Albert L. Chamberlain

Albert L. and Anna (Sutcliffe) Chamberlain

Agricultural interests of Franklin township find a progressive and worthy representative in Albert L. Chamberlain who has for many years owned and operated a fine farm of one hundred and ninety acres in this locality, the excellent condition of the property reflecting his careful supervision and practical methods. He was born in Hastings, Dakota county, Minnesota, on the 18th of December, 1858, and is a son of Theodore and Caroline (Felton) Chamberlain, natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in Pittsburgh in 1810 and the latter in Susquehanna county in 1830. The father was a great lover of horses and an able horseman, driving stage over the mountains from Pittsburgh in his early days. He went to Minnesota in 1853 and entered government land, turning his attention to the clearing, improving and developing of this property. The years brought him steady and well deserved success and he became well known as a prosperous and able agriculturist, dying upon his property in Dakota county in 1859. In addition to the work of his farm he also engaged in teaming for some time, hauling goods form Dubuque to Hastings and St. Paul over the ice of the Mississippi river during the winter months and becoming known as the best driver in that section of Minnesota. His wife has also passed away, dying in 1888 upon the Dakota county farm. She was a representative of one of the earliest pioneer families in that vicinity. Her father served as the first coroner of Dakota county, her mother was the first white woman who ever baked a loaf of bread there and her sister was the first bride in the county. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Chamberlain wedded Frederick Myers, a resident of Dakota county, and they became the parents of four children. By her first husband she had seven children, of whom the subject of this review is the youngest in the order of birth.

Albert L. Chamberlain acquired his education in the public schools of Dakota county, Minnesota, and later entered a business college at Winona, that state, which he attended for one term. His childhood was spent upon his father’s’ farm and he assisted from an early age with the work of its operation. After his father’s death he remained upon the property until he was twenty-eight years of age, assisting his elder brother in the operation of the homestead. Afterward he worked as timekeeper for a local railroad contractor for one year and then turned his attention to farming, renting land near Castle Rock, Minnesota. At the end of one year he went to the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana, and there engaged in the strawberry business for one season, coming at the end of that time to Iowa and purchasing a farm of ninety acres in Allamakee county, near Luana. He found this a practically unimproved tract, forty acres of which were cleared, but with characteristic energy set himself to develop and cultivate the land. Success attended his well directed efforts and from time to time he added to his holdings until he owns today one hundred and ninety acres, all high cultivated. Mr. Chamberlain has one of the best equipped farms in the township, provided with a modern residence and substantial barns and outbuildings, all of which he keeps in good repair. He specializes in the breeding and raising of high-grade stock, keeping fine herds of shorthorn cattle, his animals commanding a high price and ready sale upon the market. He is a member of the Cooperative Shipping Association of Luana and of the creamery company of that city and his ability is widely recognized in business circles.

On the 31st of January, 1889, Mr. Chamberlain was united in marriage to Miss Anna Sutcliffe, who was born in Hastings Dakota county, Minnesota, on the 19th of January, 1865, a daughter of James and Anna (Wilde) Sutcliffe, natives of England. The father was born in Yorkshire, March 8, 1835, and the mother, who was some years younger, was left an orphan at an early age and reared by her grandfather. The father was a contractor and builder by trade and at the age of twenty-two crossed the Atlantic to America, going directly to Chicago, Illinois, where he engaged in business until about the year 1855. He then moved to Hastings, Minnesota, and at the outbreak of the Civil was enlisted under General La Duc, going south as an army carpenter. He served for two years and after his discharge returned to Minnesota, where he entered land, continuing active in agricultural pursuits in Dakota county until 1882. In that year he moved to Franklin township, Allamakee county, Iowa, and became a large landowner, residing in the vicinity of Postville until about 1905, when he moved to Michigan, where he is now residing retired in Vanderbuilt. His wife passed away when Mrs. Chamberlain was still a child. The father had been previously married to his first union were born seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain have two sons. William LeRoy, born May 11, 1890, married Miss Helen Laughlin and is now engaged in farming in Post township. Leon E., who was born September 16, 1892, is residing with his parents.

Mr. Chamberlain is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Brotherhood of America. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and served as township clerk for two years, although he has never been active as an office seeker. Mr. Chamberlain gives much credit for his success to the able assistance, helpfulness and sound advice of his faithful wife and helpmate but much must also be attributed to his own energy, enterprise and public spirit. He is today one of the most prosperous farmers of this township, enjoying in large measure the confidence and regard of all who know him.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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