Elijah Blair (1927-) was born one of six siblings in the Blair family. He and his older brothers Raymond "Buzz" Blair and Bradley Boaz Blair left their native Kentucky and moved west to Arizona and New Mexico immediately after WWII. Elijah and his wife Claudia Caler Blair (1928-) served as store managers of Mexican Water trading post in Arizona from 1948 until 1953. By 1953, the Blairs owned their own trading post at Aneth in Southern Utah.
In the early 1950s Elijah Blair joined the United Indian Traders Association (UITA). Elijah served on the UITA board of directors and was president for several years. The United Indian Traders Association is still in existence and funded a variety of educational projects in 1999. Also during the 1950s, Elijah Blair became a claims agent for the Railroad Retirement Board, though which Navajo railroad workers could receive unemployment. Elijah's position involved signing up previous railroad workers and passing out the unemployment checks when they came.
1960 was a very busy year for the Blair family. Elijah and Claudia bought another trading post, Dinnebito, on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Although Aneth was located next to a boarding school, only Native American children could attend school there. Elijah's children attended school in Cortez, Colorado. Elijah ended up commuting between Aneth in Utah, Dinnebito in Arizona, and Cortez in Colorado. To aid in this commute, Elijah bought his first airplane.In 1968, Elijah and Claudia bought a second home in Page, Arizona. This home was followed by the construction of a store in Page in 1970, Jaiyazhi. At Jaiyazhim the Blairs sold western wear and art. In the mid 1980s Jaiyazhi was closed and a second Dinnebito trading post was opened in its place in Page. In 1992, the Dinnebito store on the reservation was closed, and Elijah focused all his attention on Blair's Dinnebito in Page. Currently, Claudia and Elijah spend half the year in Page, Arizona, and half the year in Cortez, Colorado. Their three children, Kathy Ann Blair, Vonda Lynn Blair Garland, and James Caler Blair assist in the running of the Page store.
Special Collections and Archives Department
Northern Arizona University
All contents copyright ©2000. ABOR, NAU. All rights reserved.