CHARLES E. BLAIR.
Laramie has drawn its quota of citizens from every state in the Union and among those that Ohio has furnished is Charles E. Blair, proprietor of the White House Clothing Company and one of the progressive and enterprising merchants of the city.
He was born in Brown county, Ohio, July 20, 1871, a son of George M. and Mary (Applegate) Blair, both of whom were natives of Kentucky but became residents of Ohio during their childhood days. The father was engaged in agricultural pursuits in the Buckeye state for many years but eventually removed westward, taking up his abode in Laramie, where he passed away in 1909. His widow survived him for several years, her death occurring in Laramie in 1914. In their family were four children: Mrs. Ida Smith, who is now deceased; Mrs. Nettie Livingston, who has also passed away; Charles E.; and J. H., now living in Denver, Colorado.
Charles E. Blair was a pupil in the public schools of Ohio until he had mastered the branches of learning therein taught and subsequently he became a student in a business college, from which in due course of time he was graduated. He was thus well qualified for life's practical and responsible duties and he made his initial step in the commercial world in connection with the dry goods business, spending five years in Cincinnati. In about 1891 he came to Denver and was an employe in the store of the McNamara Dry Goods Company for about five years. He afterward came to Laramie, where he arrived in 1897, and here he has made his home through the intervening period of twenty-one years. He made his initial step in commercial circles in this city as an employe of A. E. Miller, with whom he remained for five years, after which he spent two years in the service of W. H. Frazee. He was ambitious, however, to engage in business on his own account and during these periods he carefully saved his earnings until his industry and economy had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to embark in business for himself in 1904. He started out in a modest way as a dealer in dry goods and men's clothing, but as his trade grew he sought larger quarters and finally purchased a building on the northwest corner of Second and Grand avenue, in which he now conducts one of the largest dry goods and men's furnishing goods establishments in the state, carrying on business under the name of the White House Clothing Company. He has a very extensive and carefully selected stock and the fine line of goods which he carries, combined with his earnest efforts to please his patrons and his reasonable prices, has secured to him a very liberal and gratifying patronage, so that the volume of business transacted over his counters reaches a large figure annually.
In April, 1903, Mr. Blair was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Holmes, of Laramie, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Holmes. The father died during the early girlhood of Mrs. Blair. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Blair have been born two children: Charles E., who was born in Laramie in 1905, and is a student in the University of Wyoming training school; and Margaret, who was born in 1907 and is a public school pupil.
In his political views Mr. Blair has always been a democrat, giving stanch support to the party because of his firm belief in its principles. He filled the office of county commissioner for four years, yet cannot be said to be a politician in the sense of office seeking. On the contrary, he prefers that his public duties shall be done as a private citizen in order that his undivided time and attention may be given to other interests. Fraternally he is a Mason and has attained the Knight Templar degree of the York Rite. He is also connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. As a citizen he ranks high, his sterling worth being widely recognized, and as a business man he occupies an enviable position, while his life record should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, for it indicates what may be accomplished through individual effort and perseverance. He belongs to that class of progressive men who are the real upbuilders of the west and who are developing the state along the most advanced lines, so that Laramie and Wyoming are fast outstripping many of the older cities and states of the country in the opportunities offered and in the standards of municipal and civic development.