Posted By:Stephen Schrader
Subject:Re: Jerome B. Chaffee, Colorado Senator and in-law to President Grand
Post Date:June 18, 1999 at 23:51:40
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Forum:Chaffee Family Genealogy Forum
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Jerome B.7 was the eldest half-brother of my GreatGrandfather(Corwin Wallace7 Chaffee). Their father was Warren6 (Otis5, Atherton4, David3, Nathaniel2, Thomas1). Mother, Elizabeth Otto; stepmother, Corwin's mother, Melinda Munn. Jerome born near Lockport, NY, Apr 17, 1825, and died Salem Center, Westchester Co., NY Mar 9, 1886. He married in Adrian, MI., Sept 24, 1848, Miriam Comstock of that place. Senator Chaffee had a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and was nearly six feet in height. Educated in Lockport, moved to Adrien,MI in 1844, taught school in the Allen Chaffee district, moved to IN., worked as dry goods clerk. Engaged in mercantile, then dry goods, back to Adrien, then banking, then railroad employee, then moved to Leavenworth, Kansas territory, in 1857. Engaged in land speculation, then started a bank in St.Joseph,MO. In 1860 he went to Pike's Peak and engaged in mining, which business he continued until his death. As the leading businessman in Colorado, promoted the oganization of Colorado first as a territory and then as a state. Was speaker of the house of the Colorado legislator; was voted Senator in the territorory's first election but President Johnson twice vetoed the statehood bill because of Territorial Senator Chaffee's opposition to Johnson's reconstruction policy. Elected territorial representative to congress, Jerome successfully introduced as his first bill statehood for Colorado, which was then signed by President Grant. He was again elected and served as Senator for Colorado, but later declined re-election at the end of that term due to poor health and extensive business commintments. A millionaire, he had a large mining company and the First Nation bank of Denver, among many Colorado businesses. Chaffee county was also named in his honor. Further information is available in Denver Museum of History. Jerome's bitter opposition to President Grant's selection of General Edward McCook to be appointed as the first Colorado governor leading to statehood did not prevent them from becoming close friends, and ten years later in-laws. Jerome's only surviving child, his daughter Fannie Josephine, married Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. This connection, together with a personal association and the confidence of the President, led him to invest large sums with the firm of Grant and Ward, which failed in a nationally spectactular way. Not withstanding that loss, Jerome left a large fortune, chiefly invested in western real estate. Fannie and U.S. Jr. moved to San Diego and had four children. They built a Grand Hotel there that my brother recently visited.