Contents  :  Preface  :  Ch. I.  :  Ch. II  :  Ch. III  :  Ch. IV  :  Ch. V-1  :  Ch. V-2  :  Ch. VI  :  Ch. VII  :  Ch. VIII  :  Ch. IX  :  Notes

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by William D. Chambers (1925)

Chapter V (part 1): David

David Chambers, one of the sons of Reynolds, was born in Southern Scotland about 1725.  Before he reached his majority he went via Ireland to America.  He may have remained in Ireland long enough to make his passage money, but not long enough to become Scotch-Irish.  There is but little doubt that he sailed directly to Philadelphia with the immigrant party of 1743, and after acquainting himself with the location of his relatives, he went to work.  Becoming interested in a German girl, he chose her for his life companion, took her with him to the Rappahannock-Scotch settlement, and for ten years made Orange County (after 1749, Culpeper County), Virginia, his home.

Four of his children were born in this Scotch settlement: John, William, Samuel, and Tetty.  In 1754, or thereabouts, David, influenced by the Indian troubles preceding the French and Indian War, left the Rappahannock settlement, and found a place of apparent safety in Rockbridge County, Virginia, far up the mountain side to the southwest.  Here Alexander and David were born.  After the Treaty of Peace was signed (1763), David, with his entire family, went still farther west, joining a Scotch settlement in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where he remained till near the close of the century, when he went with his sons to Boonesboro, Kentucky, his last resting place.

In North Carolina, for more than a third of a century, David lived in Rutherford Co., near the Burke Co., border, in the same neighborhood as James Chambers and his family, and followed the trail to Boonesboro, KY, where, in the neighboring county of Jessamine, James and his sons again became neighbors of David and his family.

While in North Carolina the Revolutionary War was fought.  No man could give more to its success than David.  All his sons were in it.  Two of them never came back, and a third, the youngest, returned only for a brief time, then went back east with the plan in mind ultimately to rejoin his relatives in a new home on the Ohio.

A peculiarity of the elder David was that in his old age he kept his head shaved, as he said, to prevent nervousness.  It has been said that his wife was a stout woman, and that during their last days they lived with or near their eldest son, John.

John Chambers, the oldest son of David, was born in Culpeper, Virginia, in 1748.  He was said to be a very strong man.  My uncle, Alexander, says of him that he found no one who could lift against him, and no equal in physical endurance.  It is probable that he married six or eight years before the beginning of the Revolution.  In support of this view, I submit his census report for 1790.  John Chambers of Rutherford County, North Carolina, gave to the enumerator these facts: "1 man, 4 women and girls, 3 boys under sixteen."  For David, this report: "1 man, 3 women."  For Alexander, "1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy."  From this report it appears that John had six children in 1790, three girls and three boys.  Returning safe from the Revolutionary War, he remained near his parents till the general exodus of 1799, when the several families started to the Northwest Territory via the upper Tennessee to the Kentucky border, then, clambering as best they could over the watershed, floated down the Kentucky to their destination at Boonesboro, Madison County, Kentucky.  Daniel Boone had built a fort at this point in 1775, and for three years had defended it in person.

[note deleted -- see NOTES, #1.]

As John's parents were getting old, it was thought best not to attempt the rigors of a life beyond the Ohio while they were living, so for a few years he and his sons remained at or near Boonesboro.  In 1810, John Chambers and most of his family continued their course, and settled at a point two miles north of Paris in Jennings County, Indiana, where he resided till his death in 1845.  John was quite prosperous.  My uncle Alexander wrote me that at one time John had forty or fifty horses on his Paris farm, besides a large amount of other property.

[note deleted -- see NOTES, #2.]

John had five sons -- John, Alexander, James, Samuel, and Enoch; and one daughter, Margaret, who married Joel Earnwood, and came with the family to Indiana, the other daughters marrying in Kentucky.  All of these children were born in North Carolina prior to 1790.

[note deleted -- see NOTES, #3.]

My report of the whereabouts of this family is less direct than that of most families for the reason that there is no historian who has the details, except in a few instances.

The Indianapolis News of Jan. 29, 1900, reported the sixty-second marriage anniversary of Alexander Chambers and wife of Danville, IN.  This news item stated that Alexander at that time had eight children and fifteen grandchildren, and that Mrs. W. D. Cooper of Indianapolis was one of the children.  Not being able to place him in my notes, I wrote Alexander, giving him my descent, and requesting an answer.  I quote from Alexander's letter:

Danville, Ind., Feb. 4, 1900
Mr. W. D. Chambers, Redkey, Ind.
Dear Sir: Your letter of January 30 received, and I note with interest what you have to say touching the family history, and in reply will say that I am a member of the same family.

My father's name was James Chambers, the son of John Chambers of North Carolina. Avery Chambers's father is a brother to my grandfather, whose name was John Chambers.

The names of my father's brothers were John, Alexander, Samuel, and Enoch.  My uncle, John Chambers, lived in Decatur County, Indiana, the last time I heard from him.  He had a large family of children.  My father died when I was a small boy.  I was raised with or in the same neighborhood as your grandfather, Avery, and his brothers.  Your grandfather married a lady named Blankinship, she being a niece of my mother.  My father raised six children, named Elizabeth, Jemima, Malinda, Jane, and Mary.  Mary and I are the only living children.

I might be able to give you more information if you and I were together.  However, if you care to ask for any more information, do not hesitate to write, and I will be pleased to serve you.

Yours truly,

I also quote from the article in the Indianapolis News:

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Chambers Celebrate Their
Wedding Anniversary.
(Special to Indianapolis News, Jan 29, 1900)
The sixty-second marriage anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Chambers of Danville, Indiana, was celebrated by a dinner today, at the home of their daughter, Mrs. W. D. Cooper, Fifteenth street and College avenue.  Only the intimate relatives attended.  Mr. and Mrs. Chambers were married near South Hanover, January 39, 1838.  In 1841 they moved to Valparaiso, where they remained until November, 1853, when they went to Danville.  They have occupied their present home forty years, and three of their children were born there.  In his younger day, Mr. Chambers was employed on a farm.  He was reared by his uncle, his father having died in his early youth.  After going to Danville he was associated with L. C. Cash in operating a grist, saw, and planing mill.  The plant was finally destroyed by fire, and the site is now covered with homes.

