Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the James Chamberlain Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1838-1897
Creator: Chamberlin, James (1817-1897)
Extent: 28.00 items.
Collection Number: MSC0249
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Farmer and Johnson County , Iowa public official. Daybooks, ledgers, and photographs relating to the early years of North Liberty, Johnson County, Iowa .

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs Box 1

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Acquisition: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by J. Gordon Chamberlin in 1971.

Preferred Citation: James Chamberlin Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Pennsylvania native James Chamberlin (1817-1897) settled near North Liberty in Johnson County, Iowa in 1841. There he farmed and took part in community affairs. Chamberlain (a Republican) was on the Johnson County board of supervisors, a member of the school board, and a justice of the peace.

The papers of James Chamberlin date from 1838 to 1897 and were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1971, by his great grandson, J. Gordon Chamberlin. The twenty eight items making up the collection include daybooks kept by Chamberlin from 1852 to 1890. There he reported not only his day to day activities, but also some financial transactions. There is an account book for the years 1838 to 1854, in which his expenses as well as earnings were itemized. A ledger of school records documents the formation of the school district for Penn township in Johnson County, Iowa. It also records the meeting relating to the building of their first school and later contains information about the students and teachers. Finally, a book of court records kept when he was a justice of the peace details his court cases and the resulting judgments.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Index to the papers prepared by the son of the donor, J. Gordon Chamberlin
    Xerox copy; original returned to Mr. Chamberlin
  • 10 photographs with 5 pages of miscellaneous accounts and 1 A.L.S. to James Chamberlin, Iowa City, from David S. Chamberlin, 17 January, 1851, 4 p.
  • Four copies of a "sampler" prepared by J. Gordon Chamberlin
  • Account book - 1838-1854
  • Court records of James Chamberlin, Justice of the Peace - 1853-1871
  • School records - 1854-1860
  • Box 2:
  • Day book - 1852-1862
  • Day book - 1863-1869
  • Day book - 1870-1879
  • Day book - 1880-1888
  • Day book - 1889-1890

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Johnson County
United States -- Iowa -- North Liberty