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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Captain William H. Hamilton - Early Warren Countian

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 13 August 2004
Source:
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

One of the many early Warren County residents to make his mark on the county was Captain William H. Hamilton. He was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, October 31, 1795. He was the son of Robert Hamilton, born in Bainbridge, County Down, Ireland in 1760.
Robert came to America when a young lad of fourteen. He sometime later became a soldier in the Revolution, and served throughout the war, much of the time under the command of Anthony Wayne. He was with him at the invasion of Stony Point, and was one of the men to lift him up when a glancing bullet had toppled him. His brother, a British officer, afterward captured him. Refusing to go home to Ireland if set free, he preferred to fight for his newly adopted country.
Robert's first wife was Susannah Kean. He worked as a blacksmith in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and about 1791 moved to Greene County, Pennsylvania, where he married Ann Hays, a native of Berkeley County, Virginia. In 1797, he moved to Morgantown, Virginia, and in 1803 to Trumbull County, Ohio.
This part of the country was wild and crude. William spent his early years experiencing the hardships of pioneer life. Dwelling in log cabins and living in the simplest manner developed into him an iron constitution with which he was blessed.
After living in Trumble County twelve years, he moved with his father to Warren County in 1815, where he resided until his death. Possibly his first paying job as a tradesman was that of a blacksmith. He soon changed his profession to carpenter and builder, which he followed for about forty-five years. His building expertise consisted of bridge and mill structures. He was for a period of four years superintendent of carpenter work on the Little Miami Railroad from Columbus to Cincinnati. He afterward was employed on the Marietta Railroad from Loveland to Marietta. On the latter road he superintended the construction of thirteen important bridges.
He was an officer of militia from 1815 to 1822, his assignments being Ensign, Captain, Adjutant and Lieutenant Colonel; he was known familiarly as "Captain."
He was several years appointed county commissioner of Warren County. In this capacity, being the only mechanic on the planning board, he superintended the construction of many bridges and buildings, among them being the present infirmary. It was commenced in 1867 and was the largest of the county buildings; the total cost was $51,459.
His residences in the county included the thriving villages of Millgrove, and Oregonia. (He was appointed local postmaster of the former 13 Dec 1833, and the latter 5 Feb 1846.) He lived on a farm near the mouth of Caesar's Creek, on a farm near Genntown, and in 1871, moved to Lebanon where he resided until his death.
Captain Hamilton was married to Elizabeth Schrack September 23, 1819. She was born in Frederick Co., Virginia, December 18, 1800. To them were born 10 children. He died on Thursday, June 30, 1887, aged 91 years and 8 months. His health had been failing for some months. He left five sons and three daughters. His wife of sixty-five years died in 1884, aged eighty-four years, and two children, a daughter, Mary, and a son, John, had preceded them into eternity.
His character was one of high standing. He was one of the best-known and highly respected men in the county at this time. His education was one of wanting, but his sound judgment and high moral standings overrode any obstacles. His son William and daughter Maggie who lived with him comforted his declining years.


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This page created 13 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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