James Richard Champion (Jim) (Jimmie)Years: 1934-1940
Age 59 Carpenter .70 per hr. 1937 .80 per hr. Same wage through 1940. Built first cage to transport men.
Leroy Champion (son of James Elmer Champion - grandson of James Richard Champion) wrote:
"I am the 2nd son of James Champion. The other son is Dennis Champion who lives in the Orlando Fla. area.
"James was married to my mother Ann Champion (Olson). He was the son of James Richard Champion who fathered 14 children. James E. Champion was born January 5, 1915 and died December 23, 1947. His death was caused by silicosis of the lungs from all the rock dust he inhaled working on Mt Rushmore. James Richard Champion was born March 19, 1875 at Correctionville, Iowa and died December 15, 1941. Both are buried, I believe at the Mountain View Cemetery in Keystone SD beneath the memorial they helped to carve.
"James Richard Champion did scaffold building for the workers on the Rushmore faces and built the steps to the top of the Mountain. I would like to express how proud I am of both men as I can truly say they left a lasting mark on this great land of ours.
"James Richard Champion was born March 19, 1875 at Correctionville, Iowa and died December 15, 1941. James Richard is the father of James Elmer Champion."