Biography of E. Clay Chapman

The prosperous farmers and stockmen of the reservation country surely include the subject of this article. His estate lies just east from Melrose and is in fee, Indian land, but is operated by Mr. Chapman, who is making a good dividend producer from the property.

E. Clay Chapman was born in Wabash County, Indiana, on April 22, 1851, being the son of George W. and Catherine C. (Ritter) Chapman. The father was a cooper, born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1826. He was a pioneer in Iowa and now lives near Vollmer, Idaho. The mother of our subject was born in Pennsylvania in 1828 and is living near Vollmer. The family came to Illinois, settling in Princeton, when this son was two years old. On October 30, 1861 they landed in Poweshiek County, Iowa, and there our subject grew to manhood and secured his educational training.

When twenty-one he started in life’s battle for himself and farmed in Iowa until 1879. Then he went to Custer County, Nebraska, took land, farmed and raised stock until 1887. He was very successful in those labors and accumulated a goodly holding. He wished to see the west and so sold out, and in company with many neighbors came to Latah County, Idaho. Soon he was in Nez Perces County and took a preemption near Westlake and went to raising stock and wheat. This property was sold in 1892 and on account of failing health of his wife, a trip was made to Alberta, Canada. This was an unfortunate venture and Mr. Chapman lost heavily. In May 1893, he returned to Vollmer and gave his attention to farming and lumbering until 1898, when he came to his present location.

On October n, 1872, Mr. Chapman married Miss Mary, daughter of Judge John B. and Mary C. (Bickle) Stitt. Judge Stitt was a native of Ohio, a pioneer in Kansas and died in 1879. Mrs. Stitt was a native of Virginia and is now deceased. Mrs. Chapman was born in Indiana, in 1852 and has four sisters, Hattie, Mattie, Anna, and Jennie, and one brother, Samuel, at Lamar, Missouri. Mr. Chapman has the following brothers and sisters: Thomas C, deceased: George W., deceased; John W., Albert B., Alice S. Jones, and Clara Schultz. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Chapman, Carl E., deceased; Clyde D., in Culdesac; Claude H. at home: Hattie V., wife of Richard Stinson, at Vollmer.

Mrs. Chapman is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Chapman is a Republican in politics and is always active for the betterment of the country. In his farm labors Mr. Chapman confines himself largely to producing flax and he is a successful raiser of this important crop.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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