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Joyce Marion Chapman Papers, 1920-

 Series — Box: 1

Scope and Contents

Included in the papers of Joyce Marion Chapman are photographs of her, biographical sketches she wrote on members of her family, a family tree of her mother, Zella's, lineage,an ancestral chart for six generations relating to Joyce's mother, Zella, nee Keyes, a Daughter's of the American Revolution certificate, ephemera from her career as a real estate agent in Palm springs, material related to her participation in the Racquet Club of Palm Springs, an article reprint of Charles Farrell who was one of the founders of the Racquet Club, several scrapbooks Joyce made of movie stars' photos from magazines and newsprint, a Society of Mayflower Descendants application and letter, and an application for membership to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., dated October 26, 1938, and filled out and submitted by Ida Bocock Smith outlining her lineage back to John Russell, who was a private in the Lancaster Militia, Continental Army, in 1775, during the Revolutionary War. The Russell line is related to Joyce on the Chapman side of the family, from her grandfather Frank's grandmother, Eliza Swink Russell (who married David Clarke).

In addition, there is a digital file, disc, that has music and audio of a toast and Joyce speaking, at her 90th birthday party which was held in the Joyce Marion Chapman Rotunda of the Leatherby Libraries on 6/24/2010. Joyce's actual birthday is June 25.

The papers of Grant Chapman consist mainly of photographs of him, his wife Zella, his daughter Victoria Chapman Olear. This collection also contains Grant's commencement brochure and diploma from USC where he earned his degree of Bachelor of Laws on June 18, 1925, his certificate from the District Court of Appeal of California stating that he passed the bar and permitting him to practice as an attorney, and his attorney at law business cards. Included in this collection is ephemera related to Grant's election as Justice of the Peace of Covina and a list of campaign expenses. There is also a biographical sketch of Grant and her mother, Zella, written by their daughter, Joyce Chapman.

Included in this sub-series are two aviation licenses belonging to Grant's brother, Clarke, issued by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and signed by Orville Wright, one dated 1926 and the other dated 1928. There is also material in these papers relating to Joyce's brother, Grant Keyes Chapman. There is a pamphlet entitled "Pearl Harbor Story, 1977, by Capt. William T. Rice in which Grant K. Chapman is acknowledged in preparing the book, and a Portsmouth (Ohio) Times article dated Aug. 31, 1943, about Grant K. who had to land a bomber in a field when he rant out of gas on a routine flight from Orlando to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.


  • 1920-

Biographical / Historical

Joyce Marion Chapman is the granddaughter of Frank Marion Chapman and Wilhelmina Zillen Chapman who settled in Covina on the citrus ranch, Palmetto Grove. Frank and Wilhelmina had four children, Frank, Grant, Grace, and Clarke. Grant was born June 11, 1891 in Chicago and died in 1957 in Covina, CA.

Grant and his wife, Zella Vesta Keyes, also settled in Covina.Their children were Grant Keyes Chapman and Joyce Marion Chapman. In the 1920s when Joyce was born, Covina was a small, tight-knit community of mostly orange ranches like the one her grandfather owned. Church, civic and Chapman family functions nurtured Joyce and her brother, Grant Keyes Chapman. Education was always important. Joyce’s father was a graduate of USC Law School and practiced law in addition to growing oranges on their ranch.

Joyce went on to obtain her two-year degree from Citrus JC. She then moved to Hawaii to visit her brother who was in the Army Air Corps. She lived on base at Wheeler Field and attended the University of Hawaii. One week before Pearl Harbor was bombed, Joyce’s brother sent her home. It turned out that Wheeler Field was also bombed. Her brother, thankfully, was not injured. Joyce attended Chapman College in Los Angeles for a semester before she completed her BA and teaching credential at the University of La Verne. She also completed a fifth year at UCLA while earning her high school teaching credential.

After teaching for five years, Joyce followed in the entrepreneurial footsteps of her forebears and built a building in Palm Springs, on Palm Canyon Dr., where she lived and sold real estate for more than twenty five years. This was during the time when the Hollywood film industry discovered this playground in the desert and began buying property and spending their vacations in Palm Springs. Joyce belonged to Charlie Farrell’s Racquet Club, which was quite a prestigious club during this heyday. Joyce admired the actors and actresses she met there, and still enjoys looking over the dozens of autographed photos she personally obtained over the years.

Joyce followed in her grandfather’s and great-uncle’s footsteps by working in real estate, managing the family estate, and becoming the businesswoman she is today. A member of the Disciples of Christ Church, she also follows the Chapman family tradition of philanthropic pursuits such as the Kiwanis Club and plays an active role in the Foundation efforts of Chapman University. Joyce loves to attend the monthly Board of Trustee luncheons held on campus. She is deeply interested in the Leatherby Libraries and donated money that enabled the library to purchase Kurzweil software for the visually impaired. She also donated an exquisite mid-19th century Japanese carved display cabinet now showcased in the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives.

Grant Keyes Chapman married Joyce McWherter and they had a daughter, Victoria Lyn Chapman, April 14, 1948. Grant Keyes Chapman and Joyce divorced and Joyce remarried Joe Thomas in 1979. Grant Keyes Chapman remarried Shirley Strobele and they had a son, Grant Chapman born Oct. 26, 1965. Victoria Lyn Chapman married Steven Olear in Feb. 1973. Their daughter Rosemarie Olear was born Jan. 8, 1974 and their son, Andrew Lee Olear, was born Oct. 22, 1978.


1.3 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Separated Materials

Oversize family tree of the genealogy of Joyce Marion Chapman's mother, Zella Vesta Chapman, is located in Flat File B, Drawer 14.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections & Archives Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange CA 92866 USA US