Family Stories

Thomas Strother Chapman Biography

This is a bit longer than most biographies from the 1880’s, but gives a marvelous picture of the life of the man and his family.

from – History of Union County, Kentucky, 1886

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 at 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 everything that would go to make up a thorough businessman.

On February 20, 1834, Mr. Chapman married Prudence Huston, in Daviess County, Kentucky.  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.

The children of this couple are among the most prominent people of the county, and are engaged in all the avocations and professions.  Thomas Huston married Ann Taylor, the daughter of Dr. Gipson Taylor, and has four children, two of whom are dead.  John Strother married Hettie Hite, and they are both dead, leaving four children, two of whom have died.  Andrew Jones married Virginia Cowan, the granddaughter of I. A. Spalding, Sr.  Mary Huston married John W. Offutt, who has eleven children, two of whom are dead.  Ben Johnson married Matilda Ray, and has two children.  George Huston married Emma Holmes, and has three children, one of whom is dead.  Cooke married Mamie Robinson, and has six children, one of whom, with its mother, is dead.  James Williams married Florence Harding, and has five children, one of whom is dead.  Lucy Allen married A. W. Mason, and has two children.  Samuel Casey is still single and at home with his mother.  Addie Gale married C. L. Long, and has two children.  Thomas H. is a merchant in Uniontown; Jones is one of the proprietors of the Grand Hotel in Uniontown; George H. is a practicing physician in Uniontown; Williams, Cooke and Ben, and John Offutt are farmers living near Morganfield.  A. W. Mason and Casey are merchants in Morganfield, and C. L. Long is an attorney-at-law in Morganfield.

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 also 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.  He was a member of the Methodist church, of which denomination Mrs. Chapman has been a member for thirty years.  In estimating Thomas Strother Chapman’s character we are guided solely by the opinions of his neighbors and friends who knew him best.  According to these witnesses he was a man of much more than ordinary powers; a courteous, kind and pleasant gentleman, and a loving, indulgent father and husband.  He has left the imprint of these qualities upon his children, and will be long remembered for his distinguishing traits.

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