Birth: Jun. 7, 1830.
Death: Jun. 20, 1882.
Dexter E. Clapp was born in Genesee county, New York, June 7, 1830. He was descended from Captain Roger Clapp, who came over with a colony from Dorchester, England, and established the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts now a part of Boston. His father, Ralph Clapp, graduated in the first class of Amherst College, immigrated to New York in 1827, where he became a minister in the Congregational church and afterward in the Methodist Episcopal church, and for fifty two years has filled worthily his place in the pulpit in that State. He is still living, but has retired from active work. The mother of the subject of our memoir was Mary Dexter, of Amherst, Massachusetts, who died when he was but ten years old. She was a lady of culture, a devout Christian woman, worthily filling the place of a clergyman’s wife and a good mother.
Dexter E. Clapp was educated at Genesee College, New York, graduating in the class of 1854, receiving the degree of A. M. in course, and the same honorary degree from the University of New York. In acquiring an education he spent seven years, alternately teaching and pursuing his studies. On leaving college he entered the ministry of the East Genesee conference of the Methodist Episcopal church and occupied the pulpit until 1862, when he entered the army as captain of Co. C, 148th New York State Volunteers. Under detail from General B. F. Butler, he raised the 38th Regiment United Stated Colored Infantry, which he commanded during the war, except during most of the winter of 1864, when he was in command of the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division of the 18th Army Corps.
He participated in the battles of various campaigns in and around Richmond, and was brevetted Brigadier General of volunteers for gallant conduct at the battles of New Market Heights and Ft. Gilmore on the 29th day of September 1864. After the close of the war he represented our Government several years as minister to the Argentine Confederation in South America. Resigning this position he returned home and finally came to Kansas, settling upon a tract of raw prairie land, now known as Hope Farm, six miles west of Yates Center. Subsequently he was appointed agent for the Crow Indians in the wilds of Montana, in which capacity he served his country honestly and faithfully for nearly two years. Returning to this county, he soon afterward entered politics and was in the fall of 1878 elected as Representative in the Legislature of this State, and was re-elected in 1880, he being a member of the house at the time of his death. By his colleagues in the Legislature he was recognized as a leader, always ready to debate, sparkling, full of quick retort, and although naturally mild, gentle and courteous, a perfect tiger when aroused by an unjust attack. There are few men in the State who are more highly esteemed or whose loss would be more generally felt.