Biography of Mrs. Dixie Chamberlain (w/o J. D. H.)
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





MRS. DIXIE CHAMBERLAIN. - The real estate business, which has made such strides in development in this part of the country in the last decade, has proved a most attractive field of labor for the progressive business woman who recently has come to the fore and procured such good returns that her fellow workers are kept busy looking after their interests and keeping in close touch with her. Mrs. Chamberlain is a fine example of the energetic business woman and one who has been most prosperous in all her ventures. She has been optimistic at all times as to the future of Eureka and is the owner of several pieces of valuable real estate, numbering among her possessions attractive flats on the corner of Third and I streets. She is the granddaughter of Jacob Shaw, a native of Maryland, and a Revolutionary soldier. He came of sturdy German stock and was one of the early settlers of Kentucky. Later in life he removed with his family to Arkansas, where he resided until his death. His wife was Elizabeth Hereford, of English descent.

Thomas J. Shaw, the father of Mrs. Chamberlain, was born in 1801, near Louisville, Ky., and it was there he was married to Eliza A. Brice, also a native of Kentucky, having been born in Clark county, in 1811. The father of Mrs. Shaw was Thomas Brice, likewise of Kentucky birth and a soldier in the war of 1812. He was of English descent and one of that class of citizens to whose energy and wise discrimination Kentucky is so greatly indebted. Thomas Brice was married to Margaret McMillan, a daughter of the Blue Grass State, and whose father, Maj. Robert McMillan, served in the Revolutionary War with the commission of major. His advent into Kentucky was during the time of Daniel Boone. Thomas J. Shaw, after a residence of several years in Center Point, Iowa, removed in the '50s to Linn county, Kan., making his home for four years at Mound City, which was only one mile from the old John Brown Fort. Returning with his family to Iowa, he continued to reside there until 1865, when the trip to California was begun. George Shaw, a son, who had crossed the plains to the Golden State in 1852, returned at that time and acted as captain of the large train which had been made up for the trip. For five months they risked their lives on the trackless, Indian infested plains and only escaped a planned massacre by the soldiers of Fort Laramie surprising the red men at their place of ambush and routing them. In October, 1865, the little company arrived in Napa, Cal., and there the Shaws lived for a year, when they came to Humboldt county. More than any state in the Union, the vigorous prosperity of California is directly traceable to the sturdy characters and untiring perseverance of its pioneers, bringing hither eastern conservatism and practical experience to the aid of western chaos and impetuosity, and enrolled among these noble men is the name of Thomas J. Shaw. He passed away in Humboldt county in 1879, while the mother lived until 1888. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom Margaret, Mrs. Congdon, makes her home at Center Point, Iowa; Ann, Mrs. Carlin, died while a resident of Center Point; George, who became prominent in the general affairs of Humboldt county and served as assessor for two terms, passed away while making his home in Eureka; James, another son, lives at Emeryville, Cal.; John and Francis are next in order; Dixie is the subject of this sketch; Corinno, Mrs. Lambert, died at Eureka, while Jacob's demise occurred at Kneeland Prairie; Fronie makes her home on Albee street, Eureka; Elton A., Mrs. Ogden, resides in San Francisco.

Mrs. Chamberlain was christened Sarah Helen, but was always called Dick until the war, when she was called Dixie, by which name she has been known ever since. She was born at Center Point, Linn county, Iowa, and it was there she received her education in the public schools. She accompanied her parents on the trip to California and two years after arriving here was married, October 21, 1867, at Elk River, to Joseph Scott Stewart. He was born at Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1832, and when he was a child he removed to Center Point, Iowa, with his parents. In 1853 he removed with his family to Puget Sound, Wash., and while there served in the Indian wars. Later he took up his residence in San Francisco and afterward located at Vallejo. In 1865, in company with George and Frank Shaw, Mr. Stewart came to Humboldt county and purchased the old Colonel Hagen ranch of about five hundred acres, and while living here was married to Dixie Shaw. They made their home on this valuable property until 1879, when they disposed of the ranch and took up unimproved land, further up the Elk river. Mr. Stewart had just begun the work of clearing and improving, when he contracted pneumonia, and died July 27, 1880. He was a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A. M., and served his community as deputy assessor. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Cleo Gustein died in infancy; Carl Verde is a clerk in the Mare Island Navy yard at Vallejo; Blanch Gertrude died when in her eighteenth year, a short time before graduating from the academy; Ralph Scott is employed as a machinist with the Hammond Lumber Company, of Eureka; Mark Clifford died in infancy; Madge Myrtle, a shorthand reporter, died when twenty two years of age; Dixie Corinno is the wife of Oscar Samuels, a prominent attorney of San Francisco.

In 1890 Mrs. Stewart became the wife of J. D. H. Chamberlain, a native of New York state, and for many years one of the leading attorneys of Eureka. Since his demise, which occurred in 1902, she has continued to make her home on I street. The five hundred acres of redwood timber land which she owned was later sold and investments made in Eureka business property, which she manages wisely and with profit. Fraternally Mrs. Chamberlain is a member of the Eastern Star; is past officer of the Pythian Sisters; served as deputy grand chief of Humboldt county and grand manager of the grand Temple of California. She is likewise a prominent member of the Society of Humboldt County Pioneers, and politically an ardent Republican.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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