US GenWeb
Early Settlers in Medina County
OH  GenWeb

Chesley G. Chapman

Submitted by James Chapman

My name is James Chapman and I presently live in Seville. Reuben Chapman, the subject of this correspondence was my GGGGGrandfather and the second settler in Chatham Twp. I have attached an except from "This History of the Western Reserve" by Harriet Taylor Upton, copyright 1910.


James Chapman

by Harriet Taylor Upton
Copyright 1910.
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Chicago New York

Chesley G. Chapman.

This well known and highly esteemed citizen and successful farmer of Medina county is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of this section of the Western Reserve, being a representative of the fourth generation of the family in Medina county, with whose history the name has been indissolubly and worthily linked for more than ninety years. The various generations have ably assisted in the civic and material development and upbuilding of.the county and it is most consistant that in this publication be entered and perpetuated a record concerning those who have thus wrought so well in the past, as well as those who are at the present time ably upholding the prestige of an honored name.

Reuben Chapman., third son of Johathan Chapman., of Connecticut., was born in that state on March 20, 1761, the family having been founded in New England in the early Colonial epoch. He was reared to manhood in Connecticut., and there., on November 21, 1782., was solemnized his marriage to Miss Rhoda Peck., who likewise was a native of Connecticut,, where she was born on January 27, 1760.

Reuben Chapman moved from his native state to Vemont and resided for several years at Cavendish., Windsor county, that state. From that point., on June 20, 1818, in company with his devoted wife and his sons Cyrus., Sceva, Leonard and Clyne, he set forth for the wilds of the Western Reserve, his equipment for the long and weary journey comprising a team of horses, two yokes of oxen and two wagons. One of the wagons was drawn by the horses and the double ox- team furnished the motive power for the other wagon. In the preceding year the three other sons of Reuben Chapman had come to the Reserve and made their way through to the future home of the family in Medina county. The horse team mentioned arrived in Harrisville township, this county, some time in August., 1818. The entire family party made the trip in company as far as Buffalo, New York, where the sons Cyrus and Sceva embarked on a sloop for Cleveland., taking on board with them the ox wagon and the yokes of the two ox teams. Two weeks were consumed by this sloop in making the voyage from Buffalo to Cleveland, as the little vessel, after reaching a point near Cleveland, was driven back by a heavy gale to Erie. The first steamboat on Lake Erie was nearing completion at Black Rock, and the two brothers, Cyrus and Scava went on board the craft to view its splendors. Today the vessel would be considered one of the most primitive and insignificant order. In the meanwhile the other members of the family had proceeded overland, driving the ox teams, and had arrived in Cleveland, then a small village, before the sloop reached its destination at that point. Leonard Chapman was left in charge of the oxens awaiting the arrival of the sloop and when the same reached Cleveland the three brothers took the old Ridge road, by way of Grafton, for Harrisville township, Medina county. They passed the night with a worthy settler at Grafton, from which point no road had been constructed, so that it was necessary to cut through two miles of roadway to reach the now home in the midst of the forests of Harrisville township. Sceva Chapman was assigned to the duty of driving the ox team, while his two brothers, with the aid of the previously mentioned Grafton man, cut the underbrush and cleared the way. Sceva Chapman thus had the distinction of being the first man to drive a team from Grafton to Harrisville.

At the time of the arrival of the Chapman family there was only one family settled in Chatham township - that of Moses Parsons great-grandfather of the wife of him whose name initiates this article. Reuben Chapman and his family settled on a tract of heavily timbered land near the present village of Lodi, and here the father and his sturdy sons grappledearnestly with the wilderness, causing the same to yield tribute to their energy and indefatigable industry so that in course of time the giant trees of the forest gave place to productive fields. Reuben Chapman and his wife passed the residue of their lives on this old homestead in Harrisville township, and their names merit an enduring place on the roll of the honored pioneers of the Western Reserve. They were numbered among the original members of the Baptist Church at Westfield, in which he was a deacon, holding this position until the close of his long and useful life eternal on June 7, 1843.

Sceva Chapman, grandfather of Chesley G. Chapman, was born in Cavendish, Windsor county, Vermont on February 10, 1793, and thus he was about twenty-five years of age at the time of the family removal to Medina county, Ohio. Before leaving the old Green Mountain state it had been his to render valiant service as a soldier in the war of 1812, in which he was a member of a company commanded by Captain Asa Aikens, in the Thirty-First Regiment, United States Infantry. On February 17, 1825, he was united in marriage to Miss Azuba Marsh, of Ashland county, Ohio. His wife who was the daughter of of Abijah and Bersha (Snow) Marsh, who moved from Massacheusetts to Vermont in 1794, was born at Wardsbury, Windham county, Vermont, on October 7, 1802, and was a member of the third family to make permanent settlement in Medina township, Medina County, Ohio, where they made their advent on November 7, 1816. Sceva Chapman became a man of prominence and influence in the pioneer community and was called to serve in various offices of public trust and responsibility, including those of township treasurer, township trustee, and school director. His wife was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, having united with the same about the time Azuba Chapman died November 24, 1885, at Lodi, Medina county, Ohio. Sceva and Azuba (Marsh) Chapman became the parents of six children, namely: Willard J., Harrison S., Ozias E., Arminda E., Marinda E., and Rozella M. Of this number two are now living. Ozias E., who lives at Ottawa, Illinois, and Mrs. Rozella M. Topping, of Sedgewick City, Kansas.

