Sydney Smith Chapman

The Chicago Times Of Monday Gives The Following Account Of The Death Of Sydney Smith Chapman, Formerly A Resident Of This City.

Memorial services for the last Sydney Chapman, who died October 1st, were held yesterday morning at 10:30 o’clock in the West-Side Church of Christ, Jackson boulevard, near Western avenue. Mr. Chapman was a pioneer of the West side and a well known contractor and builder. The address of the occasion was delivered by the Rev. John Wells Allen, pastor of the church in which Mr. Chapman had been an elder and devoted member. Mr. Allen spoke of Mr. Chapman as a man of unaffected piety, of modest demeanor and of thorough honesty. He said in part: “Mr. Chapman inherited from his father two things of great value, poverty and industry. He enjoyed few early educational advantages. He was not learned in the lore of the schools, but in the great school of life, of toil and of temptation, hardship and self denial he learned those higher and harder lessons that build up a character more valuable than culture. Early thrown upon his own resources, he began to exhibit at once the patient and tireless industry which was so marked a feature of his life. Few men have done more hard work than he. When he was 18 years old he built the first brick schoolhouse at Macomb, Ill., and from that time until his death he did a great deal of building in Vermont, Ill., Astoria, Ill., and in Chicago. In the erection of our church buildings he was superintendent of construction, and although his hands were full of other work we know how well and faithfully he attended to this. Truly this is noble to have a work and do it cheerfully and well. There is a good deal of religion about having a work to do and doing it honestly. The lot of the largest part of the children of earth is that of toil. I am glad this hour is sacred to the memory not of a banker or a broker but of a laboring man, whom we love just for himself and for his character. He was kind and considerate to those under him. It is a custom almost universal in this dity for workmen to drink beer when engaged in work. This Mr. Chapman would never allow. It was said he could not get men to work for him if he persisted in this, but he had no difficulty in this respect. A workman once said: “He is the fairest minded man I ever worked for.” Given such employers universally labor troubles would soon be a thing of the past. He was thoroughly honest. There is nothing that today more needs to be emphasized than this. He never slighted his work. Honesty in this respect overshadowed in his mind all thought of profit. There was nothing rough or harsh in his character. He was a gentleman and a most estimable citizen. His voice, vote and example were always on the side of right. Could the state be made up of such men as he, the problem of government would be solved. To estimate his character in a word, he was a Christian.”


Published in the Astoria Argus on 10/12/1893

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