William N. Chambers; Headed Washington U. History Dept.
Wednesday, June 10, 1987
A private memorial service for William N. Chambers, retired chairman of the department of history at Washington University, will be Saturday in Boston.
Professor Chambers, 70, died Friday of Alzheimer’s disease in a Veterans Administration hospital in Manchester, N.H. He had been living in Chester, N.H.
Professor Chambers retired from the university in 1975 because of ill health. He wrote many books and articles on political science and analytical history.
Professor Chambers was a member of an old St. Louis family. In 1870, his grandfather, Leonard Matthews, founded St. Louis’ first brokerage, Edwards and Matthews. His grandmother, Mary Jane Chambers, studied nursing in Britain under Florence Nightingale and came to St. Louis to found a nursing order at St. Luke’s Hospital in the 1870s. His mother, Lucy Matthews Chambers, was a founding member of the St. Louis Artist Guild.
Professor Chambers was appointed to the Washington University faculty in 1949 and became chairman of the department of history in 1965. He also was a professor in the political science department.
His publications include “Political Parties in a New Nation,” “The American Experience 1776-1809,” “The Democrats 1789-1964,” “Old Bullion Benton: Senator from the New West,” “America’s Ten Greatest Presidents” and “The American Party System: Party Development in Three Centuries.”
Professor Chambers graduated from Harvard in 1939 and earned a doctorate at Washington University in 1949.
Surviving are his wife, Susan; a son, W. David Chambers of New York; two daughters, Mary Reid Chambers of Walpole, N.H., and Catherine Jane Chambers of Arlington, Mass.; a sister Mary Chambers Wiese of Kirkwood, and three grandchildren.