Born: Oc­to­ber 12, 1828, Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio.

Died: June 2, 1903, Brook­ville, In­di­a­na.

Buried: Ma­ple Grove Ce­me­te­ry, Brook­ville, In­di­a­na.


John was the son of Ben­ja­min and Ma­na Chaf­fee, and hus­band of Cla­ra Sparks (mar­ried 1855).

His fa­mi­ly moved to Brook­ville, In­di­a­na, when he was a small boy. He joined the Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal Church in Brook­ville in 1847, and was con­vert­ed in 1849.

He was large­ly self taught, but re­ceived both AM and DD de­grees from De­Pauw Un­i­ver­si­ty, Green­cast­le, In­di­a­na.

In 1851, he was li­censed to preach, and was ad­mit­ted to the In­di­a­na Con­fer­ence. He was or­dained a dea­con by Bi­shop James, and el­der by Bi­shop Scott.

His first ap­point­ment was on the Wilm­ing­ton Circuit as jun­ior preach­er. After six months, he was trans­ferred to the Hart­ford Cir­cuit, where he was preach­er in charge un­til the close of the year. When the South­east In­di­a­na Con­fer­ence formed in 1852, he be­came a mem­ber, and was ap­point­ed to North Ma­di­son.

He held su­bse­quent ap­point­ments at St. John’s, Ma­di­son (1853); Ve­vay (1854–55); Ha­no­ver (1856–57); Con­ners­ville (1858–59); and ma­ny oth­ers. His last ap­point­ment was at Lau­rel (1893–94), and he was su­per­an­nu­at­ed in 1895.

In ad­di­tion to writ­ing songs, he pro­duced an un­dat­ed vol­ume of po­et­ry.



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Cha­fee (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?