Mr. Chambers has been connected with the M.E. church over seventy years.  For fifty years he was connected with the official board, only recently retiring because of advanced age.  Eight children resulted from this union, of whom Mrs. W. D. Cooper, of this city; Mrs. Kennedy of Martinsville; Mrs. Vincent Miller, of Sunnyside; Mrs. Alice Lewis, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; and Mrs. James W. Dempsey, of Danville, are living.  A daughter Nannie Nave, and their two sons, Frank and Elder are dead.

Mr. Chambers is eighty-three years old, and Mrs. Chambers is three years his junior.  They were born and reared in Jefferson County.  They have fifteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

This letter unites Alexander of Danville to our family, but he is unable to give information concerning his brothers.  In 1901 I was in Decatur County; stayed overnight with one Chambers, and ate dinner with another, but could find no trace of the descendants of John.  Not until the summer of 1923 did I find the solution.  While looking up some records in the State Library at Indianapolis, I found that William H. Chambers entered land in Bartholomew County, IN, in 1821.  This land was located near Flat Rock, on the turnpike leading from Madison via Paris, over the Vallonia bridge, and on toward the north.  William H., the son of John, stopped at Flat Rock; Alexander, the son of James, went farther north.  In 1920, I met Mrs. W. D. Cooper, the daughter of Alexander.  She gave me an account of their journey north.  The entire family rode in a jolt wagon.  The team would often stall in the mud, then they would get out and assist as best they could.

Near Anderson and Muncie, Ind., there is a large Chambers family that has lost its origin.  I have attended three of their reunions, and have talked with their old men.  They belong to the Christian Church.  Their ancestors came from "Hawpatch Hill," near Flat Rock.  The Chambers family was a Baptist family.  Flat Rock Baptist Church was founded in 1822; a few years later it became "New Light" after the preaching of Alexander Campbell it changed to "Disciples"--now "Christian."  These facts can be found in Esarey's History of Indiana, and in church records.  William H. Chambers, the son of John, and the grandson of John, of the Revolution, is their lost ancestor.  I can give no very good account of the other sons of John except that in the "Indianapolis News" item it states that Alexander was reared by his uncle (probably not John).  "his father having died in his early youth."  This uncle, probably Alexander or Samuel, lived in Northern Indiana.  My thought is that all of the sons of the elder John lived in Indiana for a number of years, and that the reading of this book will make a reorganization of the relatives quite easy.

In 1854 Hiram Chambers and his wife, John Chambers and his wife, Susan and Mary Chambers and Nancy Scott organized the Chambers Christian Church in Madison County, IN. These Chambers people were no doubt the children of the old pioneer, William H. Chambers, of the Flat Rock settlement.  For this item I am indebted to Mrs. F. W. Chambers of Muncie, IN, one of my good friends.

During the Christmas holidays, Mrs. and Mrs. F. W. Chambers visited me, and gave me the few facts they had concerning their ancestors.  I sought confirmation or criticism from other members of the family, but these notes are going to press without change.

The sons of their unknown ancestor (William H.) were James, Hiram, Francis, and John.  The children of James were by his marriage with a Miss Martin, one son, Milas Chambers; by his marriage with Susan Drybread, two sons and two daughters:

George married Rebecca Walters.
Smith, born about 1840, married Sarah Ann Pugsley.
Mary (called Polly) married Daniel Walters.
Julia Ann married Miles Walters.
The children of Hiram were William, Elijah, Malinda, who married Betterton; Emily who married Fosnot; Jane who married Nelson; Lydia who married Lawler, and Carolina, who married Pittsford.

I do not have the progeny of Francis, the third of these sons of William H.  John, the fourth son, married Julia Ann Drybread.  To them were born a son and a daughter: Seneca Chambers whom I once met in charge of the Chambers Reunion, and Sarah Chambers Eshelman, wife of Allen B. Eshelman, the present President.  To them were born two sons and a daughter: Dr. William A. Eshelman, Lafayette, Indiana; Rev. Homer Eshelman, for a number of years pastor of the Christian Church at Easton, Indiana; and Anna, who married Charles Walters.

F. W. Chambers, who gave me these notes, is the son of Smith, and grandson of James.  The sons of Smith are: Francis Wilburn, who married Belle Priest; George W., who never married, and Casper E., who married Nellie Harmon.  At the next Reunion, steps should be taken to add to this outline the descendants of Francis, before it is too late.  Without doubt, the children of this Reunion have an ancestry of at least eight generations now of record.  Do not forget the "Hawpatch" tie that binds you to the progressive post-Revolutionary fathers.  "There were giants in those days."

[note deleted -- see NOTES, #4.]

William, the second son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia.  He was captured by the Indians in one of the Revolutionary battles, and was taken to Arkansas where he lived with the Indians till he became reconciled to their customs, and finally married a chieftain's daughter, and became quite rich in lands and other property.  My Uncle Alexander wrote me that there are many descendants of William in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, who are proud of their Indian blood.

Samuel, the third son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia.  In one of North Carolina's Indian battles he was killed and scalped by the Indians.

There wee perhaps more than one daughter in the family of David, but the name of Tetty is remembered for the reason that she married a man by the name of Byram Barnett, and along with her brothers made her way through Kentucky, and found a home beyond the Ohio.

Soldier in Continental Army.
Alexander, the 4th son of David Chambers, my great-grandfather, was born May 15, 1756, in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and died June 29, 1857, in Jefferson County, Indiana.  When a boy seven years of age he removed with his parents to Rutherford County, North Carolina, where he grew to manhood.

He was mustered into service as a soldier of the Revolution under Colonel W. Avery, and early in 1777 he was transferred to the Continental Army of Virginia.  After three years of effective service he was given (1790) an honorable discharge at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania, but there being urgent need for a brief campaign, he joined Colonel John Gibson's command for another three months service.  These facts I obtained from a genealogist of Richmond, Virginia. After his final discharge, he made a brief visit among friends in Virginia, then returned to his parents' home in North Carolina.  In 1789 he married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of President James Monroe.  The census of North Carolina for 1790 reports that his family consisted of himself, his wife, and one small son.

