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Chatfield, William A.

Born: 1799-XX-XX Connecticut

Died: 1872-03-20 Momence, Illinois

Flourished: Momence, Illinois

William A. Chatfield learned the trade of carpenter and joiner in his early years. He married Elizabeth Crane and the couple emigrated to Indiana before 1831. In 1835, Chatfield relocated his family to Chicago, Illinois. Chatfield remained in Chicago a short time before moving to Joliet, where he took part in the construction of a canal there. After Elizabeth's death, Chatfield remarried to Mary Brown Kirkwood in 1840 in Vigo County, Indiana. The couple resided in Wilmington, Illinois, before moving to Momence, in 1844 as one of the earliest settlers. Chatfield built the first flour mill and the first bridges over the Kankakee River. Following the death of his second wife, Mary, Chatfield married Sarah Jane Taylor in 1846 in Will County. In 1850, Chatfield worked as a lumber dealer, owning $6,000 in real estate. At the time, three children lived with the couple. In 1856, Chatfield won election to the Illinois House of Representatives as the second representative of the newly formed Kankakee County, succeeding John Strunk, and served from January to February 1857.

Indiana Marriages Database through 1850, Vigo County, 7 July 1840, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Will County, 21 July 1846, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Kankakee County, ed. by William F. Kenaga and George R. Letourneau (Chicago: Munsell, 1906), 2:653; Portrait and Biographical Record of Kankakee County, Illinois (Chicago: Lake City, 1893), 390, 504; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Momence, Will County, IL, 96; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 221; Gravestone, Momence Cemetery, Momence, IL.