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Chapman Family Records Finding Aid

Online Archive

Selected speeches by Charles C. Chapman and other documents related to the Chapman family can be found here.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of materials gathered by Charles Clarke Chapman, Frank Marion Chapman (his brother and business partner), C. Stanley Chapman and Irvin C. Chapman (Charles Clarke Chapman’s sons), and Grant Chapman (Frank Marion Chapman’s son).

Charles C. Chapman’s personal records consist of numerous letters, mementos, and personal photographs, as well as magazine and newspaper articles written about him; dedications, sermons and college lectures written by him, and scrapbooks on current events of the day compiled by him.  The materials written by C.C. Chapman and the scrapbooks are organized by subject according to his original arrangement scheme.

C. Stanley Chapman’s papers consist of two transcripts of interviews he gave for the Oral History Program at California State College at Fullerton in 1968.  In these interviews, Stanley talks about his memories of his father with a particular focus on his father’s business and civic interests.  A newspaper article about his family’s home is also included.

Irvin C. (Ernie) Chapman’s personal records consist of materials donated by him to the University as well as various materials from local community and Chapman University organizations.

This record group is housed in 21 boxes.

Frank M. Chapman’s papers consist largely of records related to C.C. and F.M. Chapman’s businesses from 1891 to 1923.  His papers also include family photos, newspaper articles, and personal mementos. 

His son Grant’s papers include business records from 1915 to 1926, personal photos, and papers related to his political campaign in El Monte Township, California. Also included are two airplane pilot licenses issued to Clarke Chapman, Grant’s brother, and Frank M.’s son.

This record group is housed in 6 boxes.

Custody Information

Various Chapman Family members donated the C.C. Chapman papers to the Thurmond Clarke Library at Chapman University.  The C. Stanley Chapman interviews were given to the Chapman University Archives by Arlene R. Sayre, Director of the California State College Oral History Program, in 1968.  F.M. Chapman and Grant Chapman’s papers were donated to Chapman University by Joyce Chapman, Grant’s
daughter.  Materials related to Irvin C. Chapman were donated by him or were gathered from various University and newspaper sources by Archives staff.

Biographical and Historical Information

Charles C. Chapman was born on July 2, 1853.   He was the third of ten children of Sidney Smith and Rebecca Clarke Chapman.  David and Anne Clarke were his maternal grandparents, and Jacob Kimble and Julia Griffith Chapman were his paternal grandparents. In their hometown of Macomb, Illinois, and later in their adopted state of California, Charles and his older brother Frank were partners in a variety of business ventures, many of which were extremely successful.  Notably, after moving to Southern California in 1894, the brothers quickly began to establish a successful citrus growing business.  A full review of their business interests can be found in the book, Charles C. Chapman, the Career of a Creative Californian, 1853-1944, Donald H. Pflueger, editor (Los Angeles: Anderson, Ritchie & Simon, 1976).  Through their business ventures, both men amassed considerable wealth and contributed greatly to the development of California.  Charles, in particular, became a very prominent leader in business as well as in religious, educational, and civic concerns.  His farming and business innovations and his resulting prominence as an industry leader earned him the title of “Father of the Valencia Orange Industry.”

Charles Chapman’s records convey his love and concern for his family.  Throughout his life Charles maintained strong family bonds with his brothers and sisters.  Interestingly, all seven of the Chapman brothers and sisters who lived to adulthood moved to California, where each, Charles notes in his memoirs, “made a strong contribution to this great state.”  In 1884 Charles married Lizzie Pearson. The couple lived in Chicago, where their two children, Ethel and Stanley, were born.  In June, 1894, the family moved to Los Angeles so that Lizzie, who suffered from a long illness, might benefit from the milder climate. In that same year, however, Lizzie succumbed to the illness. Charles sadly wrote in his memoirs that “despite the best medical attention… Lizzie bade us a final farewell on the 23rd of September, 1894”.   In 1898 Charles married Clara Irvin, and in 1911 their son Irvin Clarke (Ernie) was born.  In 1899 Charles and his family moved to Fullerton, California and made their home.  Charles became very active in the development of the area, and in 1904 he was elected the newly incorporated City of Fullerton’s first Mayor.  He built a large home for his family on Commonwealth Avenue in 1903.  In 1905, on the southeast corner of Spadra (now Harbor Boulevard) and Wilshire Avenues he built a modern five story office building.  In that same year, on the northeast corner of the same intersection, he built the Fullerton First Christian Church, for which he helped organize the first congregation, and in which he and his family remained active for many years.

