Josiah Blodget Chaney was born on October 16, 1828, in Falmouth, Maine, the son of Josiah and Elizabeth Gowen Chaney. Beginning as a printer's apprentice in 1841, Chaney worked as a printer and pressman throughout New England, Wisconsin, and Illinois until 1858. In that year he moved to Minnesota, first to St. Anthony, and finally to St. Paul in 1864. He was employed by the Falls Evening News and Minnesota Republican (1858-1861); served with the Second Company, Minnesota Sharpshooters (1861-1862); was pressman for the State Atlas office (1862-1864) and the St. Paul Pioneer and Dispatch (1865-1871); member of the printing firm of Ramaley, Chaney & Company, St. Paul (1872-1874); pressman for The Globe (1878-1887); member of the St. Paul Board of Education (1872-1875); and Minnesota Historical Society assistant librarian in charge of the newspaper department and museum (1887-1908). Chaney was also a member of the Minnesota Historical Society (1857-1908); St. Paul Academy of Natural Sciences (1873-1883); First Universalist Society of St. Paul (1869-1887); St. Anthony and Minneapolis Typographical Union (1860); Masons (1852-1908); Acker Post, Grand Army of the Republic (1870-1908); and Ancient Order of United Workmen (1880s-1890s).
He married Melissa Ann Moore on April 9, 1854. They had two daughters, Aprilla B. and Delia Elizabeth. Chaney died on June 11, 1908 in St. Paul.
Biographical information was taken from the collection and from Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Vol. XII (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1908), pp. 774-779.
From the guide to the Josiah B. Chaney and family papers, 1792-1917., (Minnesota Historical Society)