Back in the early 1990s, I was part of a three-person research team working on a project for the local Civil War Roundtable. Our project was to trace the path of an autograph book originally owned by John S. Chapman of Union County, Kentucky. In the course of the research, we became acquainted with Chapman’s grandson, Joe Chapman. “Uncle Joe,” as he was called by his great nephew, Tom Chapman, who introduced us, was a slight man, but tall with courtliness and kindness. He showed us his grandfather’s dress sword, the family Bible, and a photograph of his grandfather. He was the perfect example of a southern gentleman, anxious to please and to put us at ease. At that time, Uncle Joe, who must have been in his early 80s, was still hauling cattle to market.
This morning’s newspaper contains the obituary of Joe Chapman, age 96, who died Friday at a nursing home in Providence, Kentucky. Services will be today at Sacred Heart Church. Rest in peace, Uncle Joe.