My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in History of Page County, Iowa published by Iowa Historical Company in 1880.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

CHAFFIN, J. W., editor and proprietor of the Clarinda Herald, P. O. Clarinda; born in Ohio, near Chillicothe, in Ross county, July 17, 1824. When eighteen years of age he moved to Fayette. Mr. Chaffin has the advantage of a fine classical and literary education. The entire course of study to which he was subjected was taken in his native state, his academic course having been completed at Germantown and Bellbrook. He began the study of Greek under the scholarly Rev. Wm. McCohn. The honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred by the Adrian college, Michigan, in 1868. In the same year Mr. Chaffin received an invitation to deliver the annual lecture before the Star literary society, of Adrian—an honor coming to the same person but once in a lifetime. This marks the success which has attended the efforts of Mr. Chaffin to secure a recognition among men of literary attainments and tastes. He is an emphatically self-educated man — in the sense that by his own efforts he secured the funds needed to complete his studies. He was one of a large family, and his father’s means were unequal to the task of educating, liberally, all his boys. Mr. Chaffin was a teacher for some few years after leaving school, in which business he met with his usual success. In 1848 he entered the ministry of the Wesleyan church. His worth was recognized, and his merit appreciated by his brethren in the ministry in electing him to the presidency of the Miami conference in l861-’62-’63. During this time he was a correspondent of, and editorially connected with several religious weeklies published by his denomination, among them The Wesleyan and The Family Mirror. In 1850 he began the publication of the Herald of Freedom, an anti-slavery paper, and devoted to reform, particularly in the interest of temperance. While engaged in the publication of this paper he received, in 1853, the nomination for treasurer of state by the free soilers. His paper was an enthusiastic supporter of Salmon P. Chase for governor of state. Mr. Chaffin relinquished the newspaper business in 1858 to engage in the mercantile business. He went to Cincinnati to engage in pork packing, remaining in business long enough to lose the accumulations of years of hard and patient toil. In 1863 he entered the army as chaplain of the 59th Ohio volunteers, remaining in the service one year, when he was mustered out on account of ill health. Secretary Chase then offered him a position in the secretary’s office of the United States treasurer, which he accepted. He was twice promoted. In 1865 Mr. Chaffin returned to Ohio, to remove shortly after to Richmond, Indiana. In the same year he went into the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he remained until 1877. He then resigned his charge at West Liberty, in the Iowa conference, and coming to Clarinda, engaged in publishing the Herald, with what success is given in the chapter devoted to the press of this county. But all of Mr. Chaffin’s labor has not been manual toil. The intellectual stores he has gained from years of patient research he has used to good advantage, and enriched the world of letters. He is the author of two volumes, one poetical — “The Golden Urn” and the second a purely theological work, entitled “The Battle of Calvary; or, Universalism and Cognate Theories Against Jesus of Nazareth,” (12mo). This latter work is a fine example of the higher kind of religious polemic writings, and was welcomed by the religious press as a strong plea for the purity of the ancient faith. It is a neat volume, and throughout bears the marks, not only of candor and fairness, but of one earnestly seeking the truth, and one hoping to lead others in the path of duty. Either of these works establishes the literary reputation of the gifted author. Mr. Chaffin is still in the full vigor of a strong mind, employing his leisure in the congenial line of literary effort. He was married to Miss Lizzie Grant, of New Burlington, Ohio, in 1850. After her decease in 1860, he married Miss Bell Shriver, in 1862.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 558 biographies included in The History of Page County, Iowa published in 1880.  For the complete description, click here: Page County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Page County, Iowa family biographies: Page County, Iowa Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.