Chapin, Charles V. (Charles Value), 1856-1941

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Charles V. Chapin: Superintendent of Health, Providence, R.I.

From the description of Report concerning the state board of health / [Charles V. Chapin]. [1912?] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 49480067

Physician, public health officer, educator,and writer.

From the description of Papers, 1901-1939. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 145430096

Charles V. Chapin (1856-1941) was born in Providence, Rhode Island to Joshua Bicknell Chapin (1814-1881) and Louise (Value) Chapin (1814-1890). His father was a physician and the Commissioner of Public Schools in Rhode Island. He married Anna Augusta (Balch) (1858-1947) on May 6, 1866 and they had a son Howard M. (1887-1940), who was the director of the RI Historical Society Library from1913 until his death in 1940.

Chapin obtained his early education at English and Classical High Schools and then entered Brown University and graduated with an A.B. in 1876. After graduation he studied under Dr. George Wilcox and then continued his education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Bellevue Hospital and Medical College. In 1879, upon graduating with his M.D., he worked at Bellevue for a year. In 1880, Chapin returned to Providence and started a private practice. He was also a Professor of Physiology at Brown University from 1883 to 1896.

1884 was the year in which Chapin was appointed as Superintendent of Health and he served in that capacity until his retirement in 1932. Chapin had tried to retire in the early 1900s due to poor health, however, after taking a hiatus out of the country, he came back and resumed his position. He also held the job of City Registrar from 1889-1932.

Chapin was well known, nationally and internationally, for his public health work related to contagious diseases, such as diphtheria, scarlet fever, and typhoid. His research showed that contagious diseases were not airborne, but were spread through contact. He was also a prolific writer and lecturer and was a member of many associations and societies. Chapin was the president of the American Public Health Association in 1926 and 1927 and was the first president of the American Epidemiology Society in 1927. He also received the Sedgwick Medal in 1930.

In 1910, he was instrumental in setting up City Hospital, where people who had contagious diseases could get medical care. Currently this former hospital building is a dormitory for Providence College. Chapin died in 1941 and is buried at the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.

From the guide to the Charles V. Chapin Papers, 1880-1941, (Rhode Island Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Providence Board of Health records, 1857-1977 Rhode Island State Archives
referencedIn George Moses Price files and scrapbook, 1883-1952 [bulk 1912-1942]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Price, George Moses, 1864-1942. George Moses Price files and scrapbook, 1883-1952, bulk 1912-1942. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Chapin, Charles V. (Charles Value), 1856-1941. Report concerning the state board of health / [Charles V. Chapin]. Rhode Island Historical Society
referencedIn Lippitt, Henry Frederick 1856-1933. Henry Frederick Lippitt Papers 1881 - 1933 Brown University, Brown University Library
creatorOf Brown University. Lecture notes (faculty), 1814-1961. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Charles V. Chapin Papers, 1880-1941 Rhode Island Historical Society
referencedIn Henry Frederick Lippitt papers, Lippitt (Henry Frederick) Papers, 1881-1933 John Hay Library, Special Collections
creatorOf Chapin, Charles Value, 1856-1940. Papers, 1901-1939. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
referencedIn Charles-Edward Amory Winslow papers, 1874-1977, 1915-1945 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Winslow, C.-E. A. (Charles-Edward Amory), 1877-1957. Charles-Edward Amory Winslow papers, 1874-1977 (inclusive), 1915-1945 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf [Charles V. Chapin, biographical materials] University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brown University. corporateBody
associatedWith Lippitt, Henry Frederick 1856-1933 person
associatedWith Massachusetts. State Board of Health. corporateBody
associatedWith Price, George Moses, 1864-1942. person
associatedWith Providence (R.I.). Board of Health corporateBody
associatedWith Winslow, C.-E. A. (Charles-Edward Amory), 1877-1957. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Public health
Public health administration
Communicable diseases


Birth 1856-01-17

Death 1941-01-31



Ark ID: w6rj4khf

SNAC ID: 3492327