Midwest Living Review
Aside from new windows, and 'invisible' air conditioning, the Bonnell Museum offered an accurate glimpse of farm life, on this sprawling and gently rolling property, thanks to the generosity of the last living family member, Walter 'Herb' Bonnell. Upon his death, in 1984, the property entered a trust, so that it could become a museum. Gorgeous woven wool area rugs covered wood plank floors in several rooms. A tobacco leaf shredder and cigarette-making device sat on a kitchen countertop across the room from an antique stove full of iron pans and several kettles. One cupboard near the sink still held a coffee mug labeled 'Herb' with an image of his favorite Chrysler model. Huge display cases showed a huge collection of arrowheads and tools that were unearthed on the property, and a collection of porcelain and glass tableware and decorative items, alongside an antique fan and doll. Bonnell's sisters lived with him until their deaths and their bedroom dressers still held their oil lamps and hairbrushes. Handmade quilts, undergarments, and lady's hats also covered several mattresses. In Herb's bedroom his small 'celebrity' pencil sketches included one of Abraham Lincoln, while a mannequin in a baseball uniform, reminiscent of Babe Ruth, honored Herb's passion for the sport. This is a pleasant return to the past with a friendly and knowledgeable proprietor.