Before settling permanently Alexander tried a series of experiments, which the Minutes of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association report as follows:

1. In 1790 he left his parents under the care of his brother John, and moved to East Tennessee.

2. In 1794 (perhaps through Cumberland Gap, which was known at that time) he moved to Kentucky.

3. In 1797 (the Madison Courier reported this event under date 1806), he moved to Illinois via Kentucky, Ohio, and Wabash rivers.  On that trip he got lost from the company of movers under the following circumstances: He went out to shoot a buffalo from a herd that was in view, and after having killed one and having taken from the carcass as much as he could carry, it being about sunset, he missed the trail, there being no roads.  Darkness set in and he traveled all night.  For sixteen days he wandered alone in a then entire wilderness.  The company, after stopping one day and searching for him, moved on, supposing that he had been killed by the Indians.  On the seventeenth day, the Indians found him nearly starved.  They took him to their camp, placed him in the care of an old squaw, who fed and nursed him for a few days.  The Indians then sent two of their warriors with him to his family.  He had been from them twenty-seven days.  After living in that place (Illinois) two years, he moved back to Shelbyville, Kentucky (1799) where he lived ten years, then moving to Indiana in 1809, then lived in sight of the same place for forty-seven years.

The Madison Courier gives these additional facts:

1. On account of Indian hostilities and unhealthy climate, he returned to Boonesboro, KY., (His son, John, was born in Shelbyville, KY in 1800) and in 1809 removed to Jefferson County, Indiana, where he and his son William built a blockhouse in which a number of families lived during the next two years.

2. He was a regularly ordained Baptist minister, and with the help of others constituted the White River Baptist Church just in front of the fort.  Also he aided in the organization of the "Long Run Baptist Association, just across the Ohio, in 1803.

3. At the age of one hundred one years, one month and fourteen days, he was buried by the side of his faithful wife in the old White River burying ground in front of the old church.  Two large trees now mark their graves.

Alexander Chambers was a member of the first grand jury drawn in Jefferson County.  His stockade was a rendezvous for the weary pioneers who passed that way.  I quote from the History of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association:

Elder Chambers was converted while living in Kentucky: aided in constituting White River Baptist Church in 1811; was licensed to preach in 1816; labored many years in the Master's service; was one of the solid men of the community; a man of strict integrity and unblemished moral character; passed to his rest on the 29th day of June, 1857, in the 102nd year of his age.

WILLIAM CHAMBERS -- 1791--1879
William Chambers, the oldest son of Alexander, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in 1791.  The "Gresham Biographical and Historical Souvenir," published in 1889, says that:

"He removed with his father to near Boonesboro, Kentucky, in 1799, and that they resided there till 1806, when with about three other families, Alexander removed to the Wabash country near Vincennes, where they resided about two years, when Chambers, with his family moved back to Kentucky and remained there one year."

This statement is not in accord with the facts, as I find them.  (See previous entries in connection with the wanderings of Alexander.)  The following facts from Gresham's "Souvenir," however, are no doubt authentic:

"In the war of 1812, William Chambers was a soldier in Captain Williamson Dunn's company of Rangers.  Just before the battle of Tippecanoe, Dunn's company was order to join General Harrison's army, and started to do so, but when near where Columbus, IN now stands, Colonel McFarland countermanded the order and sent the Rangers under Dunn back to the settlements: reports were sent them of threatened attacks by the Indians.  William Chambers was one of a detachment of twenty-five men that went to the "Pigeon Roost" massacre-ground, the day after the massacre, and assisted in burying the bodies of the twenty-three persons who were butchered by the Indians."

Again, Mr. Gresham is in error: "After peace, William Chambers married Sarah Blankinship in the year 1816."  This marriage, the first one solemnized in Jefferson County, was in 1811.  The authentic history continues:

"From this marriage, one child, James B., was born in 1825, the mother dying that same year.  The next year he married Catherine Blankinship, a sister of his first wife.  Nine children were the fruit of this marriage, all of whom are dead, except one son, J. G. Chambers, of the firm of Branham & Chambers, furniture dealers, Madison, Ind. and one daughter Mrs. Le Roue of Evansville, IN.

William Chambers was a member of the Baptist Church, at White River, which was organized at the fort in June, 1811, where they held their services of worship for a number of years.  His membership extended over a period of time of more than sixty years; for more than fifty years he was a deacon in the church.

In 1823, when returning from a trip to New Orleans, on the steamboat, "Old Tennessee" the boat sank on the night of February 9, in the middle of the Mississippi River, near Natchez.  He saved his life by swimming ashore, leaving all his money, which was gold, tied around the banister of the boat.  William Chambers died July 16, 1879, at the age of eighty-eight years."

He married Sarah Blankinship in 1811.  For fourteen years this pair were childless, but in 1826 James B. Chambers was born.  The mother died.  Later, William married Katy Blakinship, a sister of his first wife.  By this marriage there came to the fond parents a family of eight children.  The following are the children of William Chambers, and their families:

1. James B., Mar. 18, 1826 - July 13, 1905.  He was a member of White River Baptist Church from 1844 till its dissolution in 1882, when he united with the Kent M.E. Church.  He was married at the age of eighteen.

His first wife, Margaret Marshall; the children: William Finley, Mar. 15, 1845-Mar. 26, 1906; Alexander, 1848-1915 (His son Paul wrote me from Oklahoma); John B., 1851-1856; Emma Chambers Cooperider, Jan. 22,1857 - Sept. 17, 1919; Robert M., Mar. 1, 1859 - Oct. 11, 1916; Thomas Hendricks, Dec. 6, 1862 (Received a good letter from Tom; he lives in Deputy, IN); Sarah Chambers Logan, Nov. 22, 1865 (Mrs. Logan gave me much help in this work).

