El Dorado County
EMORY W. CHAPMAN
Occupying a distinguished position in connection with political affairs, and at the same time being a leading representative of mining interests, Emory W. Chapman is numbered among the valued citizens of El Dorado County, his home being near Placerville. Much of his life has been passed on the Pacific slope and, imbued with the true western spirit of progress and enterprise; he has made marked advancement in the affairs of life, actuated by strong determination and indefatigable industry. A man who can rise from the ranks to a position of affluence is he who can see and utilize the opportunities that surround his path. The essential conditions of human life are ever the same; the surroundings of individuals differ but slightly and when one passes another on the highway and reaches the goal of prosperity before others who perhaps started out in advance of him it is because he has the power to use advantages which probably encompass the whole human race. Today among the prominent businessmen of this section of the state stands Emory W. Chapman.
A native of Ohio, he was born in Allen County, on the 19th of April, 1844, and is of Scotch lineage, his ancestors dating their arrival in America from the time when the Pilgrims landed from the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock. His paternal grandfather, Jesse Chapman, was born in Ireland, but was of Scotch lineage, and Jesse Chapman, Jr., the father of our subject, was a native of Ohio, numbered among the prominent pioneer settlers of that state. He married Miss Hardesty and subsequently removed with his family to Wisconsin. In 1852, accompanied by his wife and their six sons and a daughter, he started for Oregon, and soon after their arrival the father died. His wife, a noble pioneer woman, is still living and now resides in Oakdale, California, in the ninety-third year of her age. All of her children yet survive, and through many years they have been actively identified with the progress and development of this portion of the country.
Emory W. Chapman was the fifth child in order of birth. He was educated in Olympia, Washington, and in 1861, at the time of the great gold excitement in Idaho, he went to that territory and engaged in placer mining in various claims. He also followed mining in Montana with good success, and in 1868 he came to Fresno County, California, where he was in charge of a large irrigating canal. In connection with this he likewise followed farming and stock raising. In 1889 he came to El Dorado County and has since been a prominent representative of the mining interests of this locality. He resides at Placerville and devotes his energies to the operation of the Rivera mine. He was interested in and had the management of the Taylor mine for nine years, which was a paying producer during all his connection with it. He was also interested in and managed the Lant Graff mine, which was very profitable, and was a stockholder in the Three Stars and the Golden Rule mines, but has disposed of his interest in both. He also developed the Gold Motto mine, and is now actively engaged in the development of the Garfield mine, in partnership with the Parker brothers. During his entire residence in El Dorado County he has been an important factor in the promotion of its mining interests, one of the leading industries of the state, contributing in a larger measure to the welfare and prosperity of the commonwealth than any other one industry.
In 1867 Mr. Chapman was united in marriage to Mrs. Miller, and unto them was born one son, Harry. The mother died in 1887 and the Senator has since remained single. His son is now a resident of San Francisco. In his political affiliations Mr. Chapman has been a life-long Democrat, and in 1896 he received the nomination of his party for state senator. He made a strong canvass of the district and won the election over a very talented competitor. He took his place in the upper branch of the general assembly and discharged his duties with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents, laboring earnestly for the adoption of all measures which he believed would prove of public good. He secured the passage of the bill for the appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars for the purpose of improving the grounds and Marshall Monument at Coloma. The work of improvement is badly needed there, but the bill was vetoed by the governor. Senator Chapman is a prominent Mason, belonging to the lodge chapter and commandery and also to the mystic shrine. He was appointed and has ably served as one of the commissioners of the Yosemite Valley for eight years and was one of the contractors that built the wagon road in the valley on the south. He is a gentleman of thorough mining experience and a most enterprising and progressive citizen. He has so conducted all affairs, whether of private interests or of public trusts, as to merit the esteem of all classes of citizens and no word of reproach has ever been uttered against him. He has done much for his adopted city and home and enjoys the added prosperity which comes to those genial spirits who have a hearty appreciation for all with whom they may come in contact from day to day and who seem to throw around them in consequence so much of the sunshine of life.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2011 Gerald Iaquinta.