Bio: Chappell, Addison (1914)


Surnames: Chappell, Quick, Williams, Pease, Adams, Van Hovenberg, Tainter, Frink, Sergeant, Collins, Gifford, Chapin

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 670-672

Addison D. Chappell, who for many years has been prominent among the leading citizens of Eau Claire, is a native of Ohio and was born in Kingsville, Ashtabula county, February 14, 1838, the son of Harvey M. and Mary (Williams) Chappell, and is of French, Irish and English descent. In 1846 his parents with a family of fourteen children, came west to Illinois and settled in Elgin, where the father with the older brothers were engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, and later took up farming near Elgin until 1852, when the family moved to Kingston, Marquette county, Wisconsin. There they resumed their farming operations which the father followed until his death in 1861. Of their twelve children who grew to maturity nine are deceased, as follows: Julia, married Abel D. Gifford, of Elgin, Illinois; Chaumcey C., soldier in the Civil War; Jane L., was the wife of Rev. George Chapin; Roderick C.; Eunice, married Henry Quick; Edward S., who was a soldier in the Civil War; C. Walter; Lee, soldier in the Civil War, and Adeline, deceased wife of Austin Collins. The surviving members of the family are Addison D., the subject of this sketch; Miranda, married Lorenzo Frink, and Sophia, who married Marshall Sergeant.

Addison D. Chappell received a common school education with, finally, one school year, 1856-7 at Elgin Academy of Elgin, Ill.; and this Mr. Chappell remarks was the first year of the existence of this school; the same now being an important branch of the Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill. He subsequently was employed in general merchandising stores from Spring of 1857 to Spring of ’58 in Kingston and Portage City, Wis.; and from the latter date to the Spring of 1859 was employed at a saw mill in Wausau, Wis., and graduated in the lumber business by pulling a raft oar from Wausau on the Wisconsin river to Canton, Mo., on the Mississippi river, at which place he, with his business associates, disposed of their lumber, which run “one-third clear” at the price of $11 per 1,000 feet, and even at this low price they were obliged to stay on the spot for two weeks in order to get their money.

In June 1859, Mr. Chappell landed from the steamer Chippewa Falls (Captain Tainter on the bridge) at Eau Claire, worked on the Pease farm until Fall, and taught school in the Robbins District the following Winter. In 1860 he purchased 160 acres of land on Truax Prairie in Chippewa County from the government, paying for same $1.25 per acre, the ancient pre-emption homestead law being then in force. He cleared and improved a goodly portion of it and resided there four years; he taught school in that neighborhood the following Winters of 60-61 and 61-62 and was the last town school supterintendent of the town of Wheaton under the old school laws of the state of Wisconsin. In the Fall of 1864 he moved to the then village of Eau Claire City and was engaged in the grocery business with the late H. C. Van Hovenberg for one year. He then went to Hammond, Wisconsin, where for three years he followed general merchandising and for the next fourteen years associated with his former partner Mr. Van Hovenberg under the firm name of Chappell & Company, being successfully engaged in the farm implement business. In 1883 he embarked in the real estate and brokerage business in which he was engaged until 1903, since which time he has given his attention to his personal affairs. A man of foresight and good judgment, and being convinced of the future greatness of Eau Claire, he invested largely in real estate and in 1871 he with Mr. Van Hovenberg, erected the Chappell block, one of the principal business blocks in the city. During thirty-four years of his residence in Eau Claire he resided on the present site of the Eau Claire County Training School.

In 1860 Mr. Chappell married Aurelia B. Pease, daughter of Joseph and Cynthia Ann (Hunt) Pease, one of the pioneer families of Eau Claire. To Mr. and Mrs. Chappell were born eight children, five of whom survive, as follows: Ora A., a physician and doctor of dental surgery, at Elgin, Illinois; Edith E., now Mrs. H. E. Adams, of Tampa, Florida, a graduate of Cumnock School of Oratory, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; Otis E., a dentist in St. Paul, Minneosta; Earl H., also a dentist located at Dodge Center, Minnesota, and Ruby Belle, a graduate of Wisconsin State University, who resides at home.

The great grandfather of Mr. Chappell was a French Hugunot and his grandfather, Walter Chappell, was a blacksmith by trade, which he followed almost up to the time of his death, near Rome, New York, at the age of 96 years. Mr. Chappell is a man of fine personality, genial, companionable, warm-hearted and friendly and has always held the confidence and esteem of his acquaintances. He is the oldest living member of the Lake Street M.E. church, of Eau Claire, and in politics is a Republican.



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