While looking for newspaper articles, on microfilm, about the Stamford train I found an interesting one about the oldest store and store owner in the Village of Stamford, dated April 1954. The W.E. & B.A. (Wilbur Eli and Blanche A.) Champlin Wallpaper and Paint Store was built on Harper St. about 1886.
Wilbur’s father Eli Dunscomb Champlin, built the store for the same use as it is now. Before building the present store Eli had a business in Hobart and also operated a store where the present Walker building is now located in Stamford. When Eli retired December 1907, Wilbur and his wife Blanche purchased the business. When they moved in they built an addition on the back and side, raised the roof and built a six room apartment, and made a small apartment in the basement.
Through the years Wilbur and his force of men have painted and or redecorated the Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic Churches; The Westholm; Bathgate Hospital; the Stamford News and Book Store and numerous residences. His days of “high climbing” are no more, but he still does interior decorating. While Wilbur took care of the off-site jobs, Mrs. Champlin was in charge of the store. Devoe paint and Imperial wallpaper have been sold in the store since the beginning. Most of their customers are from the village but some have come from miles around during the 47 years that they have been in business.
Their business must have been fairly prosperous because a 1926 article in the Stamford Mirror mentions Wilbur purchasing a new Buick of F.J. Tingley and in 1930 they took a two week vacation to NYC and NJ. The Champlin’s also entertained quite often and were members in numerous clubs.
The April article mentions that the Champlins will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on November 30th . There was an article about their anniversary with a picture them.
Wilbur Eli Champlin was born October 28, 1879 in Hobart the son of Eli Dunscomb (1844-1918) and Sarah L. (Barlow) Champlin (1850-1883) and died June 19, 1963 in Stamford. Blanche A. (Canfield ) Champlin was born September 21, 1880 in Stamford to Clark and Susan Canfield and died October 4, 1971 in New Paltz, NY. Wilbur also had a short-lived brother, Arthur Barlow (1877-1895). Since Wilbur’s mother died when he was only three years old he was brought up by Eli’s second wife Anna Frisbie and third wife Mary Elizabeth Connerty, who always lived near Wilbur. All but Anna are buried in the Stamford Cemetery.
Do any of the readers know when Wilbur and Blanches business closed?