Jonas Barrett Chamberlin

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 18-19

REV. JONAS BARRETT CHAMBERLIN, who has given able
and successful service as a clergyman of the United Breth-
ren Church but who has been identified with business enter-
prises in the period of his residence at Martinsburg,
Berkeley County, was born at Winchester, Frederick
County, Virginia. His father, Abraham Chamberlain, was
born in Hampshire County, that state, August 11, 1822, a
son of Jonas Chamberlin, born in Frederick County, Vir-
ginia, January 13, 1774. The latter’s father, Jonas, Sr.,
was born in England and came to America in company with
two of his brothers, one brother, Joseph, having settled in
Pennsylvania and the other in Massachusetts, they having
been members of an old and prominent family in Birming-
ham, England. Jonas Chamberlin, Sr., settled in Frederick
County, Virginia, where he passed the remainder of his life,
his religious faith, that of the Society of Friends, which is
opposed to warfare, having prevented him entering military
service in the War of the Revolution. He was a graduate
of Oxford University, and after coming to America he en-
gaged in the manufacturing of silk hats for the gentry of
that period. Jonas Chamberlin, Jr., engaged in the manu-
facturing of scythes in Hampshire County, Virginia, where
he continued to reside until his death, February 20, 1853.
His wife (Ann Bane) was born in that county September
11, 1787, a daughter of English parents who were pioneers
of Mineral County. By marriage the Bane family was
connected with that of which General Morgan, the Revolu-
tionary patriot and officer, was a member. Jonas Chamber-
lin and his wife were members of the Society of Friends.
Mrs. Chamberlin died June 9, 1825. Their children were:
Margaret, Mary, Joseph Morgan and Abraham.

Abraham Chamberlin received his early education under
the direction of private tutors, and as a man of fine mental-
ity and mature judgment he became influential in com-
munity affairs and was called to various offices of public
trust. In the Civil war period he was sheriff of Hampshire
County, Virginia, a position which he held at the time of
the formation of the new state, of which he became one of
the first county sheriffs under the new regime. He was
interested in mercantile business, and he ever commanded
unqualified popular esteem. His death occurred June 15,
1907. He married Elizabeth Ann Barrett, who was born in
Frederick County, Virginia, where her parents, of English
lineage, passed their entire lives. The death of Mrs. Cham-
berlin occurred May 20, 1901. Her children were four in
number: Jonas Barrett, Mary (Mrs. Joseph Martin),
Nancy Jane (Mrs. C. E. Liller) and Joseph. The parents
wore birthright members of the Society of Friends, to the
gracious faith of which they adhered until the close of their
lives.

Joseph Barrett Chamberlin attended the rural schools, a
state normal school in Virginia and the Shenandoah Acad-
emy at Dayton, Virginia. In his youth he became a mem-
ber of the United Brethren Church, and after due prepara-
tion was ordained a clergyman in the same at Winchester,
Virginia, in 1893. Thereafter he held pastoral charges at
Winchester, Virginia, and Martinsburg, West Virginia, and
in Washington, D. C. In the meanwhile he took a special
course in Columbian University (now George Washington
University), at the national capital, with the intention of
engaging in foreign missionary work, but impaired health
frustrated his plans, and since establishing his permanent
home at Martinsburg he has been identified with various
business interests. He is treasurer of the Farmers & Me-
chanics Mutual Insurance Company, a director and a mem-
ber of the finance committee of the Old National Bank of
Martinsburg, and a trustee of the local Kiwanis Club.

At the age of twenty-five years Mr. Chamberlin was
united in marriage with Miss Maude C. Earmon, who was
born in Rockingham County, Virginia, a daughter of New-
ton and Corinne (Sheets) Earmon, the latter likewise a
native of Rockingham County. Her father, Strother Sheets,
was born in that county, March 10, 1821, and his wife
whose maiden name was Frances Shirley, was born in
Augusta County, Virginia, July 9, 1822, of Colonial an-
cestry. Mrs. Chamberlin passed to the life eternal on the
17th of November, 1917, and is survived by two daughters,
Minnie G. and Carrie E.

Submitted by: Valerie