A LIFETIME ON MAIN STREET
ENTERPRISE After 65 years of working on Main Street and decades of community service Pearl Collinsworth is retiring.
She is closing her Enterprise Stationery store that has been on the same block since 1962.
Her business has changed with the times, from manual typewriters and ribbons to computer printer cartridges.
There's been no dramatic change in the population of Enterprise, she said.
The most dramatic changes that she's seen have been in the Main Street businesses, she said.
In 1981 her business moved around the corner to Main Street from River Street where Pearl and her late husband, Cliff, started it.
On River Street before that Clark's Stationery was operated by Louie and Mildred Clark. They sold out to McGlasson's, and that business later moved.
Then Pearl and Cliff started their own store from scratch.
Over the years the services she provided included special orders and sending typewriters and office machines out for repairs. She changed office machine ribbons and provided free gift wrapping service. She offered credit.
What many people may miss most is her complimentary little pocket-sized day planners.
Collinsworth worked on Main Street from 1940 to 1950 at Wm. J. Ortman Real Estate and Insurance. Ortman Field at Enterprise High School is dedicated to Ortman's son who died in an accident building the football field and track.
She had her own bookkeeping service for 17 years, and when City Hall was on Main Street, she was Enterprise city recorder for eight years.
She was the part-time city judge for 26 years.
Since 1947 Collinsworth has been a charter member of the Soroptimist club. It turns money back to the community through things like a scholarship for single moms. She has served as its president at least three times.
She has also been a long-time member of Emerald Rebekah Lodge, serving in all the official positions, including Noble Grand.
She and Cliff sang in the Community Church choir for more years than she can remember and at weddings and other functions.
Her parents, Earl and Lelia Prout, farmed in Wallowa. She was born in their Wallowa house 84 years ago. The Prouts had one other child.
When Collinsworth was about 9 the family moved to Enterprise, where her father took up logging. She and her sister, Vinita Smith, have lived in Enterprise since, until her sister recently moved to Alpine House in Joseph.
In 1946 she attended a VFW potluck with her brother-in-law, Max Smith. There she met a veteran who had served with the Army in the South Pacific during WWII Cliff Collinsworth.
They were married in September 1950. Three weeks later he was called up to serve his country again in the Korean War.
About a year later, he returned and bought David Rich's shoe repair and leather shop.
Cliff Collinsworth was also the Wallowa County justice of the peace for eight years, and served as a county commissioner. At the stationery store, his special talents included framing and matting. Cliff died in 1997.
That was the biggest change in her life, but she's seen considerable changes on her Main Street over the years.
"Enterprise used to be a self-sufficient town," she said. It seemed as though every corner had a service station with a mechanic, she said.
On Main Street there were three grocery stores. Now absent are Lawrence and Annice Rowe's grocery, Orville and Rowena Adey's Crystal Market and Warren Homan's Meat Market.
Missing from Main, too, are the J.C. Penney's store and Jacobs, The Enterpriser department store, J.R. and Jack Wagner's Men's Wear, Estes' Mode O'Day and the Fashion Center dress shops.
Gone too are Jerry and Bev Homan's, and Bill and Pat Noland's Economy drug stores, both with soda fountains, and Walt Dutli's Bakery,
Absent also are Oscar and Josie Jensen's dry cleaners, Milo Murray's leather shop that he bought from Cliff in 1962, a taxi stand, Dan DeBoies' Coast to Coast and Maurice and Jerry Weaver's hardware stores, Glen Shaw's variety store and Church's Photography.
In order to find the services that have been lost, people now must travel out of town, where they can buy everything else too, Pearl said.
She said the time is right for her to retire, but one thing she'll miss about the business is the people.