Biography of Martin L. Chamberlin

MARTIN L. CHAMBERLIN. – This representative of the generation of young men born, or for the most part educated and developed, in our state, who are taking such a controlling part in her present rapid development, is the son of the well-known Joseph Chamberlin, who came to this coast in 1855, as missionary to the Indians, and in this capacity was of essential service to General Joel Palmer in getting the late hostile and still sullen and broken-spirited Indians upon the Grande Ronde Reservation.

Martin, our subject, was born at Dryden, La Peer county, Michigan, May 17, 1846, and, being the only son in a large family, was almost the chief mainstay of his excellent and greatly beloved mother while the father was laboring in Oregon. The responsibilities thus thrown upon him in his youth he discharged with conscientious fidelity and an ability beyond his years.

By the arrangement of the father, the family came out to Oregon in 1857, making this state their first home at the reservation, and enjoying in many ways the half wild and half military life at old Fort Yamhill, in one of the most beautiful of the little valleys of Western Oregon. They here formed the acquaintance of General Phil Sheridan, then stationed at the fort as commander, making of him an esteemed friend.

Young Chamberlin was deprived of the early educational advantages which his parents were able to afford their younger children, but from this very fact attained that independence of thought and action, and acquired that habit of developing from meager resources all that may be derived in the way of information or ideas, and that peculiar steadfastness of purpose and steadiness of aim which distinguish the truly self-made man.

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In 1862 he removed with his father’s family to Marion county, and five years later took up with them his residence at Salem, and has resided continuously at the capital as one of its leading men. Having filled acceptably a number of minor offices, he was elected in 1880 as clerk of Marion county, and in this responsible position for two terms proved his ability to assume also even higher trusts. In 1886 he was elected state senator for Marion county, and discharged the duties thus laid upon him with dignity and ability, and to the great satisfaction of his constituents. He has been a Republican since his first formation of political opinions, and takes deep interest in public causes.

His business aggregates a large volume, which he transacts with his usual integrity and fidelity, and conducts at Salem large transfers in real estate. He was married in1885 to Miss Rose Weller, and has a happy home with bright prospects for the future.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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