Charles Chapman’s religious interests were a central part of his life. He was a member of the Christian Church of the Disciples (Disciples of Christ), a denomination that established many schools in the United States.  In 1919 he and other church leaders saw the need for a college to train young men for the Church’s ministry.  In that year, C.C. Chapman donated $400,000 for the establishment of such a college and his donation was matched by the combined donations of other Church members.  This financial campaign resulted in the founding of the California School of Christianity in 1920.  In 1923 the name was changed to California Christian College, and changed once again in 1934 to Chapman College in honor of Charles C. Chapman, the College’s chief benefactor and president of its Board of Trustees from 1918 to 1938.

The Chapman College Campus on North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles was moved to the city of Orange, California in 1954.

Processing Note

The Chapman Family Records were processed by Katherine McGrath Lewis, Chapman University Archives, Assistant Librarian, August, 2001-July, 2003.

Container List

Charles C. Chapman Record Group


Box One

1.            American Magazine April, 1921
2.            Letter from the Young Men’s Christian Association to the State Council and Trustees 1925/0306
3.            California and Californians 1926
4.            Letter from the Board of Trustees to C.C. Chapman 1943/0702
5.            C. C. Chapman:  Man behind the College (Chapman Quarterly, Summer, 1978)
6.            Various Chapman College publications, front page photos
7.            Reviving a City’s Landmark’s (Orange County Register, 1982/1211)
8.            C.C. Chapman depicted as ‘Creative Californian’ (Orange County Register, n.d.)

Box Two

9.            Political Sketch, C.C. Chapman’s proposed U.S. Vice-Presidential nomination with Calvin Coolidge, Presidential nominee 1924/0614


Box Three

10.          Charles C. Chapman  1904
11           Charles C. Chapman  1923
12.          Charles C. Chapman  1942
13-18     Charles C. Chapman portraits  n.d.   

Box Four

19.          Chapman family photograph  1886
20.          Ethel and Stanley Chapman  1891/07
21.          Chapman family  1900
22.          Ethel Chapman  1900
23.          Original Chapman home ranch packing house  c. 1900
24.          Chapman family home, Fullerton  1908
25.          Walter Cobb hauling oranges  1908
26.          Chapman family  1913
27.          Chapman family home, Fullerton, garden party  1914/0905
28.          Chapman family home, Fullerton, garden party  1914/0905
29.          Chapman family home, Fullerton, garden party  1914
30.          Chapman family home, Fullerton  1914
31.          Chapman family  1914
32.          Chapman family home, formal garden n.d.
33.          Chapman family  1937/0502
34.          Chapman family  1937/0502
35.          Chapman family home, Fullerton  1940
36.          Chapman family burial plot, Glendale, California n.d.
37.          Office of C.C. Chapman, Los Angeles, California  n.d.
38.          William H. Wickett Jr. M.D.  (Ethel Chapman’s husband)
business card  n.d.

Box Five

39.          Irvin C. Chapman  1931
40.          Clara Irvin Chapman  1967/0305
41.          Clara Irvin Chapman  1967/0305
42.          Clara Irvin Chapman  1968
43.          Irvin C. Chapman et al.  1983
44.          Irvin C. Chapman et al.  1983
45.          Irvin C. Chapman  1985/0304
46.          Irvin C. Chapman  1985/0304
47.          Irvin C. Chapman, Alumni Trustees group  c. 1988
48.          Irvin C. and Stanley Chapman Jr. and wives  n.d.
49.          Irvin C. and Stanley Chapman Jr. and wives  n.d.
50.          Irvin C. Chapman and wife, Edy  n.d.
51.          Chapman family  n.d.


Box Six

52.          Letter from Charles C. Chapman to Frank M. Chapman  c. 1895-1900/0707
53.          Annual Statement, Santa Ysabel Ranch 1895, handwritten by Charles C. Chapman
54.          Letter from Charles C. Chapman to F.M. Rogers, Chancellor, California Christian College  1923/0412
55.          Letter from Charles C. Chapman to Morris Bigbee et al.  1926/0607
56.          Letter from Rollie Bigbee to Vaughn  1983/0122
57.          Dinner invitation and reply card, from C.C. Chapman, California Christian College  1930/0106
58.          Dinner invitation and reply card, from Charles C. Chapman, California Christian College  1930/0224
59.          Envelope addressed to Vaughn R. Harlan, Promotion Secretary
60.          New Years Cards (26) of Charles C.and Frank M. Chapman and friends 1884-1889.  11 cards  n.d.




