REV. DR. ALBERT ST. JOHN CHAMBRE
Stoughton Universalist Church minister and namesake of Post 72 Grand Army of the Republic in Stoughton
Obituary from The Stoughton News-Sentinel, December 2, 1911
The sad news of the death of Rev. A. St. John Chambre at his home, in Lowell, Mass., was received in this town Thursday afternoon and was received with deep sorrow by his hosts of friends and admirers in this town, where he was loved, honored and respected far beyond that of any former citizen whom can recall today. To the members of St. John Chambre Post, 72, G. A. R., the news came with deepest sorrow for he was indeed the patron saint of this noble organization, who through all the years, since its organization, has maintained a deep and abiding interest and affection for the Post and members, and their welfare. Post 72, G. A. R. was named after Chambre, who was one of its original charter members and its second Commander. He enlisted in the war from New Jersey as a Chaplain and came to this town immediately following his service, to minister to the First Parish Universalist Church in town where he was installed pastor April 1st, 1864 and from which he resigned April 1st 1872, to accept another pastorate. For many years he has been pastor of the church of St. Anne, at Lowell, Mass.
During his pastorate here he was very prominent and active the affairs of the town, taking a deep, abiding interest in all matters concerning the welfare of the town. In educational matters and in behalf of the Schools he was especially active. He served as cha man of the School Committee the town for years and was one of the chief advocate and promoters of the establishment of the Stoughton High School, at a time when the policy of establishment was a hard fought issue in the Community.
He was a member of Rising Star Lodge of Masons, and the oldest living Past High Priest of Mount Zion Royal Arch Chapter of this, town a member of Stoughton Lodge of Odd Fellows and a citizen, who was ever ready and willing to sacrifice his time and efforts for the. good of the Community.
He was born in London, England, 71 years ago, and came to this country when a young man. His father was a clergyman in the Church of England, and his mother was a Presbyterian. On the death of his father his mother brought him up in the Presbyterian faith. It was the revolt from Calvinism which led him to the Universalist Church He belonged to the conservative wing of that church.
Rev. Dr. Chambre was organized a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1881, by Bishop Paddock, and a deep friendship existed between them.
Rev. Dr. Chambre was frequently mentioned in connection with an appointment as bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was chosen the first arch deacon of the Lowell archdeaconry at a meeting of Episcopal clergymen in Boston in May, 1894. The archdeaconry composed cities, and towns in Middlesex and Essex Counties and that portion of Suffolk County not included in the city of Boston.
He had been secretary of the Episcopal Church, succeeding Rev. Dr. Converse. He served in that capacity under Bishops Paddock, Brooks and Lawrence. He was also president for years of the Massachusetts Church Union.
He was president of the trustees of Dean Academy and was for, a time lecturer on ecclesiastical history in Tufts College. That college conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. While a Universalist, Rev. Dr. Chambre was president of the State Association. During the Civil War he was chaplain of a New Jersey Regiment and had occasion to call upon President Lincoln on behalf of a soldier boy doing double duty. Through his influence the President pardoned the man.
After his ordination as a priest the Episcopal Church his first was in St. Matthew's Church., South Boston, Later he was stationed in the Church of the Advent in Fall River and from there he went to Lowell. Chambre began the establishment of St. Anne's Episcopal Mission in North Billerica. Twice a month, except August, he preached in the mission. Members of the mission have publicly acknowledged his generosity in the mission work.
Rev. Dr. Chambre was a thorough business man and was; one of the officers of the Lowell Institution for Savings. He frequently attended the meetings of the Board of Trade, and was a guest of the Shakespeare Club at the last anniversary. Although not a man of rugged appearance, he seldom complained of ill health.
He was prominent in Free Masonry, having been a member of f[---] Scottish Rite bodies, including Massachusetts Consistory, 32d degree, A.A.S. R. N. M .J. Sept. 21, 1908, he was crowned an honorary member of the Supreme Council, 33d degree. He has presided over his lodge and, Royal Arch Chapter and was deputy grand high priest in 1873. He has also been chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and prelate of the Grand Commandery, K. T., of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
His wife survives him. The cause of his death was angina pectoris. He was found dead in his bed Thursday morning.
* Rev. Dr. Albert St. John Chambre served as a chaplain with the 1st New Jersey Infantry and the 8th New Jersey Infantry. To see images from the collection of the New Jersey State Archives (Image 1) (Image 2).
Click here for a short history of the 1st New Jersey Infantry, or the 8th New Jersey Infantry.
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