Capt Chauncey Bedford Sleeper

Capt Chauncey Bedford Sleeper

Holland, Erie County, New York, USA
Death 31 Dec 1888 (aged 50)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Blk 8 Lot 23 8 ft. SWC
Memorial ID 46473428 · View Source
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Arrived in Brainerd in 1872.

•See Dr. Werner Hemstead.
•See George W. Holland.
•See George D. LaBar.
•See Anna Steege Ferris Young.
•See Lory Wilson Burrell.
•See Florence A. Mellen Potter.
•See John 'Jack' O'Neill.

      We have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Captain Sleeper, a prominent lawyer of Minneapolis. The captain proposes to locate in Brainerd, we believe, and enter into the practice of law here. We are pleased to welcome him to our young and growing community, and from what we hear of him as a lawyer and gentleman, doubt not that he will receive a fair share of the legal business hereabout. (Brainerd Tribune, 31 August 1872, p. 4, c. 1)

      AN ARSENAL.—We happened into Capt. Sleeper's office the other day, and found nobody in—the Captain had probably gone out with a client to see a man. We sat down in the easy chair at the desk, and felt very like a lawyer, or something. We gazed around at the law books, and tried to estimate the amount of things inside their covers that we didn't know—but gave it up, 'cause the books were too big and there was too many of them. Then we swung around on the pivot-chair and viewed the thing generally. On the wall to the left there hung a map of "Evergreen Cemetery," which is one of the institutions of Brainerd. There it was, all laid off in blocks and lots, with beautiful walks, parks, etc. We always had an aversion to considering "grave" subjects, and not being of a speculative turn, we had no inclination to invest in corner lots in that kind of a town site; so we swung the pivot-chair around another quarter and beheld—what? Why an arsenal. There in one corner of the spacious office was more guns and things than we had seen since '63. We are not much of a gunster, and at first, thought probably we'd better go right home, and avoid accidents. But then our bump of curiosity is similar to other peoples', and so we thought we would just look 'em over a little. The only gun we are used to is the flintlock, and the long-tom rifle, common in the Mohawk valley, where we were bred; but here was double-barrel shot guns, single barrels, shot guns without ramrods, and with ramrods, and shot guns plain. There was ramrod rifles, single and double rifles, rifles with holes abaft, real guns, and old-fashioned guns. We finally got to examining the lot of miscellaneous artillery before us, and in fifteen minutes we had guns uncocked, cocked, half-cocked, and double-cocked, and cocked for business. But it was easier to get them into this ox than to get them straightened out again; and after we had worried away until we had got the whole kingdom of cocks before us into the most wretched confusion, we guessed we'd better slope, and we did. Whether the Captain has ever got the arsenal straightened out, or whether in his attempt to fix the armory to rights again the whole outfit went off and blowed the roof off the building and killed everybody within four blocks, we haven't heard. We hope no serious trouble will be the result. (Brainerd Tribune, Morris Russell, 25 September 1875, p. 4, c. 1)

      Capt. C. B. Sleeper has purchased the Hotel Svea of E. H. Bly, and moved into it on Friday of last week. (Brainerd Tribune, 04 December 1875, p. 1, c. 7)

      CAPT. SLEEPER has moved a building on the corner opposite Bly's store, and is fitting it up for an office. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 December 1875, p. 1, c. 7)

      CAPT. C. B. SLEEPER has been tendered a position at the Centennial by President J. R. Hawley and is waiting anxiously for his commission, desirous to know what it is to be. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 March 1876, p. 1, c. 7)

      CAPT. C. B. SLEEPER is organizing a party for the Black Hills to leave here in early spring. He proposes to take provisions and outfit for a year’s tramp, and thoroughly prospect the Hills until they strike a lead. Success. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 December 1876, p. 1, c. 7)

That Large Buck Killed.

