Welcome Chapman (1805 - 1893)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Reedsboro, Bennington, Vt
Death: Died in Fountain Green, Sanpete, Utah, United States
Managed by: GM
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About Welcome Chapman

This life story of Welcome Chapman was found on Ancestry.com on a page compiled by a descendent of Welcome and Susan Amelia‘s daughter Rosetta and her husband, Jerome Kempton. We are descended from Jerome Kempton and Amelia Chapman, who was Rosetta’s sister and Jerome’s second plural wife. I’m seeking contact with the compiler to obtain the sources.

Welcome Chapman (July 24, 1805 - December 9, 1893) was an early Mormon leader born in Readsboro, Vermont. Chapman was the leader of the Mormon settlers in Manti, Utah, from 1854 to 1862, and helped broker peace between the settlers and Chief Wakara’s tribe.

Chapman was born in 1805 in a southern Vermont settlement founded by his grandfather. Fellow Mormon leader Brigham Young was born a few miles up the river years earlier. Chapman was sickly as a child, so his parents sent him at an early age to work on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic, which helped his health considerably.

Marriage and Conversion:

Chapman married Susan Amelia Risley (1807-1888) in about 1831 and they made their home in a hamlet known as Hubbardsville in Madison County, New York where they had their first four children, all daughters. The first was a pair of twins who died in infancy.

While in Hubbardsville, they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. First Welcome joined, to which Amelia reacted harshly, declaring “You have went and joined those awful Mormons.” However, she joined the church about six months later.

Soon, persecution against them began and their friends and neighbors shunned them and looked down on them. This was especially difficult for Amelia, as she came from a prominent family in Madison County.

Amelia’s parents were broken-hearted over their daughter joining this new, unpopular religion, but they did not turn bitter. However, Chapman’s family disowned him. The Chapmans soon moved to a Latter Day Saint community, possibly in Kirtland, Ohio, but by 1838 in Missouri.

Armed mobs drove the Chapmans from their homes in Missouri and Illinois. They built a home in Far West, Missouri, in 1838, only to be forced from the state by order of the governor that Fall. Amelia was six month’s’ pregnant when a mob gave the Chapmans and their Mormon neighbors a few hours to clear out before their homes would be burned. They remained in the area long enough for Amelia to carry the baby, a son, to full term. He was born two weeks after the Haun’ s Mill Massacre. They soon fled to Illinois, where they built a home in Nauvoo along the banks of the Mississippi River and Chapman cut stone for the Nauvoo Temple. While in Nauvoo, Amelia had three more children, all sons, one of whom died at three months.

Chapman was part of the Maid of Iowa expedition sent in support of Joseph Smith when an armed company of men from Missouri were sent to kidnap him.

Mobs drove them from Nauvoo in 1846, when they fled with most other Nauvoo residents across the river to Iowa, and then on to what later became known as Winter Quarters, an unsettled area along the Missouri River in present-day eastern Nebraska, where Amelia gave birth to another daughter in October 1846. Two months earlier, Brigham Young divided the Winter Quarters settlement into two “grand divisions” presided over by himself and Heber C. Kimball, respectively. Each division had two subdivisions presided over by a foreman. Chapman was foreman of the fourth subdivision, with Hosea Stout serving as its clerk. In the summer of 1848, the Chapmans crossed the plains with their six surviving children to what later became Utah Territory.

Settling Utah

The Chapmans had their final child, a son named Welcome Chapman, Jr., in the Salt Lake Valley in Fall 1849. About the same time, Brigham Young asked Chapman to help colonize the Sanpitch (now Sanpete) Valley with Isaac Morley. They arrived in November 1849 and endured a harsh winter with little shelter. Chapman was part of the first militia of Manti and used his stone cutting skills to help construct the first fort. He was also among the first group of selectmen. The young colony experienced great difficulties, but gradually began to prosper.

On April 30, 1851, Brigham Young called Chapman to be part of the first High Council of the Manti Area Branch in Manti, Utah. On July 8, 1854, the High Council installed Chapman as the colony leader, replacing Isaac Morley, who had been “called to Salt Lake”. The next day, the settlers unanimously approved him as their leader. Later that month, on July 27, a stake was organized and Chapman was chosen as its president. That same day, the Mormons baptized Chief Wakara into the LDS Church in Manti’s City Creek, along with 120 other members of his tribe (103 males, 17 females).

