PRINCETON — A longtime Princeton business dating back to the 1920s will close its doors at the end of the month
Frank Bouxsein, current owner of Wind Power Electric, plans to close the doors to the business by the end of June.
“I have been doing this for 31 years,” explained Bouxsein, the son of the Francis and Alfreda Bouxsein, who took over ownership of Wind Power Electric in 1947. “It is the time in my life where I want to do something different.”
Bouxsein wants to visit his sons living in New Mexico and Colorado. He also has a grandchild in New Mexico. He wants to do some traveling, which is pretty difficult running a small business like Wind Power Electric.
“I appreciate the loyalty of our customers over the years,” he said. “We have been in business for 66 years and have had some long-time, loyal customers in the appliance business started by my folks, who always appreciated their customers.”
Wind Power Electric has its roots back to the 1920s when the business serviced wind-powered generators for farmers. Those windmills had a 32-volt DC system, so farmers needed 32-volt DC lights and fans.
When the REA started putting up electric lines, that was the end of the wind generated power business, so the owners started to sell appliances.
After World War II, appliances and refrigerators were on an allocation basis and couldn’t be made fast enough.
“It was a tough time for my parents, but they persevered,” Frank said.
The first store was at 512 S. Main, and it was moved to 621 S. Main St. in 1989. In 2006, Frank Bouxsein moved Wind Power Electric back to 512 S. Main.
Bouxsein said it is sad that there is no old literature, signs or posters around from the earlier days of Wind Power Electric.
“They must have purged everything when they got rid of it,” he said.
Bouxsein plans to spend some of his retirement free time on collecting parts of some old gasoline-powered Maytag wringers he has found and get them organized to possibly sell on the Internet.
He worked for GE for nine years after graduating from college before coming back in 1982 to help run Wind Power Electric.
“I have always loved this business and loved solving people’s problems,” he added. “It has been a good family business.”
Bouxsein plans on selling the current store’s remaining inventory on Saturdays after the store closes the end of June — if it isn’t already gone by then.
Bouxsein has sold the appliance repair division to Brian Emmerson, his chief technician. It will be called Wind Power Electric Appliance Repair, and Emmerson will maintain the business’ phone number of 815-872-2931. Emmerson’s cell phone number is 815-503-9956.
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