Henry Chamberlain

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Henry Chamberlian, PGM,
Henry Chamberlian, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master 1872

Henry Chamberlian was born in Pembroke, New Hampshire on March 17, 1824. His schooling was very limited. Up to his twelfth year he attended the district school for a few months in each year and was later a student at the academy in his native town for six months. In 1836 he moved to Concord New Hampshire where he worked in his father’s mercantile business as a clerk.

In 1843 the family moved to Berrien County, Michigan, where the elder Chamberlain and his son engaged in clearing and working a farm. In 1850 Henry moved to the village of Three Oaks, then a wilderness, and began to clear up a farm and in 1854 began a mercantile business that was continued until 1880. During that time, and for a few years longer he managed a large farm.

He was elected Supervisor of his township when he had attained the age of twenty-one years and fifteen days, and was re-elected for the succeeding three years, the last time by a unanimous vote of all of the electors. He served as a Supervisor between 1845 and 1868 or about thirteen terms. He was for many years a Justice of the Peace and held many offices in the township, village and school district in which he lived. In 1848 he was elected a Representative to the State Legislature and served during the session of 1849, and declined a re-nomination. In 1853 he was appointed a mail route agent on the Michigan Central Railroad and resigned in 1855. He was Postmaster at Three Oaks for many years. He was appointed in 1883 as a member of the State Board of Agriculture, which had charge of the Michigan Agricultural College. He was a member of the Semi-Centennial Commission of 1885. He held a commission as a Notary Public for forty-seven years.

In 1864 he was the candidate of his party for State Senator; in 1866 for member of the Constitutional Convention; in 1868, 1870 and 1876 for member of Congress from the southwest district of Michigan. In 1874 for Governor, but in each case for lack of votes failed to be elected. He was a delegate to many of the state Conventions of his party, and to National Conventions.

He was raised as a Master Mason on March 28, 1854. In November 1867 he was appointed as Master of a Lodge, Under Dispensation, at Three Oaks, and in January, 1868 was elected Worshipful Master of the same Lodge, known as Three Oaks Lodge No. 239.

In January 1869, he first sat in Grand Lodge as a representative of a Lodge. In 1871 he was chairman of a Committee on Masonic law and in the same year was elected Deputy Grand Master. In 1872 he was elected Grand Master and served for the year ending January 1873.

He died on February 9, 1907.

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