James B.'s second wife, Alice Blankinship; marriage, Mar. 18, 1875.  Clara Ruth Chambers Wells, Feb. 18, 1878 - Aug. 26, 1913; Anna Elizabeth Chambers Giltner, June 25, 1880 (Received most of my dates from her); James Allen, Sept. 30, 1882 - June 28, 1908; Mary Chambers Giltner, Feb. 16, 1884.

2. John -- died at the age of sixteen from swallowing a copper cent.

3. Alexander -- no record.

4. Alice -- no record.

5. William A. Chambers became a teacher, and later, a preacher.  While delivering a splendid sermon, in 1867, in the church of which he was a member, White River, he fell upon the floor dead.  Being popular in his several charges, his death made a profound impression upon the church generally.

6. Joseph Y. -- Married Jane Buxton, daughter of William Buxton of near Kent, Indiana.  To this union there were born two sons, Charles and Edward.  My information is that charles lived for a number of years in Jennings County, Ind.

E. M. is now a retired Methodist minister, living at 3417 E. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN.  During the State Teachers' Association of 1923, I was the guest of Ed and his estimable wife.  As the Jennings-Jackson-Scott County Reunion is held at Brookside Park, near his home, on the third Sunday of August of each year, he can usually be found there.  Like many of the rest of us, Ed began his life as a teacher, but being a trenchant writer he drifted into the editorial field, where no doubt he would have remained, had he not felt supremely the call to the ministry.

7. Ann married Isaac LeRoue.  The family moved to Evansville, IN.

8. Sarah married David Wheat.  Doctor Wheat, whom I once knew at Borden, IN (now of Palo Alto, CA) is of this descent.

9. John Green.  In my young manhood there was no one who gave me greater inspiration to become of some account in the world than John G.  Below are excerpts from John G.'s letters:

I have always tried to impress upon the minds of my children and grandchildren the importance of knowing something of their ancestors.

Like my grandfather, Alexander (1756-1857), and my father William (1791-1879), I, now an octogenarian, have voted at every presidential election.  I consider it a patriotic duty to vote at each election.

I am sending you orders for two copies, one each for my daughter, Mrs. H. R. Lowry, and for myself.

Since retiring from the Chambers Furniture Company, founded by myself thirteen years ago, my wife and I have been living in our own comfortable cottage at 1072 Mallory Street, Portland, Oregon.  Ella, our daughter, lives next door to us.  Her husband is assistant transportation manager of the Portland Electric Street Car Company.

I still sing (80 year old, mark you), and am a member of two quartettes: 1st, the G.A.R.; 2nd, Mt. Hood Lodge of Masons.  I am a Past Commander of the G.A.R. Department of Oregon; also a Past Senior-Vice-Commander-in-Chief of the G.A.R.  I am a Past Master of Mt. Hood Lodge No. 157.  This lodge was organized with 31 members; now it has a membership of 700.  I was the first Master.  More important than these, I am a deacon in the Baptist Church.

I have a number of grandchildren of whom I am very proud.

In regard to John Chambers, grandfather's older brother, I know but little.  There were two daughters: one married a man by the name of Earwood, who lived near Vernon; the other married a Stott -- I think a brother of William Taylor Stott, the pioneer Baptist preacher.  John W. Rice, whom you know so well, was a great-grandson of John, his mother being an Earwood -- "Aunt Rachel," as we called her.

I wish I could have inserted John G.'s letters in full; I can but feel that I have cut the heart out of his sayings by thus abbreviating them, but it is so done.

Elder William Blankinship came from Kentucky to the White River settlement a year or so after the stockade was built.  He met Betty Chambers there and married her soon after.  Under the preaching of Elder Jesse Vawter he felt the need of pardoning mercy and gave himself to the church.  In 1818 he was licensed to preach.  He died about 1835.  My impression is that his faithful widow survived him a good many years.

The two boys, Sanders and Reynolds, died young.  Evidently these boys lost their lives through exposure during the wanderings of the family through Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky.  The wonder is that the next born, by own ancestor, made the trip to Illinois and back to Shelbyville, Kentucky, in safety.

AVERY CHAMBERS -- 1797-1865
Avery Chambers was born at Boonesboro, Kentucky, Mar. 12, 1797.  When he was only a few months old his parents moved to Illinois, where for almost two years they endured the contagion of that region, returning to Shelbyville, Kentucky, where Avery grew to a lad of eleven or twelve.  The family settled permanently on the Indiana side of the Ohio.  On New Year's Day, 1818, Avery married Rhoda Blakinship.  Twenty years later he had found his permanent home about a day's journey west of his ancestral home.  In 1838, Avery and Rhoda Chambers, William and Lydia Davis, John and Jane Swincher, and Samuel Hopper constituted the Bethany Baptist Church.  From the minutes of the Association I find the following facts:

Deacons: Avery Chambers, J. B. Swincher, Harvey Seburn, Barnet Gaddy, W. C. Mitchell, John Litson, James Seburn, James McCaslin, John Cain, and W. H. Davis.

Clerks: Wm. Davis, J. Hankins, M. McLean, James Seburn, M. S. Hancock, Alex. Chambers, S. A. Shrewsbury, W. H. Davis, and Isaac Wheat.

Four years after the church was formed, James B. Swincher, a member of this church, began a series of sixteen years as the minister.  The first deacon and the first clerk were my grandfathers.  All of the organizers were buried there.  To Avery and Rhoda Chambers were born the following:

1. Sarah, April 16, 1820 - June 26, 1855; married Major S. Hancock, Jan. 29, 1840.  Major Hancock, June 11, 1815-Nov. 16, 1875.  To this union were born: Mary Lavina, Feb. 2, 1841; Minerva Jane Jones, Apr. 10, 1842 - Oct. 14, 1862; Malinda Ellen, June 16, 1843 - Oct. 18, 1843; Nancy Louise Alcorn, Sept. 6, 1844; Rhoda Ann, Nov. 6, 1845-Oct 18,1854; Avery Chambers, July 16, 1847; Lemuel Jefferson, Dec. 29, 1848, Sarah Ellen Williams, May 30, 1850; Salem Pierce, Nov. 7, 1852.

