicae Duae (1837), Platonische Studien (1886), Aristotelis Metaphysica (1848-1849), and Index Aristotlicus (1870). He also wrote largely on classical and educational subjects.

The Bonitz Brothers of Goldsboro, NC

Julius A. (1841-1891) and J. H. William (1839-1913) Bonitz were born in the Kingdom of Hanover (Germany after 1870) and were the sons of Johann and Dorothea Louise Schalitz Bonitz. They came from a long line of mining engineers.

William Bonitz came to the United States and for a time lived in Washington, D.C. He came to Goldsboro in 1859 and purchased a 550 acre tract of land on Stoney Creek, east of Goldsboro. In 1862, he married Mary Elise Stegner, and they had nine children. During the War, William Bonitz worked with his brother, Julius, on his newspaper called at first "Rough Notes" and later the "Goldsboro Messenger."

At the same time they manufactured and printed official envelopes for the Confederacy. William's health was not good enough for military service, but in 1865, he volunteered and fought at the Battle of Bentonville. From 1867 to 1879, he operated the elegant Bonitz Hotel on the corner of Chestnut and Center Streets in Goldsboro, but in 1879, he sold the hotel. In 1889 he moved to Wilmington and opened the Bonitz Hotel on the north side of Market Street between Front and Market streets.
William Bonitz died in Wilmington and left a number of children among whom was Henry Emil Bonitz, an eminent architect.

Julius A. Bonitz (1841-1891)

Julius Bonitz came to the United States in 1857 and to Goldsboro in 1861. Goldsboro had a population of one thousand persons at that time including slaves. Young Julius enlisted in the Goldsboro Rifles and served in the Confederate Army for three years.
After the War he purchased the newspaper "Rough Notes" (Goldsboro Messenger) which he published until 1888 and then moved the newspaper to Wilmington. At one time the "Goldsboro Messenger" had the largest circulation of any paper in North Carolina.

Julius Bonitz was married to Delia Berndt of Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1873, and they lived on Elm Street in Goldsboro. He was very active as a Democrat in politics, having served as chairman of the Wayne County Democratic Committee, and he was a delegate of the Democratic National Conventions in 1872-1880, and in 1884.

He was chairman of the Wayne County Board of Education and a trustee of the North Carolina State Hospital at Goldsboro. In 1881 Julius Bonitz built the Messenger Opera House in Goldsboro on the north east corner of Chestnut and Center Streets. Many traveling musical and dramatic groups played at the opera house. In fact, the famous Sousa Band played there as well as the Ziegfield Musicals, and Billie Burke.

Julius Bonitz moved to Wilmington in 1888 and continued to operate the newspaper until his death in 1891. Even though he was buried in Wilmington, a monument was erected to him at Willowdale in Goldsboro. His daughter, Mrs. Hilda Bonitz Canady, lived until 1971.

The Bonitz Brothers were typical of the many young, capable and energetic Germans who came to the United States in the 19th century.
Their gravestones can be found at Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC.

(Thanks to the USGenWeb archives for this text.)

Another detailed biography of Julius A. Bonitz can be found on the web pages of NCPedia.

Julius A. Bonitz Memorial

Last update of this page: January 15, 2014
© 2000-2022 by Jochen Bonitz