Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dec 17: Very Rev. Alward Chamberlaine

The Very Reverend Alward Chamberlaine, dean of St. Michael's Cathedral in Boise, was born in Maryland on December 17, 1870. He showed an early interest in the church, serving as a choir boy and then as a lay reader.

After attending the Virginia Theological Seminary, he came to Idaho in 1903 as a missionary of the Episcopal church. (St. Michael’s Cathedral photo. Cathedral web site, credited to Pete Hect.)

At various times, he served in Montpelier, Blackfoot, and locations in Wyoming before being ordained a priest at St. Paul's Church, Blackfoot, Idaho, in 1908. Over the next few years, he served in Blackfoot, Twin Falls, and several towns in the Coeur d’Alene mining districts. Chamberlaine directed efforts that led to the construction of new Episcopal church buildings in Wallace and Kellogg.

In 1914, he was appointed archdeacon of Boise and then became the dean of St. Michael's Cathedral the following year. Between then and 1920, he also served the church in many roles: examining chaplain for the Idaho district, district secretary, president of the Ministerial Association of Boise, and on “all the important committees.”

Later, Chamberlaine returned to his native state of Maryland, where he continued to serve the church. Local records show him officiating at a funeral in late 1932. He passed away in 1938 and is buried in Cecil County, Maryland.

James H. Hawley, History of Idaho : The Gem of the Mountains, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago (1920).

Other references: Obituary notice, 1932. Cecil County (Maryland) cemetery records

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