Caleb P. Chapman
Caleb Peacock Chapman was raised as a Methodist, but came to understand that we can be Christians only and that immersion is a part of the salvation process. He was baptized by his cousin, Elijah Goodwin in 1838. (Elijah Goodwin's mother was Mary Polly Chapman.) He immediately wanted to tell others what he had done and began preparing to preach the gospel of Christ.
Caleb Chapman was ordained to the ministry at the church at Cynthiana, Indiana and continued preaching for most of the years of his life. He purchased and farmed 40 acres near Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas. He sold this prior to coming over the Oregon Trail in 1848. William Porter of Aumsville was a member of the same overland party.
Caleb Chapman had married Elizabeth Smith of Bedford County, Virginia when he was 32 years old. The wedding was held in Arkansas.
Upon arriving in Marion County, the Chapman family farmed the land where the Rickey Schoolhouse was later built, close to Macleay Road SE, east of Salem. He may have been a moving force in establishing the long-forgotten Antioch Church, just three miles east of Rickey on Howell Prairie Road.
Click here for details about the Antioch Church.
About this time, he wrote to the Christian Record:
I have been proclaiming the glad tidings to the best of my ability, for some 18 months, in this new country, and during that time we have organized several congregations, numbering some thirty members, some more and some less, and besides these I have had the pleasure of baptizing many penitent believers throughout the country, and have obtained quite a number of proselytes from the sects.
Later he took a Donation Land Claim of 456 acres on Howell Prairie, northeast of Salem. It was located at the northwest corner of Howell Prairie Road and Lardon Road, with the main portion along Lardon. His DLC document was affirmed by Noah Powell.
In 1851, preacher Chapman was involved in establishing the Bethany Church near Silverton. The founding covenant of the church shows the flavor of the times:
Oregon territory, Marion County, April 1851.
Abbott Levi Todd and Angeline Todd were members in those earliest days. She was baptized into Christ at Bethany. They later settled in Douglas County and finished out their days serving the Lord there.
The Chapmans sold the farm and settled in Salem in 1862. He became an elder at First Christian Church in Salem, along with Governor George L. Woods.
His obituary says, "Mr. Chapman's nature was kind and generous and charitably inclined toward the frailties of his fellow creatures."
Caleb and Elizabeth are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Salem.
Caleb P. Chapman (1810-) & Elizabeth Smith (1819-) | John Aurelis Chapman (1853-) & Lucy Althena Barnum | Harriett (Hattie) Chapman & Charles Bowker | Harriett (Hattie) Chapman & Thomas B. Jackson | Caleb A. Chapman | Sadie Chapman & David McFadden