Timothy Chamberlain, the father of our subject, was born in the historical old city of Salem, Mass., and lived there until after his marriage with Miss Mary Dennis. He subsequently moved to this State and located in this county. Here his wife died after the birth of ten children, and Mr. Chamberlain afterward married Miss Julia Fairweather and our subject was the only child born to them. Mrs. Chamberlain was the daughter of Richard Fairweather, a native of Connecticut, and a landowner there and here. The father of our subject took up a tract of raw land, and by persevering industry and the aid of his good wife, he built up a comfortable home, in which he passed his remaining days, until death called him hence in July, 1872. His widow survived him until Jan. 25, 1888, when she too passed away, dying at the home of her daughter. They were people who were well known and widely respected for their many kindly traits of character.
Their daughter, of whom we write, was born July 8, 1846, in this county, on the parental homestead, on the Vandalia Road, three miles from Jacksonville. Her education, begun in the local schools, was completed in that city. >From her mother she received a careful training in all that goes to make a good housewife, remaining at home until the time of her marriage. Jan. 13, 1862, her union with James W. Dunavan, a worthy young man of this county, was duly solemnized. In the happy years that followed six children were born into their pleasant home, all of whom are living: Julia Ellen married Silas T. Whitehead, who died Jan. 25, 1888, leaving her with one child, Ellen Mabel, and they are now living with our subject; Mary Elizabeth married Richard Phillips, a farmer by occupation, living one mile north of her mother's home; Mattie Jane married Peter C. Maddox, of this town, and they have one child; Lute D., James H. and May are at home with their mother. Mr. Dunavan was a Kentuckian by birth, born in the town of Hopkinsville Feb. 26, 1839. His father, Wyan J. Dunavan, was also a native of Kentucky. In September, 1846, he emigrated to these parts with his family, and established himself at his trade of a carpenter, in town, and was a resident here until death. His son James was a child of seven years when he came to Morgan County with his parents, and his boyhood and youth were passed in Jacksonville, his education being conducted in its schools. He early learned the carpenter's trade, and was engaged at it as a contractor and builder until two years after his marriage, when he moved onto a farm with his family, and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, living mostly in Morgan County. His death, Jan. 6, 1886, was a severe blow to the interests of his community, which then lost an upright, sober-minded citizen, who had its welfare at heart; his family lost the kindest of husbands and most devoted of fathers, and his neighbors a true friend. By steady and well-directed industry he accumulated a competence, and left his family in comfortable circumstances.
Mrs. Dunavan is a notable manager, and after her husband's demise she invested some of her money in this farm, which comprises 141 acres of land, and is finely located, its nearness to the metropolis of this region making it a valuable piece of property to own, aside from its excellent improvements and highly cultivated soil. Here she has established a cosy home, where she and her children live in peace and contentment, enjoying all the comforts of a well ordered household. Mrs. Dunavan rented her farm one year and moved into town, but with that exception has lived here since purchasing the place. She is a consistent and valued member of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church at Jacksonville, and it is the united testimony of all who have the pleasure of knowing her that she is a truly good woman, of fine character and large heart, and that evinces itself in many kind deeds for the benefit of those about her.