Chapman family | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
In 1847, Catharine Dorothy Rethingsiever, a seventeen year old immigrant from Bavaria, Germany, came to the United States. In 1848 she married Andrew Keidel in Cincinnati, Ohio, and they had four children: Christine, Mary, Margaret, and John A. Mr. Keidel drowned in 1864 while serving in the Fifteenth Cavalry of Illinois in the Civil War. Two years after the loss of her husband, Catharine remarried to Charles August Kindorf.
Catherine led a career as a midwife, delivering 44 recorded births between 1878 and 1881. In 1881, Catharine's only son John A. Keidel died at the age of 23. Her oldest daughter, Anna Margaret, married a man by the name of John Chapman and gave birth to Katherine and John A. Chapman. John married Ruby Clements and had three boys: Charles Robert, John Edwin, and George. It is Charles Robert Chapman who is credited with donating the Chapman Family Papers to the University. In 1933 Katherine married Ernest Bonham who died only six years later, leaving two children, Oren and Ernest.