Born in Ireland in 1824, Robert Bonner came to America in 1839 and acquired a fortune as a very young man. He began to purchase trotters for road driving on speedways and paid large sums for them: $40,000 for young Pocahontas; $35,000 for Dexter; $40,000 for Maud S. and $41,000 for Sunol. Bonner was one of the famous "Sealskin Brigade" and did much to promote the sport. He died in 1899 in New York.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1994 book, The Immortals