From Ohio History Central
William Isaac Chamberlain was Ohio's seventh Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture served as the head of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture.
Chamberlain was born in 1837, in Sharon, Connecticut. The following year, his family relocated to Hudson, Ohio. Chamberlain's parents instilled in him a love of learning, and in 1859, he graduated from Western Reserve College. Upon graduation, Chamberlain spent six years teaching Greek and Latin at this institution, before returning to his family's farm to engage in agriculture.
Eventually, Chamberlain moved to Michigan, where he accepted a professorship in agriculture at Michigan Agricultural College.
By 1879, Chamberlain had returned to Ohio, where he became Ohio's seventh Secretary of Agriculture. He held this position until 1886. During his tenure, Chamberlain established the first Ohio Farmer Institutes. Ohio Farmer Institutes eventually existed across Ohio, and their purpose was to help educate farmers in the latest and most advanced agricultural techniques.
Upon leaving the secretary position, Chamberlain remained active in agriculture. In 1886 Chamberlain became the fourth president of Iowa State College, modern-day Iowa State University. Many people criticized Chamberlain for not placing a greater emphasis on agriculture at the institution. Facing increasing opposition from Iowa residents and students for this and additional reasons, Chamberlin resigned as president of Iowa State College in 1890.
In 1890, Chamberlain returned to his family farm in Ohio. He published numerous articles in various publications, including the American Agriculturalist and The Country Gentleman. He also served as an editor with several other farming-related publications. Chamberlain also served on The Ohio State University's Board of Trustees. He died on June 30, 1920.