      That large buck that has led many a hunter a "wild goose chase" and frequented the timber south-east of town for the past three years—all that time successfully evading the death-dealing bullet, though thousands of them have whistled about his ears, was finally shot by Capt. Sleeper on Wednesday morning between the N. P. machine shops and Robt. Cowley's residence. Uncle Ed. White says the buck became disgusted with our hunters and came in to town and gave himself up. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 November 1877, p. 1, c. 1)

      MRS. DR. F. E. BISSELL of Litchfield, Minnesota, better known, perhaps, among her friends in this city by her maiden name—Miss Addie Simonds [sic] [Simons]—is, with her little son, visiting with the family of her uncle, Capt. C. B. Sleeper, of Brainerd. Miss Simonds [sic] [Simons], it will be remembered, resided here some four or five years ago and taught several terms as principal of our public schools. (Brainerd Tribune, 09 February 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

      Capt. Sleeper is erecting a large wing on the south side of his residence cor. Laurel street and Broadway, for the accommodation of his boarders who increase in number almost daily. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 April 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

      Capt. Sleeper was appointed Clerk of the Court this week by Judge Stearns to fill the vacancy from now until January, and having qualified is now ready to issue marriage licenses and such. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 November 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

      Capt. C. B. Sleeper sold his farm on yesterday and purchased the block north of his present residence between Front and Laurel streets. He will erect a spacious hotel on this block the coming summer—a sort of family boarding or Park Place hotel—adding much to the appearance of that portion of the city. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 December 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

                        Our Associate.

      It has been a fact apparent to the readers as well as the management of the TRIBUNE for some time past that the largely increased duties devolving upon the editor-in-chief, owing to his recent promotion to the position as postmaster have detracted very materially from the editorial standing of the paper. This we have regretted exceedingly, it being our desire and aim to make the TRIBUNE second to no local journal in the State, and though we have labored hard to overcome, working early and late, we have met with but indifferent success.
      With this issue, however, our friend and fellow citizen, Capt. C. B. Sleeper, assumes the position of Associate Editor, and the Rubicon is crossed.
      The Captain needs no introduction to the TRIBUNE readers, they are already familiar with his ready pen, but we may be permitted to add that in the future (the Captain will get his harness regularly adjusted next week) there will be nothing left to be desired. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 January 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

      Capt. Sleeper is fencing and otherwise improving his block of land on Broadway. He has a splendid location, central, and intends to show people what Brainerd soil will produce. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 April 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

      Capt. Sleeper purchased this week about 40 acres of land of L. S. & P. S. company, lying directly south of the shops, and adjoining the right-of-way and shop reserve grounds. This is a valuable tract of land, and will undoubtedly be improved with the Captain's accustomed enterprise. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 May 1880, p. 4, c. 2)

      Citizens proposing to use coal the coming winter are requested to meet at Capt. Sleeper's office, on Front street, on Friday evening next at 8 o'clock for the purpose of arranging to purchase a winter's supply. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 July 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

      A high-flyer named McMann, while driving around town with one of Sheriff Mertz' rigs, fell to abusing the horse, and carried the matter to such an extent that the sheriff ordered him out of the rig. He refused to comply with the request, and at once became very ugly. He was therefore forcibly taken from the vehicle by the Sheriff and Capt. Sleeper, and had to be sounded on the cranium a little occasionally to render him sufficiently docile to be taken to the refrigerator. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 July 1881, p. 5, c. 3)

      C. B. Sleeper, attorney at law, clerk of the court, justice of the peace, and president in prospect of the new bank. Mr. Sleeper is one of those shrewd, far-seeing men, who always exercise a fatherly interest over a place, and Brainerd is under much obligation to him for its present growth and prosperity. Mr. Sleeper is prime mover in organizing a new bank, the want of which has been much felt by the businessmen. (Brainerd Tribune, 27 August 1881, p. 5, c. 3)

      Col. [sic] Sleeper will shortly move into the residence he has lately purchased of Mr. [sic - Dr.] Cheney on 8th street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

      On Monday last Capt. Sleeper moved into his new residence on Eighth street, and Dr. Cheney moved into the Sleeper residence on Laurel street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

[Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, January 4, 1889]


He Passes Into the Unknown Beyond
on Tuesday Morning

Brainerd Mourns the Loss of a Valued
and Respected Citizen

"Leaves have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, And stars to set; - but all, Thou hasn't all seasons for thine own, O Death"

Judge Sleeper passed away on Tuesday morning at 12:45 surrounded by his sorrowing family. His illness had been of some three weeks duration and during the last few days his friends had almost given up hopes of his recovery although all that skilled physicians could do was done. His disease was a complication of liver and stomach troubles which had annoyed him for some two or three years, but his constitution was such that he did not succumb to the disease until it had gained such a hold on him that recovery was impossible. He was hopeful of recovery to the least and was conscious until a short time before his death.

