ALEXANDER C. CHAPMAN, retired farmer and now a leading citizen of Claysville, is native of the county, having been born March 5, 1823, in Donegal township, of stalwart Scotch-Irish descent.
His grandfather, Richard Chapman, a native of Ireland, was there married to Sarah Patterson, and had a numerous family, the names of the four sons being: Richard, Alexander, Andrew L. and Robert, and of the two daughters: Jane and Mary. The family emigrated to the United States in about the year 1781, landing in New York, whence, the same year, they moved to Washington county, Penn., where grandfather Chapman kept a hotel near Washington some years, then purchased a farm and resided in the county until their deaths.
Andrew L. Chapman, a son of the above pioneer, came with his parents from Ireland to this country where he received his education. While quite a young man he was married to Nancy, daughter of Elder Thomas Campbell, of whom further mention will be presently made, and the children born of this union were: Jane (wife of Daniel Mooney), Sarah (deceased wife of Jacob Mooney), Selina (deceased), Nancy (deceased wife of Rev. Walter Russell), Phoebe (deceased wife of David Odenbaugh), and Alicia (deceased wife of Thomas McFadden), Alexander C. (subject), Dr. Andrew L., Thomas (deceased), Cornelius (deceased), and Dr. Campbell (deceased). Mr. Chapman was an active member of the Whig party, a warm friend of education and a public-spirited, progressive citizen. He was one of the early teachers of the schools in his township. A prominent member of the Christian Church at Dutch Fork, he was one of its most liberal supporters, and was for many years an elder in same. As a successful farmer he had no superior in his section, and in addition to general agriculture he was for a long time engaged in sheep raising. He died in this county in 1845.
Elder Thomas Campbell, grandfather of subject (a descendant of Archibald Campbell, Duke of Argyll, Scotland), was born February 1, 1763, in County Down, Ireland, where in June, 1787, he was married to Jane Corneigle, a descendant of the French Huguenots. In an early day (1807) he came to this country, making his home near Washington, Penn., finally removing to Bethany, W. Va., where he died at the advanced age of ninety-one years. The following is a brief record of his children that grew to maturity: His eldest son, Alexander, while in Ireland became a student of theology, concluding his education at Glasgow, Scotland. He and his father were eminent ministers of the Seceder Church. In 1809 he joined his father in this country. In the meantime they both became dissatisfied with the divided state of Christendom, and proposed a remedy by inviting all Christians to unite with them "on the Bible and the Bible alone." And thus Thomas and Alexander Campbell inaugurated the "Reformation of the Nineteenth Century," forming churches on this basis, known as "Churches of Christ," or "Disciples," which have attained high standing among the religionists of the world, and to-day numbers 1,000,000 members in the United States. Alexander also founded Bethany College, Bethany, W. Va., of which he was president until his death in 1866. The second son, Thomas, was a leading physician in this county. Archibald was also a prominent physician, as well as an able preacher. Dorothy became the wife of Joseph Bryant. Nancy (mother of subject) became the wife of Andrew L. Chapman. Alicia became the wife of Mathew Clapp, and Jane, the wife of Mathew McKeever.
Alexander C. Chapman received his education at the subscription schools of his native township, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. On April 13, 1847, he was married to Julia A., daughter of Richard Chapman, of Washington county, Penn., and the children born to them were: Agnes (deceased wife of Dr. Mont. Linville), Dorothy (deceased wife of Dr. James Bemis), Kate (deceased), Selina (deceased), and Lizzie B., Grafton K. and Campbell A., who are now living. The mother of these children dying in 1874, Mr. Chapman married, for his second wife, Mrs. N. Hodgens, widow of John Hodgens, of this county, she dying in the spring of 1889. In politics Mr. Chapman was a Whig until that party ceased to exist, after which he became a Democrat, and of late years he has voted the Prohibition ticket. In 1875 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace, which he filled with credit. He remained on the farm until 1889, when he retired from active life, and located at Claysville. He still owns 280 acres of fine land in Donegal township. While engaged on the farm he was recognized as one of the leading citizens of that section; was for years engaged in buying wool, and took particular pride in fine stock, and the production of fine wool; he is regarded as competent authority on sheep and wool. Mr. Chapman has been for years a consistent member of the Christian Church at Dutch Fork, and is looked upon as a brainy, well balanced man, and an able debater.
Text taken from page 1263 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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