People A-Z / David Coplon
David Hascal Coplon emigrated to the United States as a child with his family. Born in Shavl, Lithuania on January 18, 1882, he and his family were part of the mass movement of Jewish immigrants who came to the United States in a peak period of immigration from the 1880s-1924, many of whom were fleeing state sponsored anti-Semitism. The Coplon’s arrived in Buffalo in 1890 and David attended Public School 31 and Fosdick Masten Park High School. He eventually joined his father’s paint and wallpaper business: S. Coplon & Sons Paper Hangings and Paints, Oils and Glass, that he later reincorporated as D. H. Coplon Wallpaper and Paint Company in 1914. At around the same time founded his own company: Walk on Rug Company that was incorporated into Select Furniture Company in 1916. He was Secretary-Treasurer of Select Furniture until his retirement in 1952.
David Coplon and his brothers, Joseph and Philip, were active in lay leadership within Jewish organizations including the Daughters of Israel Jewish Old Folks Home where their mother Rosa Coplon (1855-1920), was a founder member. After the death of Rosa, David and his brothers contributed a property at 310 North Street on the corner of Symphony Circle to allow the Home to expand its modest space. The Home was subsequently renamed in their mother’s memory: the Rosa Coplon Jewish Old Folks Home.
In addition to an interest in geriatric care, David Coplon was also heavily invested in synagogue membership. A member of Temple Beth El in Buffalo, NY for 62 years, he served on the Board of Directors and held the position of lifetime trustee. He was a founder of the Beth El Cemetery Corporation in 1920, and was a driving force in the establishment of Temple Beth El Religious School building on Eggert and Sheridan Road in the suburbs of Tonawanda in 1960. A multipurpose hall at Temple Beth El on Sheridan Drive was named the Coplon Auditorium in his honor. Later in life, he also became a member of Temple Beth Zion, part of Reform Judaism.
An original founder of the Montefiore Club, he was also a charter member of the Willowdale Country Club, the forerunner to the Westwood Country Club that closed permanently in the 2014. He was an active fundraiser for B’nai B’rith and a State of Israel Bonds, as well as a charter member of the Rotary Club of Buffalo, a member of Perseverance Lodge 948 F&AM and a 63-year member of the Buffalo Consistory and Ismailia Shrine Temple. David Coplon was made an honorary Life Member of the Erie County’s Senior Citizenship Recreation Advisory Committee at the age of 92 on his retirement from committee service in 1974. “David Coplon Day” was proclaimed in Erie County in 1975, to recognize his service to Temple Beth El, Israel Bonds, the Rosa Coplon Jewish Home and Infirmary, and the Erie County’s Senior Citizenship Recreation Advisory Committee. He married his first wife, Sadie Cohen in 1905 (d. 1932), and they had four children. He married Minnie Greene in 1933. Also heavily involved in voluntary work for the Temple Beth El, Minnie Greene was active in a range of other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, including Temple Beth Zion, Service to the Sightless, and both temple sisterhoods. David Coplon died in 1976 and Minnie Coplon died at the Rosa Coplon Home in 1996.