The History of the Borough of Chapman
THE borough of Chapman is located on the west branch of Monocacy Creek,
in the southern part of the territory of Moore township. Its borough
existence has been but brief, the incorporation having been effected in the
year 1865. The population of the borough, in the census of 1870, was three
hundred and eighty-eight.
It now contains
a machine-shop owned by J. Henwood
the offices and shops of the slate companies
about sixty dwellings
Of these dwellings, a great part are owned by the Chapman Slate
Company; and these are rented to their workmen. Others are owned by the
A fine and substantial residence is owned and occupied by Richard Chapman,
Esq., the Superintendent of the quarries.
At the laying out of the town the land was owned entirely by the company,
who name it a condition of the sale of each lot, that no malt, vinous, or
spirituous liquors should ever be sold on the premises. This condition has
thus far been strictly observed, and its salutary effect on the metals and
prosperity of the place, is very noticeable.
The inhabitants, almost without exception, are those who are directly or
indirectly engaged in that great industry, which first brought into
existence, and still sustains, the town; and as a consequence, the history
of the borough is fully embraced and comprehended, in the history of
THE CHAPMAN SLATE QUARRY.
These are to-day the most noted, its well as the best and most extensively
worked slate quarries in America. Their management has been brought to a
stage of great perfection, and the excellence of the slate produced is such
as to commend them to the favorable notice, not only of American, but also
of European purchasers and consumers.
The master-spirit in the opening of these quarries, in perfecting their
management, and in raising the quantity, quality, and general reputation of
their product, is WILLIAM CHAPMAN, a gentlemen of Cornish extraction, whose
father was a soldier under the Iron Duke, and fought with him at Waterloo;
and it was near that bloody field that William Chapman was born, in the
year 1816; his mother having gone thither to nurse her husband, after the
battle, and remained there for many months.
Mr. Chapman-who was a practical slater-emigrated to America, and settled
in Northampton county in 1842. The quarries were opened and worked in 1850,
but it was not until March 29th, 1864, that the company was incorporated by
special Act of the Legislature.
The corporators were:
George W. Walton
On the eighteenth day of April, 1864,
Mr. Chapman was elected President
Charles Brodhead, Secretary
George W. Walton, Treasurer
William J. Curler
Robert H. Sayre
William Chapman was elected President and Treasurer
Charles Brodhead, Secretary.
This Board continued in office, until 1867, when James S. Mason and E. M.
Clymer were elected in place of Charles Brodhead and Augustus Wolle,
resigned, William Cuner was elected Secretary.
January 7th, 1867, the capital stock was increased to $400,000.
In 1868, A G. Brodhead was elected Director, vice
D. M. Clymer, resigned. The other directors and officer, were re-elected.
In 1869, C. H. Dickerman was elected a Director, vice
Robert H. Sayre, resigned.
The old officers were re-elected May 24th, 1869 C. H. Dickerman was
vice, William J. Cuner, resigned.
January 10th. 1871, Samuel Seem was elected a Director, vice
William J. Caer, resigned January 12th, 1875,
John Brown was elected Director, in place of Samuel Seem, resigned.
January 11th, 1876, a Board, consisting of William Chapman, H S. Paul,
C. H. Dickerman, S. A. Bisfuram, and John Brown, was elected; and again
elected in 1877. The officers continue the same since, 1869. Richard
Chapman was appointed Superintendent in 1870, and continues in that office
to the present time.
Since the incorporation of the company in 1864, there have been produced
and sold 370,507 45-100ths squares of roofing slate. The value of the
production was, for the same time, $2,293,365.36 -being an average yearly
production of 28,500 57-100ths squares, at an average value of $176,412.72.
Dividends amounting to ninety-two per cent. of the capital stock have been
declared and paid, and a surplus of $138,640.16 accumulated. There are
now about two hundred and twenty-five men employed. The machinery of the
company is estimated to be worth $63,185.97; consisting of stationary
engines, boilers, derricks. etc.
The company erected, in 1876, a factory for sawing, planing, and
manufacturing their material into billiard, bagatelle, table, and counter
tops; cisterns, mantels, lintels, blackboards, window sills, copings,
stairways, floor tiles, ridge poles, flagging, etc. Their investment in
this new branch of business was $40,000.
THE KEYSTONE SLATE QUARRIES
Are also located in the borough. Their operations are similar to, but far
less extensive than, those of the Chapman Company.
The total travel and freight of the borough and quarries passes over
THE LEHIGH AND LACKAWANNA RAILROAD. This road, which is completed and
running to the Chapman quarries-graded to the Wind Gap, ten miles beyond
Chapman-and whose objective point is Stroudsburg, on the Delaware.
Lackawanna and Western Railroad, was incorporated on the first day of
May 1861, under the title of the “Bethlehem Railroad Company,” with the
right to construct a railroad from Bethlehem to Bath, the iron ore and
limestone along the proposed line being the chief inducement to its
Hon. Charles Brodhead, of Bethlehem, was the projector of the enterprise;
its first President, and the person who finally succeeded in completing the
portion which is now in operation. Sections of the road were graded in 1862
and 1864, but there being no railroad on the north side of the Lehigh, no
other companies could be induced to give aid to the enterprise.
In 1864, the slate interests of Northampton county began to become of
great importance. In that year, the Chapman Slate Company was organized by
Messrs. William Chapman, Augustus Wolle, and Charles Brodhead. The immense
product of this quarry made a railroad almost a necessity, and the charter
ofthe Bethlehem Railroad Company was so amended as to authorize the
extension of the road to Stroudsburg, and the name was changed to “The
Lehigh and Lackawanna Railroad Company,” by supplement, dated April 8th, 1864.
In the fall of 1866, Mr. Brodhead succeeded in making an arrangement with
the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company by which that company agreed to
advance the moneys necessary to complete the railroad to the Chapman
quarries, and under that arrangement, the road was finished; and the first
train ran through to Bath on Thanksgiving Day, 1867.
The road is now operated by the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey,
under a lease. While the road has not been profitable to the stockholders
of the company, it has been of inestimable value to the section of the
country which it traverses, and a great convenience to the residents, of
the central portion of Northampton, by reason of the facilities it affords
for reaching New York, Philadelphia, and the county-seat.
Several new slate quarries have been opened in the neighborhood of the
Chapman quarry, and a number of iron-ore mines, lately opened along the
line, are regularly bringing all annual increase of freight to the business
The survey of the South Mountain and Boston Railroad line intersects the
Lehigh and Lackawanna road about two miles above the present terminus;
and when the same shall be completed, the Lehigh and Lackawanna Road
will have connections west and north, which will add largely to its business.
The present officers of the company are
Charles Brodhead, President
S. Shepperd, Secretary and Treasurer
E. W. Clark
E. L. Cope