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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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.

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HENRY CHAPEL, one of the Missouri Pacific's most popular engineers, and a well known citizen of Sedalia, was born in Great Barrington, Mass., October 28, 1839. He belongs to a family that originated in England, and has been represented in America since Colonial days. His paternal grandfather, a native of Rhode Island, removed thence to Massachusetts, where his remaining years were spent. During the Revolutionary War he enlisted in the Colonial army, and served faithfully, enduring all the vicissitudes of the patriots and sharing their hardships.

The father of our subject, Stephen H. Chapel, was born in Rhode Island, but grew to manhood in Massachusetts, where he learned the trade of a pattern-maker, and engaged in the manufacture of gauges. Later in life he came to Missouri and settled in Dresden Township, Pettis County, where he lived in retirement until his death, at the age of seventy-six. He was a man of the strictest sense of honor and most correct principles of life, and his upright spirit won for him the regard of his associates. While he was unable to give his children many advantages, he trained them, both by example and precept, for positions of usefulness and honor in the business and social world.

Through his maternal ancestors our subject traces his lineage to Scotland. His grandfather, Capt. Thomas Baker, spent his entire life in New England, and his occupation was that of a whaler. While serving as Captain of a ship, he was lost at sea, the vessel being wrecked in a storm. His daughter, Alice, our subject's mother, was born in Nantucket, Mass., and died in Pettis County, Mo., in 1890, aged eighty-eight. She was a woman of great piety and was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The family of Stephen H. and Alice Chapel consisted of thirteen children, all but one of whom attained years of maturity, but only five are now living. One of the sons, Charles F., was a midshipman in the navy during the Civil War, and died on board a flagship. Another son, Thomas A., who is now a resident of Sedalia, served as a Lieutenant in a Missouri regiment during the Civil War. Our subject was reared in Massachusetts, and after completing the studies of the common schools he entered the academy at South Adams, where he remained until nineteen years of age. He was then apprenticed to the machinist's trade, in the Troy & Boston Railroad shops, where he remained for three years, and afterward secured a position as fireman on the same road. Later, until 1865, he was employed on the Hoosac Tunnel Railroad, and then went to New York City, where he was Master Mechanic on the Brooklyn & Coney Island Road.

It was in 1867 that Mr. Chapel came to Missouri and settled in Sedalia, where he has since made his home. He was one of the first engineers on the Missouri, Kansas c& Texas Railroad, and for a number of years ran Engine No. 34, continuing with the company until February, 1876, when he entered the employ of the Missouri Pacific. He is now engineer on the through passenger train running between Sedalia and Kansas City, a distance of ninety-five miles. By his superior officials he is considered one of the most reliable and trustworthy engineers on the road, and he occupies a high place in their estimation.

The residence owned and occupied by Mr. Chapel is situated at No. 714 East Broadway. It is presided over by his wife, whom he married at Brainard's Bridge, N. Y., July 6, 1864. She bore the maiden name of Mary E. Atwater, and was born in Nassau, N. Y., being the eldest of five children, all of whom are still living. Her paternal grandparents, Tuttle and Catherine (Ferry) Atwater, were residents of New York State, the former being a marine engineer by occupation. Her parents, Daniel A. and Emeline (Vickery) Atwater, were natives, respectively of Brooklyn and Nassau, N. Y., the latter being a daughter of Caleb Vickery, who was born in York State. For some years Mr. Atwater engaged in farming in Rensselaer County, but later embarked in the hardware business in Garfield, N. Y., carrying on a large trade for a time. Now, seventy-seven years of age, he is living in retirement from life's active cares. During the Civil War he enlisted in the defense of the Union, and served as a private in a New York regiment. His wife died in the Empire State at the age of forty-four years.

Five children comprise the family of Mr. and Mrs. Chapel, namely: William H., who is fireman on the West Division of the Missouri Pacific Railroad; Charles A., who is employed as brakeman on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas; Lillie M., Floyd J. and Maude A., who are with their parents. Socially Mr. Chapel is identified with Granite Lodge No. 272, A. F. & A. M.; the Order of Chosen Friends, in which he has been Vice-Councilor for two terms; and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, being an officer in Sedalia Division No. 178. His political belief brings him into active cooperation with the Republican party, the principles of which he invariably supports. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is an active worker in the Woman's Relief Corps. The family is one of prominence in social circles, and is recognized as among the best people of Sedalia.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Pettis County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Pettis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Pettis County, Missouri family biographies here: Pettis County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Pettis County, Missouri here: Pettis County, Missouri Map

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