Monday, September 26, 2011

Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain born September 26, 1838

Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915, and online database of record extractions provides that Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain was born or christened in Brookfield, Worcester, MA in August of 1837.  His parents were Eli Chamberlain and Achsah.  His obituary provides a birth date of Sept. 26, 1838.

Rev. Chamberlain graduated as Valedictorian from both Phillips Academy and Yale.  He enlisted as assistant paymaster in the Navy on the day he graduated from Yale, and was sent to the South Pacific.  He was promoted to the office of naval storekeeper and later, judge advocate of the fleet.

He graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1869, and became pastor of the New England Congregational church in Chicago.  His parish was in the the center of the great fire in 1871 and he became superintendent of the relief association. Rev. Chamberlain left Chicago in 1876 to become pastor of the Broadway Congregation Church in Norwich, Connecticut.  He received his doctor of divinity degree from the University of Vermont in June of 1879.  In 1883 Rev. Dr. Chamberlain became pastor of the Casson Avenue, Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY where he preached until the day before his marriage when he left for Philadelphia.

Records show that a marriage license was obtained in Philadelphia, PA in 1890 and that the intended bride's name was Lea.(index no. 39554).  The New York Herald - Tribune of December 30, 1890 names the bride as Frances Lea, a sister of writer Henry Carey Lea, and gives details about the wedding that is to happen in Philadelphia that very day. Sadly. Frances Chamberlain died in early March of 1894.

Throughout his life Rev. Chamberlain continued to preach throughout the nation and served in numerous capacities in New York City and elsewhere.  He founded the Brooklyn institute of arts and sciences, and was President of the Untied States Evangelical alliance.   He was also president and secretary of the American and Foreign Missionary union.  He was vice president of the Immigration Committee of the Civic Federation in 1909 and spoke in opposition to further restrictions on immigration, stating that the immigration laws at the time were sufficient to protect the county from undesirable foreigners.

Leander was a resident of Pasadena, California when he died in Altadina on May 9, 1913.  He was buried with his wife in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.  Dr. Chamberlain left $63,000 to religious, benevolent and scientific organizations.  He also gave $100,000 to an institute in Turkey which he had projected and fostered.

Rev. Dr. Chamberlain was the brother of the Honorable Daniel Henry Chamberlain, once governor of South Carolina.  Dr. Chamberlain preached or spoke in West Brookfield numerous times,  including at the dedication of the Meriam Public Library in 1880.