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CHAPMAN, Welcome - History of Welcome Chapman Sr.

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History of Welcome Chapman Sr.

As told by Samuel Welcome Chapman

He was born July 24, 1805 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Reedsbrough, Va. It was here that he spent his early boyhood. He was unable to attend school but his limited schooling did not stop him from learning the fundamental principles of school, such as reading, writing, spelling and mathematics. Many of his friends said he was a very good reader and speller.

In his later boyhood and early manhood days he was associated very much with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He not only played ball and other games with the Prophet but joined the church shortly after it was organized. In this way he worked with the prophet in a religious way.

It seems that before he was married he was sickly. He was invited to go with a fisherman on a boat as cook, and for six months at a time his life was spent on the ocean, while here he regained his health and had but very little sickness after that.

At the age of 26 he married Amiela Risley, there were eleven children born to them. Shortly after his marriage the saints began to be driven about by the mob. He was very active here in helping fight off the mobs. After the Saints settled in Kirtland, Ohio they built a temple, it was here that he labored cutting rock for the temple. Later on when the Saints were driven to Nauvoo and the temple there was built, again he labored as a stone cutter.

Then came the time when the Saints started their long trek across the plains. He with his family spent the first winter at Winter Quarters. During the winter he built a wagon to continue his journey across the plains and the next sprint with three oxen and a milk cow at the end of the wagon he and his family started out with a company of pioneers to cross the plains. This company of pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City in 1848. He lived here for a year and then moved to Manti, where he lived for 15 years. During this time he married four women, the first Ann Mackey, 2nd Katherine Stainer and from these two women were born 21 children, Ann having eleven and Katherine tine. The other two women being young girls, left him shortly after being married.

Eight of the fifteen years he spent in Manti he served as Stake President his counselors were Walter Cox (?) and Brother Wareham. After spending eight years as Stake President, Brigham Young called him on a mission to cut stone on the Salt Lake Temple, from the time he was 60 until he was 75 he cut stone on the temple, most all the time he worked here he had one or more sons working at the side of him. At one time there were seven sons and himself all cutting stone at the same time.

When he first moved to Salt Lake City he was quite poor, so he would haul wood form the mountains down to Fort Douglas where he would sell it, so by hauling wood and cutting stone he made a living, after he was unable to cut stone he lived here and there with his children and wives. At the age of 88 he rode a horse bare back for three miles to build a chimney on a house that belonged to his 3rd wife, Katherine, it seems that it was in the fall of the year and rather cold and he got chilled through while building the chimney, then rode the horse bare back home again and had to got to bed, it was not long until pneumonia set in and within a week he died. So ended the life of a man that brought a family of 32 children into the world, crossed the plains with a large family, cut stone for three of the nine Mormon Temples finished, served the church for many years as leader, was always glad and willing to give anything he had to help a person, he always told the truth and was often heard to say he owed no man money. His life can be summed up as one of helpfulness and service to mankind.

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This page has been accessed 4,647 times. This page was last modified on 27 August 2007, at 04:45.


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