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Lutz-Chamberlin family papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Lutz-Chamberlin

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, clippings, writings, business and legal material, genealogical notes and research, and photographs relating to the Chamberlin and Lutz families of Vermont and Illinois.

The most important part of the Chamberlin correspondence is letters written by Caroline’s brother, George E. Chamberlin of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to his family when he was a student at Dartmouth College, 1856-1860, clerking in a law firm in St. Louis, and then at Harvard Law School, 1861-1862, and as an officer in the Vermont Eleventh Artillery Regiment, 1862-1864. There are also family letters between his sisters Caroline and Mary and other family members including his widow, Adelia Gardiner Chamberlin, and to and from Vermont friends.

The Lutz correspondence begins after Caroline Chamberlin married John A. Lutz in 1867, and continues until 1992, ending with the death of Adeline Louise Lutz of Chicago. One component of the 19th century Lutz correspondence is of special interest: numerous letters to John A. Lutz from his business partner John T. Stuart, 1863-1866, which yield detailed information concerning the dry goods business during the Civil War period. There is a long series of letters, 1899-1902, from Caroline and John A. Lutz’s son Edward C. Lutz to his fiancee, Annette C. Bates, and letters between other family members. Letters of Annette Lutz to her daughter Marion Lutz Peck, 1949-1955, often deal with the subject of Christian Science. Much of the 20th century correspondence is that of Adeline Louise Lutz of Chicago to and from her friends and relatives, 1935-1992, and letters dealing with the settlement of her sister Marian’s estate in Logan County in 1976. Also, a collection of family postcards, ca. 1895-1990.

The miscellaneous material includes three journals of George E. Chamberlin kept before and during his Dartmouth years, clippings concerning marriages and deaths, genealogical tables, 20th century family research for admittance into hereditary societies, business and legal papers concerning property in Logan county, wills and death certificates, and some Adeline Louise memorabilia. Also, a large collection of family photographs, identified and dated when possible, ranging from ca. 1865-1992, and one Civil War photograph showing George E. Chamberlin’s military post.


  • Creation: 1844-1992



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Lutz-Chamberlin family papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Lutz-Chamberlin family papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biographies of the Chamberlin and Lutz Families

The Chamberlin family was originally from Lyndon and St. Johnsbury, in upper Vermont. In the early 1830s, Ephraim Chamberlin and his wife Dorcas raised a family consisting of Ephraim, Myron, Emily (Cooper), Mary (Brackett), Louise (Edgell) and Caroline (Scales). In 1866, the younger Ephraim Chamberlin, married to Mary Ann Chase, moved his family to Lincoln, Illinois. His children were: George E., who died in the Civil War in 1864, Mary Ann, who married Edward C. Redington, Edward V., Lilly (Scully), and Caroline (Carrie) who married John A. Lutz in 1867.

John A. Lutz, who married Caroline Chamberlin, ran a successful dry goods store for over fifty years in Lincoln, Illinois. Originally working with the John T. Stuart dry goods business in Springfield, Lutz soon started his own business in 1866, the management of which later passed to his sons John A. Lutz, Jr. and Edward C. Lutz. Among other children of John and Caroline Chamberlin Lutz were Marian Chase (Gordon) and Caroline A. (Bramwell).

Edward C. Lutz married Annette C. Bates in 1902, and Annette’s sister, Adeline Gillette Bates, married Robert Hartnell of Ohio. Edward and Annette Lutz had two daughters, Marian Chamberlin and Adeline Louise. Marian C. Lutz married James O. Peck in 1939. Adeline Louise, known simply as Louise, never married but worked as Secretary of the Art Institute of Chicago for forty-eight years, and remained close to her Hartnell relatives.

Biography of George E. Chamberlin

Dartmouth graduate and Civil War soldier from Vermont.

George E, Chamberlin, the son of Ephraim and Mary Ann Chase Chamberlin, was born in Lyndon, Vermont in 1838. He attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1860. After graduation he clerked in a law firm in St. Louis, then attended Harvard Law School in 1861-1862. On August 16, 1862, Chamberlin enlisted in the Union Army, raising a company, the 11th Vermont Infantry Volunteers, soon renamed First Artillery, 11th Vermont Volunteers. First elected captain then major and later colonel, he was first posted to Fort Lincoln, three-and-a-half miles north of Washington, D.C.

Between November of 1862 until his death in the field in August 1864, Chamberlin’s regiment was encamped near Washington, D.C., in Fort Lincoln, Fort Totten, Fort Slemmer, and Dinwiddie Courthouse and Cold Harbor, Virginia.


1.7 Linear Feet (4 boxes and 1 oversize folder)


Correspondence, writings, business and legal documents, photographs, clippings, genealogical materials, and postcard collection of members of the Chamberlin and Lutz families, ranging from the 1850’s to the 1990’s. The Chamberlin correspondence consists of George E. Chamberlin’s letters written when he was a student at Dartmouth and subsequently as an officer in the Civil War, plus letters of other Chamberlin family members, mostly through the 1860's. The Lutz correspondence consists of business correspondence of the 1860’s and mostly 20th century letters.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Chamberlin Correspondence, 1844-1883
Box 1
Series 2: Lutz Correspondence, 1863-1992
Box 2
Series 3: Miscellaneous Material of Chamberlin and Lutz Families,1850-1992
Box 3
Series 4: Photographs, approximately 1863-1992
Box 4

Collection Stack Location

1 24 4


Bequest of Adeline Louise Lutz, 1994, 1999.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith.

Inventory of the Lutz-Chamberlin family papers, 1844-1992
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States