In the death of Judge Sleeper Brainerd loses a most valued citizen, a man who was esteemed for his charitable acts and public enterprise. He came to Brainerd some sixteen years ago, early in 1872, when the city was in its infancy, and cast his lot with the early comers to this city, firmly believing that in it there was a future, and his untiring efforts were devoted to building up and advancing its interests, and as monuments to his memory today stands the Sleeper opera house on Broadway, an elegant structure and a source of much pleasure to the people of this city; also the Sleeper block on Front street. He was instrumental in originating the Brainerd, Crookston & Northwestern railroad enterprise, now the B. & N. W. He acquired a large amount of real estate and platted Sleeper's Addition and Sleeper's Park Addition, and was connected with all enterprises which were to advance public interests. The beautiful summer resort on Long Lake, known as Lake View, some four miles from the city, was built by him.

To show with what esteem he was held by his fellow citizens it may be stated that he has held various offices of public trust, having been elected county auditor, clerk of district court, county attorney, and registrar of deeds. In March 1887, he was elected mayor of Brainerd, but resigned the office immediately after his election to accept the appointment of judge of the Fifteenth judicial district, which was tendered him by Gov. McGill. His official career as judge expired on Dec. 31st, the day on which his death occurred. In his judicial career his record was such as to give the greatest satisfaction, as he was a profound jurist, and close and observant student, and a learned man. He was at one time publisher of the Dispatch, but sold out shortly after he acquired his interest to his partner.

In politics Judge Sleeper was a staunch republican and his opinion of matters pertaining to the welfare of the party in state or local matters was eagerly sought by his political friends. No man in the whole state evinced more pleasure the the announcement of the success of his party on the National ticket at the recent election than he.

During all the years he practiced law in this place he was very successful, and his practice was extensive. He had one of the finest libraries in the state, or Northwest for that matter.

At the time of his death he was Most Eminent Commander of Ascalon Commandery No. 16, Knights Templar, and Sir Knight Captain of the U. R. K. P. The former society took charge of the remains while they laid in state at St. Paul's Episcopal church on Wednesday forenoon, and also of the funeral services which occurred on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. From 2 until 5 o'clock on Wednesday all businesses in the city closed in honor of his memory.

The funeral cortege formed on Eighth street, in front of the Masonic temple, and was escorted to the late residence of the deceased by the First Regiment U. R. K. P. band. In the procession were the members of Ascalon Commandery, K. T., Brainerd Bar Association, Uniform Rank K. of P., White Cross Lodge K. of P., Brainerd Board of Trade and the Fire Department. From his home the funeral procession marched to the church where the impressive ceremonies were conducted by the Rev. Geo. H. Davis. From the church nearly one thousand people followed the earthly remains to Evergreen cemetery where they were laid to rest, the Knights Templar performing the ceremonies which were as beautiful as they were impressive.

Judge Sleeper leaves a grief-stricken wife and two daughters, Mrs. Edward Hazen and Mrs. J. L. Smith, to mourn his death. The sympathy of the entire community goes out to them in their time of sorrow. He was a kind and loving husband and an indulgent father, and the sorrowing ones left behind can find solace in the fact that those who knew the deceased most intimately, placed the highest estimate upon his character as a man and citizen - his strict integrity was unquestioned.


Judge C. B. Sleeper was born at Holland, Erie county, New York in 1838. His father came from an old New Hampshire family that sent off a branch into Vermont. Nearly all the Sleepers in the country are of New England stock. His mother was of French ancestry, the family name being originally Bonpasse. The first of the name came to New England in the brig Fortune, in the year 1621. The name shared the fate of many fine and significant French names in this country, being corrupted first into Bumpas and then into Bump. Judge Sleeper was educated in Aurora Academy, studied law in Buffalo and was admitted to the bar in New York City in 1860. He raised a company during the civil war, and served in the Army of the Potomac under Gen. Slocum. After the war he went to Minneapolis, where he practiced law for two years. In 1871 he moved to Brainerd, one year after the first establishment of the town, the place having at that time about 1,200 inhabitants.

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The roster of the 145th NY Infantry at the NY State Division of Military and Naval Affairs ( has this:

SLEEPER, CHAUNCEY B.—Age, 24 years. Enrolled at New York city, to serve three years, and mustered in as captain, Co. H, September 11,1862; muster-in cancelled, company having less than the minimum. Commissioned captain, February 27, 1863, with rank from September 11, 1862, original.

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  • Created by: John Van Essen
  • Added: 8 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46473428
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Chauncey Bedford Sleeper (11 Jan 1838–31 Dec 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46473428, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by John Van Essen (contributor 47136297) .