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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1214~


Charles Fremont Chambers


Among the enterprising men of West Union few have been as active in business circles or exerted as great prestige as the well known gentleman whose name appears above. Charles Fremont Chambers, present postmaster of West Union and for many years variously identified with the interests of the city, was born in Lake county, Illinois, December 23, 1861, being a son of Jed O. and Catherine (Smith) Chambers, both natives of Binghamton, New York. The subject's mother died when he was an infant and his father departed this life at the Iowa home about the year 1890, there being at this time but three members of the original family living, namely: Myron, of Waverly, Iowa; Mrs. W. B. Shelburn, of Spangle, Washington, and Charles F., of this review. By a second marriage Jed O. Chambers became the father of quite a number of children, all of whom died at West Union, during an epidemic of diphtheria, which raged there some years ago.

Owing to adverse circumstances, Fremont Chambers was enabled to obtain but a limited training in the schools of Portage county, Wisconsin, where he went when quite young, consequently the greater part of his education consists of the valuable and practical kind received only in the stern school of experience. In the fall of 1879 he came to West Union, Iowa, and became a clerk in the post office, which position he held continuously for a period of thirteen years, during which time he served under C. H. Talmadge, William McClintock and again under the former gentleman. During eight years of the time spent in the post office he was agent of the American Express Company, but resigned the latter position by reason of the conflict in the issuing of express money orders in an office of the United States government. When the telephone was established at West Union Mr. Chambers took charge of the central office which he conducted to the satisfaction of the company until resigning the position on account of removal of the post office, resigning his position in the post office to become a clerk in a clothing store. After two years in the latter capacity he was elected, in 1894, county recorder, which office he filled by successive re-election three terms of two years each, declining to stand for a fourth term, although assured of being elected by the usual overwhelming majority.

On retiring from the above office Mr. Chambers engaged in the loan and abstract business, which he conducted with gratifying success for two years, a part of the time in partnership with Morton BLAKE and later as a member of the firm of Chambers & Ainsworth. At the expiration of the time indicated, he returned to the mercantile house by which he was employed when elected recorder, and continued with the firm as clerk until elected cashier of the First National Bank of Fayette, which position he did not assume by reason of being appointed postmaster of West Union a short time afterwards. He entered upon the duties of the latter office February 15, 1910, and thus far has met with the high expectations of his friends and the public in general and fully justified the wisdom of his appointment.

Mr. Chambers was secretary of the West Union school board for several years, retiring there from when appointed cashier of the bank. He also served two and a half years as city clerk and it was during his term that the new system of uniform accounts was established, a great improvement on the former way of conducting the business of the office.

On November 30, 1881, Mr. Chambers was united in marriage with Esther J. Rosier, daughter of George N. and Alice (Gibbons) Rosier, early settlers of West Union and members of a well known and highly esteemed family of Fayette county. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers have two children, Charles Blaine, the older, being assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Oelwein and a young man of excellent business ability. Catharyne, the daughter, after finishing the high school course at West Union entered the Iowa State University, from which in due time she was graduated with an honorable record as a student and is now teacher of the English department in the West Union high school. Charles was also graduated from the city high school and later took a full commercial course at Cedar Rapids, where he fitted himself for a business career. Politically, Mr. Chambers is a stanch supporter of the Republican party and fraternally stands high in Masonic circles, belonging to West Union Lodge No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Unity Chapter No. 62, Royal Arch Masons, at Elgin; Langridge Commandery No. 47, Knights Templar, and DeMolay Consistory No. 1, at Clinton, Iowa. . He has been active and influential in the work of the various branches of the order with which identified and at different times has held the most important offices within the gift of his fellow craftsman. Honorable and upright in all of his relations, business, official and social, and enjoying to a marked degree the confidence and esteem of the public, Mr. Chambers is popular in the city of his residence and has worthily earned a conspicuous place among the representative citizens of his adopted county.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Ann Borden


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