Amelia was born into a family of seven girls and five boys on a flax farm in upstate New York. Her mother taught the girls reading and mathematics, as well as how to cord, spin and weave wool and linen. When the Chapmans first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, Amelia turned most of the housework over to her 12- and 14-year-old daughters while she focused on weaving Linsey-Woolsey cloth, which the young community badly needed. Contemporary accounts consider Amelia an excellent cook and housekeeper and an authority on herbal medicine. She served as a practical doctor and nurse to “neighbors for many miles around” and as a midwife. She assisted in the births of some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was more educated than her husband, which helped him during his active public life. After the Chapmans relocated to Manti, Brigham Young and other authorities from Salt Lake made the Chapman home, which was better furnished than most neighbors, their headquarters when visiting Sanpete.

After Wakara’s death in 1855, Wakara’s brother, Arapeen, succeeded him as war chief. Although the brief Wakara War was over, tensions between the Mormons and the Ute Indians in Sanpete still existed. In early 1857 Arapeen reported having a vision in which Wakara came to him with a message of peace. In the vision Wakara instructed him to pass the message on to Chapman and two others. B.H. Roberts believed it was the peace that ensued that enabled Arapeen to accompany Brigham Young on an expedition to make peace with the Bannocks in what is now Idaho.

In Manti, Chapman practiced plural marriage. He married Ann Mackey on October 5, 1855, and Catherine Stainer on March 5, 1856. He had a large family with each of these women, in addition to the family he had with Amelia. (He also possibly married two women who left him shortly thereafter.) Chapman was a founding owner of the San Pete Coal Company, incorporated by act of the Territorial Legislature on January 8, 1856.

After serving as the leader in Manti for eight years, Brigham Young called him to Salt Lake City to cut stone for the Salt Lake Temple, where Chapman often worked with a son at his side, at one time working alongside seven of his sons. He worked on the temple, “from the bottom to the top,” through at least 1880, including during times the church could not pay. He earned supplemental income in Salt Lake City by cutting and hauling wood to Fort Douglas, where he sold it to the soldiers.

In late November to early December 1893, at the age of 88, Chapman reportedly rode a horse bareback for three miles to build a chimney on the house of his third wife, Catherine. Chilled through after building the chimney and riding home again through the cold, he developed pneumonia. Chapman died soon thereafter in Fountain Green, Utah on December 9, 1893, and was buried in Manti, Utah.

-------------------- This life story of Welcome Chapman was found on Ancestry.com on a page compiled by a descendent of Welcome and Susan Amelia‘s daughter Rosetta and her husband, Jerome Kempton. We are descended from Jerome Kempton and Amelia Chapman, who was Rosetta’s sister and Jerome’s second plural wife. I’m seeking contact with the compiler to obtain the sources.

Welcome Chapman (July 24, 1805 - December 9, 1893) was an early Mormon leader born in Readsboro, Vermont. Chapman was the leader of the Mormon settlers in Manti, Utah, from 1854 to 1862, and helped broker peace between the settlers and Chief Wakara’s tribe.

Chapman was born in 1805 in a southern Vermont settlement founded by his grandfather. Fellow Mormon leader Brigham Young was born a few miles up the river years earlier. Chapman was sickly as a child, so his parents sent him at an early age to work on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic, which helped his health considerably.

Marriage and Conversion:

Chapman married Susan Amelia Risley (1807-1888) in about 1831 and they made their home in a hamlet known as Hubbardsville in Madison County, New York where they had their first four children, all daughters. The first was a pair of twins who died in infancy.

While in Hubbardsville, they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. First Welcome joined, to which Amelia reacted harshly, declaring “You have went and joined those awful Mormons.” However, she joined the church about six months later.

Soon, persecution against them began and their friends and neighbors shunned them and looked down on them. This was especially difficult for Amelia, as she came from a prominent family in Madison County.

Amelia’s parents were broken-hearted over their daughter joining this new, unpopular religion, but they did not turn bitter. However, Chapman’s family disowned him. The Chapmans soon moved to a Latter Day Saint community, possibly in Kirtland, Ohio, but by 1838 in Missouri.

Armed mobs drove the Chapmans from their homes in Missouri and Illinois. They built a home in Far West, Missouri, in 1838, only to be forced from the state by order of the governor that Fall. Amelia was six month’s’ pregnant when a mob gave the Chapmans and their Mormon neighbors a few hours to clear out before their homes would be burned. They remained in the area long enough for Amelia to carry the baby, a son, to full term. He was born two weeks after the Haun’ s Mill Massacre. They soon fled to Illinois, where they built a home in Nauvoo along the banks of the Mississippi River and Chapman cut stone for the Nauvoo Temple. While in Nauvoo, Amelia had three more children, all sons, one of whom died at three months.

Chapman was part of the Maid of Iowa expedition sent in support of Joseph Smith when an armed company of men from Missouri were sent to kidnap him.

