A Glimpse of Capitalist Foul Play

Natural to any mining boom town was the belief that one could setup shop and quickly begin to reap in the riches.  As Joplin grew in size, more companies and businesses sprung up to line Main Street and other current downtown avenues.  One of those businesses was the Joseph S. Baum Mercantile Company.  Another was the Levin clothing store.  By chance the two found themselves neighbors to the chagrin of Joseph Baum.  By appearances, it seems that Baum was successful and his neighbor decided to help himself to that success by holding his store out as part of his neighbors.

From that point on, Baum Mercantile Company struggled through  a 2 year odyssey to force their neighbor to quit their deceptive practices.  The practices went so far as one employee of Levin’s pretending to be Joseph Baum, himself.  In the end, it took court action to silence Levin’s employees and their deception.  None the less, as a glance at the ad will attest, Baum felt it necessary to place an ad in the local paper to further clear up the issue.

Ad for Joseph S. Baum Merchantile Company

Click on the image to view a larger version.

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3 Responses to “A Glimpse of Capitalist Foul Play”

  • Comment from Leslie

    What’s the date on this? Joplin News Herald has a story on Baum’s new store, Jan. 1, 1908, p. 5.

  • Comment from Brown

    It appears that it was from around Jan. 19, 1913. So nearly five years later from the story you referenced.

  • Comment from Floyd Smith

    Transcribed text of item published on Page 8 of Joplin Globe, Sunday, October 21, 1917…
    【That the People May Know — The Circuit Court of Jasper County and the Supreme Court of Missouri have both decided against the Joseph S. Baum Mercantile Company of Joplin. The Joseph S. Baum Mercantile Company brought a suit for $40,000 damages against Sam Levin, No. 808 Main street, Joplin, at the January term, 1914, in Circuit Court of Jasper County, in which Baum claimed that Levin and his clerks had represented his store to be Baum’s store and his goods Baum’s goods, and Baum claimed to have been damaged to the extent of $40,000. The trial was held before Circuit Judge Joseph D. Perkins in June, 1914. Judge Perkins decided the case in favor of the defendant, Sam Levin, and against the plaintiff, Joseph S. Baum Mercantile Company. Then Baum appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Missouri. The case was heard in the Supreme Court at Jefferson City, Thursday, October 11th. On Saturday, October 13th, the Supreme Court dismissed Baum’s appeal, leaving the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jasper County stand in favor of Sam Levin, giving Levin a judgment for costs against the Joseph S. Baum Mercantile Company. (Signed) SAM LEVIN, 808 Main】

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