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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Thomas W. Chamberlin

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


THOMAS W. CHAMBERLIN, of the Exchange Bank of Rantoul, is a gentleman highly respected for his excellent business qualities as well as for his genial and companionable character. He has been identified with the business interests of Rantoul since 1875, and established the Exchange Bank in November of that year. Here a general banking business is conducted, and the institution, which is considered thoroughly reliable, has become one of the indispensable features of this locality, one of which Rantoul has reason to be proud.

The childhood and youth of our subject were passed in Hamilton and Warren Cos., Ohio, where his birth took place near Cincinnati, Aug. 20, 1840. His parents, Reuben and Susan (McCLANE) CHAMBERLIN, were natives respectively of Vermont and New Hampshire, of English and Scottish ancestry. After his marriage Reuben CHAMBERLIN with his young wife located near Cincinnati, Ohio, and for many years was engaged as a teacher in the public schools. Later he embarked in mercantile business, but did not live to carry out the plans which he had inaugurated, passing from earth when our subject was a small boy. The family included five children, of whom Thomas W. is the only surviving child. The mother is still living, making her home in Rantoul, and for one of her years is quite active in mind and body.

The subject of this sketch, after finishing his primary studies, took a course in the Cincinnati Commercial College, and in May, 1864, came into Ford County, this State, where for a period of seven years he was in the employ of the American Express Company. In 1872 he engaged in banking in Vermilion County, where he remained until the establishment of the Exchange Bank in Rantoul. He has been prominent in local matters since coming here, having been at once recognized as a gentleman of more than ordinary abilities, and one whose judgment could be relied upon. He has served as Village Treasurer, and is Director of the Rantoul Building and Loan Association, besides giving his support to other worthy enterprises. The Congregational Church recognizes in him one of its most useful and valued members, and in fact he has become quite indispensable to the best interests of the town in general. In only one particular has he failed to signalize himself as having preformed all the duties of life, he has never married. He is of that courteous and pleasing manner which at once indicates as the true gentleman, whom the stranger recognizes at once, and for whom his friends have a faithful and lasting regard.

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