AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 175
JAIRUS CHAPMAN, late of the town of Eastford, died May 15, 1897, at the advanced age of over ninety-two years. He was born on a farm in Ashford, Dec. 9, 1804, the youngest son of Roswell and Lois Chapman, and grandson of Thomas Chapman, the latter a soldier during the Revolutionary war.
In his youth Mr. Chapman received the educational training accorded the average farmer boy of his time and place, and in spite of these meager advantages managed to qualify as a teacher, in which occupation he engaged for a short time. Not finding educational work to his taste, he turned his attention to farming, which, after a time, became secondary to a pretentious business in the manufacture of scythes, broadaxes, axes and hatchets, conducted in the west part of the town, and known as the axe factory. This enterprise proved profitable, and gained for its promoters the reputation for excellent commodities warranted by their conscientious application to business. With the exception of a few years spent in East Douglass, Mass., Mr. Chapman lived in Eastford, where he was known as a public-spirited and capable man, embodying many of the admirable characteristics of New England's best and noblest citizenship. In the spring of 1850 he removed his family to Eastford village, and purchased a dwelling-house and blacksmith shop with a water privilege, where he continued for many years to manufacture axes and hatchets and cater to a general blacksmith trade. He also cultivated a few acres of land, and because of his general capabilities was brought to the fore in various capacities in the town.
On Jan. 1, 1828, Mr. Chapman married Emily Moore, who was born in Belchertown, Mass., and who was at the time of her marriage living in Eastford. This couple lived together for sixty-nine years, Mrs. Chapman surviving her husband until Feb. 4, 1899, when she died at the age of ninety-two years, eight months, the difference in their ages being but a few months. Three children were born of this union, viz.: (1) Emily E., the widow of Newton Preston, lives in East Douglas, Mass. Mr. Preston was professionally qualified for a doctor, but instead, engaged with considerable success in the insurance business. His death, due to a fall, occurred at the age of fifty-nine years. To himself and wife were born two children: Estella H., wife of C. Fred Whittmore, of Worcester, Mass., who has three children, Helen, Newton F. and Preston C.; and Etta Emily, wife of Newton Marshall, a decorator of Boston, who has two children, Howard and Preston. (2) Roswell Z. is a master mechanic of Springfield, Mass. He married Celia Ann Flint, and has had three children - William, deceased; Charles; and Harry J., a teacher in the commercial department of the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, of Lima, N.Y. (3) Mary Juliaette was educated at the State Normal School at New Britain, and at Wilbraham Academy, subsequently engaging in educational work in Connecticut and Massachusetts for thirty years. In their old age she cared with rare patience and loving tenderness for her parents. She is a member of Crystal Lake Grange and of the Congregational Church.
A Republican in national politics, Mr. Chapman was also a stanch supporter of Prohibition. He held many local and county offices, and after the division of the towns of Ashford and Eastford represented the latter in the Legislature of 1849. The settlement of a number of estates came under his jurisdiction, one of the most important being that of the late Z.N. Allen. He was one of the directors of the Eastford Savings Bank, and was otherwise interested in prominent business enterprises in the town. He was one of the principal incorporators of the Grove cemetery, he and the late Capt. Jonathan Skinner having purchased the site, laid out the grounds, and bought adjoining lots in the center of the grounds. He was a director of the Cemetery Association from the beginning almost up to the time of his death. The building of the Baptist church and parsonage came about partly through his energies, and he was an active member of the church, and a deacon until prevented by the infirmities of age from further holding that position. A kind and affectionate husband and parent, he was also an obliging friend and gracious neighbor, and during his sojourn in Eastford won the esteem of all with whom he was associated.
Reproduced by: Linda D. Pingel
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