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Thomas Strother Chapman Biography

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Union, Kentucky, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Chapman
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p. 230. The father of the subject of this sketch was Thomas Strother Chapman, one of the most influential and highly respected citizens of the county. He was born in Union County, five miles west of Morganfield, on the 20th day of February, 1810, and died on the 9th day of December, 1877 at the advanced age of 74 years. His life was an eventful one, and no citizen in the county was more successful in carrying out what he undertook. After having received a good education he commenced life by first clerking in the dry goods and grocery house of Spalding Bros., Morganfield. After clerking several years, he became a partner in the firm, and a short time afterwards, in the year 1834, he married Miss Prudence Huston, sister of Judge George Huston, a leading lawyer of Morganfield. After marriage he continued to sell goods for a number of years, indeed up to the time he was elected Clerk of the County Court of his county. Some time about 1856, he qualified as clerk and turned the operation of his farm and store over to trusted employers and gave his time to serving his county as its clerk. For several years he continued to live on his farm, and would ride in and out morning and evening. So well did he do the duties of the office, he was re-elected and was serving his second term when in 1863 Gen. James M. Shackleford removed him by military authority and another was appointed in his place. Afterh the war he again became a candidate for the office and was defeated by Mr. John Wall, the present incumbent. He again embarked in the dry goods business in the town of Morganfield, and continued three or four years. In 1873 his health failed him, as has been before stated in this article. His sons, knowing his disease, were anxious to have him treated away from home, but he was bent on becoming a candidate for the office of county clerk once more. He was induced to abandon this determination and to consent to his announcement as a candidate for the office of County Judge. His sons announced him, and assured him there was no possibility of his defeat, more to encourage him on his trip and to nerve him up to the terrible operation he would have to undergo. With his son, the subject of this sketch, he did go to Louisville, and, while there, in 1874, without ever having turned his hand in the nomination, was notified by telegram that he had been nominated over all of his competitors. He was elected in 1874, and, though suffering from the old ailment, stuck to his office and did his duty like a good, faithful officer, as he was. In 1876, his health had become so bad his friends importuned him to resign his office, but he steadfastly declined, saying his health would be better while serving the people in his office. He evidently meant by this that the duties of his office would keep his mind off of his disease. He died, as before stated, after having served his constituency honestly, fearlessly, and leaving a record above and beyond reproach.

p. 867-869 THOMAS STROTHER CHAPMAN (DECEASED) was the son of John Strother and Polly Casey (Waggener) Chapman. His father was born in Frederick County, Virginia, March 28, 1784, came to Union County among its earliest settlers; and died in his home in Union County October 12, 1851. Subject’s mother was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, July 24, 1788, and died in Union County September 12, 1848. His grandfather, Thomas Chapman, was a Virginia planter of the old school, a fine gentleman, and one of the largest land owners in the old Dominion; was born there in 1753, and died in 1795. This Thomas Chapman’s widow, Sarah (Bell) Chapman, survived him several years, and died in Henderson, 1809. The great grandfather of our subject was James Chapman, who was an Englishman that married a Welsh lady. Our subject’s maternal grandfather was John Waggener, who was born in Berkeley County, Virginia, and died in Shawneetown, Illinois, May 1, 1820. Our subject, Thomas S. Chapman, was born near Spring Grove on what is known as the old Coonts tract, February 2, 1811. His schooling was undoubtedly good, and embraced every thing that would go to make up a thorough business man. On February 20, 1834, Mr. Chapman married Prudence Huston, in Davies County, Ky. She is the daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Friley) Huston, whose ancestry and parentage are described in the sketch of her brother, Judge George Huston. Mrs. Chapman was born January 17, 1817, and now at her advanced age, is a lady of more than ordinary sprightliness, and magnificent memory.
Mr. Chapman was a Whig in politics until that party went to pieces, when he entered the Democratic party. He was called from private life to the office of county clerk, which he held for eight years, making a most efficient officer, and becoming so thoroughly acquainted with the office that he was always called upon thereafter when a stress of work compelled the incumbent to ask for aid. He was elected to the office of County Judge, and fulfilled its duties for four years. After he served out his term as Judge he retired to private business, and managed his farm the rest of his days. Mr. Chapman’s home is a beautiful brick standing near the north end of Main street, containing eight rooms. In this house our subject breathed his last on December 10, 1877.

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