Thomas Miller
Mary Wreford
William A. Chapple
Jane Miller

Henry Alexander Chapple M.D.


Family Links

Mattie Murphy

Henry Alexander Chapple M.D.

  • Born: 21 Oct 1861, Bowmanville, Durham, Ontario, Canada 120,124
  • Marriage: Mattie Murphy on 23 Apr 1889 in Toronto, , Ontario, Canada 120
  • Died: 10 Jan 1900, Flagstaff, Coconino, Arizona, USA at age 38 61,125
  • Buried: 16 Jan 1900, Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA

bullet   Cause of his death was Tubercular peritonitis.125


bullet  General Notes:

Hoffman gallery has a photograph taken in 1898 when he was mayor of Billings.

In 1895 or 1896 Dr Henry and Father Van Clarenbeck went to Leavenworth, Kansas by train, not by horseback as the St Vincent Hospital booklet states, to ask the Sisters of Charity to send some Sisters to Billings. Sister Theodora McDonald and Sister Mary Ireton were the first to arrive in 1897. There were five patients in the temporary hospital on the second floor of the drug store when they arrived.

Work on a real hospital progressed and the Billings Real Estate and Development Co. donated a half block between Broadwater and Wyoming Avenues. The corner stone was laid August 7th 1898. Dr. Henry was in poor health at the time of the hospital dedication ceremonies in 1899. He had been elected Mayor of Billings and was forced to turn much of the hospital planning over to Dr. James Chapple and Dr. Reinhart.

The Dr. Henry Chapple home was on the SW corner of 30th and 2nd Ave N. There was land behind the home where the Chinese houseboy cared for Connie's pony. She was born in the home on Jan 4, 1890. Harry was born April 18, 1893, John Wreford was born in July, 1898. Connie and her life-long friend Aggie Burton Wiggenhorn (212 N 33rd St) rode their ponies to see the Crow Tribe of Indians cross the river on their way to the fair grounds. They walked down to the Chinese laundry and were give leiche nuts to eat. They used to hide Aggie's big dog under her bed, because Indians ate dogs. Life was exciting for those girls!

Dr. Henry and his wife and children took a trip to Arizona in search of relief for the doctor's lung problems. He died of tubercular peritonitis on a train outside Flagstaff, Arizona on January 10, 1900. Brother Thomas had traveled down to meet Mattie and the body where it entered the Northern Pacific Rail system and accompanied them to Billings. The Masonic Lodge in Flagstaff arranged for the body to be sent home. The Masons in Billings took over and the funeral and obituary were impressive! Unfortunately the widow was left with very little money.

Obituary (The Billings Gazette, 1900-01-12, page 4)
The entire community was shocked and grieved beyond expression Wednesday evening on receiving the news that Dr. Henry Chapple of this city had died at Flagstaff, Arizona. Two weeks ago yesterday he left Billings with his family for southern California in the hope that a winter spent in that warm climate would restore his health, the doctor having been an invalid for nearly two years, suffering from tubercular peritonitis. His life, was almost dispaired of a year ago last summer, but since that time he had been much better and strong hopes of his complete recovery were entertained. His death, coming as it did so suddenly, and far away from home among strangers, is inexpressibly sad and has cast a gloom over the entire city.
A letter received from Mrs. Chapple Wednesday morning stating that they had arrived at Los Angeles and that the doctor was not feeling quite so well, but she attributed it to the long journey, but also said they would leave at once for Prescott, Arizona, it having been the doctor's intention when he left here to get into a higher altitude if the climate on the coast did not agree with him. As Flagstaff is considerably east of Prescott, it is thought they had started home and stopped at the former place on account of the doctor having been taken worse. No particulars of his death have been received here, but the Masonic lodge of Billings, of which the doctor was a prominent member, at once opened telegraphic communication with the Masons at Flagstaff, and they have no doubt done all that could be done to comfort and assist Mrs. Chapple. Thomas Chapple, a brother of the doctor, left here yesterday morning for Kansas City, where he will meet Mrs. Chapple with the remains tonight, the expectation being that they will arrive in Billings over the Burlington Sunday evening.
Dr. Chapple was, in every sense, one of the leading men of Billings and was not only honored and respected by everyone, but was universally loved: it can truly be said of him that he had not an enemy in the county and his warm personal friends can be numbered by the score. He had been a resident of Billings since the early spring of 1889 and, until he gave up his practice two years ago, was the leading physician of the city. From the time of his arrival his rise was rapid -- professionally, socially and financially. He was first elected coroner of the county, in 1890; was the local physician of the Northern Pacific Railway company; organized the Chapple Drug company in 1892, of which firm he was still a member at the time of his death; organized the Billings Furniture company, now the Billings Furniture & Carpet company, was one of the organizers and a heavy stockholder in the Lake Basin Sheep company; in '93 was elected a member of the state medical board, being chosen its secretary in '96, which position he resigned about a year ago on account of his health; was elected mayor of Billings in the spring of '97, but was also compelled to resign this position about a year later. In fact, Dr. Chapple was one of the mainstays of the city and, although always a very busy man, he always had time for a kind word for everyone; his was one of those sunny dispositions that are so rare, he drew and attracted men to him without being conscious of it. He indeed had a bright future before him and was a character of man of whom everyone says Billings cannot afford to lose. But he has gone, after as brave and gallant a struggle for life as was ever made, and all Billings mourns.
Fraternally, Dr. Chapple was a member of five different orders. He had been deputy grand master of the grand lodge of Masons of the state; is senior warden of the grand commandry of Montana; had passed all chairs in the Aldemar Commandery of Billings, had been high priest in Billings chapter and worshipful master in Ashlar Lodge No. 29. He was a charter member of the lodge of Elks, in which he held several high offices, was a member of the A. O. U. W., the Woodmen of the World and Knights of Macabees. All the above organizations will participate in the funeral which will be conducted by the grand lodge of Masons. It will probably be held Monday afternoon, with service at the family residence and St. Luke's Episcopal church, of which the doctor was a member and liberal supporter.
Dr. Chapple was less than 39 years old, having been born in October, 1861, at Bowmanville, Ontario. He worked his own way through Trinity Medical college at Toronto, after his preliminary education at his home, and at once came to Billings to practice. He leaves a wife and three children, two brothers and a sister in this city and two brothers and a sister in Canada, one of the former, James Chapple of Billings, now being a student at Trinity Medical College. To all of them the heartful sympathy of a bereaved city is extended, but at a time like this words cannot convey what this community feels in the loss it has sustained and this writer, who was privilege to enjoy the warm personal friendship of Dr. Chapple, can only express the hope that other men will emulate him; that they will be as good, as true, as kind, as progressive, as public-spirited and as useful. 61,125,126


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Graduation, Abt 1889, Toronto, , Ontario, Canada. 127 Trinity Medical College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Emigration, 1889. 61 From Canada to Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA

Election, 1890, Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA. Elected coroner

Election, 1893, Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA. Elected to State Medical Board

Election, 1896, Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA. 61 Elected Mayor, resigned in 1897 for medical reasons

Census: Age 19, birth Ontario 1862, 1881, Clarke, Durham West, Ontario, Canada. 128

Religion: Church of England, 23 Apr 1889, Toronto, , Ontario, Canada. 120


Henry married Mattie Murphy, daughter of Alexander Murphy and Jane Blackwell, on 23 Apr 1889 in Toronto, , Ontario, Canada.120 (Mattie Murphy was born on 17 Sep 1867 in Courtland, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada,120 died on 26 Jun 1933 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA 58,121 and was buried on 1 Jul 1933 in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana, USA.)

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