James A. Chapman

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This article is about the Oklahoma businessman. For the 19th century mayor of Portland, Oregon, see J. A. Chapman.
James A. Chapman
Born April 3, 1881
Ellis County, Texas
Died September 22, 1966
Occupation Businessman
Known for Oilman, philanthropist

James A. Chapman (April 3, 1881 – September 22, 1966) was a businessman and philanthropist closely associated with Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was nephew, son-in-law and business partner to Robert M. McFarlin.

James A. Chapman was born April 3, 1881 to Phillip and Roxana Chapman in Ellis County, Texas. He moved to Holdenville, Oklahoma in 1901 and to Tulsa by 1912. He was a co-founder of first Holdenville Oil and Gas Company, then McMan Oil Company, and finally McMan Oil and Gas Company with his uncle and father-in-law Robert M. McFarlin. The companies participated in the exploitation of the Glenn Pool and Cushing oil fields of Oklahoma in the early 20th century. The McMan Oil Company was sold to the Magnolia Petroleum Company for $39,000,000 in 1916, and the McMan Oil and Gas Company was sold to the Standard Oil (Indiana) subsidiary Dixie Oil for $20,000,000 in 1930.[1][2]

Chapman married Leta McFarlin in 1908. They had a son, H. Allen Chapman, who was born in Colorado in 1919.[3]

Chapman and his family used the resulting fortune to establish philanthropic trusts that fund charities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. Funds are only distributed to the named beneficiaries of the trusts, which include institutions such as the University of Tulsa, Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas, John Brown University of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.[4] According to Internal Revenue Service Form 990 filings found at GuideStar[2], these trusts have reported well over one billion dollars in assets in recent years.

Chapman was also very fond of ranching and worked on the Chapman-Barnard Ranch in Osage County, Oklahoma for many years.[2]


  1. ^ "McFARLIN, ROBERT MARTIN (1866-1942)". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  2. ^ a b "CHAPMAN, JAMES ALLEN (1881-1966)". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  3. ^ Rogers State University, "RSU Names Baird Plaza for The Mary K. Chapman Foundation." September 20, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2013.[1]
  4. ^ "Chapman Charitable Trusts". Rogers and Bell. Retrieved 2010-11-01.