Robert B. Chambers, well known in Roberts and Ford county as an enterprising merchant and supervisor of his township, was born in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1853, and there spent the first eighteen years of his life in the home of his parents, Robert and Matilda (Smith) Chambers, who were likewise natives of the Keystone state, the former of English lineage and the latter of German descent. The grandfather, who also bore the name of Robert Chambers, was the founder of the city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. An old clock which he formerly owned is now in possession of Robert B. Chambers of this review. It stands as high as the ceiling and may well be a cherished heirloom in the family.
Robert Chambers, the father, died when Robert B. Chambers was but ten years of age and the mother when he was eight years of age. The boy remained with his older brothers and sisters upon the home farm, being one of a family of nine children, namely: M. B., who is now living at Prairie City, Illinois; Katherine E., who died at the age of seventy years; James, who was drowned at two years of age; James M., who is living in Avon, Illinois; W. J. also a resident of Avon; Rhoda, who died at the age of twelve years; C. M., a resident of Hutchinson, Kansas; Robert B., of this review; and Mrs. Sarah A. Wyland, of Massachusetts.
In his early boyhood Robert B. Chambers attended the public schools as opportunity offered and during the periods of vacation worked on the home farm. When sixteen years of age he began clerking in a country store and was thus employed for two years. In 1870 he arrived in Piper City, Illinois, where he made his home for two years, working as a clerk in a general store for J. A. Montelius, who in 1872 sent him to Roberts to superintend his branch general store at that place. Mr. Chambers continued clerking for Mr. Montelius until 1875, when his employer sold out. In the spring of that year Mr. Chambers erected a business block and established a general mercantile store on his own account, conducting it with constantly growing success for sixteen years. He then traded it for his present store, which is the one that he formerly conducted for Mr. Montelius. Mr. Chambers also carried on a creamery in connection with his store for ten years, and he has made judicious investment in property, being now the owner of four hundred acres of productive and valuable land on section 5, Lyman township, which he rents. He was likewise one of the organizers and stockholders of the Lyman Telephone Company and he owns a store and dwelling in Roberts.
On the 11th of August, 1875, was celebrated the marriage which united the destinies of Mr. Chambers and Miss Annie E. Thompson, who was born in New York city in 1855, her parents being Rev. John L. and Mrs. Thompson, the former a Baptist clergyman. Mrs. Chambers came with her parents to Illinois in early life, the family home being established at Onarga, and following their death she came to Roberts at the age of eighteen years. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers became the parents of four children but Willie, the eldest, died in infancy and Ora T., the youngest, died at the age of two years. Robert Elmer, who assists his father in the store, wedded Bessie Davis of Roberts, and has one child, Milton J., now three years of age. Louis G.. who cultivates a half section of land for his father, wedded Jennie White, of Missouri, and has one son, Robert W.
In polities Robert B. Chambers has been a life-long republican and is now serving for the second term as supervisor of Lyman township. He was also president of the village board for two years and was alderman from the time of the incorporation of the town until elected president. In fact only one year has passed since that time when he has not been an officer of the village and all unite in commending him for capable, efficient service that has brought practical and desired results. He is active as a worker in republican ranks and has frequently been chosen as a delegate to the conventions of the party. He became one of the charter members of the Congregational church, has held all of its offices and for the past fifteen years has been one of its deacons. He labors earnestly and untiringly for the advancement of the church and the extension of its influence. He is also a charter member of the Modern Woodmen Camp at Roberts and is well known in the county, where he has now made his home for thirty-six years. With the interests and upbuilding of Roberts he has been most closely associated and is one of its best known and most highly respected citizens.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 748-750.

Templates in Time