Early History of Chapman
by Frank W. Blackmar (1912)
Chapman, an incorporated city of Dickinson county, is located on the Smoky Hill river, just above the mouth of Chapman creek, and is a station on the Union Pacific R. R. 11 miles east of Abilene, the county seat. The first settlement was made at Chapman in 1868, and the same year Jackman's mill was built on Chapman creek a little northeast of the present town. James Streeter and S. M. Strickler laid out the town in 1871 and the growth has been steady from that time to the present.
Chapman has 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Advertiser), a flour mill, some well stocked mercantile establishments, churches of the leading denominations, an international money order postoffice with four rural routes, express and telegraph offices, telephone connections, a fine public school system and the county high school. It is the most important shipping point between Abilene and Junction City, and in 1910 reported a population of 781.
Additional Early History of Chapman
by William G. Cutler (1883)
This is the name of a small town on the Kansas Pacific Railway, and situated on the north bank of the Smoky Hill River. It is two miles north and ten miles east of Abilene, and about one-half mile west of the point where Chapman Creek empties into the Smoky Hill River. The town site comprises the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter, and lot No. 2, in Section 32, and a part of lot No. 1 in Section 31, Township 12, Range 4 east. The land thus described belonged to James Streeter and S. M. Strickler, who, in 1871, had it surveyed and platted into blocks, lots, streets and alleys, the surveying and platting having been done by E. C. Smeed.
To the place thus described and platted was given the name of Chapman. During the eleven years of its existence its growth has been exceedingly slow, the present population not being more than between two and three hundred. It is surrounded by a beautiful and well settled country, but in a business point of view its location is bad. Twelve miles west of it is Abilene, the county seat of Dickinson county, and the same distance east is Junction City, the county seat of Davis County, with other smaller towns about midway between these points. The place, however, has several stores, and, considering the number of competing points surrounding it, does a very fair business.
About three-fourths of a mile northeast of this town, on Chapman Creek, and about a mile and a half from the mouth of the creek, there is a grist mill, known as Jackman's mill, which was erected in 1868. If a good surrounding country makes a good town, then Chapman ought to be it, the trade of which is contended for by other points. Before the present town of Chapman had an existence, there was a place known by that name, although to give it a definite location is difficult, as the name applied to all the territory bordering on the creek of that name. Evidence, however, seems to establish the fact that the name applied to the high ground north of the present town-site, as there were a few houses there, and in fact, a small store, the present town not having been located until some years after the advent of the railway.
This town has four mercantile retail stores which do a general business, neither of which is confined to any one particular line of goods. It has also a drug store, a hardware store, a lumber yard, one hotel, and one good livery stable. It has an elevator with a capacity of about ten thousand bushels. About three years ago a very fine stone schoolhouse was built in town at a cost of about $4,000, and while it is not a large building, it is sufficiently commodious for the wants of the community. In the town proper there are two churches, one Methodist and one Catholic, the latter, however, not yet quite finished.
In 1880 the Methodists erected a church which was blown down and completely destroyed in the spring of 1882, with considerable other property in town. They lost not time, however, but immediately commenced to erect another which has been very recently completed, and was dedicated on Sunday, November 26, 1882, Rev. E. W. Van Deventer of Abilene preaching the dedicatory sermon. The Catholics have nearly completed a magnificent stone church, which will be ready for occupancy early in 1883. It is a grand edifice and a great improvement to the town and has been erected at a cost of $20,000.
The place never could have been very pretentious, because in all the contests that have taken place for the county seat, the records fail to show among the contestants the name of Chapman. While the place is known as Chapman by the people of the county, and is always referred to by this name, it is not the name given to it by railway officials, and when announcing the place on the trains, conductors and brakesmen call out Hazleton, but no such place as Hazleton appears either on the map or the records of the county.
Chapman is located at 38°58'18N, 97°1'18W (38.971772, -97.021791). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,900 people, 800 households, and 848 families residing in the city. The population density was 630.5/km² (1,627.4/mi²). There were 534 housing units at an average density of 271.3/km² (700.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.76% White, 8.48% African American, 4.97% Native American, 1.40% Asian, 1.00% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 2.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.98% of the population.
There were 488 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,000, and the median income for a family was $44,063. Males had a median income of $30,536 versus $22,891 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,842. About 0.3% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.2% of those under age 18 and 0.1% of those age 65 or over.
Famous People from Chapman
Joseph Henry Engle: Space Shuttle astronaut