The Chapman Family

The Chapman Family can trace its roots to the Mayflower and England.  The Chapmans traveled to the colonies on the Mayflower settling in Massachusetts.  Later, they moved to Virginia then to Tennessee there becoming good friends with the Hedges family.

The Chapman family that traveled from England to America is part of the family of the Chapman Insurance Company of England which at one time rivaled Lloyds of London in size.  It is a unclear why this part of the Chapman family moved from England to America.

In 1842 Franklin Hedges moved from Tennessee to the black land prairie area of Texas, settling just north of Fort Worth in what is now North Richland Hills.  He purchased 640 acres of ranch land for $200 from a family with a Spanish sir name. The sale was ratified by the Republic of Texas in 1844.

Franklin Hedges was the father of a daughter, Laura, who married H. H. Chapman who moved to Texas with his family from Tennessee in a covered wagon.  His family stopped for a while in the Smithfield, Texas area but later continued their journey to the panhandle area of Texas staying for a time near Adrian, Texas.  The total number of Chapmans that moved to Texas in this wagon train is uncertain however, still today, several still live in the Panhandle of Texas.

H. H. Chapman returned to the Smithfield area, marrying Laura Hedges.  When Laura’s parents died, H. H. and Laura Chapman inherited the original Hedges Ranch which became known as the Chapman Ranch. What was a black dirt road at the time, later graveled and now paved became known as Chapman Road, passing to the south of the property and continuing for several miles to both the east and west.

Laura gave birth to four boys and one girl. They were E.C.C. “Chap” Chapman, William Aaron Monroe “Wam” Chapman, S. J. “Jack” Chapman, I. B. “Barney” Chapman, and Edna Chapman, later to become Edna Chapman Thomas.  Today, Drs. Robert and Martha Chapman, son of Chap Chapman, still own part of the original Chapman Ranch.  Mary Louse Chapman Thomas McNally, grand daughter of H. H. still lives on a part of the original Chapman Ranch.  Dr. Robert Chapman was instrumental in constructing the first hospital in the Mid-Cities area between Fort Worth and Dallas.

In addition to being a rancher, H. H. Chapman was a master stone mason.  One of his many projects was the construction of a stone house for his daughter, Edna Chapman Thomas, and this house is still in use today by her daughter, Mary McNally and is located on part of the original Chapman Ranch.

H. H. Chapman, was a Mason and member of the Masonic Lodge of Smithfield, Texas which was originally named the H.H. Chapman Memorial Lodge in his honor.

H. H. Chapman in addition to his ranch, farming and construction activities owned and operated a thrashing machine and crew each summer thrashing various grains in the area. The Chapman family consider H. H. the original Chapman entrepreneur in Texas.  All of his children, with the exception of Monroe owned and operated their own businesses.

Many of the Chapman family members still own ranches in various parts of Texas.

The Chapman family can claim several famous members, one of which was John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed, who planted apple seeds and apple trees for 49 years of his life.  He planted apple trees all the way from the east coast to what is now Washington state.  The apples you eat today originally came from a Chapman planting apple trees.  Johnny Appleseed later returned to create apple orchards in a large area south of the Great Lakes, and now after 200 years, some of the trees still bear fruit.  He owned many nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, where he grew his beloved trees. John Chapman, his name sake, also has many claims to fame.

I. B. Chapman married Edith Ann Lacy Chapman, one of the daughters of John B. and Broxie Brown Lacy.  The Lacy’s owned and operated three restaurants and a hotel at Lakeworth, Texas.  Lacy’s Place and the Trellis were two of his restaurants, with the hotel located over the Trellis Restaurant which extended out over the lake. They also constructed and operated the first tourist court in Tarrant county near their Lakeworth restaurants.  Lacy’s Place was famous for Dutch Oven Biscuits and fried catfish caught at the lake.

I. B. “Barney” and Edith Ann Lacy Chapman had three sons, Johnny L. Chapman, I. B. “Barney” Chapman II and Billy Ray Chapman, all still alive.

In 1933 I. B. “Barney” Chapman, O. T. Morris and Elmer Bagley started the Quality Meat & Provision Company, Inc.  Both Bagley and Morris later sold their interest to Chapman although Bagley continued to work at the company until his retirement.

In 1940, Barney Chapman returned to his ranching roots along with his partner in the meat business, O. T. Morris.  They used the CM brand, and joined the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association the same year.  The first ranch for the CM brand was located near Aledo, Texas.  Today, John and Karen Chapman operate the same ranches today as the Squaw Creek Cattle Company.

Barney Chapman expanded his ranch holdings prior to the start of World War II. He quickly added two ranches near Aledo, Texas with one south of Cresson and the other just west of Godley.

At one time Chapman owned ranches in the Texas counties of Parker, Johnson, Hood, Erath, McLennon and Bosque.  He purchased an entire train load of Hereford cattle from the Bright Ranch of Marfa, Texas.  In those days cattle cars were wooden, and the locomotives were steam powered.  When the train arrived at the Cresson, Texas railroad siding, the only thing it was transporting were the cattle for Chapman’s ranches.  The Cresson siding and pens were also used for the shipping of cattle to Indiana and the receiving of cotton seed cake and fertilizers.

Barney Chapman and O. T. Morris dissolved their partnership in 1949.  Chapman then purchased the Chapman & Sons Registered Hereford Ranch located near Valley Mills, Texas and secured his new brand, a simple “C”.  The 3,000 acre ranch, with Childress Creek running through the north side of it, spread across both Bosque and McLennon Counties with mostly rolling hills covered with Blue stem grass.  Chapman’s ranch had seven tanks, all stocked with fish which were hand fed weekly.  The registered Herefords won shows such as the American Royal in Kansas City and the Chicago International of Chicago. His Club Calves were fed by numerous counties.

Today, the Chapman Family Ranch, LTD, owns the Clarksville, Texas Ranch and this partnership belongs in trust to the children of Barney Chapman II (Jr.).  These children are Trey, Parrish, Carlo, Roscoe, Flaminia, Giulia and Livia. The partnership purchased the Clarksville, Texas ranch (CF Ranch) in the spring of 2004 when it immediately sought and secured the CF Brand which is registered in both Red River and Tarrant counties of Texas. At the same time the ranch joined the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.  The family trusts also own interest in other properties in Texas.

The CF Ranch of Clarksville started it’s foundation herd of Brangus cattle with purchases from the Squaw Creek Cattle Company of Aledo adding to these cattle with purchases from the Camp Cooley Ranch and the Bobby Steiner Ranch.