GEORGE W. CHAPMAN, counsellor and attorney-at-law at Canastota and a representative of one of the most distinguished pioneer families of Madison County, was born in Clockville, October 11, 1847. Though yet comparatively a young man, he has won for himself an enviable reputation in his profession, which is one of the most exacting in its demands upon the mental and physical equipment of its devotees. His father, William H. Chapman, who is still living at Clockville, this county, was born in 1813, and although past his eightieth year, is still actively pursuing his lifelong calling, that of a farmer. He is a son of Colonel Stephen Chapman, of Stonington, Conn., who, when a young man, removed with his wife from his native State to Clockville, Madison County, N.Y. Colonel Chapman was a lawyer by profession, and was also a surveyor, following both professions in this county for many years. He was a leading man of his section of the county, was a Colonel of the State militia, Postmaster of his village for several years, a thoroughly practical surveyor, and a successful lawyer. He was married twice, his second wife being Keturah Palmer, of Connecticut, by whom he reared a large family of sons and daughters, William H., the father of the subject of this sketch, being one of the eldest. Three of these children are still living, the others besides William H. being Mary Ann, widow of Conrad G. Moot, of Clockville, and Augusta, widow of Clinton L. Cotton, of Canastota. Colonel Chapman lived to a good old age, dying at the age of eighty; and his widow survived him some fifteen years. William H. Chapman married Mary Sayles, of Clockville, a daughter of Silas Sayles, one of the ancient pioneers of the county. She died at the age of thirty-three, leaving two children, George W. and A. F., the latter now living at Clockville. William H. Chapman was afterward married to Ann Taylor, of Auburn, who died in middle life, leaving no children.
George W. Chapman, like most boys of that day in his county, was reared to farm life until he was eighteen years old, having in the mean time received a good education in the district schools and at Cazenovia Seminary, which institution he attended for several terms, paying his way therein with five hundred dollars which he had inherited. At the age just mentioned he entered the law office of Chapman & Forbes, of Clockville, and, having successfully pursued the study of his future profession, was admitted to the bar in 1876, and immediately began the practice of his profession in the same office in which he had studied, as a member of the legal firm of Forbes & Chapman. In 1878 he removed to Canastota, where he has since been successfully engaged in practice. He has been twice elected and twice appointed to the office of justice of the Peace, and has four years of his second appointive term to serve, the length of his period of service in this responsible position being fully and amply indicative of the satisfaction he has given to his fellow-citizens by the manner of his performance of its duties.
Beginning life with little or no capital, Mr. Chapman has by his own unaided efforts won his way to an enviable position at the bar and a high place in the estimation of his fellow-citizens, and has also succeeded in accumulating a comfortable competence by the exercise of his profession. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, with which fraternity he has been connected since 1870, and is a member of Central City Commandery, No. 25, K. T., of Syracuse; of Mecca Temple, of New York City; also of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. For five successive years he has been Master of the Canastota Lodge, has served as High Priest of Doric Chapter of Oneida, and has for several years been District Deputy Grand Master. He is also an Odd Fellow, and was Grand Master of the State of New York during 1889 and 1890, and at the present time is Grand Representative of the State to the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States and Canada.
Mr. Chapman was married June 22, 1870, to Miss Sarah Wilcox, daughter of A. C. and Catharine (Huyck) Wilcox, both of Clockville, a fuller history of which family is contained in the sketch of A. C. Wilcox.
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