MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ARTS
> Bonelli House
The house, characteristic of the Anglo-territorial architecture which was popular in Arizona at the time, was constructed of locally quarried tufa stone. The interior walls were plastered with fire resistant plaster, making the building virtually fireproof. The thickness of the walls provided insulation against the high-desert winter cold and summer heat. Vine covered porches on both floors were good barriers against the summer sun. Since every room in the house has access to the porches, it was possible to use the upstairs porches for sleeping on warm summer nights.
Several clocks are in the home. One, a large antique wall clock, was, at one time, the only clock in Kingman and was loaned to the Santa Fe Railway to be used in the depot.
The house was restored as part of the United States Bicentennial Project by the City of Kingman and the Daughters of the Mohave County Pioneers. The furnishings are a combination of original possessions of the Bonelli Family and period pieces similar to the ones used in the home, as remembered by descendants of the family.
The Bonelli House is a fine example of the lifestyle of a prominent family in turn of the century Arizona. It was used continuously by members of the family until it was purchased by the City of Kingman in 1973. Joseph Bonelli, son of George, moved at that time, to another house in Kingman, where he lived until his death.
The Bonelli Family that settled in Utah and Arizona are descendants of a family in Weingarten, Thurgau, Switzerland. The name was originally Bommeli, but was changed in Mormon records after Hans George Bommeli became a member of that faith in Switzerland.
In 1858, George and his second wife and two daughters immigrated to Southern Nevada. Three years later, his son, Johann Daniel followed. On his ship voyage to the United States, he met his future wife, Ann, who was a native of England. They were married in Utah in 1861.
Daniel was sent by Brigham Young, that same year, to the Santa Clara Valley with a group of Swiss immigrants to colonize the area. He and his family eventually settled at the junction of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers in Rioville, Nevada. He became a successful businessman - operating ranches, a salt mine and a ferry across the Colorado River.
Seven children were born to Daniel and Ann. Their son, George, was born in 1869, in Nevada, where all the other children were also born. While still a young man, George settled in Kingman, married Effie Ellen Tarr, and their union produced nine children. He, like his father Daniel, became a success in business. Parlaying a gift from Daniel, Quail Springs Ranch, into holdings in a general store, a jewelry and engraving business, and a meat market in Chloride.
VIEW PHOTOS OF BONELLI FAMILY
Curated by the Mohave Pioneers Historical Society, a private non-profit corporation and
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Restoration of the House by the Kingman Arts and
430 East Spring Street
Photographs on this web page by:
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Mohave Museum of History and Arts
400 West Beale Street
Kingman, Arizona 86401