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George W. Hamilton

HAMILTON, George W. — For two and fifty years of its history Prairie City has profited by the zeal and public spirit of George W. Hamilton, known first as an agriculturist, later as a merchant, and in the present as a retired but still interested and helpful observer of Its growing fortunes. Born in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pa., September 24, 1829, Mr. Hamilton is of Scotch-Irish descent, the son of Joseph A. and Mary A. (McCarren) Hamilton, the former of whom was born in Trenton, N. J., in 1799, and the latter in Ireland in 1801. Joseph A. Hamilton was a shoemaker by trade who located in Canton, Ill., in 1837, and in 1856 moved to Prairie City, where he died in 1885. His wife, who came to Philadelphia with her parents as a child, died in Prairie City in 1871. Her father, James McCarren, was an officer in the United States Mint for many years. For ten years after his arrival in Prairie City, in 1854, George W. Hamilton engaged in general farming and stock-raising, after that devoting his attention to merchandising until his retirement from active life in 1876. He has been twice married, his first wife being Hannah Hays, daughter of Samuel Hays, of Clinton County, Pa., whom he wedded in 1852 and who died in 1878. Of this union there were four children, of whom one died in infancy. The other children were; Charles W., who married Lizzie Ackerman, of Prairie City, and who, after engaging in the mercantile business in San Antonio, Texas, returned home and died in Prairie City in June, 1901, leaving a wife and son, Don; William A., unmarried, who is a graduate of the Northwestern University Law School, and is engaged in general law practice in Chicago; and George F., who married Lizzie Hill, and is engaged in a boot and shoe business in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Both the surviving sons are Republicans, and members of the Masonic fraternity. The present wife of Mr. Hamilton formerly was Martha A. (Foster) Cook, widow of Captain John Cook, of Fulton County, Ill., and daughter of Ephraim Foster, of Bedford County. Pa. This marriage occurred in 1881.

Politically, Mr. Hamilton has been in alliance with the Republican party ever since its organization, and for twenty years has rendered efficient service as Township Supervisor, during four terms acting as Chairman of the board. His social inclinations are widely recognized and appreciated, especially among the Masons, he being identified with Golden Gate Lodge No. 24S, A. F. & A. M., of Prairie City, Morse Chapter No. 19, of Macomb, and Macomb Commandery No. 61. He was master for twenty years of Golden Gate Lodge, and now is an officer in the Grand Lodge. Mr. Hamilton has a pleasing and confidence-inspiring personality, and a sympathy and enthusiasm which the passing of many years and the enacting of many roles have failed to diminish.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 891-892, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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