Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WELDON V. CHAMPNEYS is one of
the pioneers of the Okanogan country, and his labors have materially assisted
to build up the county. He has achieved success in two industries
since coming to this county, and is now one of the substantial property
owners and prominent men of his community.
Weldon V. Champneys was born in Hempstead,
England, on June 28, 1850, the son of John and Ann (Walker) Champneys,
natives of England. The father's fathers had been Church of England
clergymen for several generations back, and held a large estate.
John Champneys managed this estate during his life until his death which
occurred in his sixty-fifth year, at the home place. Hampstead was
near London when Weldon V. was born, but is now a part of that metropolis.
Mr. Champneys' mother is now living in Wolverhampton, England, aged eighty-eight.
He has three sisters in England, and one sister, Mrs. Anna Gray, and one
brother, Herbert G., in Loomis. Our subject was well educated in
his native land, and during his youthful days learned the trade of the
blacksmith. In 1880, he bade farewell to his native land and loved
ones there, and came to the United States, where he has wrought with great
energy and faithfulness since. He did blacksmithing in New York for
a time, and then came to Colorado, where he wrought at Pueblo and Husteds.
In 1882 Mr. Champneys came to Walla Walla, and there as well as in other
places in the northwest, he wrought at his trade. In the fall of
1884, Mr. Champneys came to the Similkameen country, and located his present
place of one half section, two hundred acres of which are good bottom land.
At the time of his location here there were but thirteen white men and
two white women in this county. All the supplies had to be brought
from Sprague, and as there was no ferry on the Columbia other than the
Indians' canoes, the undertaking was attended with great labor and hardships.
Mr. Champneys took up blacksmithing and also mined some, besides improving
his estate. He has continued in these occupations since, attending
principally to general farming and raising stock at the present time.
His labors have all been attended with success, as wisdom and thrift merit,
and he is now one of the prosperous and wealthy men of this county.
Mr. Champneys stands well in the community and is a substantial citizen
of his county and state.