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Chappell's of Union City, Canadian County

James Chappell Family of Union City
Beginning of 20th Century

The Twentieth Century began on a Tuesday. On that day, all 14 members of theJames Chappell family were living on the Chappell homestead near Union Cityin Canadian County, Oklahoma Territory. James was 47 years old and his wifeMary Amanda (Mandy) Bowen Chappell was 42 years old. The twelve childrenranged from William who was 25 years old to 3 year old Bertha. AndrewChappell, a younger brother of James, was living nearby. Neighbors were theJacksons, Biswells, Kilkers, Andersons and Kirkpatricks.
The family was working hard to establish their 160 acre farm at SW , of Sec. 13, Township 11 N, Range 8 West. James and son William were farming 135acres of land that had been uncultivated prairie land until six years prior.The older girls-22 year old Addie, 20 year old Betty and 18 year old Lola,helped their mother with the many household chores. Attending school at theRiverview School which was a mile down the road was 16 year old Minnie, 14 year old Cleaveland (Bud), 13 year old James, 11 year old Maud, 9 year oldPearl, and 6 year Stephen. Eva was 4 and Bertha was 3 years old.

Arrive in Oklahoma 1894

The family had been on their farm since March of 1894. They had traveled(probably by covered wagons) from Springtown (near Weatherford) Texas. Theybrought supplies, tools and household goods to sustain their large familyuntil they could harvest a cash crop and build a house (32x32) and barn. Asearly settlers in Canadian County, they were very isolated and needed toprovide for all their needs. Left behind was oldest son William who wasworking and sending money for their support the first few months.Chappell Homestead

The Chappell homestead was part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Lands that wereopened in the Land Run of 1892. It appears that the Chappells may have sentsomeone ahead to make the run and stake a claim. Andrew Chappell, theyounger brother of James, made the run and staked a claim for himself.Bollie Franklin, who was probably related to Mary Amanda Bowen Chappellthrough her sister Bellzora Bowen Franklin, staked a claim on April 22,1892. On March 2, 1894 Franklin walked into the land office at El Reno andrelinquished his claim. Directly behind him was James Chappell filing forthe claim. On October 26, 1900 President McKinley signed the land patent andthe farm, which turned out to be excellent farmland, belonged to theChappells. Albert Armstrong, Jeff Smith, Andrew Chappell, and John Courtney,who all resided in Union City, were witnesses.

Eva, Bertha, and Lois were all born after the family moved to OklahomaTerritory and an infant was born in 1903 and died.

Children Marry

Early in the 1900’s the older Chappell children began to marry. Williammarried Susie Kirkpatrick, Addie married J.W. Culwell and moved back toSpringtown, TX , Bettie married Aldis Steven, Lola Mae married WilliamKirkpatrick, Minnie married Blaine Anderson, Bud married Ella Biswell, andJames married Dora Stevens.

By 1910 there were only six children living at home. Maude was 21, Pearl 19,Steve was 17 and working on the farm, Eva 14, Bertha 12, and Lois 8 wereattending school. Andrew Chappell, the Bollingers, McIntyres, and Brownswere neighbors. Maude married Jesse Smith, and Pearl married Gus Zilsdorf.James Chappell DiesJames Chappell at the age of 59 developed stomach cancer and was treated byDr. D.P. Richardson. On February 21, 1913, knowing he was in ill health,James made out his will appointing his oldest son William Administrator ofhis estate. He left each child $1, and left his beloved wife , Mary, theremainder of his estate to be utilized during her lifetime and then dividedbetween his children. On March 12, 1913, he died at his home. Not countingthe 160 acre farm, the estate of James Chappell was worth approximately$1500 at the time of his death. The funeral was held at the M.E. Church atUnion City on March 13 and he was buried at the Union City Cemetery. He wasone month short of being 60 when he died.

Mary Chappell Lives 20 Years As Widow

Mary Chappell was left a widow at the age of 54. Steve who was 19 ran thefarm. Eva was almost 18, Bertha was almost 16, and Lois was 11 when theirfather died. Many family gatherings continued to take place at the Chappellfarm. With the exception of Addie who was living in Springtown, Texas, allthe children and their families lived in Oklahoma. Thanksgiving was afavorite reunion time.Eventually, the younger children married and established homes. Stevemarried Pearl Newton, Eva married Johnnie Dunkle, Bertha married WesleyBennett, and Lois married Guy Knarr. On the 1920 Census, Mary Chappell waslisted as living with Lois and Guy Knarr in El Reno, OK. On May 23, 1933Mary Chappell died at the age of 74. Funeral services were held at the FirstBaptist Church with Rev. J.M. Barker and she was buried beside JamesChappell at the Union City Cemetery.

Chappell Farm Sold

The Chappell farm was sold in 1935 to the Hurst family for the sum of $8300.It had been home for 41 years to the Chappell family since they came fromTexas and homesteaded in 1894. The family had worked hard. It was aproductive farm. Four children had been born there and one had died.Thirteen children had lived there and left to establish homes of their own.James Chappell died there. Mary Chappell lived there as a widow raising herfamily. Adult children and their families gathered there for Thanksgivingand other occasions.
The twentieth century ends on a Friday and none of the Chappells will beliving on the farm near Union City in Canadian County, Oklahoma. They are all gone, but not forgotten by their many descendants.