Harriet Chamberlain, born on Elm Knoll Farm in West Brookfield on July 7, 1820 was one of ten children born to Eli and Achsah (Forbes) Chamberlain. She survived all of her siblings including Daniel Henry Chamberlain, one time governor of South Carolina, and the Rev. Dr. Leander T. Chamberlain, a learned and influential Congregational minster.
Harriet married Samuel Newell White, a school teacher, Feb. 24, 1843, [ Massachusetts Marriages 1633 - 1850, Ancestry.com] and moved to Amherst, MA where the couple's their first four children were born. The family returned to the White family farm (now Salem Cross Inn) in West Brookfield sometime between 1850 and 1852. Five more children were born in West Brookfield. Harriet was a member of the Congregational Church in town where her husband served as a deacon, and was probably active in the local grange and the West Brookfield Farmers' Club, which her brother Lyman Chamberlain had helped to organize.
Harriet, the town's oldest resident, died in her husband's ancestral home in West Brookfield on March 24, 1916. She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery. Only three daughters survived her including Alice who taught school in town until age 70, and Grace who had been the 1880 census taker,