Biography of Stephen Chapman
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Stephen Chapman, of England, came to America when he was only fifteen years of age. When the revolution began he joined the American army under Washington, and fought throughout the whole war. After the close of the war, he married Eliza Floyd, of Virginia, by whom he had Frank, George, William, James, John, Andrew, Isaiah, Benjamin, Rachel, and Peggy. Frank was a soldier in the war of 1812. He married Nancy Chester, of Virginia, whose father, Dr. Stephen Chester, was a surgeon in the American army during the revolution. Their children were Sally, Polly A., John W., James B., and Wesley. James B. married Susan Fipps, of Virginia, and settled in Montgomery Co., Mo., in 1838. Mr. Chapman was a cabinet maker by trade, and before he left his home, in Virginia, he made the coffins for the parents of General Joseph E. Johnston, who became so celebrated during the late war between the North and South. After he came to Missouri Mr. Chapman took up the carpenter’s trade, and became one of the most rapid workmen in his part of the country. He possessed great powers of endurance, and on one occasion, while building a house for George Britt, he worked sixty hours without stopping, for which he received $25 in gold. When he first came to Montgomery County there were no roads through the prairies, and the grass was nearly as high as his horse’s back. When he traveled anywhere he would tie a small log to his horse’s tail, and drag it through the grass, so it would make a trail he could follow back home. He raised his first apple orchard by cutting off small pieces of the branches of apples trees, and sticking them in Irish potatoes, which he planted and the branches grew to be bearing trees.