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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy


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HON. FRANK Y. HAMILTON was elected to the General Assembly of Illinois in 1886, on the Republican ticket, and is considered one of the representative citizens of McLean County. Although his residence in Bloomington has not been of many years' duration he has fully established himself in the confidence of the people of this vicinity and his genius and talent are fully recognized by those most competent to judge of merit and ability.

Mr. Hamilton is a native of Richwood, Union Co., Ohio, and was born Dec. 27, 1852. He is the son of Samuel and Nancy (McMorris) Hamilton, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Virginia, who after their marriage, settled first in Muskingum County, Ohio, whence they removed to Licking and then to Union County, the father being engaged in farming pursuits. The father purchased forty acres of heavy timber land in the latter county and built a log house, two stories high, doing all the work himself. He occupied this with his family until his hind was cleared and under a good state of cultivation.

The grandfather of our subject, William Hamilton, was a local Protestant Methodist preacher and one of the founders of that denomination in Ohio. He accompanied his son Samuel upon the journey to Ohio and purchased 1,000 acres of land, which was partially cleared, and which he occupied until his death in 1865, after having arrived at the advanced age of eighty-three years. Samuel Hamilton finally sold his farm in Ohio and emigrated to Illinois overland with his family, in 1854. They settled in Marshall County upon a farm of 180 acres, and the father afterward purchased twenty acres of timber. He followed farming and stock raising for some years and here the mother died in 1866. The year following the death of his wife Samuel Hamilton sold out and removed to Wenona, Marshall County, in this State, and is now living on a small farm there. He is a man of decided views, is Republican in politics, and a member in good standing of the Protestant Methodist Church.

The parents of Frank Hamilton had a family of nine children, one of whom, John M., became Governor of Illinois, and six are now living. The subject of this biography remained on the farm with his parents until seventeen years of age and received a fair education in the schools of Wenona. He then attended Wesleyan University [ed., Illinois Wesleyan University] at Bloomington for one year and subsequently engaged in teaching near Wenona. In the fall of 1871, he took a course in Adrian College, Indiana, from which he graduated in 1874. The money necessary for carrying on his studies was furnished by his uncle, William M. Hamilton, which was paid back by our subject after he commenced teaching. He was married in August, 1875, to Miss Emma Cone, of Fulton County, Ohio, and they have become the parents of two children: Ethel R., born in 1882, and Clair O., in 1885.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Hamilton became Principal of the graded school at Sheridan, La Salle County, Ill., in which Mrs. Hamilton was assistant, and where they remained for the following six years. In 1881 they removed to Bloomington where our subject commenced the study of law with the firm of Rowell & Hamilton, and was admitted to practice two years later. He continued in Bloomington, meeting with success, and in 1886 was elected to the Legislature, having received the nomination after a spirited contest, over the former representative, Hon. I. H. Pike. He is also attorney for the I. B. & W. R. R. and general attorney for the Security Live Stock Insurance Company of Bloomington. Besides his residence at No. 701 East Douglas street, he owns a farm in Nebraska.

Mr. and Mrs. H. are members of the Second Presbyterian Church, of which our subject has been Superintendent of the Sabbath-school since 1883. He is identified with the Republican party, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity as a member of Bloomington Lodge No. 43, and Royal Arcanum Council in this city. So far he has made for himself a good record and there is a prospect for him of better things to come.



Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 726. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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