Throwback Thursday – Chapman Cemetery

We’ve visited many historic cemeteries and allegedly haunted locations for Throwback Thursday. This week, it’s the little known Chapman Cemetery, around the former Chapman Bridge area that connected the bluffs over Drakes Creek at McFadden’s Station. 

While the Chapman family name isn’t known from any founding fame or landmark still standing, the Chapmans were one of the first pioneering families to live in Warren County more than 200 years ago. 

The Park City Daily News printed an article about the Chapman family history in 1955, including excerpts from patriarch, David Chapman’s, 1884 obituary found in the Louisville Courier Journal. The rest of this story is sourced according to the printed lore and what remains in the cemetery. 

David Chapman was born in 1791, his gravestone claiming him as the first white child born in south of the Green River. His father, Thomas, settled the family at McFadden’s Station before Bowling Green was founded. The Chapmans were protectors and farmers, who marched daily around their perimeter with a musket and the beat of a drum to help travelers avoid Native American ambushes. 

There were multiple attempts on David’s life. He even nursed a man named Drake, for whom the creek was eventually named, back to health after an ambush shooting left him wounded along the creekbed. The Chapman family kept the farm until at least the 1870s, and it served as another Civil War soldier encampment. 

During his lifetime, David Chapman was married twice, with 15 children. The Chapman Bridge became the Middle Bridge, which washed away and has been in ruins since the 1970s. The family graves can still be seen in the small hidden cemetery in the modern Cumberland Ridge subdivision.