Horatio Chapin

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Horatio Chapin
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Born(1803-06-16)June 16, 1803
Bernardston, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA
DiedMay 13, 1871(1871-05-13) (aged 67)
South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA
Resting placeCity Cemetery
CitizenshipUnited States of America
OrganizationSouth Bend
  • Caleb Chapin (father)
  • Mary Wright Chapin (mother)

Horatio Chapin was an American pioneer and early founder of South Bend, Indiana. A native of Massachusetts, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1822. In 1831, Chapin travelled by pony along Native American trails to reach a trading post known then simply as the "south bend" in the St. Joseph River of northern Indiana. Recognizing the economic potential of the settlement, he set up the first general store of the region, and also helped establish the first church and Sunday school for residents.[1] With the incorporation of the town of South Bend in 1835, Chapin became the first president of the board of town trustees. [2] A successful businessman and later banker in both South Bend and Chicago, Chapin became one of the wealthier members of the growing town. In 1855, he began to develop an estate just north of the city center, which eventually developed into the Chapin Park National Historic District, where his imposing Gothic Revival mansion, the Horatio Chapin House still stands. With an interest in history, both global and local, in 1867 Chapin served as the founding president of the St Joseph County Historical Society.[3]


  1. South Bend and the Men who have Made It (South Bend, 1901), p. 89
  2. J. Palmer, South Bend: Crossroads of Commerce (Charlestown, SC, 2003), p. 56
  3. South Bend and the Men who have Made It (South Bend, 1901), p. 47

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