All of the above are dead except Avery, Lemuel and Salem, but I do not have dates for all.  Avery is now at Fort Myers, Florida; Lemuel at San Francisco, California; Salem at Montezuma, Indiana, where he is president of the Montezuma State Bank.  Clella, Ellie, and Laura were children by a later marriage.

Recently I have received very interesting letters from each of the three Hancock brothers:

Avery C., now resides in Ft. Myers, FL. He sent me his picture, taken ten years ago, which is inserted below.  I know that his immediate relatives will be glad to see him again, even by photograph.

Lemuel J. resides at No. 3874 22d St, San Francisco, CA.  He reports that his wife is still living, and that his son, Arthur, his only child, is a very busy man.  He has just retired from the profession of teaching (age 76).  He says, "And so I shall hereafter probably stay at home."  He reports that he is probably the only relative living who every saw great-grandfather, Alexander.  (Perhaps John G. may have seen him.)

Salem P. lives at Montezuma, IN.  He is president, and his son, J. E. is cashier of the State Bank of Montezuma.  A few years ago he called upon me at Muncie, IN for a short talk.  In his letter, Salem says that he still hustles to try to make ends meet.  The average age of these three brothers is now more than 75.

2. Jas. Blakinship, May 7, 1822 - Dec. 24, 1894; Nancy (Davis) Chambers, June 24, 1819 - Jan. 24, 1891.  To these parents were born eight children, six being girls--quite enough to clothe and feed during Civil War times, yet at their feet grew up six public school teachers.  The following are the children:

Elizabeth T., Feb. 2, 1842 - Feb. 2, 1924; married Doctor John A. Sarver, Mar 7, 1869.  To them were born Mina, who married John Hord, Maud, who married Harvey Napier; Charles and Doctor Fred, who are dead; John, former trustee; Doctor Walter; Homer, Effie, who married James Whitsitt; and Clifford, whose photograph will be seen on another page.

At the time of her death a score of children called her Grandma, and a number were her great-grandchildren.  Prior to her marriage she was a teacher.  Her progeny includes a number of young people of talent and honor.

Sarah F., Feb 6, 1844 - Mar 13, 1923; married William T. Spear, Aug. 16, 1866.  To them were born six children: Lola, Ida, Homer B., Edith, Jessie, and an infant daughter that lived only a day.  Lola and Homer also died in infancy.  Ida died at the age of 21, and Jessie at the age of 37.

Edith is still living and was married to George Everhart, Oct 17, 1895.  They have three children: Claude Carroll, Juanita, and Therma.  Carroll married Marie Wolf, Nov. 24, 1917.  They have four children: Carroll, Margaret, Robert, and Norma (see picture).  Sarah was also a teacher.

Mary J., Dec. 19, 1847 - Nov. 29, 1923.  There being six teachers in this family, it fell to the lot of Mary to stay at home and assist in the work.  In May, 1881, she married Louis Roberts, a veteran of the Civil War.  For more than a quarter of a century Louis and Mary lived happily together at Dayton, Ohio, and Swanville, Indiana.  After the death of Mr. Roberts, mary was well supplied with funds from her property and by the Pension Department of the Federal Government.  She died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 29, 1923.

Melita, May 22, 1851 - Jan. 17, 1853.

Frank P., Mar. 6, 1854; married Mary L. Scott, May 24, 1881.  To this union four children were born, but only one, Harriet (Chambers) Ellis survived.  On the death of his wife, Oct. 17, 1913, he married Jennie R. Scott, his first wife's oldest sister, Mar. 15, 1915.  Jennie died Aug. 16, 1916. On Sept. 8, 1917, Frank married Miss Belle Douthitt of Jeffersonville, a former Scott County teacher.  For a number of years Frank taught school, but farm interests requiring his time and attention, in middle life he quit the profession and devoted his energies to the farm.  Seven years ago he retired as an agriculturist, and now lives at Scottsburg, Indiana.  He has written a number of articles for the "Indiana Farmer" and other farm journals.

William Davis, Nov. 22, 1856; married Della A. Patterson, June 22, 1887; graduate Indiana State Normal School; A. B. Degree.  Indiana University; teach for more than forty years.  Has two sons, Virgil Roscoe and William Durment, and one grandson, Virgil Jack, a lusty lad of seven, the son of Virgil and Pearl.  The boys, Virgil and Will have both succeeded quite well in salesmanship.  Virgil now resides at Muskegon, Mich; Will claims Indianapolis as his home.  The author of this book lives at 515 West Main Street, Muncie, Indiana, but mail will more speedily reach him at Dupont, Indiana, where he is Principal of the Public Schools.

As a tribute to my mother, you will pardon a brief digression.  William Davis (1792) and his wife, Lydia Davis, left their home near Maysville, KY in 1823, and settled near Bethany Church in Jefferson Co., IN, where they raised their family consisting of Benjamin, John, Nancy, my mother, Elizabeth, William H., James S., Mary Jane, Jesse, Sarah, and Thomas.  I was personally best acquainted in two of these families, those of William H. and James S.  The children of W. H. Davis were Artemisia, Dexter, Emeretta, Cyrus L., Hattie, Marshall and William Harvey; those of James S. were Francis Marion, Letha, Della, and Laura.  William Davis, my grandfather, was an expert gunsmith and a fine shot.  When a lad of ten or twelve, in company with my brother, I visited him.  He asked us if we would like to see him kill a squirrel.  Of course we wanted to see this done.  Walking about one-eighth of a mile to a clump of trees, he checked us, asked my brother to shake a bush, and fired his rifle, bringing to the ground a squirrel, shot through the head.  There are many relatives of this Davis family still living in Eastern Kentucky.

Mattie E., Oct, 1859; married John B. Crawford, Mar. 17, 1886.  Her husband died April 17, 1909.  Before her marriage, Mattie was a teacher.  To this union were born:

Nellie R., April 8, 1887, lives in Indianapolis, IN.  Joseph Monfort, Nov. 4, 1889; married, lives in Indianapolis, is a veteran of the World War and a Mason.  Ruth J., Oct. 24, 1891; married, Aug. 31, 1922 to Stephen B. Catchus, disabled army veteran; one child, Ruth Patricia, dead; they reside in Denver. CO.  Nettie I., Nov 27, 1894 Oct. 8, 1912.  Warren William, Nov. 24, 1896-July 2, 1912; died by drowning, at Greensburg, IN.  Ethel A., July 17, 1899; teacher in Anderson public schools.  Ernest Everett, Oct. 9, 1901; lives in LaMirada, CA.

