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Chapin Dewing Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3412

Scope and Contents

The documents in this collection are dated to the years 1918-1950. The majority of papers in this collection come from business and financial transactions, including sales receipts, checks, checkbooks, bank statements, and correspondence related to finances other business matters.


  • Creation: 1918-1950


Biographical / Historical

Chapin Anderson Dewing was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on December 21, 1890. He was the son of James (1854-1929) and Fannie (Chapin) Dewing (1863-1925). He had one sibling, Elizabeth (Dewing) Todd (1887-1969). The family lived in 918 W. Main St. in Kalamazoo, Michigan where Chapin was born.

Chapin Dewing attended Kalamazoo schools, the How Military Academy, and the Pawling School in New York. He married Florence Thompson at the age of thirty-six. They lived at 4117 W. South St., Apartment A and then later moved to 119 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Since 1913, Chapin has owned and operated a farm on Gull Lake. He was a director of the Contract and Investment Company of Detroit, the Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company, Farmers Chemical Company, and president of the Merchants Publishing Company. He was a mason affiliated with Fidelity Lodge No. 513, Kalamazoo Chapter No. 13, Peninsular Commandery No.8, the Dewitt Clinton Consistory, and the Saladin Temple Shrine. He was a director of The Gull Lake Country Club and a member of various clubs: the Farmers Club, the Park Club, and the Shrine Club.

He was greatly involved in the Dewing Children’s Home (founded by his grandfather W.G. Dewing) and was vice president at the time of his death. His wife, Florence, owned the Good Housekeeping shop located in Kalamazoo.

Chapin A. Dewing died on October 19, 1945 at Bronson Hospital from appendicitis. Florence remained a widow until she died in 1974.


19 boxes

Language of Materials



This collection includes the papers of Chapin A. Dewing documenting his life and finances as a prominent Kalamazoo business man and his involvement in various clubs and organizations.

Physical Description

This collection is approximately 7 cubic feet and is made up of 14 full-size boxes. Within these boxes are correspondence, sales receipts, bank statements, business cards, checks and checkbooks, insurance contracts, membership and credit cards, as well as handwritten notes. The bulk of the collection is sales receipts and checkbooks. The collection also contains three over-sized financial ledgers: Chapin’s personal finances, Chapin Dewing Estate, and the Gull Road farm.

Most of the collection is in fairly good condition, with some items in poor condition due to their age. Much of the thinner paper items are folded and bent and may benefit from conservation efforts. In addition, many of the items have yellowed. The Gull Road Farm ledger is in poor condition due to water damage. Some of the more fragile items, and news clippings, have been photocopied onto archival paper to preserve the information contained within.


The collection was donated to Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections in 1974 by Irwin Ludwig of Kalamazoo Wrecking and Building Supplies Co. The items in this collection were found by Ludwig in the Haines House on West Main in Kalamazoo. The Haines House was razed by Kalamazoo College in 1974 for parking.

Chapin Dewing Collection Finding Aid
Katie Jones
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490