Ray Edward Chapin (1866-1967) was born in Brighton, Illinois, on October 16, 1886 to Lucius (1849-1925) and Emma Chaplin (1852-1939). In 1898, the family relocated to Hudson, Ohio. Lucius served as the publisher of the local newspaper from 1914 until 1919.
Ray moved back to Illinois sometime in 1910 and was living in Chicago, Illinois employed as a salesman for Goodyear Tire and Rubber. During the War, Ray enlisted in the US Army mid-1918 and served in the 310th Field Signal Battalion, Co. C as a Private First Class. He sailed for France on July 21, and arrived on August 12, 1918. While there, his unit documented the war by taking photographs, and Ray sent back photos to newspapers in Ohio, such as the Akron Evening Times.
After the armistice on November 11, 1918, Ray’s unit remained stationed in Germany as part of the American occupation forces. Ray served on the editorial staff of The Fourth Corps Flare, the first A.E.F. newspaper published on the Rhine. Ray was discharged from the army September 21st, 1920, with the rank of Sergeant. He stayed in Germany working for the American Army of Occupation, (AMAROC) News, located in Coblenz.
As a newspaper correspondent for AMAROC News, Ray traveled around post-war Europe visiting Poland, Switzerland, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Spain. Ray was inside Poland when the Russian Army attacked during the Polish-Soviet War and witnessed the Battle of Warsaw.
Ray remained in Europe until December 1923. While in the United States, he briefly visited Hudson, and then moved to Pomona, California. Ray began work for the Powell Press Service, taking photographs of boat racing in California.
In 1940, Ray worked as manager for the Long Beach News Bureau. He still covered boat races, but also covered other stories such as yacht and sailing events. Ray passed away on October 23, 1967, and is buried at Indio, Riverside County, California.
Hudson citizens raised funds for a memorial tablet honoring the men who served in the US Army from the village. Despite still being in Germany, Ray E. Chapin’s name is on the memorial tablet. The tablet was unveiled to the public on May 30, 1919. The memorial is in front of the Boy Scout Cabin at the corner of Route 303 and South Main Street.