Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
James M. Chapman, while he is not one of the earliest settlers of Newberg, has for nearly forty years been prominently
identified with all the material interests of the township. He was born in Harrisville, Medina Co., Ohio, February
3, 1818. He was the son of Levi and Lucinda (Turner) Chapman, both natives of Vermont, from whence they came to
Ohio about 1817. They were married in Vermont, and at the time of their emigration had three children, two of whom,
Scelina, now Mrs. Thomas Birney, and Atnery, are residents of the county, the former living in Marccellus, the
latter in Newberg. James received a good common school education, which he made practically useful to himself and
others by teaching. In 1843, he was married to Miss Mary Haggerty, of Oneida County, N. Y., where she was born
in 1825. After their marriage, Mr. Chapman engaged in business, but, meeting with a serious misfortune (the loss
of his property by fire), he decided to come to Michigan and begin, life anew.
In May, of 1844, he and his young wife started for Cass County, with their worldly effects loaded in a wagon drawn
by a team of horses. They arrived safely at the residence of his brother-in-law, Thomas Birney, with whom they
remained until the following August, when he removed to the farm where he has since resided, and which at the time
was in a state of nature. There were no roads in this part of the township at the time, and his nearest neighbor
was two miles distant. The pioneer life of Mr. Chapman was replete with toil and privations, the land was heavily
timbered, and the construction of a farm was a work of great magnitude, but by degrees field after field was added
to the "little hole in the wilderness," and industry and perseverance were rewarded. He now has a valuable
farm of 200 acres. Mr. Chapman has taken an active interest in all measures tending to the advancement of the interests
of Newberg, and has occupied many positions of trust and responsibility. For eleven years he has represented Newberg
upob the Board of Supervisors, where he was recoginazed as an able and efficient member. He has also officiated
as magistrate for eight years. Both he and his wife are exemplary members of the Baptist Church of Newberg, and
all benevolent and religious enterprises find in them generous supporters. They have. been blessed with two children-Harvey
(deceased) and Franklin.
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.