COMPENDIUM OF BIOGRAPHY Of Henry County Indiana
Surnames mentioned in this biography: Hamilton, Newbould, McCrary, Hearkless, Hulgan,
WILLIAM R. HAMILTON.
The gentleman whose name furnishes the caption of this review is an enterprising farmer and successful veterinary surgeon and to him as much as to any citizen of Henry County belongs the title of self-made man. Thrown upon his own resources at a tender age and compelled to battle with the rugged realities of the world, he successfully overcame the many obstacles by which he was surrounded, gradually made his way upward and from a poor, penniless and comparatively friendless lad has become one of the most prosperous and influential men of the township which is now proud to claim him as a citizen. William R. Hamilton, son of Thomas and Martha (Newbould) Hamilton, was born in Connersville, Indiana, February 5, 1849. The Hamiltons were natives of Kentucky and the Newboulds came to Indiana from Maryland. When quite young the subject's mother was left an orphan, after which she was taken by a family by the name of McCrary with whom she lived until her marriage. Soon after Thomas Hamilton took charge of a hotel in Connersville known as the Derman House, which he ran for about twenty-two years, retiring from the business at the expiration of that time and moving to a farm in the county of Fayette. His experience as an agriculturist covered a period of twenty-one years, a period, which also terminated his life. Eight children were born to Thomas and Martha Hamilton, four Sons and four daughters, seven of whom are living at this time, the subject of this sketch being the only one of the family residing in Henry County. William R. Hamilton was a small boy when his father moved to the farm and at a very early age he began following the plow and familiarizing himself with some of the lighter forms of labor. As soon as old enough to work to advantage he took his place in the fields and while still a lad in the early teens was able to do almost a man's work in the ordinary routine of toil. At the age of fifteen an event occurred which had a decided influence upon his life and which perhaps may have been a blessing in disguise, although at the time attended by sorrow and gloom that made the future look anything but cheering. This was the death of his father, an event that cast him upon the world penniless and almost friendless. Before this time he had attended of winter seasons a few terms of school, but after being thrown upon his own resources his educational training practically ceased. Turning his hand to any kind of honorable employment he could find, young Hamilton labored diligently with the object in view of improving his condition if possible and becoming something more in the world than a servant for others. Actuated by this determination, he laid by every dollar he could spare and some idea of his industry and thrift may be learned from the fact that on reaching his majority he had in his possession one thousand dollars in cash, a good horse and buggy and not one cent of indebtedness. Some of this money came to him as the result of successful trading, but the larger part was carefully saved from his wages as a farm hand and daily laborer. In the year 1870 Mr. Hamilton and Miss Emma Hearkless, of Rush County, were united in marriage, a union terminated by the death of the wife after one year of happy wedded life. Subsequently, February 18, 1875, the subject chose a second companion, who bore the maiden name of Mary E. Hulgan, whose birth occurred in the county of Fayette; this union has resulted in three children: Lela, born December 27, 1875, now the wife of Luther Ratcliff; Bert, who was born June 8, 1883, and an infant named Verlie that died. Mr. Hamilton became a resident of Henry County in the year 1872, purchasing forty acres of land in Greensboro township, for which he paid at the time eight hundred dollars, going in debt for the balance. By industry and economy he soon had his place clear of encumbrance and within a reasonable time thereafter increased his holdings until his farm contained one hundred and fifteen acres, its present area. The farm is highly improved and by adopting scientific methods he has greatly increased its productiveness and made it one of the best as well as one of the most valuable places of its size in the county. At a very conservative estimate the place represents a value of at least twelve thousand dollars, in addition to which Mr. Hamilton also owns other property, including a comfortable home in the village of Kennard where he now lives. Mr. Hamilton has given much time and study to veterinary surgery and for some years past has practiced the profession with much success at his home and elsewhere. In 1901 he turned his farm over to other hands and purchased a home in Kennard where he located for the purpose of devoting his time exclusively to veterinary surgery, the demands for his services having been such as to make this move necessary. He now has a large and lucrative business, having a license from the county entitling him to practice, also many flattering testimonials as to the effective service he has rendered in this useful and necessary profession. Mr. Hamilton is a man of intelligence and stands for enterprise and progress in all the terms imply. Primarily interested in his own affairs, he is also public spirited and stands ready at all times to give encouragement and support to any legitimate movements for the material and moral well-being of his community. Politically he is a Democrat, but has never taken a very active interest in party affairs further than to vote for the regular nominees and defend the soundness of his opinions when they are assailed. He has never identified himself with any religious society or organization but is a believer in churches as great moral forces and supports them liberally, especially the one to which his wife belongs, the Society of Friends. As a neighbor he is kind and obliging, ever ready to do a favor and his helping hand is never withheld from a friend providing such a one be worthy. He discharged the duties incumbent upon him as a citizen in a courageous, straightforward manner and is a splendid specimen of well-developed, successful American manhood. The biographical history of Henry County would not be complete did it not include the record of Mr. Hamilton's career. Lora1957@aol.com
Related Genealogy Resources: