Frank Chapman

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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/27/07 06:29 PM

Hey all,
I'm trying to locate biographical information on Frank Chapman, and was wondering if anyone here might have some leads. Here's what I know so far:

He was born in Baltimore, probably in 1901. He was married in the same city in September or October of 1924. Sometime within the next decade, he made the move out to California, where he lived in various locations up and down the coast, from the San Francisco area all the way down to San Diego. He died in 1954, most likely in San Diego.

What I'd like to know is if anyone can provide leads and/or solid info on his family, such as his wife's name or if they had any children. Any info would be helpful.

Thanks,
Jim
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Postby Evan Shuster » 03/27/07 06:49 PM

I've been contemplating this topic, as well. I've been curious about the sudden ending to Chap's Scrapbook where, in the final issue, Frank mentions that he is going on vacation and expects the next (unrealized) issue to be late as a result. Sadly, that was to mark the end of the Scrapbook.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/07 09:52 AM

Glad to know I'm not the only one. I'll probably be digging through census records this weekend, but if anyone has any info before then, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
Jim
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Postby Guest » 03/28/07 01:19 PM

According to Whaley's Who's Who (the printed edition), Chapman was born in 1902 and was an Advertising executive as well as a semi-professional performer.

You might run an AskAlexander search (knowing you Jim, I'm sure you already have), in addition to Chap's Scrapbook, he wrote booklets as well as articles and columns in Sphinx & Genii.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/07 01:35 PM

Thanks, Andrew. I'm not entirely certain about the birth year. My source was the California Death Index, and I presume the guy I found there is the same Frank Chapman -- middle initial matches up, as well as the fact that he was born in Maryland. The birth date listed there is January 4, 1901, and the date of death given is July 14th, 1954. It states that his mother's maiden name is Montgomery, which is also given as his middle name. (References from magic magazines often list him as Frank M. Chapman.)

And yes, I have looked in AskAlexander -- that's how I knew about his living all over California. I must've found four or five different addresses for him once he moved out to California. While I haven't delved into all the results I found, nothing I saw in my brief skimming through them turned up much (aside from when he got married).

Thanks again,
Jim
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/07 01:38 PM

Ok, I just went back to Alexander for a quick peek, and now I'm even more confident that I found the correct guy in the CDI. In one of his columns in Genii, Chapman referred to himself as "Franklin Montgomery Chapman." I guess the only real question about the birth date then is who is correct, Whaley or the CDI? Did Whaley give any indication of what the source was for the 1902 date?

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 03/28/07 02:36 PM

From the Oakland (CA) Tribune, 5-23-1941, p. C-9

"Martinez, May 23. -- Frank Chapman, assisted by his daughters, Mary and Betty, entertained with a magician act at the Sons' and Daughters' Day of Martinez Kiwanis Club yesterday noon at the Travelers Hotel."

From the California Death Index at Ancestry.com:

Name: Chapman, Frank Montgomery
Social Security #: 566017535
Sex: MALE
Birth Date: 4 Jan 1901
Birthplace: Maryland
Death Date: 14 Jul 1954
Death Place: San Diego
Mother's Maiden Name: Montgomery
Father's Surname: Chapman

He doesn't seem to be in the online Social Security Death Index.

1920 census for Baltimore, MD:

Chapman, Franklin; Stepson (to ??? and Eliza Hilgeman); single; age 19; Clerk at a Wholesale Milling company; address 3833 Park Heights Ave.

1910 census has more or less the same info except Stepfather's name is Laurence or Lauence and he isn't employed.

1930 Census for Baltimore, MD:
Chapman, Frank; age 29; wife Mary age 29; age at first marriage 23; daughter Mary age 1-1/2; Floormanager at a Department Store; address 3323 Burleith Ave.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/07 03:25 PM

Awesome, Bill -- that's a great help to me!

Thanks,
Jim
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Postby Guest » 03/28/07 04:03 PM

Hey Jim:

Whaley doesn't indicate the source of the birthdate... Would think that this is an error based on the other information Bill has uncovered.

One of the listings in AskAlexander (Genii 1936) lists Frank as working for Shell Oil as a performer... It is highly unlikely that this will give you any real leads but... corporate memory (especially in HR) can run deep...

Keep us posted!

Andrew
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/28/07 05:04 PM

Good tip, thanks Andrew...

-Jim
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/29/07 12:35 PM

Just a quick update here: I located a Mary Barr ne Chapman in the California Death Index, who appears likely to be one of the daughters mentioned above. Here's the info:

First: BARR
Last: MARY
Middle: HAMMOND
Birth Date: 05/28/1928
Mother's Maiden: HAMMOND
Father's Last: CHAPMAN
Sex: F
Birth Place: MARYLAND
Death Place: SAN DIEGO(37)
Death Date: 07/03/1982
SSN: 560-30-9978
Age: 54 yrs

I haven't been able to locate anything on the other daughter, which could mean that she's still alive. (Entirely possible, as the oldest she could be now would be late 70's.)

-Jim
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/30/07 09:59 AM

For those still interested, I found a birth record for Betty Chapman. I'm not going to post the data in the event she is still living (although it was all obtained via publicly-available sources, I know many people have privacy concerns, which I will respect). The data does correspond on several points with the family data previously mentioned.

Now to see if I can find out if she's still alive...

-Jim
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 09/28/07 12:28 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
For those still interested, I found a birth record for Betty Chapman.

...

Now to see if I can find out if she's still alive...
...and she is!

After digging for the past six months, I finally made positive contact with Betty, and spoke on the phone with her yesterday evening. Very nice woman and she seemed quite pleased to hear from me and to talk about her father.

-Jim
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