Edward A. Chaffin.The successful record which Mr. Chaffin has made thus far upon life's journey is one of many illustrations in Kansas history of what a young man may accomplish in this progressive state, if he has the faculty to recognize and grasp opportunity when it presents itselfif he has ability and undaunted resolution, and is industrious. In the career of Mr. Chaffin, as in that of most self-made men, privation has proved a hostage rather than a foe to fortune. His ancestry dates back to two old Virginia familiesthe Chaffins and the Loftis familythe former of which originally came from England and was planted on American soil early in the Colonial period. Both families were represented among the pioneers of Tennessee.
Edward A. Chaffin was born near Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 7, 1872. His parents, Francis M. Chaffin and Sarah Elizabeth Loftis, were natives of Tennessee, where they were married. They subsequently removed to Kentucky, thence to Missouri, and from there to Kansas, in 1882. In each instance their journey was made in a covered wagon, in true pioneer fashion. Francis M. Chaffin bought an unimproved farm in Elk county, which he proceeded to develop and on which he resided until 1910, when he sold his farm and removed to Moline. He is a stanch Democrat, and in the great conflict of 1861-6, in which the Southland had his sympathy, he served a short time in the Confederate army, participating in Morgan's raid through Kentucky, southern Ohio, and Indiana. He is a devoted member of the Christian church, with which he has been identified sixty years. Abner Chaffin, father of Francis M. and grandfather of Edward A., was a Virginian by birth and an early settler in Tennessee, where his whole career was devoted to agricultural pursuits. The family's removal from Virginia to Tennessee was accomplished by means of a pack mule, and they built their first bed for the new home out of a hollow log. Such was pioneer life. William H. Loftis, maternal grandfather of Edward A. Chaffin, also was a native of Virginia and a pioneer of Tennessee. He gave patriotic service in the war of 1812 and fought under Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, where Pakenham was decisively defeated in his attempt to capture that city.
Edward A. Chaffin was ten years of age at the time of the family's removal to Kansas, and therefore acquired his education principally in this state. He supplemented his common school course by two years' work in the Kansas State Normal School, at Emporia, during 1897 and 1898. He then became a teacher and was thus engaged nine years, four years of that time as an instructor in the Moline High School. His endeavors in the educational field were marked by the same thoroughness and progressiveness that have characterized his subsequent business activities. His entrance to commercial life was made when he became bookkeeper and assistant cashier of the Moline State Bank, in 1901. In 1902 the capital was increased and the bank was reorganized as the Moline National Bank. Mr. Chaffin was at that time made cashier of the bank and has continued to hold that responsible position to the present time. In the last decade the bank has enjoyed marked prosperity, much of it being due to the able and successful management of Mr. Chaffin. Its capital, now $50,000, has been increased several times since its organization; it has accrued a surplus and undivided profits of $20,000 and has $150,000 to $250,000 in deposits. It does the largest business of any bank in Elk county and is recognized as one of the sound financial institutions of that section of the state. In every branch of industrial activity and commercialism men of energy, ability, and integrity rapidly forge to the front, and it has been through those traits of character that Mr. Chaffin has attained his success and won a prominent place among the substantial men of Elk county. While making his own way at the same time materially assisted other members of his family. Besides his banking interests he and his only brother, David, as partners, own about 2,000 acres of land, and are extensively engaged in buying, feeding, and shipping cattle, also in breeding cattle of the Hereford strain.
In 1898 Mr. Chaffin wedded Miss Cora M. Dennis, of Springfield, Mo. She died in 1901, leaving an infant daughter, Hazel, who is in school. In 1907 Mr. Chaffin was united in marriage to Miss Myrtle, daughter of John Taylor, a farmer who resides near Howard, Kan. Of his second union have been born two daughtersLaura and Letha. Fraternally, Mr. Chaffin affiliates with the Masonic order and is a member of the Scottish Rite Consistory. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a trustee and a past grand of his lodge at Moline. He and his family are members of the Christian church. Politically he is of the faith of his father and is a loyal Democrat. In 1902 he was a candidate for county superintendent of instruction, but was defeated by 44 votes, a very creditable race in consideration of the fact that Elk county is normally Republican and gave the Republican candidate for governor a majority of over 400 votes. In his township Mr. Chaffin received a majority of 100 votes, while the Republican candidate for governor carried it by 67 votes. Mr. Chaffin has proved himself a man of worth, and deserves and enjoys a high standing among his fellow citizens.Pages 532-534 from volume III, part 1 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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