Joshua Chamberlain was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 2, 1825 to Eli and Achsah (Forbes) Chamberlain, according to Brookfield Vital Records. He was one of a family of ten children which included younger brothers, Daniel Henry and Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain.
Joshua became a Congregational minister who worked in Dubuque, Des Moines, and Eddyville, Iowa. He did Christian Commission work and served the American Missionary Association as state agent. He was mostly identified with Iowa College in Grinnell, Iowa where he served for thirty-six years as trustee, nearly twenty years as treasurer and financial agent, and six years as librarian. He generously donated thousands to the college. A women's dormitory was built on the property where the Chamberlain home once stood. This land was also a gift to the college.
He was at different times editor of the Grinnell Herald, the Grinnell Independent and Congregational Iowa. He also contributed to various periodicals.
Joshua died on November 12, 1897 in Grinnell, Iowa, leaving his second wife, Eliza, and daughter Mary, from his first marriage. He was buried in Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell.
Sources:The pilgrims of Iowa; by Truman O. Douglass, Pilgrim Press, Boston, MA; Heritage Quest
Annual reports of the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1898. Report of the Commissioner of Education. Volume 2. Containing Parts II and III.
Date: 1899-01-01; Publication: Serial Set Vol. No. 3767, Session Vol. No.25; Report: H.Doc. 5 pt. 5.2 & 5.3; Genealogybank.com
Iowa Cemetery Records; Ancestry.com