If asked to locate this wonderful old house in Chariton, some would remember but most would struggle. It's been gone more than 50 years after all. But this pristine photo of the old place, perfect although slightly faded on its cardboard backing, survives in the Lucas County Historical Society collection.
The home was built during the 1870s or 1880s by early Chariton banker and entrepreneur Elijah Copeland and his wife Lydia, for their family. Elijah had entered the banking business in Lucas County about 1870 with his brother, Earl Percy Copeland, although the Earl P. Copeland family returned after a few years to their native Ohio. Elijah was instrumental in bringing to Chariton and putting to work in his bank two nephews, Josiah Carey Copeland and Howard Darlington Copeland, who may be better remembered.
The Elijah Copelands occupied the home until their deaths during the second decade of the 20th century (their remains were returned to Ohio for burial) when the home passed to their daughter, Eloise, and her husband, Luther H. Busselle, both of whom died in 1948. Busselle perhaps is most notable because with partners who included his father-in-law, Elijah, and long-time business associate, William A. Eikenberrry, he picked up the pieces of the failed Mallory bank, First National, in 1908 and built it into a strong financial institution. Eikenberry & Busselle also purchased from bank receivers the old Mallory estate, Ilion, which they owned, too, until their deaths.
The Copeland/Busselle house occupied a full quarter of a block at the corner of North Grand and Roland, immediately east across an alley from First Methodist Church and its adjacent parsonage and south of the old Second Empire G.J. Stewart home, which still stands. First United Methodist has expanded over the years to occupy a full quarter of a block, too.
In the 1950s, Keith Gartin --- then operating a grocery store on the square --- began looking for a new location and purchased the Copeland/Busselle quarter block. The home was demolished, the new grocery store built (it opened in 1957) and the grounds paved as a parking lot. Today, that building houses the Dollar Genereal Store.