84 Year Old Letters Emerge in Renovation of Tornado Damaged Building

For those who might have missed it, the Joplin Globe ran an article yesterday, September 28, 2011, on the discovery of four letters during the renovation of one of the historic buildings located at 18th and Main Street.

The former home of the long remembered 18th Street Bar was damaged by the May 22nd Tornado. The owner of the building, Randy Stanley, opted to renovate the building, rather than tear it down. In the process, four letters addressed to Ray Lavett “Herbie” Gano from individuals that ranged from loved interests to jailed friends from 1927. For more details, check out the article!

Review of “Joplin” by Leslie Simpson

Leslie Simpson, the director of the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, writes in the epilogue of Joplin, “This book is my love letter to the city of Joplin, of which I am proud to be a citizen!”

Simpson’s latest book is a wonderful love letter to Joplin, a fine work that covers the history of the city from its establishment in 1873 to the present day. It is a lavishly illustrated postcard history of the city accompanied by detailed, informative captions. The book provides readers with an understanding of the people, places, and events that shaped Joplin into the city that it is today. Simpson does an excellent job of balancing the past and present so that readers are taken through Joplin’s early years, subsequent growth, Route 66 years, up until the time of the tornado.

The book is helpfully divided into nine sections that cover different topics such as mining, industry, residences, schools, churches, and hotels. Although one might expect that because the book is postcard history the book might be poorly researched, it is not. The captions for each illustration are insightful, well written, and historically accurate. Each illustration has been carefully chosen and offer unique glimpses into Joplin’s social, cultural, religious, and architectural history.

Sadly, Simpson’s work illustrates just how many Joplin buildings and other landmarks have been lost to the ravages of time, benign neglect, or lack of vision. Our advance copy notes that “Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund” so you can be assured that your money will go to a good cause. We also recommend that you might consider giving a donation the Post Memorial Art Reference Library.

Those who own Leslie Simpson’s prior works may recognize some, but not all of the images used, however all offer entertaining glimpses into Joplin’s past. For those who have and enjoyed the above mentioned Now and Then and Again, they have a great companion to Joplin.

Joplin is a well written and illustrated history of Joplin, Missouri. It is accessible to readers of most ages and is a enjoyable read for those who enjoy local history, the history of Joplin, and illustrated histories. Hopefully it will leave most readers with an even greater appreciation for the City that Jack Built.

Joplin, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing
Available at Hastings and through the publisher at www.arcadiapublishing.com

Welpman’s Service Station

Courtesy of Ray Foreman

From time to time, folks offer to generously share a bit of the Joplin history in their possession. The photograph of Welpman’s Service Station above is one such example. The image captures the building at night in the 1950′s, when it was owned by Gary Welpman. Happily, the building still stands today.

New Joplin History Book Honors the Past & Helps Rebuild the Future

Leslie Simpson, Director of the Post-Memorial Art Reference Library, has a new book coming out on Joplin history, appropriately titled, Joplin. The book is a history of Joplin as told “in hundreds of vintage images” and will be launched at an event at Hastings on September 24, this Saturday, at 10:00 AM. Profits from the first printing will go exclusively to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.   Once we get a hold of a copy, we’ll be posting a review.  Until then, please find the press release below concerning the event below!

New Joplin History Book Honors the Past &
Helps Rebuild the Future

Longtime Joplin resident Leslie Simpson is the author of a new history
book that tells the story of Joplin’s past in hundreds of vintage images.
Joplin, the newest addition in Arcadia Publishing’s Postcard History series,
will be available on Saturday, September 24 exclusively at the Hastings
store in Joplin.

Covering a span of more than 130 years, Joplin traces all aspects of the
city’s history through vintage postcard images. Author Leslie Simpson
describes the book as “My love letter to the city of Joplin!”

Local history publisher Arcadia Publishing and multimedia retailer
Hastings Entertainment, Inc. will donate proceeds from the first printing of
the book to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.

The CEO’s from both companies have been personally involved in the
project and hope the initiative will support Joplin’s ongoing business
recovery efforts.

“When a tragedy like this happens, no matter how far away it is, your
first instinct is to want to find a way to help,” said Arcadia Publishing
president and CEO Richard Joseph. “I’m glad we could do this,” he
said.

Hastings Entertainment CEO John Marmaduke shared, “We are
pleased to have this book available at a time when locals truly need
something to be excited about.”

Joplin will be exclusively available at Hastings through October 2011.
Non-local residents can order online at www.goHastings.com, from the
publisher at www.arcadiapublishing.com, or by calling (888)-313-2665.

