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Chapman Avenue (Orange)





There are two Chapman Avenues in Orange County. And that confuses people.

Phil Brigandi, who wrote the book "Orange County Place Names A-Z," says, "there's Chapman Avenue in Orange, which is named for one of the founders of the town, Alfred Beck Chapman, an attorney from up in Los Angeles."

Alfred Beck Chapman was a West Point graduate. The Army sent him to California in the 1850s. He married the daughter of a lawyer, went into law himself, and worked as both L.A. City Attorney and L.A. County District Attorney. In private practice, Chapman began accepting land in lieu of cash for his legal services. By 1870, he and his partner, Andrew Glassell, owned more than 5,000 acres in Orange County. They wanted to call it "Richland," but there was already a Richland in Northern California. So they had a poker game to decide what the name would be. It's not clear who won the right to name the town, but today Orange has streets that honor both Glassell and his partner Alfred Chapman.