Mattie and her daughter, Ethel live at 312 Jackson St., Anderson, IN.

Nancy Rosella, Sept. 25, 1864 - June 8, 1885.  Rose, as we called her, at the time of her death held the highest grade of license given teachers of our county.  On her tombstone are inscribed the words: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."

3. Alexander, Aug. 23, 1825 - Nov. 22, 1901; married Melita Rice, Oct 7, 1847; was married by Elder John Chambers; to this union were born:

Margaret M., Aug 2, 1848 - Dec. 1, 1918; was married to William Tipton McCaslin, her father officiating, Aug. 20, 1867.  The only child by this marriage is a son, Charles C. McCaslin, now Trustee of Lancaster Township, Jefferson County, Indiana.  He has just completed the construction of the Dupont Elementary and High School building, which is regarded as one of the best of its kind in Indiana.  It is now a commissioned high school, giving its graduates college preferment.

On Sept. 15, 1897, Charles C. McCaslin was married to Maggie M. Spicer -- his grandfather, Alexander, officiating.  To this union were born two daughters:

Ethel S. (McCaslin) Austin, born June 27, 1898.  Virginia L. McCaslin, born Jan. 24, 1903.  Virginia is now a teacher at Lancaster, four miles south of her home.

Narcissa, Feb. 7, 1850 - Feb. 13, 1880; married James Reynolds, Nov., 1869.  The fruits of this marriage were two girls: Laura S., Feb., 1862, died same year.  Ida N., Feb. 5, 1880; became a teacher; married E. A. Humphrey, Apr., 1904.

Lavinia, Sept. 24, 1854 - May 20, 1919.  Like many of her relatives, "Venia: chose the profession of teaching, but on account of ill health was forced to give it up.  After many years of suffering she was called to her eternal home."

Laura, April 28, 1856 - May 31, 1861.

Oscar R., April 10, 1858; married Lola Blocher, Nov. 26, 1891.  To this union were born: Zelma M., Aug. 13, 1903; married A. R. Ford, Mar. 15, 1924.  Alexander B., Mar. 15, 1906 - June 30, 1909.

Oscar, even in his declining years, possesses rare ability as a musician.  For years he was leader in music in his home church.

It was Alexander Chambers who gave me my first knowledge of family traditions.  By examination of the census report for the year 1790 for Rutherford County, North Carolina (q.v.), I find that his account of Revolutionary days is fully sustained by the records.

4. John. W. Chambers, third son of Avery Chambers, was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, Feb. 24, 1831, and died at Browstown, Jackson County, IN July 31, 1864.  At an early age he was apprenticed to a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and after serving his apprenticeship, located at Tipton, Tipton County, IN, where he worked at his trade, taught school several terms, and was elected treasurer of Tipton County for two terms.  He also was editor of the Tipton County Advocate for about two years, though not the owner of the paper, and wrote many stirring articles and editorials during the exciting times of the breaking out of the civil war.

In 1863 he removed with his family to Brownstown, and was deputy treasurer of Jackson County at the time of his death. While living in Brownstown he was a member of the "Home Guards" and was one of the leaders in opposing Morgan's Raid through southern Indiana, and spent three weeks with a company from Jackson County in an effort to protect life and property in that part of the state.  On several other occasions he devoted time to similar war activities and just before his death had been out for three weeks and upon his return was stricken with a sickness which resulted in his death ten days afterward.  Before he returned home he told some of this relatives and friends that he intended to enlist in the war upon his arrival home, although he had been opposed to the war previously, from principle, and had refused to volunteer.

He was married to Jennie E. Boyd, of Tipton, IN at Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 27, 1856.  To this union five sons were born: Albert G., Oscar C., Avery St. Clair and Thomas Hendricks (twins), at Tipton, IN, and John willis, at Brownstown, IN. Albert G. and Thomas H. died in infancy.

Oscar C. Chambers, son of John W., and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, Nov. 25, 1858, and died at Ephrata, Washington, Nov. 30, 1922.  At the age of 14 he began the study of pharmacy at Brownstown, IN and five years later embarked in the drug business for himself at Ewing, IN.  In 1887 he purchased a drug store at West Indianapolis, which he and his brother Avery conducted for twenty years, then retiring from the drug business on account of poor health, and in 1909 moved to Ephrata, Washington, where he was employed in the printing business with his brothers and became one of the firm in the publication of the Grant County Journal and job printing business.

Avery St. C. Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, May 3, 1862.  When he was about 15 years of age, he began his apprenticeship in the printing business at Brownstown, on the "Banner," and afterward worked in various printing offices in Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, St. Louis, MO, and in many other towns throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri.  He was engaged with his brother, John W., in their first newspaper venture in the publication of the "Enterprise" at Crothersville, IN.  In 1887 he joined his brother Oscar C. in the drug business at Indianapolis, and remained in that business until it was disposed of in 1906.  Again taking up the printing trade, he joined his brother John W. at Ephrata, Washington, in 1909, and later became a partner in the business and still works in the office as foreman, having sold the business then days prior to the death of his brother John W., in April 1918.  He was never married, and resides at Ephrata, Washington, with his mother.

John Willis Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN, Aug. 21, 1919.  At the age of 14 he also started to learn the printing trade on the "Banner" at Brownstown, where he worked for several years, and in 1881 he and his brother Avery embarked on their first newspaper venture at Crothersville, IN.

In 1882 he married Hattie E. Daniels, and they resided in Crothersville for a number of years, being engaged in the newspaper business.  Later he moved to Wisconsin where he conducted a newspaper at Belmont, and later, at Benton.  A year or so was spent in southern Illinois at farming, and about 1906 he moved to the State of Washington and after a year on the coast at Seattle he homesteaded near Mae, in Grant County.

