FATHER GEORGE A. HAMILTON


 

Burial in Saint Mary's Church
The Lafayette Daily Courier,  Friday, April 9, 1875

 The Pastor of  Saint. Mary's Church Now Lies Cold in the Embrace of Death.

The knowledge of the death of Father Hamilton which sped through our community this morning through not entirely unexpected to many produced a profound sensation.

It is well known that through most of the past winter and early spring the deceased had suffered from severe attacks of congestion and determination of blood to the head and from which he had but recently received sufficiently to be seen occasionally on our streets, through not as yet able to resume the full discharge of his ministerial functions in the church.
The disease that terminated so suddenly and fatally last evening was that of the heart and with but a brief warning the death messenger entered his chamber "the silver cord was loosed, the golden bowl was broken", and the spirit of Father Hamilton took its flight.

From Father Hamilton, his co-laborer in St. Mary's Church, we gather the following facts with regard to this early history and the main points of interest that attach to this career in the discharge of his parochial duties as a member of the priest hood in the Roman Catholic Church:
George A. Hamilton was born in Marion county, Kentucky, in the year 1819, and was consequently at the time of his death fifty-six years of age, having just passed the anniversary of his birthday on Wednesday last.

In the year 1832 he commenced his preparatory studies with a view to the priesthood, at Bardstown, Kentucky, and subsequently entered the Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri, from which he was ordained to the priesthood in the year 1846.  He was immediately attached to the Missions in the vicinity of Alton, Illinois, and was subsequently stationed at Joliet where he was instrumental in the building of St. Patrick's Church, as also a church at Lockport, in the vicinity of Joliet.
In the year 1856 or 57 he was stationed at Logansport, Indiana and during his pastorate there erected St. Vincent's Church of which he afterward became the priest in charge, and at the same time turned his energies to the building of churches at Winamac, Harrison, Fulton and Kokomo.  Subsequently he became a permanent resident of Lafayette in the year of 1864, and the building of St. Mary's and St. Ann's Churches, the brothers school building and the pastor's residence adjoining the church, stand as monuments of his indefatigable labors and untiring zeal in the cause in which he was enlisted.  He was also instrumental in the erection of a church at Colfax.  These and other acts that made up the sum of his life attest his vast powers as a workman in behalf of the church militant, and stamp him as a man of great execumtive and administrative ability.   He was moreover a man of kind impulses and genial disposition and had drawn around him many friends among protestants as well as those of his own communion. The ancestors of the deceased were among the old families of Kentucky, emigrating their from Maryland at an early day.

Father Hamilton was conscious of his approaching dissolution early in the evening, and when a sensation of fluttering in the region of the heart manifested itself a few minutes before  9 o'clock, he told those around his bedside that the end was at hand..  Medical aid was immediately summoned (Dr. Cady), but it was found that it would be of no avail.  the last rites of the Church were administered to him, and at 5 minutes past 9 o'clock he fell asleep. He retained his consciousness to the last moment, and died calmly and without a struggle.
The Rev. Dr. Spaulding, Archbishop of New York, who is a relative of the deceased has been telegraphed and is expected to be present at the funeral, which is set for Sunday afternoon, 11th inst., at 3 o'clock.
Bishop Dwenger, of Fort Wayne, is expected on the evening  train.
 

FATHER HAMILTON'S FUNERAL
The members of St. Mary's Parish and all the societies connected with St. Mary's Church, will meet at the Brothers school room, on South street, at 7 o'clock P.M. prompt, on Saturday, the 10th instant, to perfect arrangements for the funeral obsequies of the late pastor, Father Hamilton.  By order of the Church Committee.

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April 12, 1875 , page 4,  Funeral of the Late Father Hamilton.

The readers of the Courier were informed Saturday as to the programmer for the funeral of Father Hamilton yesterday.   It was carried out as announced.  The body was exposed for view in the vestibule of the church during a part of the day, and thousands took their last look at the face of the beloved pastor.

Shortly after two o'clock the resident and visiting societies filed into the church and were seated.  The vast edifice was filled to it's utmost capacity, and with those who remained on the outside, being unable to get in, there were fully four thousand people present.  When the  body had been placed in the front of the alter psalms were sung.  Bishop Dwenger, of Fort Wayne, then preached the funeral sermon from the words, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course and kept the faith".  His remarks occupied about an hour.  Every tribute he paid to the  memory of the deceased was well merited.  After the sermon the burial service was said and the body lowered into the vault.

 

Page 38 from the book 'St. Mary's Church of The Immaculate Conception'