Whiteside County Biographies 1908
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Whiteside Biographies 1908 > Eugene H. Chamberlain

Transcribed by Denise McLoughlin
25 Mar 2010

Source: History of Whiteside County, Illinois, 1908

P 1124


Eugene H. Chamberlain, who owns and operates two hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive land in Newton Township, Whiteside County, also making a specialty of stock-raising, was born on this farm on the 21stof March, 1855. His parents, H. G. and Susan (Walker) Chamberlain, were natives of New York and Ohio, respectively. The former, accompanying his parents on their removal to the Buckeye state, remained there until twenty-five years of age and in 1848 went to Rock Island County, Illinois, where he lived for three years. On the expiration of that period he came to Newton Township, Whiteside County, bought a squatter’s clam, built a small house thereon, and made his home here for one year. He then returned to Ohio, where he was married, subsequently brought his bride to his farm in Newton Township, which was their place of residence until they were called to their final rest, the father passing away June 11, 1902, while the mother died on the 20thof April, 1907. Unto this worthy couple there were born seven children, namely: Eugene H., of this review; Arthur B., of Erie, Illinois; Alice M., the wife of M. E. Bull, of Currie, Minnesota; Linnie M., who is a school teacher of Erie, Illinois; Lillian M., the wife of Jacob Odenwald, of Newton Township, this county; and two who died in infancy.

Eugene H. Chamberlain acquired a common-school education, and when not busy with his text-books aided in the work of the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Thus by the time he was sixteen years of age he was well qualified to take entire charge of the place, and he successfully continued its operation until he had attained the age of thirty-one years. He now owns two hundred and eighty acres of fine farming land on sections 24, 26 and 27, Newton Township, which annually responds in golden harvests to the care and labor he bestows upon it. In connection with the cultivation of the fields he makes a specialty of raising full blooded shorthorn cattle, Percheron horses and Duroc Jersey hogs, his interest in this line of activity being indicated by his membership in the Percheron Hose Society of America and the National Society of Duroc Jersey Hogs. He is widely recognized as one of the prominent and prosperous agriculturists and stock-raisers of the county, whose success is the well merited reward of his untiring industry and sound business judgment.

On the 1stof January, 1885, Mr. Chamberlain was united in marriage to Miss Mary Wheelock, a daughter of A. J. and Bridget (Evans) Wheelock. The father, a native of the state of New York, was born in Genesee County of the 1stof June, 1827, and was a son of the Rev.  Wheelock, a native of Massachusetts, who was born in 1794. A. J. Wheelock was the seventh in order of birth in the father’s family, and was reared upon the home farm. When he was but five years of age his parents removed to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the Rev. Wheelock purchased a tract of land, cultivating it for a number of yers. He then removed to Bridgewater Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan, where he also carried on general agricultural pursuits. His son, A. J. Wheelock, left home when a boy of twelve years and went to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he secured employment in a livery stable. He followed that occupation for about two years, and when twenty years of age, with the money saved from his earnings, he opened a livery stable of his own in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and conducted the business successfully for six years. In 1853 he removed to Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, where he engaged with a stage company, and was thus employed for some time. Later he removed to Kane County, Illinois, and afterward worked on a railroad at Rochelle and La Salle. About 1855 he arrived in Sterling, Whiteside County, where he turned his attention to commercial pursuits, establishing a grocery store. He was married in Sterling, on the 14thof August of that year, to Miss Bridget Evans, a native of Ireland, born December 27, 1826. They were the parents of five children, but only two are now living: Mrs. Chamberlain; and George H., an agriculturist of Erie Township. The deceased members of the family are William A., Rosanna and Charles J. After the marriage of the parents the father engaged in railroading for a year and subsequently conducted a boarding house for the five years. In 1865, he removed to Erie Township, Whiteside County, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, to which he afterward added from time to time until he now owns three hundred and twenty-three and a half acres on section 14, Erie Township. In 1858 he again established a boarding house for workmen employed on the Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad, but afterward returned to the farm, where he now resides, having long been closely, actively and successfully associated with agricultural interest in this county. He is now practically living retired, making his home with his son, George, his wife having died April 4, 1904.

Mrs. Chamberlain taught school for ten years prior to her marriage, and is a lady of culture and refinement. She now has six children, as follows: Clara E., born September 12, 1887, a graduate of the district school when thirteen years of age; E. Clayton, born January 14, 1889, who is now attending St. Joseph’s College at Dubuque, Iowa; Ralph L., whose birth occurred July 17, 1890; George W., born May 28, 1892; Alice M., who was born April 21, 1895; and Joseph E., whose birth occurred November 25, 190, and who died August 8, 1902.

Mr. Chamberlain is a staunch republican in his political views, but without desire for office, for he feels that his entire time is demanded in the conduct of his business interests. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic Church and in the community where they reside are well and favorably known. A native son of Whiteside county and still living on the farm on which his birth occurred, Mr. Chamberlain has not only seen this rich agricultural country, containing thousands of good homes and acres of growing towns, inhabited by an industrious, prosperous, enlightened and progressive people, but he has participated in the slow, persistent work of development which was necessary to produce a change which is so complete that is has come to be popularly referred to as magical.


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