in Downtown Champion Missouri
Champion can be found about 80 miles southeast of Springfield, Missouri, on County Road 243, just off of State Highway WW.
Downtown Champion has exactly one house, one church
and one store, with a gas station.
The Henson’s Store has been around since 1940. The photo below was taken on our third trip to the store in 2004. Not much had changed since 1940.
A friend who had grown up in the area told us about this store in 1999. Not long after our first visit in 1999 we discovered that the store was in a book published in 1983 by the National Geographic Society. We bought the book at a yard sale on Kadena Airbase in Okinawa Japan in 1987. How is that for weird coincidence?
By 2010 the store was becoming unsafe, so a new store was built in its place in 2011. The new store is slightly larger, built higher off the ground, and with an indoor restroom. Other than the floor space and restroom the new store is very much like the original. The photo below is taken on the porch of the new store.
On of the things that did not change is the old wood stove. This is where the locals have been meeting and exchanging stories since the 1940’s. Now they just have more room to sit and visit.
Across from the store is the church. The garage and gas station is next to the store, and there is a house on the other side. There’s plenty of room parking out front.