The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

November 28, 2006

Mansion is testimony to H.H. Champlin's life

It’s the biggest house in town. It sits almost right up against Enid’s most heavily traveled thoroughfare at Tyler and Garriott. It was built in 1939 by the richest man in town, oilman and banker, H.H. Champlin, and it still is occupied by one of his great-grandsons and his family.

It’s doubtful Champlin had any idea the two-lane street, known then as Lahoma Road, on the north side of his property, would some day be four or five lanes wide, and that there would be thousands of automobiles and huge semi-trailer trucks whizzing by 100 feet from his sun parlor windows every day.

Apparently Champlin had been thinking and talking about building a house during most of the Great Depression years. He had been living in a two-story frame house on property that now is part of First Baptist Church in the 400 block of West Maine.

Roy Shaw, an architect, had been working on plans for a new house for sometime before Champlin called H.B. “Heinie” Bass late one night and told him he was headed for California, and while he was gone he wanted Bass to get started on his new home.

Bass always had thought Champlin would probably build north of town along U.S. 81 across the road from Jerry and Helen Oven, and where some others had built palatial mansions, including Judge M.C. Garber’s home which is a replica of George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, Va. The old Garber home now belongs to Enid attorney Stephen Jones. But instead, Champlin chose to build in the Kisner Heights addition on the city’s southwest side.

There already were some other upscale homes in the area. The Kisners, who developed the area, had built their big showplace home less than a block away, and the Gentrys had built two homes just across the street. The Kisner addition originally had been the town’s first cemetery.

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