In the spring of 1909 he was injured by the accidental discharge of a shotgun, losing the toes of his right foot, and was brought to Ephrata for medical treatment, and as soon as he was able to get about on crutches, went to work setting type on the Grant County Journal, a newspaper that had been started only a few months previous, on the organization of the county, and on August 6, 1909, he took over the control of the paper and his brothers from Indiana to join him.  He remained with the business until August, 1918, when poor health compelled him to retire and he removed to Arizona, hoping that beneficial results might be obtained in that climate.

He was married twice.  His first wife died, March 24, 1916.  To this union was born three daughters; Blanch, now Mrs. Henry Ragge, residing at Seattle, Wash.; Edith who married F. H. Ceis, and died in 1917 at Seattle; and Jennie who married Loren Morse and now resides in Portland, OR.  He was married a second time, to Ina L. Phillips, at Neppel, Washington in April, 1917.  To this union one daughter was born, Catherine.  He was buried at Fayette, OH, the home of his second wife.

Jennie E. (Boyd) Chambers was born in Lebanon, Warren County, OH Sept. 10, 1837, and moved to Indiana with her parents when about six years of age, locating on a farm near Shelbyville, in Shelby County; later to Tipton, Tipton County.  She was married to John W. Chambers, Nov. 27, 1856, who died July 31, 1864.  Left a widow with three children, without means, she succeeded by teaching school and engaging in the millinery business, in rearing them to that age when they could contribute to the support of the family.  She taught in the public schools at Lexington, Scott County, IN, and at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN.  At the latter place she taught for eight years in succession in the public schools.  She removed to Ephrata, Washington, with her sons Oscar and Avery, and at the age of 88 years is active in her household duties, keeping house for her son Avery, and keeping abreast of the times by keeping posted on all the current events as the history of the country and world transpires.

5. Stephen Avery, Dec. 10, 1839 - May 8, 1907; married Elizabeth Kennedy in January, 1862.  To this union were born three children: Ida Lenore, who was born March 20, 1864, and married to James L. Snyder in July, 1886; now living at New Castle, PA. Edith, June 17, 1866 - 1920; she was married to James D. Underwood in 1890.  Effie Jane, April 15, 1868 - Sept. 13, 1892; married Abner Royster, April 17, 1885.

I am indebted to Ida Chambers Snyder for the following facts:

Ida (Chambers) Snyder, March 8, 1864; lives at Newcastle, PA: three sons: John, Dec 6, 1887 - Oct, 1, 1910; Eugene, July 1, 1891 -- has a son Paul and a daughter Eugena; James C., Jan. 16, 1901, lives with his mother at Newcastle.

Edith (Chambers) Underwood, June 17, 1866 - June 17, 1918; two sons: Percy, Jan. 27, 1892 - Dec. 7, 1905; Paul, Sept. 30, 1894, lives in New York City, works for the Chemical National Bank.

Effie (Chambers) Royster, April 17, 1868-Sept. 10, 1891; one daughter, Addie Lee Royster, Paducah, KY.

Stephen A. married his second wife, Laura Ellen Snyder, Jan. 20, 1874.  There were three children in this second group: George Walter, born Mar. 28, 1875; married Ethel Vernan Nance, Dec. 24, 1902.  Stephen Herbert, born Nov. 9, 1879; married Mollie Davidson in 1903; now a fruit dealer in New York City.  Mary Hodge, born Dec. 1, 1884; married John Dodgin, June 12, 1918.

George Walter Chambers, who gave me the facts stated below, holds the following merits and degrees; L. I. Peabody Normal; A.B., University of Nashville; A. B. Peabody College; M.D. University of Michigan.  For a number of years he was a teacher in the schools of South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida.  He taught Latin in the Florida State Normal, was Principal of the High School at Anderson, South Carolina, and taught Anatomy in the University of Michigan.  He is now one of the leading physicians in his state.  He has three children: Dorothy Ethel, now in her 15th year; Florence LeRoy, and George Walter, Jr.

In the winter of 1885, I visited Uncle Stephen at his home in New Albany, where he was Principal of the High School.  Later I received from him the following letter:

Brevard, N.C. Jan. 7, 1897
My Dear Nephew:

On my recent trip to Waynesville, N.C. I passed within twelve miles of the sport where my grandfather, Alexander Chambers, spent his boyhood from eight years of age to twenty.  My great- grandfather, David Chambers, came from Culpeper, Virginia, via Rockbridge County, to Rutherford County, N.C., in 1763.  After the close of the Revolutionary War, Alexander married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of President James Monroe, as I recollect, in Fauquier County, VA.

As ever,

In all points except one, this letter is in harmony with the facts as I find them.  I have fully investigated the records of Fauquier, Loudoun, and two or three other counties in which the Monroes lived, and I find no record of marriage.  It is quite probable that the Monroes joined in this immigration to the west, and that the marriage was solemnized in North Carolina rather than Virginia.  This view makes it easier to explain the presence of the two families in Kentucky and Indiana.

For a number of years I had the impression that the elder David Chambers and his wife were buried in North Carolina.  This letter supports me by inference in the theory that they "moved on," as stated elsewhere.

In regard to the services of Stephen Avery Chambers, I shall quote from a letter from his son, Dr. George Walter Chambers of Anderson, South Carolina:

"He was closely identified with educational progress and Christian growth in Indiana and Kentucky, and in North Carolina.  He was a teacher of the higher type, and was much in demand for leadership in the best schools.  For four years he was Superintendent of the Henderson, KY, City Schools.  He held similar positions in the high schools at Lebanon, Waynesville, Brevard, Gaffney, and at other points in North and South Carolina.  At Utica, Indiana, the high school was established through his influence, and he was kept in charge of it for many years.

As a minister of the Gospel he served many churches, and under his preaching many hundreds found the Master.  He was a man of the highest Christian type, and has left his mark on the rising generation."

