Helen and Walter Chapin, Jr. were two of Walter Chapin's three children (not pictured is Elizabeth). To the left in the photo above is the brick building that Walter Chapin, Sr. built in 1923 to serve as Chapin's Drugs. A photo of the two children was taken near the building in the late 1920s and is identical to our figures above (color added).
Long time Post Falls resident and charter member of the Post Falls Historical Society, Donna Rae Sweeney, recalls Walter, Jr. as a real pistol. She remembers him when they were both children in the late 1920s. He would pick her up and drop her down on the concrete. The April 30, 1943 edition of the Post Falls High School Newsletter lists the following news about Walter, Jr.: "The engagement of Miss Lois Chisholm, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. W.O. Chisholm of Pullman, and Aviation Cadet Walter Chapin was announced in Pullman on April 17. The betrothal was revealed at an informal dinner party which Miss Chisholm gave at a hotel in Pullman. Sixteen guests were present, among whom were MRs. W.F. Chapin, Misses Elizabeth and Helen Chapin. Miss Chisholm is a sophomore in Music at Washington State College. Walter is at Santa Ana Army Air Base, California, taking his pre-flight training." Walter, Jr. wrote the following:
Walter Chapin, Jr., was killed in action while serving overseas during World War II.
Elizabeth Chapin (not pictured in the mural) was mentioned in the Post Falls High School's Trojanus newspaper published on December 15, 1939. In the "News from the Alumni" section: "It is rather interesting to note the progress and successes of these people since they have left high school. We have summarized breifly some of their accomplishments... Elizabeth Chapin, who is teaching at Colfax, graduated from Washington State College with a major in Home Economics. She was very active in extra-curricular activities especially music, dramatics, and athletics. She was one of thirteen who graduated in her class wtih "high honors." She was a member of the home economics honorary and the national education honorary. During her Junior year she received a scholarship which gave her three weeks study and travel in the East."
Pictured in the photo above between the two figures is Maddy Baker, the founder of the Post Falls History Walk. In the fall of 2008 Maddy spoke to the first ever River City Leadership Academy. This group of 18 movers and shakers helped History Walk founder, Maddy Baker, solve two problems: 1) figures could not be attached to buildings on the Historic Registry, and 2) some privately owned businesses did not have the flat exterior walls necessary to install the figures. Special thanks to Jody Lizotte and engineer Ken Lambie of Kimball Office! Ken worked with mural artist Linda Fabrizius to create the outlines of the figures, then using Kimball Office technology, custom cut the half inch thick metal figures. He and a co-worker even helped to install the figures in time for the new Historical Museum's ribbon cutting ceremony on August 15, 2009.
More biographical information on the Chapin children coming soon!