Box Seven

61.          Personal Life Scrapbook, newspaper clippings kept by C.C. Chapman

Box Eight

62.          Personal Politics Scrapbook

Box Nine

63.          General Politics Scrapbook

Box Ten
64.          Editorials No. 1 Scrapbook

Box Eleven

65.          Editorials No. 2 Scrapbook

Box Twelve

66.          Religion Scrapbook

Box Thirteen

67.          Citrus Industry Scrapbook

Box Fourteen

68.          Miscellaneous Scrapbook

Box Fifteen

69.          Memorials Scrapbook


Box Sixteen

70.          Newspaper articles commemorating the death of Charles C. Chapman in 1944

Box Seventeen and Box Eighteen

71.          Personal Files of Charles C. Chapman 
Approximately 800 speeches, sermons, dedications, and college lectures,
written and delivered by C. C. Chapman.  The material is organized by subject
according to his original classification scheme  1898-1932.

Major subject divisions are:  Citrus; Clubs and Organizations; College;
Dedications; Funerals; Masonic; Memorial Addresses; Miscellaneous;
Politics; Sermons; Miracles and Parables; Temperance; YMCA.


Irvin C. Chapman Record Group

Box Nineteen

72.          Celebrating the World of Irvin C. “Ernie“ Chapman (YMCA of Orange County  1998/1024)

73.          I Support Chapman College Football, 1981

74.          Remembering Our University Patriarch (Happenings  2002/0812)

75.          Community Icon Committed Life to Orange Count (Orange County Register,  2002/0807)

76.          “Ernie” Chapman, 91, Orange County’s Pioneer’s Scion Left Own Mark (Los Angeles Times 2002/0807

77.          Bookmark with the image of Charles C. Chapman memorial sculpture at Chapman University, n.d.

78.          Chapman Family Genealogy Project, Irvin C. Chapman, 1997, Descendants of Charles Clarke Chapman (2 copies)



C. Stanley Chapman, Jr.  Record Group


Box Twenty

79.          Transcript of interview with Mr. and Mrs. C. Stanley Chapman, Jr. on 02/14/1968 for the California State College at Fullerton, Oral History Program

80.          Transcript of interview with Mr. C. Stanley Chapman, Jr.on  03/29/1968 for the California State College at Fullerton, Oral History Program 

81.          A Mansion on a Hill (Daily News Tribune 03/08/1984)


Frank M. Chapman Record Group  (Jan. 1, 1849 – March 18, 1909.

Box Twenty-One

82.          Letter from James L. Doti, Chapman College President to Joyce Chapman 1994/1010

83.          Personal Photographs 1909-1930  9 items n.d.  extent: 12 items

Box Twenty-Two


84           Business Cards belonging to Frank M. Chapman  extent:  25 items

85.          Chapman Brothers Publishers  n.d.  extent: 7 items

86.          Vendome Club 1892-1895  extent: 3 items

Box Twenty-Three

87.          Deed to property in the County of Los Angeles bought from George H. Rhorer  1894/0327

88.          Property Agreements  1899-1908  extent: 13 items

Box Twenty-Four

89.          Citrus Farming materials  1902/0210-1923/0721  extent: 5 items

90.          Irrigation documents  1886-1912  extent: 4 items

91.          Accounts of  Frank M. Chapman  1900/1231-1902/0301  extent: 20 items

92.          Cancelled Notes of Frank M. Chapman  1886/1127-1907/0807  extent:  22 items

Box Twenty-Five

93.          Political Activities  1892-1909  5 items n.d.  extent: 9 items

94.          Newspaper clippings and papers related to Charles C. Chapman 1944-1954, 4 items  n.d.  extent: 8 items

95.          Newspaper clippings and papers, miscellaneous subjects 1909, 5 items n.d.  extent: 6 items

Grant Chapman Record Group
Box Twenty-Six

96.          Stock certificate, Sulphur Mountain Petroleum Company  1915/0223

97.          Map, Oil Lands of Sulphur Mountain Petroleum Company  n.d.

98.          Political campaign memo and card, Grant Chapman Candidate for Justice of the Peace, El Monte Township, California 1926/0831  extent: 3 items

99.          Annual License, 1922, issued by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale to Clarke Chapman and signed by Orville Wright

100.        Annual Sporting License, 1928,  Issued by the National Aeronautic Association of U.S.A. to Clarke Chapman and signed by Orville Wright.

Date modified:  1/7/2010