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Chapman, Augustus H.

Born: 1822-08-04 Indiana

Died: 1898-09-14 Charleston, Illinois

Flourished: Charleston, Illinois

Augustus H. Chapman was a merchant, railroad agent, Union army officer, and Indian agent. Chapman spent his early years in Paola, Orange County, Indiana. In June 1826, his father died, and in October 1827, Chapman moved with his mother and family to Lawrence County, Illinois. The family settled on a farm, where Chapman stayed until 1844, when he moved to Charleston, Illinois, where he entered into a mercantile business in partnership with Byrd Monroe. In September 1847, he married Harriet A. Hanks, daughter of Dennis Hanks and granddaughter of Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's stepmother. Augustus and Harriet Chapman would have three children, two sons and one daughter. In 1850, Chapman and his family were living in Greenup, Illinois, where Augustus was employed as a merchant. In 1859, he received appointment as Charleston's agent for the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad. Chapman remained with the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad until October 1861, when he entered the Union Army as a major with the Fifty-Fourth Illinois Infantry. In December 1862, Chapman received promotion to lieutenant colonel, and remained with the army until April 1865, when he was discharged. Shortly thereafter, he became an agent for the Flathead Indians of Montana, a position he held until 1867. Chapman was among the first Masons in Charleston, serving as a charter member and master of the Charleston Lodge. He was also a charter member and first master of the Wabash Lodge.

Biographical Sketches of Charter Members and Masters of Wabash Lodge, No. 179, A.F. and A.M. Coles County, IL, Genealogy Trails History Group,, accessed 14 December 2020; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Coles County, 8 September 1847, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 188; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:10; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Greenup, Cumberland County, IL, 289; Historical Data Systems, comp., U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865(Provo, UT: Operations Inc., 2009); Gravestone, Chambers Cemetery, Charleston, IL.