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Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd. ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 194-195

RHUEL HAMPTON CHAMBERLIN, formerly Superintendent of the Illinois Division of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, was born in Mendham, Morris County, New Jersey, in 1826. When quite young, he was taken by his parents to Milton, Pennsylvania, where they remained about two years. They then removed to Pottsville, in the same State, and from there to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where they stayed about three years. After that the family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where Rhuel attended the common school for four years. Later he was at a boarding-school at Lititz, Pennsylvania, in which town he also attended school under the tuition of Mr. J. Beck for about eighteen months. The family then moving to Philadelphia, he remained there about six years, and at the age of sixteen was apprenticed to a Mr. Brewer in the chair-making business. When, however, he had been for two years with Mr. Brewer, his parents moved to New York City, and he went with them. He there went under the instructions of William Walling and finished his trade.

After learning this business, Mr. Chamberlin went to Troy, New York, and worked for W. L. Adams, but being in ill health while there he returned to New York City. After his recuperation he went back to Troy, and there, making a contract with Burge & Bros., who were the proprietors of a chair factory on Adams Street, he remained until their factory was burned down, about two years later. After this he went to New York City and engaged in the chair business. Being unfortunate in this enterprise he failed, but paid all his debts in full, owing no one at the time of shutting down his factory. He then accepted an offer made by Burge & Bros., who had rebuilt their factory at Troy. From there he again went to New York City, and secured a position on the Third Avenue City Railway as conductor when it first opened. He stayed on that road three years, and later was on the Delaware Division of the New York & Erie Railroad as head brakeman, under Supt. Hugh Riddle. Here he remained one year, and then for about four years was conductor on an extra freight train. After this, in the year 1873, he was made passenger conductor on the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad, remaining there until June, 1874. In November he went to Chicago to take a position as passenger conductor on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. On January 1, 1878, he was appointed Superintendent of the Illinois Division of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Chamberlin is a member of Port Jervis Lodge No. 328, Delta Chapter No. 191, and Delaware Commandery No. 44, K. T., of Port Jervis.


— Submitted by Sherri Hessick on October 19, 2003

DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.