Whiteside County Biographies 1908
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Whiteside Biographies 1908 > GEORGE W. CHAMBERLAIN

History of Whiteside County, IL, W. W. Davis, 1908
24 Mar 2010


p. 700


George W. Chamberlain was the eldest of four children, the others being farmer and stock-raiser of Lyndon township, passed away on the 3rd of May, 1900. He was born in Monterey, Steven County, New York, January 30, 1835, a son of Jason and Mary (Goodrich) Chamberlain, who were native of Worcester County, Massachusetts, their early life being spent in Petersham. Reared and married in that state, they afterward went to New York and in 1857 the father arrived in Whiteside County, Illinois, the mother having died in the Empire state. Mr. Chamberlain was married a second time and carried on general agricultural pursuits until his death in 1880.

George W. Chamberlain was the eldest of four children, the others being Mrs. Mary Cole, a resident of Osage, Iowa; Sylvester, who is living at Amboy, Illinois; and Lucy Loring, deceased. Until twenty-one years of age George W. Chamberlain remained in the Empire state and then came alone to the Middle West in 1856, being joined the following year by his parents. He settled first in Hopkins Township, where he resided until 1884, identified with the agricultural interests of this part of the state. In that year he went to South Dakota with his family and settled in McPherson County, where he owned and controlled extensive farming interests, spending twelve years in Lyndon Township, where he continued to reside until his life’s labors ended in death, on the 4thof May, 1900. He left an estate there of three hundred acres, the farm lying on sections 13 and 14, Lyndon Township. While carrying on his farm he made a study of the feeding and raising of cattle and horses and his business interests were carefully and successfully managed.

At the time of the Civil War Mr. Chamberlain, his sympathies thoroughly aroused in behalf of the Union, enlisted in August, 1861, as a member of the Company A, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He took part in fourteen important battles and also the siege of Vicksburg. He was never wounded nor in the hospital, but was always found at his post of duty, taking part in long, hard marches as well as in battles, or serving his turn on the lonely picket line. He continued at the front for several months after the cessation of hostilities, being mustered out in December, 1865. He afterward became a member of the Grand Army Post in South Dakota and thus in that section of the country he was also an active factor in political circles. From the time when age conferred upon him the right of franchise he gave unfaltering allegiance to the republican party, and while in the northwest served as president of the board of supervisors of McPherson county, filled other positions and was frequently chosen as a delegate to the party conventions. No trust reposed in him was ever betrayed in the slightest degree. On the contrary he was as loyal in citizenship as when he followed the old flag on southern battlefields and was equally faithful to the obligations which devolved upon him.

It was not long after his return from the war that Mr. Chamberlain was married in 1867 to Miss Olive Roe, who was born in Sharon Township, Richland County, Ohio, June 22, 1841, and in 1864 came with her parents to Mrs. Chamberlain is a daughter of Thomas and Curcurence (Orton) Chamberlain, the former a native of Richland County, Ohio, and the latter of Monroe County, New York. They were married in the Buckeye state and from 1864 continued residents of Whiteside County until called to their final rest, the father at the age of seventy-three years, the mother at the age of sixty-seven. She was of Connecticut parentage, while Mr. Roe’s people came from Orange County, New York. His grandfather, Thomas Roe, was a soldier of the American army in the Revolutionary war and, being captured, was sent as a prisoner to England, where he remained for a year. His son Thomas served in the war of 1812 under General William Henry Harrison. Unto Thomas and Curcurence Roe were born four children: Mrs. Chamberlain; Margaret Jane, the wife of Henry Wilser, of Lyndon Township; Oliver O., a resident of Dayton, Washington; and Joseph, who is living in Topeka, Kansas.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain was blessed with a daughter and two sons. The elder son, George Howard, born in Lyndon Township, in 1872, is living on the old homestead and Orton Jason is also in the same Township. The daughter, Lilly Mary, died at the age of two years. The death of the husband and father occurred May 3, 1900, and the County thereby lost a valued citizen, one who is a substantial measure contributed to the agricultural development of his part of the county. He belonged to that class of men who owe their advancement and success to their own efforts and as the architect of his own fortunes he builded [sic] wisely and well. (Photo)

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