###
About Arcadia Publishing
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Books celebrate the
places and faces that give America its spirit and life. Distinctive sepia covers, local authors, and vintage images
present a curbside look and street level understanding of a town’s bygone times. Find your place in history at
www.arcadiapublishing.com.

About Hastings
Founded in 1968, Hastings Entertainment, Inc. is a leading multimedia entertainment retailer that combines the
sale of new and used books, videos, video games and CDs, and trends and consumer electronics merchandise,
with the rental of videos and video games in a superstore format. www.goHastings.com

Book proceeds to benefit Joplin local businesses

Author Leslie Simpson has
lived in Joplin for the past 32
years. She helped establish
Main Street Joplin and the
Joplin Historic Preservation
Commission.
Joplin

Postcard History Series
Price: $21.99
128 pages/ softcover
Available: September 24, 2011

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Arcadia: Mrs. PJ Norlander, Director of Marketing
843.853.2070 x160 pjnorlander@arcadiapublishing.com

EVENT INQUIRIES

Hastings:
Phone: 417-659-9828

Joplin Book Launch Event
Saturday, September 24, 2011
10:00 a.m.

Host

PUBLIC IS WELCOME
Come share your own stories.
Meet the author.
Take a walk back in time.

Who:
Hastings will host the author, Chamber of Commerce members,
community leaders, the publishing company, and any and all residents who
wish to attend.

What:
A special launch event celebrating the publication of a new local history
book, Joplin, by Leslie Simpson.

When:
Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
10:00 a.m.
Welcome, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony,
Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Presentation
10:30 a.m.
Author Book Signing

Book

Where:
Hastings located at 526 South Range Line Road.

Why:
Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Joplin Chamber
of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.

Beneficiary

Directions and event information can be found online at

www.arcadiapublishing.com/Joplin.

Southwest Missouri Live Wire: William F. Bohne

W.F. Bohne

The next “live wire” in the Live Wire series is William F. Bohne. A native of New Orleans, Bohne attended Cornell University, and arrived in Joplin in 1905. His primary business was pumps, a required apparatus of any zinc or lead mine in the Tri-State Mining District due to the ever present desire of the water table to flood the mines. Because of such, his company, W.F. Bohne Machinery Company, was considered one of the more successful enterprises of the district. The company also sold other machinery needed in mines, such as hoists (like the one pictured below). The company was located at 503 Virginia avenue.


By 1930, Bohne still called Joplin home and referred to himself in the 1930 census as a proprietor of machinery.

An ad from the W.F. Bohne Machinery Company from 1927

Joplin Carnegie Library – Photographs

Last summer, Historic Joplin wandered about downtown with a camera and one of the stops was the Joplin Carnegie Library, the former home of the Joplin Public Library.  Below are a few of the photographs from that visit.  Previously, we’ve brought you the history of the library building (here and here), as well a glance at how the library has changed or not changed over the century since its construction.  Enjoy!

Modern telephone and electric wires mar the view of the library today.

A Prince Among Men: Oliver S. Picher

The following story is taken from Bud Belden’s memoir “Pioneering Days.” His father, Charles Belden, founded Belden Electric Company and wired many Joplin homes for electricity.

“When engaged in wiring the residence of O.S. Picher the boys discovered a case of Scotch Whiskey. Being alone in the house they placed a bottle on the kitchen table where all could wet their whistle as they passed by. Unexpectedly Mr. Picher returned about 4 P.M. and immediately work centered in the basement and in the attic. But when any of the malcreants did appear, Mr. Picher no doubt noticed their unusually bright and shining eyes as they peered at him from dirty faces. Being an observant man, Mr. Picher noticed this condition was general among all members of the crew.

Then his suspicions were confirmed for some of the boys started talking and removed all doubt. As the boys were preparing to get away hastily, Mr. Picher must have had an idea, for he stopped them and said, “You fellows look tired, you’ve been working hard all day. How about taking a little drink with me before you go?”

Now there was a regular fellow. Sure, the day was finished, they would be glad to. O.S. then assembled them not in the kitchen but in the dining room and served them in manner grand. Iced ginger ale in tall gold rimmed glasses with White Horse Scotch Whiskey. They were a sorry lot weaving around in dirty overalls but they sang the praises of Mr. Picher loud and long.

He was to them a Prince among men and so remained until one day Dad received his check for the work done. From the bill [Picher] had deducted fifty dollars with the notation in large letters, For WHITE HORSE.”