The Times Past
The BFJ Furniture Company began business in 1921 in Johnston City by three Methodist ministers whose last names were Barnett, Fisk and Jones. Their goal was to raise funds for the Methodist Orphanage and McKendree College.
Under Mr. Barnett's guidance they ultimately opened stores in West Frankfort, Marion, Herrin, Zeigler and Centralia. Eventually, Mr. Barnett purchased the interests of Fisk and Jones, leaving only the Barnett family members as owners. Later, all but the West Frankfort store were sold to other interests.
In 1941, Mr. Barnett died in an automobile accident. "Miss Edna" Throgmorton, her brother R.R. Throgmorton and Miss Edna's sister, Helen, became owners of BFJ. The store continued to abide by a policy of fair dealing, fair prices, and more-than-required services. The store continued to grow as sales volume increased steadily year after year.
In October, 1946, Anderson Wolfe was employed as manager and remained in that position for 36 years. Miss Edna passed away in 1974 and consequently the business was sold to John Goodson in 1975. Seven years later he sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Pete Avripas, owners of Powell Furniture in Johnston City. Pete and Susie ran both stores for 10 years and ultimately sold Powell Furniture.
As Pete and Susie's children, Keri and Kurt, have grown older and married they and their spouses have assisted with sales and managerial responsibilities. In 1994, Keri and her husband, Jim, became business partners and today are sole owners of BFJ Interiors.
The BFJ Team
Karen Ryan Roger