George H. Chapel. This representative farmer and stock-raiser and enterprising citizen residing on section 29, Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, had his birth in Livingston County, N.Y., August 20, 1835. His parents, Samuel and Amanda (Reynolds) Chapel, were both New Yorkers by birth, and his Great-grandfather Blakesley was a soldier in the Revolution.
Samuel Chapel emigrated with his family to Michigan about the year 1841, and, after a short residence in Oakland County, came to Genesee County, and became an early pioneer of Grand Blanc Township. Of their nine children sever are now living, namely: George H., Newton F., Carrie, Monroe W., Emma (Mrs. David Webster), Louisa (wife of Hiram DeHart), and Ella (wife of Emmet Marsh). Upon first settling in the woods, Mrs. Chapel erected a log shanty, and later built a better home. He endured the usual hardships incident to pioneer life, and died many years ago. His widow, who still survives, is looked upon as one of the pioneers of the county, as they made their home here when Indians, wolves, and bears abounded.
George H. Chapel took his early training in the primitive home in Genesee County, and in his youth employed oxen in breaking up the sod and in carrying on the heavier parts of farming. His education was received in the district schools of the township, and he early gave himself heartily to the work of a farmer, although he for some terms taught in the district schools. Mary Gage became his wife, May 23, 1861. She was born in Genesee County, October 16, 1838, and is a daughter of the Hon. John L. and Mrs. Mary (Tufts) Gage, who were early settlers here, having come hither in the ‘30s. Her father still survives, and is in his eighty-sixth year, and of his seven children five are living, namely: Mrs. Chapel, Jane (wife of Abram Peer), Charles L, Julia ( wife of William Ray), and Susan (now Mrs. Joseph Jellis). The mother of this family passed from life’s activities February 9, 1889.
The Hon. John L. Gage served for some time as Representative of the county in the State Legislature, and was also Supervisor of Flint Township. He likewise filled the office of Justice of the Peace of Flint Township, and, besides being County Treasurer, was useful as one of the early teachers of the county, as he taught in Flint when it was a small village, fully half a century ago. He was by occupation a carpenter and joiner, and found abundant call for activity in this line.
To Mr. and Mrs. Chapel have been granted seven children, namely: Fred N., Davis G., Winnie M., Ross B., Asa M., George H., and John G. All three daughters are graduates of the High School in Flint, and have taken up the profession of a teacher. The eldest son completed the course at this High School, and then entered the University of Ann Arbor, from which he will graduate in 1892.
In the possession of this excellent farmer are two hundred and eighty acres of good land under excellent cultivation, and this fine property is the result of his own efforts, supplemented by the unfailing aid of his wise and judicious wife. It was in 1877 when he settled upon his present farm, which as since been his home. His Democratic principles have kept him in line with that party, although he has strong Prohibition proclivities, and he has a fine farm, whose broad acres attest his success in life. He is among the leading and public-spirited citizens of Grand Blanc, and with his family takes an active part in all social movements.
Source: Chapman Brothers. Portrait and biographical record of Genesee, Lapeer and Tuscola counties, Michigan. Chicago: Chapman brothers, 1892.