Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Elias Hamilton

ELIAS HAMILTON, ex-Sheriff of Calhoun County and at present a prosperous agriculturist of Hardin Precinct, was born in Sussex County, Del., in October, 1823. He is numbered among the class of men to whom progress is a guiding word, being both energetic and capable of holding positions of public trust. Mr. Hamilton's father, who was also named Elias Hamilton, was born in Delaware and carried on a successful business as a shoe manufacturer in that State.

Our subject passed his youth in his native place, receiving his educational training there and continuing to make that his home up to the year 1844. At that date he came to Illinois, making the most expeditious route that was afforded voyagers then. He came from Wilmington, Del., to Baltimore, and from that city he walked to Pittsburgh and from the latter-named place made the trip by water on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Child's Landing, near where Hardin now stands. The country was then in a primitive state while on every side a vast expanse of dense forest greeted the eye. Deer and wolves roamed at will and wild turkeys abounded on every hand. Mr. Hamilton commenced working by the day and month but being very industrious he was soon able to buy the land upon which he now resides. This property is situated one and one-half miles from Hardin and when it first came into his possession was covered with heavy timber. He at once started in to clear the land in order to prepare the soil for cultivation and after building a nice dwelling and all the necessary buildings, has cultivated his estate highly being at present the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of valuable land.

Mr. Hamilton was married in 1848 to Miss Margaret A. R. Churchman whose birth occurred in the State of Tennessee, and her death in the year of 1857. Our subject was again married, in 1871, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Rosena (Snow) Cornelius, widow of Amasa Cornelius. She passed to her final resting place in 1881 much mourned by her husband and numerous friends. To Mr. Hamilton and his first wife were born two children — Joseph P. and Mary. To his second wife were also born two children— Clarence E. and Fremont W. The second Mrs. Hamilton had had three children by her first husband — James W. D., Olive M. and Mary E. Cornelius.

The subject of our sketch is a member of the Democratic party. He is very popular, being at different times elected to fill offices of trust. He was elected Sheriff of Calhoun County in the year 1855 and served as Justice of the Peace for many years. He has been Constable and a member of the Board of Supervisors. Thus as day follows day and the world grows older our notice is attracted by the success achieved by strict integrity, industry and perseverance. To gain general popularity a man must be the happy possessor of all these desirable traits and must, moreover, have a genial, generous nature that manifests an interest in the welfare of humanity at large. Honors are rarely bestowed upon a man who has not the ability to hew out a pleasing destiny for himself, and those who are called upon to guide the public affairs of a community are conceded to be the most active and wide-awake citizens as a rule. Mr. Hamilton is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 798-799

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