J. Elias Chapman was born in the state of Indiana, July 15th, 1848, and came to Texas with his parents in the year 1851. His grandfather was born in the year 1793. He migrated from South Carolina to the state of Indiana and from there moved into the state of Texas in the year 1850. Elias’ grandmother was born in the year 1796. Her maiden name was Polly Gray. These old people were united in marriage in the year 1816. Elias’ grandfather was a Methodist preacher and lived for a while and preached in the state of Kentucky, where Elias’ father was born in the year 1818.
His father married Mary E. Smith in the state of Indiana in the year 1845. Three children were born to them in that state. Their names are W. R., J. E., and J. S. Chapman. His parents then moved to the state of Texas and settled where he lived until death in what is known as Chapman Arm. George, the nominee for county commissioner, an honest and justly popular citizen; Shed, who has served his county as tax collector on several occasions; and Doctor, a successful physician and a useful man; Ellen and Eva all were born in Hopkins County. W. R. and Ellen are dead. This entire family are citizens of Hopkins County. Elias’ father has one brother, Willis, and a sister, Polly Ann, who married J. V. Logsdon in the year 1855. Tle father of Elias was named. James and was known as Uncle Jimmie Chapman. He was a man whose heart was as big as all out-of-doors.
Elias married Miss Ida Cobb in the year 1881 She was a step-daughter of Billie Moore. They have eight children, who are all bright, intellectual, healthy and well born. He has taught his children industrious habits. His boys are natural mechanics, can construct any article out of wood or iron that they choose. John S. married Mattie Harper, the daughter of G. W. Harper, better known as Wash, an old Texan, a just, upright and honest man of remarkable energy and enterprise. They have five children, whom he is striving to educate and to make good citizens. He is rearing his family upon a farm, and teaching them to work as well as educating them in books. George W. married Dosca France in the year 189o. They have only two children: Melson, a son; and Pearl, a daughter. Shed married Miss Jessie Harris in the year 1897. They have no issue. Dr. Chapman married Miss Dama McCullock. They have one child, an infant. They were married in the year 1899. Ellen married Marion Harris in the year 1886, and has two children. Eva married Thos. Searls, a clean, nice gentleman, in the year 1883. They have six children. Mr. Searls is a well to do farmer, owns his own plantation, and is making life a success. His children are all stout, well formed, bright, interesting children, of good habits. This large family of Chapmans are remarkable for their plain common sense, their sobriety, honesty, industry and general usefulness in many particulars. They are all making money and doing well. They are big-hearted people, are not little or parsimonious or picaunish in their transactions; but are free-hearted, liberal, generous and as open as day. No family in Hopkins County enjoys a better reputation or has a wider circle of friends, or is more generally known than the Chapman family. By industry they have accumulated sufficient of this world’s goods to place them in easy and comfortable circumstances, and it affords them great satisfaction and pleasure to extend their generosity and unselfish hospitality to their friends. Their motto is to keep up a smiling countenance, an open heart and a good exertion. They all have order and much system in their ‘management of affairs, and are mild and pleasant in their families; but their rules of discipline must be observed and obeyed.