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Mss: 1 1782-1866 C463

Chapin Family. Chapin Family Business Records, 1782-1866: Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss: 1 1782-1866 C463
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Chapin family business records
Date(s): 1782-1866
Quantity: 3.42 linear feet (5 volumes, 1 box)
Language of materials: English


Purchase, 1942

Historical Note

Descended from Deacon Samuel Chapin who settled in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1642, William Chapin, 2nd, son of William and Mary (Chapin) Chapin, was born May 26, 1758 in Chicopee, Massachusetts. William 2nd married Mary Church in Springfield on May 20, 1780. The couple had five children. He engaged in a variety of agricultural pursuits as well running a cider mill and a saw mill. William 2nd died on May 9, 1826.
William Chapin, 3rd, son of William 2nd and Mary (Church) Chapin was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts on May 23, 1783. As the oldest son, William 3rd, resided for many years in the ancestral home and assisted his father with farming and millwork until the growth of the community caused him to move to another location. He relocated yet a third time when railroads entered neighboring Springfield claiming much of his property. William 3rd married Lucy Day on April 12, 1804, and they had eleven children. William 3rd died June 17, 1861.
Heman Chapin, son of William 2nd and Mary (Church) Chapin was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts on April 15, 1786. He married Phena Chapin on November 5, 1809 and eventually settled in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He and his wife produced nine children. In addition to agricultural pursuits, Heman engaged in the paper making trade. He died April 5, 1873.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of five volumes of material including ledgers, daybooks and accounts. Volumes one and two include information on William Chapin 2nd. Volumes three and four are daybooks for William Chapin 3rd. Volume five, a ledger and daybook, is for Heman Chapin. Details as follows:
Volume 1: Daybook, May 9, 1782-May 18, 1789 for William Chapin 2nd Daybook includes notes on the cost of meals and three nights lodging for Major Kent; the sale of potatoes, turnips, and apples; sawing boards; and the sale of vinegar and cider. In addition, he made note of the dates in which hired laborers began working on his farm.
Volume 2: Ledger, September 18,1798-November 6, 1819 for William Chapin 2d Ledger contains an index of names on first page and memoranda on the second page. Remaining fifty pages include accounts with Levi Chapin, Reuben Bizbee, Peter Terre, James Whaling, Gabe Chapman, Ezekeil Bagg, Paul Chapin, Moses Bliss, Lewis Ferry, Cotton Ely, Solomon Ashley,Wareham Stebens,Benjamin Ashley, Philip Smith and others. Entries reflect sale of cider, and boards and the hiring farm labor. Last page of volume contains inventory of household furniture that "Anne carried to town with her October 1806" including "one feather bed & tick sheeting,...eleven yards of table lining,...3 pewter plates, ...one washtub, ...one pair of flatirons...."
Volume 3: Daybook, 1806-1830 for William Chapin 3rd. Daybook contains saw mill accounts; the hiring of farm labor for William and his brothers Joseph and Heman; factory accounts from 1823; carpentry work on meeting house (1825); and notation of hired help moving into house. Accounts include Benjamin Burgess, William Bliss, Giles Day, Calvin Wright, Gustavis Pinney, William Babcock, Joseph Pearce, Alexander Chapin, Samuel Alden, Mr. Taft, and Stephen Knowlton.
Volume 4: Daybook, 1826-1852, 1866 for William Chapin 3rd. Daybook contains accounts for the selling of wood, potatoes, carpentry work and cider. Occasional notation next to entries denotes letter containing information [letters not in this collection], dimensions of houses and other buildings. Accounts include A. G. Parker, Norman Chapin, Thaddeus Chapin,Widow Mary Chapin, William Bemis, Giles S.Chapin, Auartus Chapin, Ferdinand Colas, Eli Hoar, Luke Day, Joseph K. Bundy, Joseph Pease and others.
Volume 5: Ledger, 1813-1847 for Heman Chapin Ledger contains an index on the first page. Volume also contains notations on farm labor, the hiring of horses, and the sale of wheat and potatoes. Accounts include Bridgeman Chapin, William Colton, Francis Chapin, Otis Skeele, Moses Bliss,Lewis Ferry, Giles Day, Joseph Pease, Caleb Pendleton, Gustaves Pinney, Calvin Wright, Thomas Chapin and others.

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