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William Ferguson Hamilton


WILLIAM FERGUSON HAMILTON, D. D. From a sketch of Dr. Hamilton published in the "Presbyterian Encyclopedia" in 1884, we quote as follows:

Son of Joseph and Margaret (Ferguson) Hamilton. Was born in Williamsport (now Monongahela City) Washington Co., Penn., March 24, 1824. He was graduated from Washington College, Penn., in the class of 1844, and from the Western Theological Seminary in 1849. Immediately after the completion of his theological studies he was licensed by the Presbytery of Ohio (now Pittsburgh) and in the following year was ordained by the same body, and installed as pastor of Centre Church, where he labored for two years. He has since, with ability and success, exercised the pastoral offices for ten years in Uniontown, Penn., and for seven years in the churches of Salem and Livermore, in the Presbytery of Blairsville. Since 1875 he has had charge of the Mt. Pleasant Church in the Presbytery of Washington (1875-87). Residing in Washington, Penn., for the sake of the education of his children, he has been called to render valuable service, for which his talents and scholarship have so well fitted him. One form of this was the instruction of the senior and junior classes in Washington and Jefferson College during the years 1876-80, in psychology and ethics. How ably he thus taught may well be left for inference to the readers of his masterly article in the Presbyterian Review of July, 1882, entitled "Recent Ethical Theory," an article which has attracted not only approval, but complimentary notice from high places. Among various fugitive articles, addresses and other pamphlets which he has published, in compliance with special requests, one claims a prominent place, viz.: an address delivered at the Centenary Celebration of the Redstone Presbytery, the mother Presbytery of the West, held at Uniontown, Penn., in 1881, which is a rich repository of historical information concerning one of the most important portions of our country and of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Hamilton is still in full vigor of his faculties. To the ability of an honored minister of the Gospel, he adds the pen of a ready and accomplished writer. His wisdom and skill in matters of the church, notwithstanding his characteristic modesty, compel his service as stated clerk of Presbytery, chairman of important committees, and in other representative duties, at the imperative call of his brethren. He was moderator of the Synod of Pittsburgh in 1873, the fourth annual meeting after the reunion of the church and the reconstruction of its courts.

Since the foregoing was penned Dr. Hamilton has rendered useful service as a leading contributor and editor of the "History of the Presbytery of Washington." It is probably on account of his work in these lines that he has recently been elected a member of "The American Society of Church History," and also of "The American Historical Association."

Dr. Hamilton was married January 28, 1858 to Miss L. Louisa, daughter of Isaac Beeson, of Mt. Braddock, Fayette Co., Penn. Their eldest son, Dr. Isaac Beeson Hamilton, who is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and of the University of Pennsylvania, practices his profession in Arizona. Another son, Rev. William Beeson Hamilton, also a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College, and of Princeton Theological Seminary, is a missionary of the Presbyterian board, stationed at Chinanfu, China. Another son, Joseph Hamilton, who recently graduated in Washington and Jefferson College, is now engaged in the study of theology, and has been licensed by the Presbytery of Washington. The youngest child, Louis Pennock Hamilton, is a student in Washington and Jefferson College. Three daughters Mary Kennedy, Margaret Ferguson and Eliza Lowrie complete the family circle. All the daughters are graduates of Washington Female Seminary.

Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, PA, 1893, page 60


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