The first published reference to Mount Bonnell by name in print appeared in George Bonnell’s own book titled Topographical Description of Texas, to which is added an account of the Indian tribes, in which he described the peak—“Four miles above the city of Austin, upon the east side of the river, is a high peak called Mount Bonnell. From the top of the mountain there is a perpendicular precipice of seven hundred feet down to the water.” He did not, however, go on to elaborate on the source of the name as he had done with 15 other place names throughout his book.
Having evidently lost his appointment as a Commissioner of Indian Affairs under President Houston, Bonnell relocated to Austin along with the government of the Republic in October 1839 and he reverted to being a publisher, printer and author, and established the Texas Sentinel. However, due to muddy roads between Houston and Austin, he did not receive his printing press until February when he began publishing.
One might conclude from this that the peak had already been named prior to April 1840, that Bonnell may not have been aware of the origin of the name, and between the arrival of his printing press in February and the April publishing of his book, less than two months had elapsed—scarcely sufficient time to have established his reputation as a prominent publisher in the community to merit the residents naming a major terrain feature after him.