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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2014-02-28 10:14 am

Getting the scoop on Adaline Chapin...

As I said in this entry, I have been most keen to try and puzzle through the marriages and wanderings of my second great grandaunt, Adaline Chapin.

I'm suspect Addie - as she was called through most of her life - was one of the two Chapin daughters of Nathaniel F Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast-Harris that my family disapproved of on the basis of snippets of conversation I heard as a child. I recall overhearing one conversation in particular - between my grandmother and one of her brothers, who was compiling the family genealogy. They were talking about whether to leave out two of the Chapin sisters altogether because of their behavior, or to keep them in and just call them prostitutes.

I'm betting that's because Addie and her younger sister, Essie, were married multiple times. I suspect both daughters' multiple marriages and divorces bothered their parents and siblings. And two of Essie's descendants have stated multiple times in comments to this blog that there was a fracture in the family that continued throughout Essie's life.

But now, I have to wonder if Essie took it harder than Addie did.
Addie's marriages were not really hard to document.

She married first in 1886 to George D Rouse while they were living in Ft Scott, Bourbon Co., KS, where Nathaniel Chapin had relocated his family between 1883 and 1885. Addie and George were divorced - my guess is that was in Greene Co., MO, where she married Lorenzo D Melton on 21 Sep 1904.

She was divorced from Lorenzo Melton on 11 Sep 1914 in Arapahoe Co., CO, and on 5 Oct 1915, married Charles M Mendenhall in Littleton, Arapahoe Co., CO. (I have requested the divorce records from the Colorado State Archives and am waiting for them to be mailed.)
The eldest of the Chapin siblings, Cyrus, made his home with Addie for at least 25 years.

He lived with her through all of her marriages in Springfield, MO, and Littleton and Denver, CO. In the 1880 census, Cyrus was noted to have sciatic rheumatism. I was unfamiliar with that ailment. I found it described on page 3 of the 27 Apr 1915 issue of L'Impartial, a Swiss French-language daily newspaper published since 1880.

There are very few ailments more painful than sciatic rheumatism. At first one is scarcely able to straighten up, and finally, if neglected, it gets so bad it is impossible to walk. Sciatic rheumatism is a combined form of neuralgia and rheumatism, and has been considered very hard to treat successfully...

Although it appears that Cyrus tried intermittently to work in the trade of his male relatives - as a carpenter or woodworker - mostly I found him unemployed, with the exception of any money he may have made as a notary public in Denver from 1907 to 1915.

So Addie housed and supported her brother for a great many years.
I guess that's why I found Cyrus' obituary a bit odd. His obit was how I found Addie's date of death, which I used to get her death certificate from Denver.

Cyrus F Chapin

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases. He was born in Bradford county, Dec. 2, 1853, and resided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died, Mr. Chapin then removing to this city. He is survived by three brothers, George Chapin of Atlanta, Ga., Fred Chapin of Little Rock, Ark., and Willard Chapin of California, and the sister of this city. Surviving also is a niece, Mrs. J.A. Boorman of Altoona, and a nephew, E C Shephard of Pontiac, Mich. He was a member of the International Bible Students' association. The funeral will be held from the Lafferty & Tobias funeral parlors on Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be made in Rose Hill Cemetery. Source: Altoona Mirror, Wednesday Evening, 3 Mar 1926, at page 1.

[R]esided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died...

That sister had a name. Why didn't Essie use it? I know it's common to have to pay by the word for an obit, but Essie didn't have any problem getting that Lebolt surname in there instead of her maiden name...
Addie's death certificate says she died at her home at 2025 Clay Street (now part of an interstate system in Denver) from the flu, secondary to bronchial pneumonia.

She was buried at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co., CO, just outside Denver. Although she was married three times, she had no children.

And now I'd love to know the rest of her story...