|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Judge Lawrence F. Bonderer, in his dual capacity as officer on the bench and farmer, is well known in Livingston county, where his ambition and ability have carried him beyond the ranks of mediocrity and placed him in a position of leadership. As judge he displays a masterful grasp of every problem presented to him for solution and as agriculturist has been constructive in the development of this section. Lawrence F. Bonderer serves in the capacity of judge of the western district of Livingston county, which office he has filled since 1908 and at present holds under his third term. He is a native of Livingston county, where he was born in Green township, June 18, 1869, and is a son of Joseph and Catherine Seitter Bonderer. The father was one of the early pioneers of this section, where he settled in the early '50s, and it is a peculiar coincidence that he at one time was a candidate for the same office which our subject is now holding. He was a public-spirited man, far above the average in intelligence, and was very popular, standing high in the esteem of his fellowmen. He held every office of the township and was actively connected with the important affairs of its administration. He was a native of Switzerland and after coming to this country settled at first in Illinois, whence he removed to Green township, Livingston county, Missouri. The mother of our subject was of German origin. After a useful and eventful life the father passed away January 25, 1900, and the mother April 20, 1912, and both found their last resting place in the Chillicothe Catholic cemetery. They reared a family of six children: Mary, the widow of Alois Gier, residing in Kansas City; Caroline, the wife of J. H. Gier, a carpenter and contractor of Chillicothe, Missouri; Lawrence F., of this review: Bertha, the wife of J. A. Dietrich, a general merchant and the postmaster of Utica, Missouri; Theresa, who married M. A. Potts, a farmer of Utica; and J. C., who follows agricultural pursuits in the same locality.
Lawrence F. Bonderer enjoyed the advantages of a good education in the Utica high school, leaving this institution at the age of sixteen years. After laying aside his school books he assisted his father on the home farm and also in his work as contractor, in which the father had been prominent, owning his own limestone quarry. In 1892 he rented the home farm from his father. It comprises one hundred and eighty-two acres of valuable and rich agricultural land on sections 12 and 13, Green township, and in 1904 he bought the property. He follows mixed farming and is extensively engaged in stock-raising, both branches bringing him gratifying financial returns. He has made many improvement in the equipment of the farm which have greatly added to the value of the property. In 1908 Mr. Bonderer was elected to the office of county judge of the western district of Livingston county and by subsequent reelections has continued in the office and no official has ever been more faultless in honor and fearless in conduct.
His decisions have always been strictly fair and impartial, based upon the law and the equity of the case, and he is highly regarded as one of the most capable judges that ever presided over the county court. He has won for himself in this capacity favorable criticism for the careful and systematic methods which he has followed and is generally admired for his remarkable powers of concentration and application and his retentive mind, which often stands him in good stead. There seem few men who can more readily discriminate between the essential and non-essential than Judge Bonderer and the work he has done in his official capacity redounds greatly to his credit and has been of vast benefit to the locality.
Judge Bonderer was married at Utica, Missouri, April 26. 1892, to Miss Stella McMillen, a daughter of J. W. and Louisa (Ingram) McMillen, the former a prominent real-estate dealer of Kansas City. The McMillen family is of English origin and some of the early members of the Ingram family were old Virginia settlers, several of them taking up arms in the defense of the Confederacy as officers during the Civil war. A brother of Mrs. McMillen, J. D. Ingram, is treasurer and a director of the Ex-Confederate Home at Higginsville, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. McMillen were the parents of four children: Mamie, the wife of J. H. Hollister, a real-estate agent of Kansas City, Missouri; Stella, the wife of our subject; Jennie, who married J. R. Williams, of Grimes, Oklahoma; and Nellie, a graduate of St. Louis College, residing in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Bonderer are the parents of five sons and two daughters: Mary Estelle, residing at home; Frank E., who looks largely after the agricultural interests of our subject; Drury J.; Nellie L.; Lawrence M., Jr.; and Herbert F., attending school; and Gerald G. The family reside in a handsome and modern residence which was erected by our subject on the home farm.
Judge Bonderer is affiliated with the democratic party, the principles of which find in him a stanch supporter. Outside of the important office of county judge, which he now fills, he has served for a time as member of the township board and also was a school director of his district, indicating his never lagging interest in the welfare and progress of this section. His fraternal relations are confined to the Knights of Columbus. Judge Bonderer has always led a busy and useful life in which indolence and idleness have had no part, and his work as farmer as well as officer of the court has been a serviceable factor in the growth and upbuilding of this section of the state. He gives to the people all that is best in him and is always ready to discharge every obligation laid upon him.