Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



It was at Leicester, England, that William Chaplin was born December 16, 1866, a son of the Rev. William Chaplin, a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church in England for sixty years, who passed to his reward in 1899. The mother, Emma Chaplin, was a native of Leicester, England. Of her twelve children ten are liv- ing. Fannie is the wife of Warren Jessup Potter of Leicester, England, a bridge builder and prominent in a political way. William came to the United States twenty-six years ago and located in Philadelphia, Pa., where he opened a butcher shop and built up a business which was one of the best of its kind in the city, he having thirty-two butchers in his employ and eight wagons delivering meat to the wholesale trade. In considering the importance of this enterprise it should be borne in mind that it was not that of a great corporation but of an individual owner.

In 1904, owing to the condition of his health, Mr. Chaplin sold his business to a corporation of which he was president and man- ager two years. In 1906 he came to California and established a meat market on Highland avenue in Hollywood, next to the Hollywood Hotel. He was very successful there and had a practical monopoly of the local meat trade during a period of five years, at the expiration of which he sold out and went to Jergens, Cal.. where he owned extensive mining interests. Eventually he took up his residence in Sacramento and soon concerned himself with amusement enterprises at Oak Park, where he successfully managed a well remembered venture for two years. In December, 1911, he acquired the lease of the new and modern Mikle Theatre, which he turned over to his son, Jack Chaplin, who is now the manager.

While he lived in Philadelphia Mr. Chaplin was active in politics, and at a meeting of voters, which he called in his ward, he organized the city party which is still in existence. He served on the school board in Philadelphia three years and was instrumental in the advancement of street paving in some parts of the city.

The woman who became Mr. Chaplin's wife was Miss Emma Marvin of Leicester, England, and their children were born as follows: Thomas in 1885; Katie in 1888; and Jack in 1890. Thomas is chief engineer at the Hollywood Hotel, having fitted himself to fill such a position by a course of study in the International Correspondence School in Scranton, Pa.

The silk loom now in use throughout the world was invented in England by Mr. Chaplin's paternal grandfather. Mr. Chaplin owns a fine residence and several valuable lots in Oak Park, and is unwearying in his promotion of the growth and prosperity of that part of the city. He is insistent in his demand for the square deal in politics, in business and in every relation of life. Fraternally life affiliates with the Masonic order, holding membership in the Blue Lodge and in the Royal Arch chapter. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011