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Emma Adelia Chamberlain

Female 1863 - 1939  (76 years)


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  • Name Emma Adelia Chamberlain 
    Born 9 January 1863  Cloverdale, Barry, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Female 
    Buried 1939  Lowell, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 8 June 1939  Grand Haven, Ottawa, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • 1880 Census, Lowell, Kent, Michigan. Emma A. Miller living with her husband, Norman. Emma is 17 years old. Her father was born in Canada and her mother in New York.

      From the Hope Twp. Bicentennial, July 4,1976, booklet, p. 27. A picture from 1898 of the Sprague School. Listed are the following probable relatives: Ezra Chamberlain, Fern Ashby, Grace Chamberlain, Sam Ashby, Phenia Ashby, Emma Chamberlain.

      Also in the booklet of the Hope Twp Bicentennial, there are pictures of Chamberlains on the following pages: 104 Grace and John Chamberlain, Barbara Chamberlain, Josie and Will Chamberlain and on page 105, The Chamberlain Farm Home, Aurilla Chamberlain (Will's mother) taken in 1864, William and Josephine Chamberlain their daughter Grace and son John.

      From the Hope Twp. Bicentennial, July 4,1976, booklet, pp. 104 and 105: " Both Grace and John were teachers. Grace was the wife of James Clark and John married Gladys Smith, daughter of Andrew and Amanda Smith of Shultz. John lived to celebrate his 80th birthday. He was also a certified land surveyor." "The Chamberlain family moved to their home, south to Shultz in 1902. Will worked in the saw mills during the winter months."

      According to Emma's daughter, Jennie, Emma attended school through third grade.

      Emma's eulogy contains further information about the family. I do not know who wrote this. It is possible that it was written by her daughter Freda, or Freda's husband, Tom.

      "Eulogy: Emma A. Miller

      "In the small farming town of Hope, Michigan, on January 9th, 1863, a daughter was born to Jabez and Eliza Ashby Chamberlain. Emma Adelia Chamberlain was the second daughter of Jabez and Eliza, who had come to the United States from England, a few years before. [Note. Eliza, Emma's mother, was born in New York and Jabez in Canada. Emma maternal grandparents came from England.]

      "The family possessing that characteristic early American adventuresome and pioneering spirit, remained in Hope, Michigan for only about nine years and then moved farther west. They made their way in a covered wagon to the prairies of Kansas. Here they lived on a farm, learned as well as practiced the real meaning of pioneer self sufficiency.

      "Like all early Western communities, the need for a county Sherriff was ever present. Her father took over this responsibility along with his farming.

      "Due to the dangers and hardships that were encountered in Kansas, she and her mother returned to Michigan with her younger sister, Flora, about 1874. They retirned [sic] to Hope, which had been renamed Cloverdale.

      "It was necessary for her to help support her mother and younger sisster, as well as herself. At the age of eleven, the unfailing, self-sacrificing characteristic that was to be the tower of strength throughout her life was first evidenced. She spent a great deal of her time helping the women in the community with the running of their homes as well as caring for sick children.

      "This work with its responsibilities was only regretable insofar as it impaired her chance to attend school as steadily or as long as she desired. She overcame this handicap by studying in the evenings and always checking and looking up historic dates whenever a controversy of opinion arose. No ammount [sic] of study was ever too great if she could obtain the exact or correct answer. This desire for correctness and exactness was manifested not only in her mental make-up, but everyone who ever knew her will always remember the painstaking way she accomplished every task she set out to do.

      "At the age of seventeen, in 1880, she married Norman Benton Miller at Freeport, Michigan, at the home of Reverend Tapley. This young couple started their married life bravely, as the young husbands sole possession was a team of horses. The one wedding gift that the bride received, which she proudly told of all her life, was a five gallon crock. After they had established their home, the brides youngest sister came to live with them.

      "Her ambition and strength made no task too great to help her husband establish himself. They bought their first home at a public auction. He drove a depot bus and in her efforts to help him, she raised and sold vegetables.

      "After three years, a daughter was born and two and a half years later, a second daughter.

      "In 1888, they moved to Grand Rapids, where he established a livery business, which he carried on for twenty five years.

      "During their residence in Grand Rapids, she joined the Peninsular Chapter of the Eastern Star of which she is a charter member. Her outside activities were secondary always to her family. Her ambition for their progress was foremost. In 1897, a third daughter was born to them.

      "When her youngest child was eight months old, she and her husband travelled by train to the Ozark Mountain region. They visited her oldest sister and her father. Shortly after her return she received word od [sic] his death. They did extensive travelling during this period, which included the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, the inauguration of William McKinley and many other trips East. These excursions enabled her to enrich her fund of knowledge and they were a source of great pleasure whenever she would discuss them with her friends.

