Woman of the Century/Augusta J. Chapin

CHAPIN, Miss Augusta J., Universalist minister, born in Lakeville. near Rochester, N. Y., 16th July, 1836. She is a descendant, in the ninth AUGUSTA J. CHAPIN. generation, of Samuel Chapin, who came from Wales to Dorchester, Mass., in 1636, and settled in Springfield, Mass., in 1642. Her father. Almon M. Chapin, was a native of the latter place. Her family removed to Michigan while she was very young, and she was educated in that State. In her childhood she attended the common schools and made die most of her opportunities. Her father, who was a man of liberal culture, gave her much instruction at home Books for children were few, but she possessed illustrated copies of the New Testament, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Robinson Crusoe. These she read with never-failing delight, until they were almost memorized, and that early familiarity with three great books became the foundation of her life-long love of all that is best in thought and literature. Of her studies, mathematics and language were her favorites, and so earnestly and successfully did she apply herself that, in the spring before her fourteenth birthday, she received a certificate from the school inspectors of the county authorizing her to teach. She undertook the charge of a country school the following summer. Soon after, she became a student in Olivet College, where she remained several years. Some years later, Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., acknowledged her high scholarship by conferring upon her an honorary degree. Miss Chapin is, at the present time, non-resident lecturer on English literature in that school. After the opening of the University of Michigan to women, she entered that institution and was graduated with the degree of M. A. While a student in Olivet, she became deeply interested in religion and resolved to enter the Christian ministry. She preached her first sermon in Portland, Mich., 1st May, 1859. From that time to the present she has been continuously in active ministerial work. She was regularly ordained by the Universalist denomination in Lansing, Mich., 3rd December, 1863. Her chief pastorates have been in Portland, Mich.; Iowa City, Iowa; Lansing, Mich.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Aurora, Ill., and Oak Park, Chicago. The last place has been Miss Chapin's field of labor for the last six years, and her church there has enjoyed the most prosperous period of its history during her pastorate. During a continuous ministry covering the period of the coming and going of an entire generation of mankind, Miss Chapin has never once been absent from her pulpit on account of sickness. She has been in the active work of the Christian ministry longer than any other living woman. She has delivered more than four-thousand sermons and public addresses, has baptized and received many hundreds of persons into the church, has attended some two-hundred funerals, and has officiated at many marriages. Her vacations have usually been given to missionary work outside her parish, and on those occasions, in addition to many special trips, she has visited and preached in more than naif the States and Territories of the Union, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. She has written considerably for magazines and the denominational press, and has been much sought for in the lecture field. Her lectures are on humanitarian, literary and artistic themes, including lectures on "Temperance," "Woman's Work and Wages." "Shakespeare's Sonnets," "Wordsworth's Ethics " and courses on the "American Poets." "English Cathedrals." "Italian Cities" and other themes. Miss Chapin is an active member of the Art Institute, the Woman's Club and other important local organizations of Chicago, and also, among many others, of the National Society for the Extension of University Teaching. She is the chairman of the Woman's Committee on Religious Congresses in the World's Congress Auxiliary to the Columbian Exposition of 1893. She has traveled extensively in the United Suites and has been twice to Europe. Miss Chapin has a fine voice, and excellent delivery, and her reading is beyond criticism.