Facts and Events
Frances Caroline "Fanny" Chamberlain, née Adams (12 August 1825 – 18 October 1905) was born in the Greater Boston area, daughter of Asher (or Ashur) and Amelia (née Wyllys) Adams. As a small child she was shuffled to different family members until she settled with Rev. George Eliashib Adams, a nephew of her father's, in Brunswick, Maine. She grew up an educated and artistic girl with a talent for music and singing, which is what made her play music in the First Parish Congregationalist Church (her adoptive father's church).
It was at First Parish that Fanny first met Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, one of the many students at nearby Bowdoin College, in 1849. The two had a difficult and slow courtship due to several factors including Fanny's apparent lack of interest early on and that Reverend Adams did not feel Chamberlain was good enough for his adopted daughter. Despite this, the couple became engaged in the autumn of 1852. A long engagement ensued, which took Chamberlain to work toward a Master's Degree at the Bangor Theological Seminary, and it took Fanny to teach voice at a girls' school, private piano lessons and playing the organ at a Presbyterian church in Milledgeville, Georgia for three years.
Fanny returned to Maine in the summer of 1855 in time to see her fiancé graduate from Bangor. They were married in her father's church on December 7, 1855. The newlyweds lived in rented rooms while Chamberlain taught Logic and Natural Theology and was given charge of Freshman Greek. In October 1856, Fanny give birth to a daughter they named Grace Dupree, though the child quickly took the nickname "Daisy". The following November, Fanny went into labor three months early with their first son but sadly, the premature infant only survived a few hours. A second son was born a year later and after a few moments of anxiety, it was thought the boy would grow strong and they named him Harold Wyllys. Two more daughters followed - Emily Stelle in 1860 and Gertrude Lorraine in 1865 - but neither child survived scarlet fever to see their first birthdays.