      "The next few years were busy ones. Her older daughter married and with the advent of grand children, her family interests enveloped her more than ever.

      "In 1912 with the automobile rapidly becoming the accepted mode of transportation, he, with his usual foresight, sold his livery business and moved to Unoin, [sic] Idaho. They built a one room log cabin in which they lived for a year, at which time he became intersted in mining. In 1913 they moved to Mullen, [sic] Idaho. Mullen being a larger town than Union, she rapidly joined the towns activities. During the war period, she became very active in the Red Cross and was in charge of the knitting unit for which she received a perosnal comendation from President Woodrow Wilson. Mr. Miller was the Chief of Police in Mullen for about four years.

      "Trips to California, to the Panama Pacific Exposition, to Washington State, Oregon and Eastward to Kansas were interspersed during the time they lived in the West. This was one of the most interesting and enjoyable periods in her life and they would probably have remained there had it not been for the desire to be nearer their children.

      "In 1919, she, her husband and youngest daughter returned East and settles [sic] in Chicago where her older daughters and their families wer established. They bought a home there and she lived in Chicago up to the time of her last illness.

      "The years that followed in Chicago were very active and many new interests claimed her attention. She became interested in the work of the Orphans Friend Circle in their benevolent activities and unstintingly gave of herself in their behalf.

      "She enjoyed, for the fir time, living in the same vicinity with her grandchildren, and through the period of their school lives, she volunteered her aid in all subjects, either from the store of her remarkable memory or from the pages of her faithful friends, the Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Histories and Atlases.

      "While living in Chicago, they made many trips to Michigan at which time they attended family reunions and the birthday celebrations of Mr. Miller's aging Mother.

      "The year were interestingly filled with the marriags of grandchildren and the advent of great grandchildren. The time moved rapidly along and the bride of 1880 was preparing to celebrate her Golden Wedding Anniversary. The divided the festivities and celebrated in Chicago with their famly and then made a trip to Grand Rapids to continue their festiities with their Michigan family and friends there.

      "A short time after this date, Mr. Miller became ill and the following year, she spent her entire time caring for the husband with whom she had shared all of lifes adventures and experiences. In February of 1931, Mr. Miller passed away and shortly after she disposed of her home and from then on, made her home with her second daughter.

      "The past seven years have been as completely active and and [sic] interested in the world events as any other period of her life. At the age of seventy-one she had a serious accident, breaking both of her wrists. Her tenaciousness again manifested itself and in less than a year, she was able to resume her crocheting and knitting.

      "The days were filled with the activities of her children, grandchildren and the great enjoyment that came to her through her great grandchildren, kept her constantly abreast of the times. Her energies were in exhaustable [sic] and she devoted herself to quilt making, knitting, radio news events, the raising of plants and multitudinous other activbities. Her ambition, search for knowledge and ideal of perfection were the keynote of her life. Her favorite axiom was "a job half done is not worth doing".

      "At her passing she leaves her three daughters, a sister and brother, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren and a host of friends who know that their lives have been enriched through association with her."
    Person ID I7  Pat Wenzel
    Last Modified 30 October 2009 

    Family/Spouse Norman Benton Miller,   b. 25 May 1859, Lowell, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 February 1931, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 22 January 1880  , Barry, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Children 
    +1. Fern A. Miller,   b. 16 November 1882, Lowell, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 March 1951, Waukegan, Lake, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
    +2. Freda Miller,   b. 1885, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1964  (Age 79 years)
     3. Jennie Mae Miller,   b. 1 August 1897, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 June 1975, Urbana, Champaign, IL, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 16 April 2009 
    Family ID F73  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S91] 1870 US Census Michigan, Hope, Barry, Cedar Creek post office, Michigan. Barry County, (Washington D.C.: The National Archives.), Jabez Chamberlain household, Roll: M593_661; page 162, dwelling 142, family 143, lines 28- 32; Image 400, enumerated on 8 August 1870 (Reliability: 3).
      Emma A. Chamberlain's age listed as 7

    2. [S18] Chamberlain, Jabez Civil War Pension File WC-592-943, (Washington DC: National Archives. Patricia Wenzel has a copy of the full pension file.).
      The pension file contains a copy of a Family Record showing Emma's birth in January 1863.

    3. [S26] Barry County Marriage Licenses Online, (http://barryco.readyhosting.com/Cdata/MLSearch.asp), Norman B. Miller marriage to Emma A. Chamberlin; Book 1880, Book_Page C-154, 1206848 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S17] Miller family tree dated Feb. 1930, Author Unknown, (February 1930).


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