James L. Chapman is a native of West Virginia, born near Manchester, Hancock County, in the widely quoted “Pan-handle district,” March 23, 1818, and there he was reared, educated, and lived until the 5th of April, 1854. In that year he migrated to the “land of the Hawkeye,” settling in Jefferson county, but remained in that county only till the following fall, then removed to Wayne county, Iowa, and there continued to live and engage in farming until 1864, when he made his home in Missouri, locating in Harrison county. Six years he pursued farming avocations in that county, then removed to Daviess county and settled in Salem township, where he farmed until 1876, and then engaged in the mercantile and hotel business, at Coffeysburg, with his son, William A., under the firm name of Chapman & Son, continuing the business until 1880, when they sold out and came to Gallatin and engaged in the hotel business, for six months, then dissolved partnership. Mr. Chapman then purchased his present fruit farm on the southern limits of Gallatin, where he is engaged in the growing and cultivating of the excellent fruits indigenous to the soil of Daviess county, having made fruit culture a study since early boyhood. He has one hundred and eleven apple trees, two hundred peach trees, two cherry trees, thirty pear trees, beside strawberries, gooseberries, and one acre in Concord grapes.
Mr. Chapman was united in matrimony, on the 10th of May, 1849, to Miss Nancy J. Daugherty, of Pennsylvania. They became the parents of six children; named, respectively, William A., now residing in Kansas; Francis M., a farmer in Daviess county; Mary Ellen, wife of James Reynolds, of Harrison county; Laura Belle, late wife of William Johnson, of Gallatin; Nancy Elizabeth, wife of Willard Hall, of Gallatin; and James E., of Gallatin. Mrs. Chapman died August 23, 1878; during life was a consistent member of the Christian Church of Gallatin, and was held in high esteem by those who knew her. Mr. Chapman has been a member of the same denomination for over thirty years, and now holds the position of deacon in the church at Gallatin.