My 2nd Great-Grandfather by Tracy DeVore

*_My 2nd-great-grandfather, Isaac Chapman. His wife, my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Alice Cooksey, was a cousin to Virginia Cooksey, the mother of famous lawman, Wyatt Earp. Isaac was digging sewers for the City when he was trapped in a cave-in._
Newspaper account of Isaac Chapman’s death:

Connersville (Indiana) Daily Examiner, Wednesday, October 19, 1910.

Met Death Almost Instantly In Cave-In


Fellow workers Extricated Body From Debris … Andy Wissel, Employed With Him, Received Severe Bruises.

Isaac Chapman, aged about sixty-two years, met death about five o’clock last evening while laying tile in a ditch just below the lower foundry.

The bank of the ditch, which was about six feet deep, caved in, catching Mr. Chapman in the avalanche of dirt and pinning him to the ground. Three other men who were working with him at the time rushed to his assistance and found him entirely covered, excepting his head, which protruded from the pile of debris. Some of the foundry employees and some tile drivers just below also hurried to the scene and in a very short time succeeded in extricating his body, death having occurred before he could be gotten out.

Andy Wissel, who was working near Mr. Chapman, was slightly bruised on one shoulder by the fall of debris. Although able to be out today his injuries are causing him pain.

After the coroner’s examination the body of Mr. Chapman was taken to the undertaking rooms of Charles Thompson and later to the residence on west Ninth street.

Mr. Chapman was born at Cedar Grove, Ind., sixty-one years ago last February.

About twelve years ago he came to this city where has since resided and made himself known to a large circle of friends.

He is survived by a widow and seven children. They are Mrs. John Siebert, Mrs. Norman Shaw, Floyd, Earl and Clyde of this city, Howard of Indianapolis and Roy of Youngstown, O.

The funeral will be held at the residence at 2:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. Rev. L.O. Newcomer officiating.

The men were in the employ of Neal & Stoll, the plumbers and the ditch they were digging was for the city sewer system.

Coroner Spicely has not yet completed his investigation and inquest and will probably not render a verdict before Friday.


The Daily Examiner, Connersville, Ind., Thursday October 20, 1910, Page 1.


The funeral of Isaac Chapman, who was killed Tuesday evening in a cave-in near the foundry, was held at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon at the late residence on west Ninth street.

Rev. L.O. Newcomer of the Central Christian church officiated. Mrs. V.J. Barker and Mrs. Frank Runyan sang some beautiful and impressive selections.

The cortege then moved to the city cemetery where interment was made.

The pallbearers were Charles Ray, George Gregg, William Hubbell, Mike Redman, William Goodwin and Albert Buckley.*


  • eelsblueEllen
    eelsblueEllenalmost 6 years ago

    Wow, interesting story and you are lucky to know such details about him. He looks like a great man. I just love these old pictures. Nice Tracy. :)

  • Thanks, Ellen! I’ve been working on our family’s genealogy for many years, and have been fortunate to find a lot of very interesting tales, not to mention a few more than interesting relatives lol. :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • tpphotography
    tpphotographyalmost 6 years ago

    wow! this is an amazing story and photo Tracy, wonderful work!

  • Thank you so much Teresa!! :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • Cora Wandel
    Cora Wandelalmost 6 years ago

  • Thanks so much, Cora! :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • TimADeVore
    TimADeVorealmost 6 years ago

    Great job on putting this together my love☺


  • Thanks, sweetie. Obviously, this is a photo of an old painting, I didn’t actually take this one (ha, I’m not that old just yet lol). Just another one of those fascinating stories I find while doing genealogy research. :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • Terri Chandler
    Terri Chandleralmost 6 years ago

    Such a distinguished looking man and such a horrible and sad death. As one who also enjoys researching our family tree I know this information was so helpful to you. Thank you for sharing this. Well done! xo

  • Thank you so much, DanceswithCats, for the kind comments. It’s always very satisfying to find written accounts from the time periods I’m researching. :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • barnsis
    barnsisalmost 6 years ago

    Great image and story, this would fit so well in the group Remember When??

  • Thanks, Byron, I’ll check it out! :)

    – Tracy DeVore

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezalmost 6 years ago

    wonderful portrait!!!!!. it is so good to have roots. and to know your background. sorry for the tragical death.. … and thank you so much for entering this into the challenge at post cards!

  • Thanks so much, Isa! ☺

    – Tracy DeVore

  • EvaMarIza
    EvaMarIzaalmost 6 years ago

    Congrats on your Top 10:)

  • Thanks so much, EvaMarlza! ☺

    – Tracy DeVore

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezalmost 6 years ago

    Our utmost Congratulations on your placing at the Post card challenge The family Album

  • Thanks so much, Isa! ☺

    – Tracy DeVore

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