Biography of I. M. Chaplin
Cambria County, PA Biographies

I. M. Chaplin. Ranking high among the successful and prominent young business men of Johnstown is I. M. Chaplin, president of the Crystal Oil Company. He was born at Flinton, Cambria County, Pa., Dec. 21, 1888, and is a son of William A. and Malissa (Ricketts) Chaplin.

William A. Chaplin was born near New Castle, Canada, and his wife is a native of Utahville, Clearfield County, Pa. In early life Mr. Chaplin was engaged in the lumber business in Clearfield County, later purchasing property in Cambria County, where he removed the pine trees, built a building known as the Alpine Hotel, which is still in use and occupied by Mrs. Chaplin at Flinton. The original name of the town was Flynn City, named after an uncle of I. M. Chaplin, James Flynn. To Mr. and Mrs. Chaplin the following children were born: Flynn Chaplin, deceased, buried at Janesville, Clearfield County, Pa.; A. V., a member of the Royal Flying Squadron in the World war, lives at Utahville; Mrs. Margaret Redfoot, lives at Windber, Pa.; Mrs. Helen White, lives at Altoona, Pa.; Mrs. Kathryne Bowers, and Miss Martha, live at Flinton, Pa. Mr. Chaplin died May 21, 1917, and is buried at Janesville, Pa. Mrs. Chaplin's great uncle, Col. Bruce Ricketts, served in the Revolutionary war.

I. M. Chaplin received his early education in the Flinton Grammar School and Reade Township High School. The first money he ever earned was as a helper on a drilling machine testing for coal in the Beaver Dams. Later he was employed as an apprentice boilermaker for the Cambria Steel Company, until he became an assistant to the circulation manager of the Johnstown Ledger, a daily paper. In 1914 Mr. Chaplin was granted a license to sell liquor at wholesale at Blandburg, Cambria County, and when the eighteenth amendment became effective he engaged in the taxi business for one year. In 1920 he was elected a member of the Legislature on the Republican ticket, and was re-elected in 1922. In 1924 Mr. Chaplin was a candidate for state senator but was defeated.

The Crystal Oil Company, whose offices are at 403 U. S. Bank Building, Johnstown, was established by Mr. Chaplin and incorporated in 1922, with the following officers: I. M. Chaplin, president; W. E. Engle, vice president; and I. Schmarin, secretary and treasurer. Later Mr. Engle resigned and William Lewis and H. B. Temko is vice president and treasurer. The company wholesales and retails gas and oil and has a large volume of business.

On Jan. 16, 1913, Mr. Chaplin was married to Miss Rosalia Gatins, a daughter of John and Kathryne (Kelly) Gatins, natives of County Cork, Ireland, and later residents of Johnstown. Mr. Gatin is deceased, and his wife resides at 763 Railroad Street, Johnstown. To Mr. and Mrs. I. M. Chaplin the following children were born: Mary Kathryne, born Oct. 19, 1914; William Flynn, born July 20, 1916; Rosalia, born June 13, 1918; John Isaac, born March 31, 1921; and Frank Kelly, born Dec. 7, 1923.

Mr. Chaplin is a Republican, a member of the Catholic Church, and belongs to the Elks and Moose clubs. He is a highly respected citizen of Johnstown and has many friends.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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