Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures
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Marshall Chapin, M. D.

Dr. Chapin was born February 27, 1798 in Bernardstown, Massachusetts. He was one of nine children. His parents were Caleb and Mary Chapin, and his ancestors had lived in the Springfield and Connecticut River Valley for 200 years. Caleb Chapin was a physician as well as a farmer.

The family moved to Caledonia, New York. Marshall was educated in the local schools. He studied medicine at Geneva and as an aid to his uncle, Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, of Buffalo, New York. He graduated at the age of twenty-one.

In 1819 he established, with the aid of his uncle, the first drug store in Detroit. Very soon after coming to Detroit he became active in the political life of the city. He served as an Alderman at large in 1826 and 1827. He was mayor of Detroit in 1831 and 1833. In 1832 he was Chief Engineer of the Fire Department.

During the first epidemic of cholera in Detroit in 1832 Dr. Chapin was appointed City Physician. He received great praise for his work and devotion. Two years later when the plague hit again he was equally active and efficient.

He continued both his medical and pharmaceutical pursuits in the city. The drug store continued into the 1880’s. His medical practice continued until his death.

He was married in 1823 to Mary Crosby and they had four children. Dr. Chapin died of heart disease on December 26, 1838.

Born: February 27, 1798
Died: December 26, 1838
Buried: Section B, Lot 101