Stanford Chapman

Biography of Stanford Chapman

Missouri Few men have lived more quietly and unostentatiously than Mr. Stanford Chapman, and yet few have exerted a more salutary influence upon the immediate society in which they move, or impressed a community with a more profound reliance on their honor, ability and sterling worth. His life has not been marked by startling or striking contrasts, but it has shown how a laudable ambition may be gratified when accompanied by pure motives, perseverance, industry and steadfastness of purpose.

Mr. Chapman came originally from Tennessee, his birth occurring June 3, 1825. He is the son of Benjamin and Mary (Cavett) Chapman, natives of Tennessee. About 1830 or 1831 the parents came to Missouri, and located on Little Riley, where they remained but a short time, when they came to Christian County and settled near Ozark. There the father followed farming and stock raising successfully until his death in 1872, when seventy-two years of age. He was a well-known and prominent man in his day, serving as judge of Greene County for twelve years and justice of the peace many years. In politics he was a lifelong Democrat, and in religion a Baptist. When making the trip from Tennessee to Missouri, Mr. Chapman came in a large six-horse wagon, and although his early life in this new country was one of privation and hardship, he persevered, and at the time of his death owned a tract of 320 acres of land. He was one of the progressive pioneers, and did much to improve and advance the county. The towns of Springfield and Ozark had not been heard of in those days, game was plentiful, and although pioneer life is considered anything but a pleasant experience, they had good times, and people were much more sociable than at the present day. Mrs. Chapman, who was a lifelong member of the Baptist Church and a most estimable lady, died in 1870, when eighty years of age. Previous to her union with Mr. Chapman she had married a Mr. Peter Smart, by whom she had five children: Sandy, Elitia, Harry, William and Martha. To her second union four children were born: Matthew, who resides near Ozark; Geneva, who married Joseph Gibson and lives in Boone County, Arkansas; Stanford, our subject; and Critendon, who died in 1887. The latter was married and lived about five miles south of Billings, where he followed farming.

Stanford Chapman
Stanford Chapman

Stanford Chapman was five years of age when his parents came to this county, and he attended the subscription schools of his day. When twenty-one years of age he started out to hoe his own road in life as a farmer, and located on a tract of about 230 acres one-half mile west of Ozark. There he resided for about fifteen years, and then sold out and moved to Cooper County, on the Missouri River. This was in 1865, and he farmed for one year, after which he returned to Christian County and bought a tract of land five miles north of Ozark, on the Springfield road. There were 210 acres in this farm, on which he made his home until 1892, when he sold out and moved to Billings, where he has a very pleasant home. In the year 1848 he was married to Miss Drucilla A. Horn, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Knox) Horn, pioneer settlers of this county, the Horn family locating here as early as 1831. Her parents were born in Giles County, Tennessee, and both died in this county, the father in 1843. They were the parents of six children: Rachel, D. A., Elizabeth, Judith, James K. and Martha. All these children are deceased, with the exception of Mrs. Chapman, and Elizabeth, who is Mrs. Cox, of Ozark. Mrs. Chapman was born in Tennessee in 1828, and was quite young when her parents moved to this county. Her father was sheriff of Greene County two or three terms, and was an influential citizen, being well known all over the county.

To our subject and wife a family of eight children have been given, six of whom are living: Thomas J. was killed by his team in 1872, when twenty-three years of age; Mary E., who is the wife of M. Canard, of this county, has four children Macie T., John S., Franklin and Martha; Emmon C. died when two years of age; Janiva, the wife of L. P. Wells, of Billings; Ella, wife of H. V. Reed, of Billings; William S., a resident of Greene County, where he follows farming; Missouri, the wife of L. P. Gibson, of Ozark; and Jude, at home. In politics Mr. Chapman is a Democrat. In 1876 he was elected to the office of judge of the county court, but resigned the position. He is now retired from active business life, and resides at Billings. He is a stockholder in the Christian County Bank at Ozark, owns some nice town property and a handsome residence. Socially he is a Mason, a member of Ozark Lodge.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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2 thoughts on “Biography of Stanford Chapman”

  1. We moved to Ozark from a Chicago western suburb in May 2018.
    We love the area and the less hectic pace. We like history of the Ozark area so the museum was our first visit.
    The Frisco train, Mill, Riverside Inn interest us. In a book on Ozark we read Seymour Chapman and Jim Tindle built the Ozark water mill in 1900.
    Took a quick glance in the Chapman Cemetery did not see his name is he related to the same Chapman family?

  2. Stanford Chapman is my Great Great Grandfather. His daughter, Ella, was my Great Grandmother and lived to be 102 years old. Ella’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth was my “Mimi”. Her youngest daughter, Eizabeth Jean Adams was my mom. Mom passed away at the age of 87 in July 2014. As a little girl, I used to love hearing the stories she would tell about her family.

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