Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHAFFEE, Jerome Bunty, senator, born in Niagara county, New York, 17 April, 1825; died in Salem Centre, Westchester County, New York, 9 March, 1886. His education was limited, but his energy and common sense largely compensated for the lack of school training. He was for several years a clerk in a country grocery store, and when he came of age had saved enough money to remove to Adrian, Michigan, and begin business for himself as a drygoods merchant. He lived in Adrian for about six years, married, and became the father of four daughters. His wife died at Adrian, and he removed to St. Joseph, Missouri At this period he became interested in public matters, and, through his acquaintance with Zachariah Chandler, familiar with the machinery of party politics. After establishing an extensive frontier trade, Mr. Chaffee opened a bank in St. Joseph, and carried it on for three years, when he removed to Elm-wood, Kansas, and became president of a land company. In 1859 the gold-mining fever tempted him to Colorado, and he was one of the first settlers of Denver. As early as 1861 he had established a small stamp-mill, and laid the foundation of a large fortune, which was acquired mainly in mining ventures. His previous political experience enabled him to take a prominent part m the civil organization of the territory, and he represented it in congress until 1876, when Colorado became a state, and, with Henry M. Teller as his colleague, he was elected to represent it in the United States senate. From the first he was prominent as a republican leader, but was very independent in his ideas, and so bitterly opposed some of President Grant's measures that their personal friendship was for a time interrupted. After the marriage of his daughter with United States Grant, Jr., in 1882, the friendship was renewed. While his health per-mitred, Mr. Chaffee maintained his active interest in politics, and he was chairman of the republican national executive committee during the presidential canvass of 1884.
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