submitted by Neal Carter, Sept. 2, 2007


Old Settlers’ Meeting
Muscatine, Dec. 28, 1874

At a meeting of Old Settlers, called at the death of Wm. Chambers, sr., Wm. Leffingwell was chosen Chairman and stated the objective of the meeting.

Mr. Block, after stating that our meeting to-day was one of unusual solemnity on account of the death, not only of Mr. Chambers, but his daughter-in-law, Mrs. John Chambers, also dead, who has grown up among us from her childhood, moved that a committee of three on resolutions be appointed by the Chairman. Block, Foster and Couch, were made that committee.

On motion of Mr. Funck it was resolved that the Old Settlers attend the funeral in a body. Adjourned to meet at 1 o’clock.---P. JACKSON, Sec’y.


At the adjourned meeting at 1 o’clock, the committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

    WHEREAS, It has again pleased the Creator of all things to take from our midst one of the oldest pioneers, at the advanced age of nearly 82 years --- also almost at the same hour, the spirit of our younger friend, Mrs. Mary Chambers, wife of brother John Chambers, departed --- we herein recognize the truth, “the old must and the young may die;” therefore, be it

    Resolved, That in the death of our friend, Wm. Chambers, the family have lost a kind and good father, the community a good citizen and the church a good and consistent member.

    Resolved, Further, that in the death of Mrs. Chambers, our brother has lost a good and faithful wife, the children a kind and good mother, and the community, a youthful, amiable and Christian woman.

    Resolved, Further, that whilst we bow with submission to the acts of a kind Providence, we Old Settlers, sincerely express our heartfelt sympathy for the families of deceased in this double affliction at the same time.

    Resolved, That we, Old Settlers, will attend the funeral in a body, and march in procession to the grave, the last resting place of all men.

    Resolved, That the forgoing preamble and resolutions be published in our city papers and a copy of the same be sent to the relatives of the deceased and entered on the records of Old Settlers book.

    M. BLOCK,


The news was brought to our office late last night of the death of William Chambers, the venerable sire of the Chambers Brothers of this city.

Mr. Chambers was taken suddenly ill, with paralysis, on Friday morning, and expired at 11 o’clock last night. His six children (except John, who is at Leavenworth) were present to bid the last farewell.

We have time to give but a brief outline of the remarkable life now closed. The deceased was born in North Carolina, June 5, 1793. Two years later he was removed to Kentucky, where he married and resided until 1814. This year he emigrated to Indiana, making this State his home for twenty-two years. In 1835 he visited Iowa, and on the 11th of May, 1836, he arrived with his family for a permanent settlement in this county.

Mr. Chambers was a veteran of the war of 1812, and did veteran service, also, in the struggles and hardships of pioneer life. He died in his 82nd year.

The time of the funeral has not been decided upon as we go to press.



Wm. Chambers, Sr., and Mrs. John Chambers No More

The brief item in Saturday’s JOURNAL relative to the serious illness of Wm. Chambers, Sr., scarcely prepared the public for the sad termination of the illness of the venerable patient --- that final dissolution, which occurred Saturday night about 11 o’clock. Though suffering for a long time from something like paralysis Mr. Chambers had been dangerously ill only two days, having been taken on Friday, from which time he sank rapidly, his case defying the best medical skill. So he breathed his last at the home of his son Vincent, sweetly and peacefully, surrounded, we believe, by all his children save John, whose equally sad duty was to attend the bedside of a dying wife at Leavenworth.

