Rounded Rectangle: Text Box: 1931 Tribute—Special Edition of the Oxford County Citizen

Dr. William Rogers Chapman, a son of the Rev. William Rogers Chapman who was born and raised in Bethel, is very proud of his Maine ancestry, and although he resides in New York in the winters, he has for many years made Bethel his summer home. He has been noticed in both Bethel celebrations with paper write-ups, and at this time we will only mention the outstanding events of the last 30 years.
Dr. Chapman has done more for music all over the State than any other man of this generation. His name is known in every town as well as city over the State. For 30 years beginning in 1897, he conducted the Maine Music Festivals in Bangor and Portland, bringing to these annual festivals the greatest artists in the world to appear with his chorus and orchestra. These were 
most successful, but because of neuritis in his right arm, he was obliged to resign the strenuous work in 1927.
Dr. Chapman had charge of the music for the Maine Centennial in Portland in 1920, and then assembled the bands from all over the State, comprising 214 members, with a chorus of 1,000 voices gave two great out-of-doors concerts, attended by audiences from all over New England. It was estimated that 20,000 people attended these concerts. 

In June 1926 he was honored by the University of Maine with the honorary degree of Doctor of Music, the first time the degree had ever been given by the University to any musician. President Boardman, in making the presentation used these words:

Dr. Chapman has written many compositions for piano, church, choir, chorus and solo rendition. The last two: “Spring Joy” and “The Call of the May Dancers,” written for the Rubenstein Club of New York, have been very popular, and sung by many choruses all over the United States, and placed on the programme of the Biennial Convention in San Francisco in June 1931. 

On April 27, 1927, a red oak tree was planted in the Honor Grove of Central Park, at the same time that General Charles A. Summerall was also honored. The tree bears this inscription on a brass plate (below):




Miss Strike, WRC and Miss Strike’s foal on the left

WRC driving Miss Strike

Music Festival picnic group assembled in front of the Chapman home in Mayville

Bethel Riverside Cemetery—Chapman memorial

WRC Bethel summer residence 1912-1918

Riverside House or Riverside Farm Chapman’s summer home from 1912-1918, later named Bethaven and the 1924-1935 final William Rogers Chapman  summer home.—daughter Cornelia lived there until her death in 1954.

The Bethel Journals PO Box 763  Bethel, Maine 04217

Ex-Governor Milliken of Maine gave the address.

(Note: in 2012 apparently further development of Central Park after 1927 may have removed earlier memorials including Chapman’s—Central Park online information no longer refers to this Honor Grove