Harrison S. Chapman, father of him whose name introduces this article, was born on the old homestead farm in Harrisville township, Medina county, Ohio, on the 26th of July, 1830, and he was reared to manhood under the conditions and influences of the pioneer epoch, so that his educational advantages were limited to the common schools of the locality and period. On the 20th of August, 1860, was solomnized his marriage to Miss Jane Gilley, daughter of Andrew and Catherine Gilley, who came to Harrisville township, this county, from Pennsylvania, in 1833, and who were prominently identified with the building of the first Congregational church in the village of Lodi. Harrison S. Chapman devoted his attention to farming and stock-growing throughout his entire active career, and was one of the progressive agriculturists and highly honored citizens of the county. He passed his entire life, with the exception of one year, on the fine old homestead farm which had been secured by his grandfather so many years before and which was at the time of his death on of the model farmsteads of the county, having been reclaimed from the forest and brought to its present fine state of productivity by representatives of this well known pioneer family. The old Chapman homestead was bought in 1905 by the Baltimore and Ohio Improvement Company, from which the gravel and timber were taken to make the large fill on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad double track through the incorporated town of Lodi. Harrison S. Chapman was a man of impregnable integrity in all the realtions of life and he well amrited the unqualified esteem and confidence reposed in him by the people of his native county. He was a Republican in his political proclivities, served for a number of years as school director and also gave effective service in the office of township trustee. He and his wife were zealous and consistent members of the Congregational church of Lodi, and he was recognized as on of its veritible pillars, having held the offices of clerk and deacon for about forty years and having been an earnest and well fortified teacher in its Sunday-school from the time he was seventeen years old until the close of his long and worthy life, except for the brief period of one year. He was summoned to the life eternal on the 8th of May, 1895, and she, who had ever been his devoted wife and helpmeet and the gracious mother of his children, passed away on the 16th of October, 1901, secure in the reverent affections of all who had come within the sphere of her gentle influence. Of the two children Angie L. is the elder, having been born on the 24th of MArch, 1862, and became on March 14, 1889, the wife of Charles W. Daniels of Harrisville township, who was born March 10, 1864 at Apple Creek, Wayne county, Ohio. To them have been born three Children, Crystal Belle Daniels, born July 9, 1890; Joseph Harrison Daniels, born March 18, 1892; and Charles Elmo Daniels, born December 7, 1893. The younger child is the subject of this review and brief data concerning his career appear in the following paragraphs.

Chesley G. Chapman was born on the old Chapman homestead farm in Hsrrisville twonship on the 10th of July, 1867, and he is now the owner of the valuable property in Chatham township, Medina county, known as the old Moses Parsons' homestead which has excellent improvements of a permanent nature, including a substantial residence. He is now recognized as one of the successful and essentially representative farmers and stock-growers of his native county and has a fine landed estate of one hundred and twenty-two acres. Mr. Chapman, as may be supposed, was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm, and to the district schools of the locality he is indebted for his early educational training. He continued to be associated in the work and management of the home farm until his marriage, at the age of twenty-two years, and he and his wife passed the ensuing year in the village of Lodi, since which he has followed farming and stock-growing. Though never aseekr of public office, Mr. Chapman has shown a constant and lively interest in all that has tended to conserve the general welfare of his community and he is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party. He is appreciative of the lives and labors of his forbears who have been so prominently identified with the development of this favored section of the Western Reserve, and has reason to be proud of the name which he so worthily bears. He retains in his possession as a valuable heirloom, a well preserved deed to one hundred acres of land in Ashford, county of Windham, and colony of Connecticut, transferred by John and Martha Stevens to his great- grandfather, Jonathan Chapman, under date of the 18th day of February in the eight year of his majesty's reign Anno Domini 1768.

On the 6th of February 1890, was solomnized the marriage of Mr. Chapman to Miss Nettie C. Packard, who was born in Chatham township, this county, on the 13th of October, 1869, and who is a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Parsons) Packard. William Packard was born in Plainfield twonship, in Hampshire county, Massachusetts, on the 18th of September, 1826, and died at his home in Chatham township, Medina county, Ohio, on the 16th of March, 1905, one of the successful farmers and honored citizens of the county. His wife was born on the old Moses Parsons homestead in Chatham township, Medina county, on the 26th of March 1834, and still maintains her home in Medina county.

Caleb Packard, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Chapman, was a native of Massechusetts, as was also his wife, whose maiden name was Sallie Stowell. The maternal great-grandfather, Moses Parsons, was a member of an old and honored family of New England and was one of the sterling pioneers of Medina County, Ohio, as has already been noted in a preceding paragraph. Darwin Parsons, grandfather of Mrs. Chapman, was a native of New York, as was also his wife, whose maiden name was Hope Crush. Mr. and Mrs. Chapman have nine children, whose names, with respective dates of birth, are here given: Harrison W., September 22, 1890; Chesley C., May 2, 1892; Lutie Belle, April 22, 1894; Hobart McKinley, March 17, 1896;Mabel R., August 22, 1898; Thelma M., November 3, 1900; Fenton C., March 10, 1903; Mertrude L., July 9, 1905; and Keith E., February 19, 1909. (also Maxine F., April 29, 1911).

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