One of the solid. most prosperous and entirely self-made men of Cloud county is G.W. Chapman, of Solomon township, who came to Kansas during the tide of emigration in 1870, his father preceding him a few months. He is a son of James and Emma (Harris) Chapman, who, with their family of three children, left their home in old England and came to America in 1867. The Chapmans were from County Kent, near London, and within sight of the Crystal Palace. Mr. Chapman is a farmer and the first two years in this country they lived in McHenry county, Illinois, and in 1869 emigrated to Cloud county, and took up a homestead five and one-half miles southwest of Glasco.
G.W. Chapman was born in England in 1854, and began his career herding cattle both in winter and summer for a period of about four years. He was married in 1876 and took up a homestead, built a small stone house with a dirt roof, where they lived several years. He now has seven hundred acres of land and a herd of one hundred and seventy fine Hereford bred cattle and one hundred and twenty-five head of hogs; will have seventy head to ship this year. When Mr. Chapman was married he was practically penniless; says "he was like the fellow in the far west who didn't have wearing apparel enough to flag a handcar."
Mrs. Chapman was Elizabeth Bennett, of Iowa, who came to Kansas in 1874. The Bennets afterward moved to Oklahoma, where her father, at the age of eighty-nine years still lives. Her mother died three years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Chapman have four children, two boys and two girls: Ada, wife of Ed Orbaugh, a farmer and stockman of Solomon township, Frank C. and George F., who assist their father with the stock and on the farm, and Lessie, aged thirteen.
Mr. Chapman is a lover of fine stock; cultivated a taste in that direction from boyhood as he drove the cattle over the prairies, building "castles" of how some day he would have herds of his own. For several years the Chapmans were in very limited circumstances financially, and in 1881 he decided to speculate, either make or go clear to the wall. With this resolution he mortgaged his farm and bought some cows of Texas breed. As they increased he graded them until he had some very good stock.
He next invested in ten head of high grade registered Herefords, from which he produced one of the finest herds in the county. He has at the head of his herd at present, one of the best sons of "Wild Tom," purchased from the C.S. Cross "Sunny Slope farm," near Emporia, Kansas. Before his death (he committed suicide), Mr. Cross refused two thousand five hundred dollars for this animal by parties in Omaha. Mr. Chapman favors the Hereford breeds assuming they are more easily kept, and fatten more quickly - fatten when other breeds continue poor. Mrs. Chapman raises some very fine poultry and has upwards of a dozen handsome peafowls.
Mr. Chapman is a member of the I.O.O.F., Glasco Lodge, No. 188. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Chapman's parents still reside on the old homestead. Of his father's family, a sister, Mrs. William Merritt, lives in Idaho, his three brothers, Walter J., Frederick and James, are all farmers of Cloud county. Mr. Chapman has a pleasant and comfortable home presided over by Mrs. Chapman who is an amiable and estimable woman.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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