JOHN CHAMBERS -- 1800-1882
John Chambers, the fourth child of Alexander, was born at Shelbyville, KY in 1800, June 5.  When a lad of nine years he crossed with his parents into Indiana Territory to make his future home.  He was too young to aid much in the building of the stockade, but he was useful in helping to clear the land for cultivation.  In 1823 he married, and purchased a farm of his own.  In 1834 he united with White River Baptist Church, was licensed to preach in 1841, and was ordained in 1842.  He read the circular letter to the Association in 1838, the year that Bethany Church was organized, and many times later.  He served the White River Church as its pastor for twenty-five years, and the New Bethel Church seventeen years.  He was frequently clerk of the Coffee Creek Association, and in 1844, 1863, and 1872 was Moderator.  In 1874 he was stricken with paralysis, and for eight years was quite helpless.  In 1881 he was brought to the platform of the Association for a short time as a courtesy, in recognition of his faithful services to the cause of Christ.  On Aug. 5, 1882, he was called home.

Elder J. C. Tibbets, in his history of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association, says:

"Elder John Chambers was sound in doctrine, was a safe counselor, and was ever a beloved pastor.  His moral standing and integrity were highly appreciated, and many times he was chosen as Justice of the Peace.  Township Trustee, County Commissioner, County Treasurer, and member of the State Legislature.

"Uncle John," as we called him, visited my father about 1868, and preached at the country school house.  I remember somewhat of his form and manner of speech from this single meeting.  Twenty years later I visited his grave, near Lancaster, Jefferson County, IN.  He left one daughter to mourn his departure.

I do not have complete statistics from the Monroe family.  I wrote Paul Monroe, a professor of Columbia University, asking for particulars, but my letter was referred to his wife in his absence, so I have come down to the end with only a slight record.  Nancy Chambers, however, married George Monroe, probably a son of that White River pioneer, Robert Monroe.  From the records I learn that George Monroe succeeded John Chambers as clerk of White River Church.  To this union were born at least one son and two daughters, but I have no assurance as to names.  In the neighborhood live a few persons by the name of Monroe.  To each of these I have sent my prospectus, but I have received no answers.  Before closing this record, I wish to state that I have had the pleasure on two or three occasions to hear addresses delivered by William Y. Monroe, who is in some way related to us.  His address, delivered at Scottsburg about 1880, to the Odd Fellows Lodge was considered a masterpiece.

The progeny of these younger daughters of Alexander ought to be easily discovered, but I have failed.  It is my thought, however, that a man by the name of Tull married one of them.

George Chambers, the youngest child of Alexander's family, lived near the ancestral home until after the death of his father, when, as near as I can learn, the entire family, in 1869, removed to some point in Iowa.  Among the offspring of George are the following: Andrew J., John, William, and Betty.  I haven't the address of any one of these, but should they or their children learn of this history they will no doubt appreciate it as well as many who have been better favored.  I have thought that the descendants of Alexander and his faithful wife should make a collective effort to have placed at their graves a monument to show appreciation of their fine services in bringing the name from the Southland to our own state of Indiana.  Perhaps after the publication of this book, a suitable monument may be erected.

Lieutenant in Continental Army.
David, the younger brother of John and Alexander, was about sixteen years of age when he entered the war of the American Revolution.  He volunteered in one of the companies under the command of Col. W. Avery, who went out from western North Carolina.  After a few months of fighting in defense of his state and other parts of the extreme south, he was transferred to the Continental Army with headquarters in Virginia and points north.  It is a tradition of the family that David was expert in all the requirements of the battle front.

After the war was over, David returned to the home of his parents in North Carolina, but, like his brother, Alexander, there were attractions for him back East, and he could not resist their influence.  After Alexander's marriage in 1789, he left the East forever, but David never rejoined his father's family, only temporarily.

The problem of repaying the soldiers for their services in the Revolution was one of the most perplexing problems confronting the new government, but during the first administration of President Washington, this question was adjusted, and the soldiers were paid.  David Chambers received in satisfaction of his claim, in addition to such money as he may have been paid, a tract of 100 acres of land, situated in Rockbridge County, Virginia, his native county.  For a time he doubtless resided on his claim, but, inspired with the zeal of his ancestry, he looked to the growing west as the land of opportunity.  Selling his claim, he set out for Western Pennsylvania, no doubt with the expectation of joining his relatives in the Great Northwest.

In support of these statements, below is quoted a letter to the author, written by his friend, Gordon Smith, who visited Lexington, Virginia, in 1900:

From Deed Book C, page 559 --
David Chambers, and Isabella, his wife, convey to William Martin, Dec. 28, 1797, one tract or parcel of land containing 100 acres, lying and being in the district set forth for the officers and soldiers of the Virginia Continentals; line on the Waters of Beaver Dam, bounded, etc.

There can be no doubt that this 100 acres was assigned to Alexander's brother, David, for gallant services in the Continental Army.  The date of sale corresponds with the movements of his father's family in scenting the trail to the great Northwest.  For years David's relatives north of the Ohio, no doubt, waited for his boat to drop down the river, that the family might be re-united on Indiana soil, but the boat never came.  Perhaps David's plans could not be carried out.  Perhaps Western Pennsylvania, the Pan Handle of West Virginia, or the fertile lands of Ohio enchanted him.  Perhaps he dropped down the Ohio at an inopportune time, and his relatives failed to met him as he had anticipated.

While facts are not at hand to explain David's subsequent actions, yet there are circumstantial reasons for believing that after the sale of his property in 1797, he, with his family, crossed the hills to the head waters of the Shenandoah, then rowed down the Shenandoah to the Potomac, then up the Potomac into Pennsylvania, then via the National Road to the point of destination.  I have traced a number of persons bearing the Chambers name back to Somerset, Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties, PA., and to the Pan Handle of W. VA, but in every case these have been found to belong to other lineage.  Should some historian have suggestive information in regard to the descendants of David, such facts would be thankfully received.  More recent consideration of old material has led me to believe that after David made his sale in 1797, he sought the Ohio, and sent a letter to Alexander, telling him where to meet him. Alexander's experimental trip to Illinois may have been made in search of his brother's new location.  If so, we should expect to find David's descendants in the West or South.  This idea has given me renewed hope of finding them.

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Republished March 2009 by
Chambers Family Ancestry