HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
1911

Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Page 150

THOMAS F. CHAMBERLAIN.

Although a young man Thomas F. Chamberlain has won his way to a responsible position in financial circles of Macoupin county, and as cashier of the First National Bank of Brighton is a growing factor in the development of the community. He is a native of Greenville, Bond County, Illinois, and was born October 3, 1878, a son of James W. and Martha R. (Lynch) Chamberlain. The father was born in Greenville, March 29, 1857. The grandfather, Thomas Chamberlain, was a native of Ohio and the grandmother was born in Kentucky. They settled at Greenville in the 40s and were among the prominent pioneers of that section. The parents of our subject are still living and reside on the home farm, two miles north of Greenville. The father has been connected with farming for many years but has resided on the homestead for only six years past. He is a molder by trade and was formerly employed in the car shops at Litchfield and Mount Vernon.

Thomas F. Chamberlain received his early education in the public schools and possessed advantages of attendance for one year at the Greenville high school. At the age of fourteen he began working in the car shops at Mount Vernon and soon afterwards, while assisting his father in the foundry, he began the study of shorthand which he carried forward in a night school. After gaining a good acquaintance with stenography he entered the employ of W. A. Northcott, who was then head consul for the Modern Woodmen of America and is now United States district attorney. Mr. Chamberlain continued in the employ of Mr. Northcott for seven years, at the end of which time he accepted a position as secretary to F. J. V. Skiff, director of exhibits at the St. Louis Exposition, and continued with Mr. Skiff until the close of the exposition. He then became secretary to J. C. Van Blarcom, president of the National Bank of Commerce of St. Louis, one of the most important financial institutions in the west. He remained in the employ of Mr. Van Blarcom until the death of the latter, in August, 1908. In 1909, Mr. Chamberlain came to Brighton and associated with a number of the leading citizens in organizing the First National Bank of this city. A meeting was called to consider the organization of the bank on Saturday afternoon and on Monday morning following, less than thirty-six hours after the movement started, thirty-five thousand dollars was subscribed. As only twenty-five thousand dollars was called for, it was necessary to refuse subscriptions to the amount of ten thousand dollars. Under able management the bank is now well established and is one of the flourishing concerns of Macoupin county. A large share of the credit for the success of this undertaking is due to the energy and ability of Mr. Chamberlain who has proved thoroughly qualified for the responsible position he has filled ever since the bank was opened.

In 1899 he was married to Miss Gertrude J. Thompson, of Greenville, and to this union three children have been born, two of whom survive, Thomas F., Jr., and Gertrude. Politically Mr. Chamberlain adheres to the republican party and has taken an active interest in its success, having served as a member of the county executive committee in 1910. he is a member of Hibbard Lodge, A.F. & A.M.; Brighton Lodge No. 366, I.O.O.F.; Greenville Lodge, K.O.T.M.; and Brighton Camp No. 1688, M.W.A. He and his wife are identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is an active worker, being at the present time superintendent of the Sunday school. As is indicated above, he is an unusually busy man. He is prompt and efficient in everything to which he gives his attention and, as he possesses good judgment and clear discrimination, he decides questions arising in his business quickly and correctly. His early training under the acknowledged leaders has proved to him of inestimable value and the progress he has made in the financial world is a bright prophecy of larger honors and rewards in years to come.


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