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 Live Wire: Richard Fedeli, Joplin’s Paper and Paint Man

Our next installment of the Joplin Live Wire series is Richard Fedeli. Fedeli, the son of an Italian Immigrant, was born in Indiana around 1877. He arrived in Joplin in 1909, previously from Kansas City, where he had connections with the business of Devoe and Reynolds (a paint company still in existence). In Joplin, Fedeli rose to the rank of treasurer and secretary at the Joplin Paint and Paper Company. Concerning painting, itself, Fedeli told a reporter from the Joplin Daily Globe, “We shall sell paint and let the other fellow do the painting.”

Richard Fedeli Joplin Paper and Paint Company
Although Fedeli was recognized as a rising star of Joplin’s community, he returned to Kansas City by 1920. He remained there until at least 1930, where the former corporate officer had fallen to the position of a salesman of brushes, perhaps paint brushes. The Joplin Paint and Paper Company also disappeared, but once was found at 418 Joplin Ave.