The deceased, who was the father of the Chambers Brothers, was a man among many for his fine frame, physical strength, and vigor of intellect in his ripest years. Until the late affliction of his life, he had enjoyed a remarkable immunity from sickness, so much so as to almost encourage a belief in the fable of the Elixir of Youth. The form of Mr. Chambers has been a familiar sight in our streets for nearly forty years – in other words from our city’s earliest infancy, and his cheery disposition and hearty greetings rendered him as popular as his person was well-known. Mr. Chambers had attained to the ripe old age of nearly eighty-two years. He was born in North Carolina, June 5, 1793; was married in Kentucky, where he lived several years, then moved to Indiana, where he resided 22 years. Meantime he served with distinction in the war of 1812. In the spring of 1836 he emigrated with his family to Muscatine county, being preceded a few weeks by Vincent, the eldest son. He bought a farm about six miles east of the city and there settled with Vincent. In 1866 he left the farm and moved to the city with his son, with whom he remained until his death. Less than a year ago Mr. Chambers was called on to endure one of his greatest afflictions in the loss of his venerable, faithful and beloved wife.

The deceased was so well known to our readers at home, and to many abroad, that an outline of his character would hardly seem necessary. We will only say he was a consistent member of the Baptist church, one beloved as a father, venerated as a patriarch, and esteemed as a citizen and a neighbor. Peace to his ashes!


E’en while the tear dropped on the coffin that contained all that remained of the dear departed, and before the hearts of the mourners had recovered from the first sharp pangs of grief, came the sad intelligence of another bereavement to the afflicted family --- the death of Mrs. Mary, wife of John Chambers, at Leavenworth, Kansas, at 1 o’clock Saturday night – hours after the death in this cityhe news came over the wires, and with it directions to the brothers to be at the depot this morning to receive the body. On the 6 o’clock train arrived the remains, accompanied by the sorrowing husband and children. The coffin was taken to the residence of Vincent Chambers and there placed by the side of the one in which reposed the grandfather. Singular and mournful spectacle! Here the aged grandsire, leaving behind a happy, useful life worthy of emulation; there the wife and mother, called away in the prime of life from a happy home and a bright future! Who, looking on a scene like this, but would be impressed with the fact that Death is indeed the great leveler of all?

Mrs. Chambers was a daughter of John S. Lakin, an early resident of Muscatine, who moved here in 1840. --- She was born November 22, 1834, and was therefore a little over forty years of age. She was married to Mr. Chambers in this city July 13, 1854. About three years ago Mr. Chambers moved to Leavenworth with his family to take charge of a lumber yard established by the firm of which he was a member. It was there, about a year ago, that Mrs. Chambers was attacked by the disease, jaundice, which terminated in her death. It was only, however, about three weeks ago that her condition became alarming, and it was thought best to send for some of her relatives. Her disease was attended with fearful ravages of the frame, and instead of the robust form, with the bloom of health mantling the cheek, which our citizens remember so well, the remains showed the sunken cheek and the emaciated frame in which it were difficult to recognize the once-loved and familiar features.

Mrs. Chambers leaves to mourn her untimely loss her husband and three children, besides other relatives. She was from girlhood a devoted member of the Baptist Church, an exemplary Christian, a true wife and mother and a sincere friend.

This afternoon witnessed the unusual sight in our city of a double funeral, that of both the deceased taking place at the same hour (2 o’clock) from the Baptist church, and two hearses heading the long procession of mourners to the City of the Dead. The church was densely crowded, and there could be no mistaking the deep and heartfelt sympathy manifested on every side. An opportunity was given the friends to view the remains and many availed themselves of it. The features of Mr. Chambers showed no perceptible change; the countenance was calm and serene, expressive of a gentle falling to sleep, that peaceful death that knows no terrors. Rev. N. A. Reed conducted services, and delivered a feeling and appropriate from Hebrews IV, 9, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”

The pall bearers attending on the remains of Mr. Chambers were, his four sons, and M. P. Pace and Wm. Bagley, sons-in-law – they being the same who acted at the funeral of the wife of deceased.

Mrs. Chambers’ pall bearers were J. B. Dougherty, J. G. Gordon, H. Molis, H. H. Hine, G. D. Magoon, S. Humphreys, J. J. Hoopes and M. Block – all old citizens.

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