My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Camden County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

L. P. Chalfant is a son of David H. and grandson of David Chalfant, of Chester County, Penn., the latter being of Quaker origin, who was drafted to serve in the Revolutionary War. The Quakers being opposed to fighting, a dispute arose between his parents and the man he was bound out to as to who would pay the penalty of the draft, when he ran away and joined Washington’s army at Valley Forge, and was severely wounded at the battle of Brandywine, from the effects of which he died at the age of seventy-eight years. He was born in Chester County, Penn., but moved to and reared his family in Fayette County, and there followed the occupations of farming and blacksmithing. His son, David H. Chalfant, was his third child, and spent his life in Fayette County, dying in 1875. He and wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Patterson, became the parents of seven daughters and two sons, only two of the family being now alive: L. P., and Martha, wife of H. C. Gearing, residents of Pittsburg, Penn. Mrs. Chalfant, who was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died in 1852; was a daughter of Col. Robert Patterson, a native of Pennsylvania, who obtained his title in the War of 1812, being a colonel under Gen. W. H. Harrison. His family consisted of five children, four daughters and one son, whom he reared in Fayette County, Penn. He represented that county a number of years in the State Legislature. L. P. Chalfant, whose name heads this sketch, was born in Fayette County, Penn., in 1822, and remained under the home roof until about twenty years of age, when he went to Pittsburg, and began working at his trade, that of blacksmithing, which he had previously learned, but after a short time hired out as a deck hand on the steamboat “Mayflower,” and afterward became fireman on the “Expert” under his uncle. He went up the Arkansas River to Little Rock, where he gave up his position on the boat, and resumed work at his trade in a foundry, continuing there about thirteen months, then rejoined the ‘‘Expert’’ as assistant engineer, and returned to Pittsburg in the spring of 1844. He afterward worked on the steamer “Majestic,” running between Pittsburg, Penn., and Cincinnati, Ohio, during the summer, and in the fall he went back to the Arkansas River again on the steamer “Archer.” In the following spring he returned to Pittsburg; boated on the Ohio River during the summer, when he went with the steamer “Archer” to St. Louis, where the boat ran for a while on the Upper Mississippi. Late in the fall he went up the Missouri River, where he spent the winter of 1845-46, and arrived at St. Louis in the spring. From 1846 to 1855 he was engaged as engineer on various boats, and running on all the principal rivers emptying into the Mississippi, making his home at St. Louis until 1855, when he came to Linn Creek, and worked for McClurg, Murphy & Co. until 1862, and two years later returned to steam-boating on the Mississippi River, being connected with the boat “Minnehaha.” At a later period he returned to Linn Creek on the “Zouave,” and a short time afterward purchased his present farm, and on which he has since lived. He helped to build the steamer “Emma” for Draper, McClurg & Co., which boat he managed for about ten years, and also made trips on other boats for this company. In the fall of 1847 he made trips up the Osage River on the “St. Louis Oak,” and is one of the oldest Missouri River engineers now living. When the war broke out he enlisted in the Forty-seventh Enrolled Missouri Militia, of which he was captain and adjutant, and was also captain of the Ninth Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, and during his two years’ service was in no regular engagement. He served as Deputy United States Marshal under Mr. Sitton in 1861, and under Mr. Wallace in 1862. In March, 1848, he was married to Maria Russell, in St. Louis, who was born in Philadelphia, Penn., and was brought to St. Louis, Mo., when about four years of age, where she was reared to maturity. Her father, Isaiah Russell, was an old steamboat pilot and mate between St. Louis and New Orleans, and was pilot on the gun-boat “Essex,” his son James being on the “Arkansas” when they had a fight below Vicksburg. The former was victorious, and the father saw his son crawl up the bank, as his boat struck the shore, and make his escape. Mr. Chalfant and wife became the parents of seven sons and four daughters, all of the latter dying in childhood save Joan Hester, who lived to be fourteen years of age. The sons’ names are as follows: Joab V., James L., Henry W., William D., Edward C., Francis A. and George R. Mr. Chalfant is a Republican in politics, originally a Whig, and was a delegate to the State convention, in 1870, at Jefferson City, and at St. Louis, Mo., in 1872. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and is temperate in his habits.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 46 biographies included in The History of Camden County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Camden County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Camden County, Missouri family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.