Alfred Romane Champlin of Newton, Kan., formerly president and general manager of the Newton Telephone Company, was born in Rockford, Ill., Oct. 2, 1869. He is the son of Charles A. and Alice (Pickard) Champlin, the former of whom was born in Tompkins county, New York, Aug. 9, 1840. Charles A. Champlin came to Kansas in February, 1876, and settled in McPherson county, where he bought a wild tract of railroad land which he developed into a well improved farm. In 1884 he was elected treasurer of McPherson county and then moved to the city of McPherson, where he resided until his death, in 1890. He gave valiant service to the Union during the Civil war as a member of the Twelfth Illinois infantry, with which he served until severely wounded in the battle of Shiloh, when, after his recovery, he was transferred to a company of cavalry and was again wounded, that time in the arm. He was discharged on account of disability incurred while in the service and returned home. His father, Alfred Champlin, a native of New York State, moved to Illinois in an early day and resided at Rockford at the time of his death. The great-grandfather of our subject was Jesse Champlin, who was born in Connecticut, but subsequently became a resident of New York State, where he died. Rev. A. B. Pickard, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was also a native of New York State, but removed to Illinois and from thence to Colorado, where he died.
Alfred R. Champlin of this record was educated in the common schools of McPherson county and in the high school at the city of McPherson. In 1890 he matriculated at the University of Kansas, which he attended for three years, taking a special course in electrical engineering, after which he located at Newton, where he built an independent telephone plant and conducted it ten years, doing business as the Newton Telephone Company. The plant was incorporated about 1900 as the Newton Telephone Company and, in 1905, an interest in it was sold to the Missouri-Kansas Company, a branch of the Bell Telephone Company. The business is still conducted under the name of the Newton Telephone Company, of which Mr. Champlin was until July 15, 1911, president and general manager, when he disposed of his stockholdings in the company and resigned from his position as executive head. He is now (1911) promoting a new enterprise.
In July, 1896, Mr. Champlin was united in marriage wth Miss Eleanor Bowker, the daughter of Clarence Bowker, a native of Tompkins county, New York, who came to Kansas in 1871, and for a number of years was a prominent attorney at McPherson. Mr. and Mrs. Champlin have four children: Clarence A., Alice, Marion, and Louise, the first three of whom are attending school.
By reason of his public spirited citizenship and his identification with its commercial interests Mr. Champlin is recognized as one of the most influential citizens of Newton. He served as councilman of the fourth ward two years and at the present time is president of the Commercial Club. He holds a prominent place in fraternal circles; he has attained the Scottish Rite degree in Masonry, and is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Newton Lodge, No. 706, of which he is past exalted ruler. Mrs. Champlin is a member of the Presbyterian church.Pages 729-730 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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