1831–1884

September 22, 1831, Danville, Virginia.

November 2, 1884, Brenham, Texas.

Prairie Lea Cemetery, Brenham, Texas.

portrait

[Chaplin] was born August 22, 1831, in Dan­ville, Virg­inia. His ancestors were natives of Great Bri­tain. His father, Will­iam R. Chap­lin, was a banker and lawyer of the town of Dan­ville, Vir­gin­ia.

Charles Craw­ford Chap­lin was favored with a very liberal education, attending the best schools to be found in his locality. After completing his study of the primary branches, in a well-known academy of Lynch­burg, Vir­gin­ia, he entered Rich­mond Col­lege, with the view of preparing himself for the ministry.

In the year 1856, he was ordained to preach the Gospel, and took charge of a congregation in Pitt­syl­van­ia County, Vir­gin­ia. With his great talent, captivating eloquence, and pleasing manner, he rapidly rose in favor, and soon became one of the most popular preachers of his region. He was shortly called to the pulpit of the Dan­ville Church, and was its honored pastor for a period of fifteen years.

When the [Amer­i­can civil] war broke out, he served with the Eighteenth Vir­gin­ia Regiment as Chaplain, and performed his duties in the midst of the carnage of war with heroic fortitude.

In 1870, he removed to Ken­tuc­ky, taking up his residence in Ow­ens­bor­ough, where he remained for over two years, as minister of the Church in that place. He was next called to the pastorate of the First Bap­tist Church, of Pa­du­cah, which he has since so acceptably filled.

He was one of the founders of the Ro­a­noke Female College, of Dan­ville, Vir­gin­ia, and was, for a number of years, President of the Board of Trustees of that institution. He has been frequently chosen to the position of presiding officer of the Ro­a­noke Bap­tist Association, of which he is a member. He was President of the South-western Sunday school Convention; and, as a worker in this department of the Church, has few equals.

He has gained considerable distinction as a poet, his productions showing the possession of no mean ability in that direction. Many of his shorter pathetic verses have been set to music, and have been extensively adopted by the Sunday-schools throughout the country.

He has great merit as a writer, his style being flowing, perspicuous, and of irresistible logic. He has been a contributor to the leading religious journals of the country; and such of his articles as have appeared in the Watchman, of Boston, Standard, of Chicago, and other papers, entitle him to high rank among the theological writers of the country. He has, also, furnished occasional articles to the secular press, which have always been well received.

He possesses rare ability as a lecturer, has a happy, humorous vein, which, blended with precept and philosophy, makes him one of the most attractive, interesting, and instructive lecturers in the country.

He is a prominent member of the Ma­son­ic fraternity, and has held some of the higher offices of that order. He also belongs to the societies of Good Temp­lars and Odd-fel­lows, and takes an active interest in their affairs.

He was married, in 1857, to Miss Lu­cy Ex­all, daughter of John Ex­all, a leading wholesale merchant of Rich­mond, Vir­gin­ia. Seven children have been born to them, and cheer his household by their presence. His wife is a most excellent lady, devoted to her husband, striving by every means in her power to make lighter his cares and burdens.

Mr. Chap­lin is a man of unquestioned ability, culture, and refinement; earnest, persuasive, and eloquent, he ranks among the first men of his Church. He is a man of sterling social worth, possessing a kindly and genial disposition and affable manners; and is a most esteemed and honored member of society. In the domestic circle, he is affectionate and considerate.

As a poet, his ability is not only acknowledged, but his productions have justly obtained a wide-spread celebrity.

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky, p. 51

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