Mobs drove them from Nauvoo in 1846, when they fled with most other Nauvoo residents across the river to Iowa, and then on to what later became known as Winter Quarters, an unsettled area along the Missouri River in present-day eastern Nebraska, where Amelia gave birth to another daughter in October 1846. Two months earlier, Brigham Young divided the Winter Quarters settlement into two “grand divisions” presided over by himself and Heber C. Kimball, respectively. Each division had two subdivisions presided over by a foreman. Chapman was foreman of the fourth subdivision, with Hosea Stout serving as its clerk. In the summer of 1848, the Chapmans crossed the plains with their six surviving children to what later became Utah Territory.

Settling Utah

The Chapmans had their final child, a son named Welcome Chapman, Jr., in the Salt Lake Valley in Fall 1849. About the same time, Brigham Young asked Chapman to help colonize the Sanpitch (now Sanpete) Valley with Isaac Morley. They arrived in November 1849 and endured a harsh winter with little shelter. Chapman was part of the first militia of Manti and used his stone cutting skills to help construct the first fort. He was also among the first group of selectmen. The young colony experienced great difficulties, but gradually began to prosper.

On April 30, 1851, Brigham Young called Chapman to be part of the first High Council of the Manti Area Branch in Manti, Utah. On July 8, 1854, the High Council installed Chapman as the colony leader, replacing Isaac Morley, who had been “called to Salt Lake”. The next day, the settlers unanimously approved him as their leader. Later that month, on July 27, a stake was organized and Chapman was chosen as its president. That same day, the Mormons baptized Chief Wakara into the LDS Church in Manti’s City Creek, along with 120 other members of his tribe (103 males, 17 females).

Amelia was born into a family of seven girls and five boys on a flax farm in upstate New York. Her mother taught the girls reading and mathematics, as well as how to cord, spin and weave wool and linen. When the Chapmans first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, Amelia turned most of the housework over to her 12- and 14-year-old daughters while she focused on weaving Linsey-Woolsey cloth, which the young community badly needed. Contemporary accounts consider Amelia an excellent cook and housekeeper and an authority on herbal medicine. She served as a practical doctor and nurse to “neighbors for many miles around” and as a midwife. She assisted in the births of some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was more educated than her husband, which helped him during his active public life. After the Chapmans relocated to Manti, Brigham Young and other authorities from Salt Lake made the Chapman home, which was better furnished than most neighbors, their headquarters when visiting Sanpete.

After Wakara’s death in 1855, Wakara’s brother, Arapeen, succeeded him as war chief. Although the brief Wakara War was over, tensions between the Mormons and the Ute Indians in Sanpete still existed. In early 1857 Arapeen reported having a vision in which Wakara came to him with a message of peace. In the vision Wakara instructed him to pass the message on to Chapman and two others. B.H. Roberts believed it was the peace that ensued that enabled Arapeen to accompany Brigham Young on an expedition to make peace with the Bannocks in what is now Idaho.

In Manti, Chapman practiced plural marriage. He married Ann Mackey on October 5, 1855, and Catherine Stainer on March 5, 1856. He had a large family with each of these women, in addition to the family he had with Amelia. (He also possibly married two women who left him shortly thereafter.) Chapman was a founding owner of the San Pete Coal Company, incorporated by act of the Territorial Legislature on January 8, 1856.

After serving as the leader in Manti for eight years, Brigham Young called him to Salt Lake City to cut stone for the Salt Lake Temple, where Chapman often worked with a son at his side, at one time working alongside seven of his sons. He worked on the temple, “from the bottom to the top,” through at least 1880, including during times the church could not pay. He earned supplemental income in Salt Lake City by cutting and hauling wood to Fort Douglas, where he sold it to the soldiers.

In late November to early December 1893, at the age of 88, Chapman reportedly rode a horse bareback for three miles to build a chimney on the house of his third wife, Catherine. Chilled through after building the chimney and riding home again through the cold, he developed pneumonia. Chapman died soon thereafter in Fountain Green, Utah on December 9, 1893, and was buried in Manti, Utah.

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Welcome Chapman's Timeline

1805
July 24, 1805
Reedsboro, Bennington, Vt
1831
1831
Age 25
Madison, New York, USA
1833
March 28, 1833
Age 27
Hubbardsville,Madison,New York
March 28, 1833
Age 27
Hubbardsville,Madison,New York
1834
September 4, 1834
Age 29
Hubbardsville,Madison,New York
1837
March 20, 1837
Age 31
Madison,Madison,New York
1838
November 17, 1838
Age 33
Far West, Caldwell, Missouri,, USA
1841
October 3, 1841
Age 36
Nauvoo,Hancock,Illinois
1843
August 12, 1843
Age 38
Nauvoo,Hancock,Illinois
1845
April 20, 1845
Age 39
Nauvoo,Hancock,Illinois