Herbert W. Chaffee, of Ottawa, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, was born in Connecticut, Aug. 11, 1844. His parents were Zelotes E. and Hannah S. (Snell) Chaffee. His father was born in Massachusetts in 1817, but was reared in Connecticut, in which latter state he became a mechanic and later a manufacturer in the city of Moodus, where he died in 1877. He was a son of Emory Chaffee, a native of Massachusetts, and a farmer by occupation. Joseph Snell, the maternal grandfather of Rev. Chaffee, was a native of Connecticut. Both the Snells and Chaffees are of English lineage, and the first representatives of the families in America were among the early colonists of Massachusetts, settling there as early as 1630.
Herbert W. Chaffee completed a liberal literary education in the academy at Wilbraham, Mass., after which he was employed as a bookkeeper for about six years in the city of New York. In 1870 he came to Kansas, settling in Franklin county, where he became a school teacher and a farmer. In 1873 he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, and for thirty-three years thereafter effectually labored in the ministry of the church. He has held a number of pastorates in southeastern Kansas, and under his pastoral work the churches he served experienced pleasing progrss. For a period of six years, from 1887 to 1893, he was presiding elder of the Ottawa district, in which church relation his labors were no less favorably effectual than as a pastor. During the time he served as presiding elder Rev. Chaffee resided in Ottawa, and for the first year immediately following the close of his services as presiding elder he was pastor of the First Methodist Church at Ottawa, then for four years pastor at Girard, and then pastor at Fredonia for eight years, closing his ministry in 1906, in which year he accepted a superannuated relation in the ministry, and again took up his residence at Ottawa. In 1908 Rev. Chaffee was made the nominee of the Republican party for the office of probate judge for Franklin county, and as such was successful of election. His first term of service in the office was so satisfactory as to secure for him a reëlection in 1910. His record as probate judge is one of duty performed with promptness and fidelity.
In October, 1872, Rev. Mr. Chaffee was united in marriage to Miss Jerusha A. Smith, daughter of Joseph Smith, who came from Ohio to Kansas in 1857, bringing his family with him and making the trip by wagon, and settling in Franklin county, and entering a homestead in Ohio township, which he developed into a fine farm, on which he died in 1900, his wife preceding him in death in 1891. They are the parents of two children as follows: Arthur G., of Kansas City, Mo., who is district superintendent of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, and who is a graduate of the University of Kansas, while the daughter, Nellie, is a graduate of Baker University, and now a teacher of English in the Ottawa High School. From 1879 to the present Rev. Chaffee has been a member of the board of trustees for Baker University, and for the last several years he has been secretary of the board.Pages 1022-1023 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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