Biography of James M. Chasteen

In a number of distinct lines of labor, the gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph has won both success and distinction. In addition to handling a fine farm about three miles southeast from Russell. Mr. Chasteen operates a good threshing outfit, and then regularly on each Sunday he preaches, being a devout member of the Christian Church.

James M. Chasteen was born in Bossier parish, Louisiana, on October 16, 1865, being the son of Thomas and Martha (McCulland) Chasteen. The father was a millwright, born in Knox County, Tennessee, in 1816, and died November 5, 1901. Our subject’s grandfather, Raney Chasteen was one of the very first settlers in Knox County. The mother of our subject was born in South Carolina in 1839 and died on February 19, 1882. Her parents were born in Scotland and came to this County in their youth. Our subject was educated in the common schools and in the university at Fayetteville, Arkansas, in Washington County, in which state his parents had settled when he was fourteen.

When twenty-one our subject engaged as engineer on the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, having learned the art of driving an engine in his father’s sawmill. Four years later Mr. Chasteen came to Whitman County, Washington, settling near Garfield and following engineering until 1899, when he came to his present place. He purchased the home farm, which is a good estate, and to the cultivation and improvement of which Mr. Chasteen has devoted energy and skill.

In 1897 Mr. Chasteen began preaching, his first pastorate being the Eden Valley congregation near Palouse. He has continued at this labor of spreading the gospel since that time, although he has also attended to business affairs. The Eden Valley congregation is the first one of Disciples in the Palouse country. In connection with ministering to this congregation, he preached at Pine City and after two years of steady pastorate labor he took up the work of the evangelist. It is also very pleasant in this connection to note the self-denial and devotedness of Mrs. Chasteen, who willingly superintends the farm and the business affairs while her husband is called to remote sections in evangelical work.

In Washington County, Arkansas, in 1886, Mr. Chasteen married Naomi Trowbridge, who died on August 28, 1896, leaving two children, Arthur and Ray. Mr. Chasteen married a second time, the date being November 6, 1899, and the lady, Sarah, daughter of Joseph and Emily Ringo. The nuptials occurred in Whitman County, where her parents now live, they being natives of Illinois. Mrs. Chasteen was born in the Willamette valley in 1875, and has two brothers and six sisters. Mr. Chasteen has five brothers, Edward, Thomas, John, Robert, Charles. To Mr. and Mrs. Chasteen there has been born one son, Roy. Mr. Chasteen was elected sheriff of Washington County, Arkansas, on the Prohibition ticket, but refused to qualify. He is a Prohibitionist in political matters and a zealous advocate of good schools.

Mr. Chasteen is to be credited with much labor and effort put forth in this section of the country for the spiritual welfare of the people, he having been among the very first preachers to come to the reservation country. He is an upright man, respected by his neighbors and beloved by all those who know him best, and his faithful life is one of the best parts of his Christian testimony.

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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