A Guide to the Don A. Chamberlin Papers, 1836, 1860-1902
Soldier, banker, and mayor Don Alonzo Chamberlin (1832-1903) moved to Texas from New England in 1859. He served with the Texas Rangers through 1860, when he was discharged due to bad health. He then enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving in the 16th Texas Voluntary Infantry during the Civil War. Afterwards, Chamberlin and W. A. Miller organized the general jobbing and retail commercial business Miller & Chamberlin in 1866. Four years later J. Z. Miller joined, and the company became Miller, Chamberlin, & Co., with a new banking division. When the Millers retired in 1874, H. J. Chamberlin joined, and the firm yet again changed names to the Chamberlin Brothers. From 1881 to 1887, Chamberlin served as mayor of Belton. He retired until 1891, when he was re-elected. During his terms, he established the public water works and made public schools a permanent fixture. He also improved the fire department and the town streets.
In 1869, Chamberlin married Ann Elizabeth Hamilton at Waco. The couple had three children, including Mrs. J.M. (Rose) Coleman and Blanche (d. 1876).
The Don A. Chamberlin Papers, 1836, 1860-1902, concern the career of Chamberlin and his family. Chamberlin’s diary within the collection describes his enlistment and service with the Texas Rangers. The papers also include an original scrapbook kept by Chamberlin with a letter, funeral announcement, photograph, several prints, and numerous newspaper clippings of poems, obituaries, biographical narratives, and historical narratives. Of special interest is an 1891 photograph of Belton, Texas, from Kinney Hill.
Don A. Chamberlin Papers, 1836, 1860-1902, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers