Author: Peter C. Stewart


William W. Chamberlaine (1836–1923)

William W. Chamberlaine was a Confederate army officer during the American Civil War (1861–1865), founder of the Norfolk Electric Light Company, first president of the Savings Bank of Norfolk, and a longtime railroad executive who retired as secretary of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. Born in Norfolk, Chamberlaine was wounded at the Battle of Antietam (1862). After the war he worked at a bank with his father before becoming secretary and treasurer of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad in 1877. He stayed with the company through the rest of his career, during which time he also founded the light company (1884) and led the Savings Bank (1886). After retiring in 1904, he moved to Washington, D.C., and published a memoir about his wartime service (1912). He died in Washington in 1923.