Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Oct. 15

Bonelli House a hidden treasure

"Seventy-five percent of domestic violence deaths occur at the time of separation, after serving an order of protection, or after a divorce," Head said.

"The loss of power and control is the trigger that sets off the fatality."

Homicide is the ultimate form of abuse to obtain control over someone.

Physical abuse is a form of control used by the abuser against the victim.

Control isn't always asserted in the form of violence, however.

Alienation and threats are among other forms of aggression that play a factor in these relationships, including suicidal threats made by the abuser, Head explained.

Some victims of abuse are "scared to death of someone who never laid a hand on them," Head said.

Head had no clue that Donna Zern was having problems in her relationship.

The fact that domestic violence took the life of someone who was on the board of directors at a domestic violence shelter shows that no one is immune from the problem, Head said.

"Domestic violence reaches everyone.

There are no boundaries and no limits," Head said.

"It doesn't matter if you have money or no money, stature or no stature.

It can happen to anyone."

The community has suffered because of these two violent episodes, Head emphasized.

On Tuesday, professionals from the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Phoenix will visit Kingman to meet with families of the victims, KAAP staff and board members, the staff where Donna Zern worked and anyone from the community who needs professional help in dealing with the deaths.

Head said a fatality review team will look into the deaths to see whether there is something that can be done in the future to help prevent domestic violence deaths from occurring in the Kingman area in the future.

"We have to convince society to stop blaming the victims," Head emphasized.

"The abuser needs to be held accountable for their actions and be punished."

The KAAP crisis hot line is 753-4242.

For information about KAAP, call 753-6222.

Kingman City Manager Roger Swenson has referred to the Bonelli House as one of the community's hidden treasures.

Owned by the city of Kingman, operated by the Mohave County Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Bonelli House is indeed a destination worth treasuring - and visiting.

Located in historic downtown Kingman at 430 E.

Spring St., the Bonelli House has been preserved as an example of the lifestyle of a prominent family in late 19th and early 20th century Arizona.

"It is one of the few historic buildings in the city that has been preserved as it once was," Mohave Museum of History and Arts Director Shannon Rossiter said.

The Bonelli family hired a contractor named Pendergrast to build the house in 1915.

It was the second home of the family on the site, built after the original frame house dating from 1894 burned, according to information from the museum.

The Bonelli family that settled in Nevada and the Utah and Arizona territories were descendants of the Weingarten family in Switzerland.

The name was originally Bommeli, but was changed in Mormon records after Han George Bommeli became a member of that faith.

In 1858, George and his second wife and two daughters immigrated to southern Nevada.

Three years later, his son, Johann Daniel, followed.

During the ship voyage Daniel met his future wife, Ann, and they married in Utah in 1861, according to museum information.

That same year, Brigham Young sent Daniel Bonelli and a group of Swiss immigrants to colonize the Santa Clara River valley in what is now southwestern Utah.

Daniel Bonelli and his family eventually settled further south at the junction of the Virgin and Colorado rivers in Rioville, Nev.

He became a successful businessman, operating ranches, a salt mine and a ferry across the Colorado River.

In Nevada, seven children were born to Daniel and Ann Bonelli, including George in 1869.

While still a young man George Bonelli settled in Kingman and married Effie Ellen Tarr, and their union produced nine children.

Like his father, George Bonelli became a success in business, parlaying a gift from his father of Quail Springs Ranch into holdings in a general store, a jewelry and engraving business, and a meat market in Chloride.

Members of the family used the house continuously until it was purchased by the city of Kingman in 1973.

At that time Joseph Bonelli, son of George, moved to another house in Kingman, where he lived until his death.

Characteristic of Anglo-territorial architecture, which was popular in Arizona at the time, the house was built of locally quarried tufa stone.

Fire-resistant plaster was used for the walls.

The thickness of the walls provided insulation against the summer heat as well as high-desert winter cold.

Because every room in the house had access to the porches, it was possible to use the upstairs porches for sleeping on warm summer nights.

An antique wall clock still on display in the home was at one time the only clock in Kingman and was loaned to the Santa Fe Railway to be used in the depot, according to information from the museum.

Reminiscent of the Victorian era, the cupola - a windowed lookout tower built on top of the house - was where children watched for their father to return home from work.

The cupola was accessible by a ladder in an upstairs bedroom.

A wood-burning stove in the kitchen was used for cooking, heating water and heat in the winter.

That and other stoves were connected to the large chimney in the center of the house.

A National Historic Preservation Grant made restoration of the house by the Kingman Arts and Humanities Council possible with assistance from the Daughters of the Mohave County Pioneers.

The furnishings in the house are a combination of original possessions of the Bonelli family and period clothing and pieces similar to what was used in the home.

The Bonelli House is open 11 a.m.

to 3 p.m.

Monday through Friday and closed holidays.

"We encourage the public to visit the Bonelli House," Rossiter said.

"And we encourage local civic groups to use the house for meetings."

The Mohave County Historical Society, a nonprofit corporation, manages the historic Bonelli House along with the Mohave Museum of History and Arts and the Route 66 Museum, making it possible to offer one ticket to visit all three, Rossiter said.

For the past 10 years, the historical society has staffed the Bonelli House under agreement with the city for a fee of $8,500.

When the city acquired the Powerhouse Visitor Center and the Route 66 Museum, the idea of hiring the society to similarly manage the Route 66 Museum was brought up.

Under a new agreement, the society will receive $10,000 to manage the Bonelli House and $50,000 for operation of the Route 66 Museum.

The society staffs the Bonelli House five days a week and the Route 66 Museum seven days a week in addition to providing curator services, Swenson said.

For more information about the Bonelli House contact the Mohave Museum of History and Arts at 753-3195.

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