Though Chad Stubblefield is descended from F.D. Stubblefield, one of the founders of Enterprise, he was almost a stranger to Wallowa County when he discovered a business he wanted to buy, Mountain View Glass, during a vacation last summer.
"I've always wanted to own my own business," said Stubblefield, who has almost seven years prior experience working for a glass company.
His wife, Julie, also has glass in her background, since her father owns Southtown Glass in Salem. In fact, her future husband got his start working for her father while still in high school. Julie Stubblefield says most of her experience was in the office area, but added, "I've cut a few pieces of glass in my life."
She will play mainly a supportive role in the new business, since the couple has two daughters, Taylor, 2, and Grace, 1, - and a third child expected in July - who keep her very busy at home.
The Stubblefields purchased Mountain View Glass from Larry and Bonnie Davis. They built the business from the ground up starting in 1993 and helped out the couple in the shop through the month of February. The Davises will continue to live in Wallowa County and Larry Davis has graciously agreed to be an on-call employee when things get really busy, according to the new owner.
The purchase was finalized Feb. 1, and the Stubblefields were lucky to find a house to purchase right behind the glass shop. Chad laughs that he's been given a bad time about the fact that there's broken glass in the garage windows that he hasn't had time to fix yet.
Jesse Eaves has worked full-time for Mountain View glass for seven years and will continue in his job.
Stubblefield said he started at the bottom, sweeping floors and unloading freight, when he first went to work for Southtown Glass. He gradually learned all facets of the glass business, working his way up to a management position.
Mountain View Glass deals in all types of commercial, residential and automotive glass sales and installation, with customers from all over the region. Last week Stubblefield had a job installing a storefront window in Pendleton. Mountain View is a Migard window dealer.
The new owner plans to expand Mountain View's range, and has already applied for permits to do business in Washington and Idaho. Eventually he said he'd like to have a store in more than one location, and employ more people.
Stubblefield is happy that he's kept very busy since becoming his own boss, and even found time to create a Web site (www.mountainviewglass.com) for the business.
The Stubblefields had wanted to live in a small town to raise their children, and are happy about the move to Enterprise. Julie had attended a Stubblefield family reunion with her future husband while in high school, and has been enlisted by Chad's third cousin, Jean Stubblefield of Enterprise, with one coming up this summer. Both are eager to learn more about the Stubblefields family heritage in Wallowa County.
"Everyone is so much more pleasant and friendly here," they said. The family enjoys such activities as fishing, camping and boating, and plan to enjoy settling into the town Chad Stubblefield's "great-great-something" grandfather helped found way back in 1887.