Known as a quiet unassuming man, Adolphus Chapin (1796-1875) was also known for his will power, and reliable judgement. Although much older than Mrs. Wheaton, Adolphus took a special interest in her early education.
Some suggest that it was his "feeble" health that caused him to stay home in New England and devote himself to his mother rather than travel to Michigan and fight in the Black Hawk War with his brothers Henry and Samuel. Whatever the cause, Adolphus became very important to young Eliza's development and after the death of Laban Morey Wheaton in 1865, she turned to him for advice and comfort. The relationship must have been equally important to Adolphus because in 1872 he granted Mrs. Wheaton his power of attorney.