Occupying a prominent position among the leading
physicians and surgeons of Southern Illinois and coming prominently into
the ranks of the successful self-made men of the state is the gentleman
whose name stands for the head of this sketch. Dr. J. W. Hamilton is a
native of Jefferson county, Ilinois, born April 24, 1871, near Knob Prairie,
where his grandfather settled about the year 1839, being among the early
pioneers of that part of the country. Josiah A. Hamilton, the doctor's
father, was born in Brown county, Ohio, but when four years of age was
brought by his parents to Illinois. The family settled originally near
McLeansboro, Hamilton county, and three years later removing thence to
Jefferson county and founding a home at the north end of Knob Prairie.
Josiah Hamilton was reared a farmer and in due
time became one of the successful men of his calling in his community as
well as one of the county's widely known and highly esteemed cituens. He
served in Company K, Thirty-second Illinoish Volunteer Infantry, during
the late Civil war, saw much active service and earned an honorable record
as a soldier. Resuming agricultural pursuits on returning from the army,
he continued the ~ame on his farm near Knob Prairie until within a short
time before hi~ death when he changed his residence to the town of Ina,
where in August, 1877, he passed from earth.
When a young man Josiah Hamilton married Miss
Hannah E. Boswell, who was born at Knob Prairie, in 1834, and is still
living near the place where she first saw the light of day, retaining to
a remarkable degree the possession of her faculties both physical and mental.
She bore her husband ten children, six of whom grew to mature years, of
which one, Mrs. Elnora Webb, the third in order of birth, has since died.
Those living at this time are Orange Hamilton, of Waltonville, Jefferson
county; Mrs. Lucretia Mannen, who lives at the same place; Vincent Hamilton,
of Sheller, Illinois; Charles, of Emerton City, and Dr. J. W., whose name
introduces this review.
The doctor's grandfather was Orange Hamilton,
a native of New York City, and as already stated, a pioneer of Jefferson
county, locating near Knob Prairie in a very early day and taking an active
and influential part in the material development of his section of the
country. By occupation he was a tiller of the soil and as such ranked among
the most enterprising and successful of the county, besides attaining commendable
standing as a neighbor and citizen. He developed a good farm, provided
comfortably for his family and departed this life about the year 1857,
honored and respected by all with whom he came in contact.
The early life of Doctor Hamilton was spent on
the family homestead near Knob Prairie and when a mere boy he learned by
practical experience the true significance of honest toil and the value
of industry as a means of attaining an honorable position in the world.
He was reared on the farm and after attending the public schools until
his seventeenth year began teaching, to which useful calling he devoted
his attention until his twenty-first year, meeting with flattering success
the meanwhile and achieving an honorable reputation as a capable and painstaking
instructor. Having decided to make the medical profession his life work,
he entered shortly after attaining his majority the office of Dr. A. J.
Fitzgerald, of Knob Prain.e~ where he prosecuted his studies for one year
and in 1902 became a student of Barnes Medical College of St. Louis, which
he attended during the three years ensuing and from which he was graduated
March 17, 1905.
On receiving his degree Doctor Hamilton began
the practice of his profession at ma, Illinois, but after a year and a
half at that place he found a wider and more inviting field for the exercise
of his talents in the city of Mount Vernon, where he has since practiced
with encouraging success and where he now has a large and lucrative professional
business, which is rapidly growing in magnitude and importance. For about
one and a half years he was in partnership with Dr. Harold Gee, but at
the expiration of which time became associated with Doctor Gilmore, the
firm thus constituted being still maintained and at the present time among
the best known partnerships of the kind not only in Mount Vernon and Jefferson
county, but in the southern part of the state.
Doctors Hamilton and Gilmore have finely equipped
offices in the Youngblood building, where every implement and device of
modern surgery is to be found, also the latest results of medical research.
Both gentlemen being critical students and in close touch with everything
relating to their profession. While eminently successful in the general
practice they make a specialty of surgery, to which they have devoted much
time and caieful study and in which they have achieved more than local
repute, being recognized as the leading surgeons of their city and among
the most skillful and successful in the state.
Doctor Hamilton is still a young man but he belongs
to the school of advanced thought and has spared neither pains nor expense
to acquire proficiency in his noble work and become a true benefactor of
the race. He has met with financial success commensurate with the energy
and skill displayed in his practice and is now not only one of the ablest
physicians and surgeons of the city in which he resides, but also one of
its well-to-do men and enterprising public-spirited citizens. Doctor Hamilton
is a member of the Jefferson County Medical Society, in the deliberations
of which he takes a prominent and influential part and also belongs to
the Medical Society of Southern Illinois, which he is now serving as president.
In addition to those two bodies he is identified with vanous other organizations
including the Illinois State Medical Society, the Ohio Valley Medical Society,
the American Medical Association, the American Association of Railway Surgeons
and holds a life membership with the Surgeons Club of Rochester, Minnesota.
In connection with his large and steadily growing practice he has been
for twelve years surgeon of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Railroad Company, and is not infrequently called
long distances to perforrn operations requiring a high order of surgical
talent. The doctor is a Democrat but finds little time to devote to political
matters, although deeply interested in public affairs and familiar with
the leading questions and issues upon which men and parties divide. He
has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows during the past
twelve year and is also identified with the order of Woodmen, the Court
of Honor, the Maccabees and the Knigths of Pythias, holding the title of
past chancellor in the last named society. He has never aspired to office
or leadership among his fellow citizens' and with the exception of serving
three years on the city school board has held no public position.
On the 26th day of April, 1891, Doctor Hamilton
was united in marnage with Miss Cora Webb, daughter of Daniel R. Webb,
of Horse Prairie, Jefferson county, a union blessed with two children,
Clarence O., born December 18, 1892, and Willma Opal, whose birth occurred
on June 30th, of the year 1896. Doctor and Mrs Hamilton are well known
in the social life of Mount Vernon and stand high in the esteem of the
best people of the city and county. They are interested in all humanitarian
measures for the amelioration of suffering and distress, contribute liberally
to charitable institutions and private benevolences.
SOURCE:Walls History of Jefferson County, Il By
John A. Wall 1909 pg 577
Submitted by: Misty Flannigan
J. W. Hamilton, M.D.
A gentleman who has come into prominence in the
medical profession in Jefferson county, is Dr. J. W Hamilton. He was born
at Waltonville, Ill , April 4,1871. He received his education through the
public schools, and followed teaching for five years after graduating.
In 1893 he began reading medicine and graduated from Barn's Medical College
in 1895, locating in Ina, this county, where he remained a little over
two years, when he moved to Mt. Vernon. Dr. Hamilton possess marked ability,
and undoubtely has a bright future before him, as he is paving the way
to a strong position among men of his profession in this city. He is the
local physician for the C. & E. I. Ry.
SOURCE: The Headlight
SUBMITTED BY: Misty Flannigan
April 25, 1998