Chapman, Compton Vatell (B.S., Engineering, 1926)

Compton V. Chapman was born in Buxton, Iowa, on 4 February 1896 to John J. Chapman and Willie J. James Chapman. An original member of the “Interstate Club” at 226 ½ Main Street, Chapman was one of only 13 Black regular session students at ISC when he graduated with his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1926 (“A Record,” 1926). His classmates included Benjamin Crutcher, Maurice Thomasson, and Willa Juanita Ewing. Chapman lived in Des Moines most of his life where he was a member of the Corinthian Baptist Church. In 1917 when he registered for the draft, Chapman was working as a janitor for the Western Union Telegraph Company. In World War I, he was a US Army Sergeant and member of the American Legion Post 126. In 1935, he worked as a general contracting engineer in Des Moines. In the same year, Chapman attended a Iowa State Alumni Association banquet celebrating the inauguration of Frederick D. Patterson as President of Tuskegee Institute.

He is noted for working at the Des Moines Waterworks, where he worked until his retirement. Married to Cora Chapman, he died on 10 April 1980 and was buried in Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa.


Photo Credit Obituary

A record of the Negro at college 1926. (1926, August). The crisis: A record of the darker races, p. 174.