Richland County


The blue blood of the Hamiltons, who were so prominent in those troublous days when the American forefathers were sacrificing their life's blood for that priceless boon liberty, flows through the veins of Robert Hamilton Chapman, he being a descendant of the distinguished Alexander Hamilton, who was so closely identified with the early history of the republic as secretary of the treasury in President Washington's cabinet. Being a man of great energy, with a determination to accomplish perfectly whatever task he set out to perform the subject of this sketch can look back over a very busy career. Although he has been a resident of Noble township, Richland county, but a short time he has many friends who admire him for his sterling qualities.

Mr. Chapman was born in Kent county, Michigan, March n, 1853. His father was Anthony Chapman, who moved from New York to Michigan in 1828. His mother's maiden name was Adeline Hamilton, and she was a native of New York. Four children were born to the couple, viz: Malina (Potter): Edwena (Doris): Robert, the subject, and Amherst Cheney.

The subject was wedded to Ida Kent, December 23, 1876. She was born in Williams county, December 23, 1856. Her father lineally came from Irish stock, and was born in 1810. Her mother was Sarah (Kearns) Kent, and was of German ancestry. Her father was a pioneer in Ohio, and when he settled in Williams county, it was in a very wild state, being practically a wilderness. He entered upon the task of clearing this land, with vigor, and eventually concerted the unbroken forest into fruitful fields. Incidentally he made "good Indians" out of several very bad Indians. Mr. Kent helped build the first court-house that was erected in Williams county.

Mr. and Mrs. Chapman are the parents of five children, namely; Robert, born May 20, 1878, is a prosperous farmer and carpenter in Alberta, Canada; Pearl (Mrs. Billings) was born October 17, 1879, resides in Noble township, her husband being manager of a tile and brick factory. She has three children. Hazel, Myrtle and Claude. George, born August 31, 1882, is a blacksmith, of Alberta. Canada, where also resides Ruby (Mrs. Davis), who was born July 9, 1886, has two children. Daisy and Dorothy. Barney Kent, born April 20, 1888, is also a resident of Canada.

Mr. Chapman was a carpenter, fanner and lumber dealer until he removed to Lake Arthur, Louisiana, in 1888, where he confined himself to his first named trade. In 1892 the family made another change, removing to Richmond. Texas, where Mr. Chapman combined the pursuit of agriculture with mechanical labor. The great Galveston storm and tidal wave of 1900, which created so much devastation, moved him to dispose of his interests in Texas, and to remove to Noble township, where he worked as a blacksmith until 1901, when he decided to try his fortunes in Alberta, Canada, where the majority of his children were living, and shortly upon his arrival there he acquired a homestead. After five years' residence in Canada the family returned to Noble, where they purchased a desirable farm on which they have placed many improvements in the way of modern machinerv for its cultivation.

Throughout his life Mr. Chapman has been imbued with the war spirit, and his first attempt to serve his country was during the civil strife, when he tried to enter as a drummer boy, but much to his chagrin was refused on account of his tender years. He volunteered for Spanish-American war service at Rosenburg, Texas, 1898, but failed to pass the examination, hence he has given up all hope of ever satisfying his thirst for military glory. He has been a lifelong Democrat. He is the possessor of a modest competence, and he and his wife live in a very comfortable dwelling, happy in the knowledge that they will be able to live a life of ease in the declining years of their life.

Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 481-482.

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