Obituary Dr. Benson H. Hamilton 1931
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Obituary Dr. Benson H. Hamilton 1931

Submitter: Janice Hamilton Howe, Durham, NC USA

BENSON HAMILTON - The GODERICH STAR, JUNE 4, 1931, Goderich, Ontario, Canada Dr. Jos. Hamilton, V.S., and Mrs. S.H. Johnston, both of West Wawanosh, attended the funeral of their brother, the late Dr. Benson H. Hamilton, whose death occurred very suddenly at Moose Factory, James Bay, where for the past three years he was Indian agent and medical officer. Son of the late Thomas and Jane Hamilton, he was born sixty years ago on the farm owned by them No. 3, Colborne, and afterwards was a student at Goderich Collegiate Institute, where he took his teacher's course and matriculation. He was a successful teacher for many years at Saltford, Ebenezer, in his own home school, No. 4, Colborne, and at Gorrie. He afterwards attended Trinity College, Toronto, graduating as M.D. in 1901 and practiced medicine at Belgrave for five years afterwards. He then took a post-graduate course at London, England, and Chicago, and took up a new practice in Sault Ste. Marie as specialist in ear, eye, nose, and throat.

It was about this time he was married to Miss Ella Ross, sister of Dr. H.H. Ross, of Seaforth, and formerly of Auburn. Having acquired a special aptitude in dealing with the Indians he was for this reason selected by the Government for the post at Moose Factory, which he filled most successfully, although he must needs sever home ties for a time, as Moose Factory was so far distant and was not easily accessible. In his ministry to the Indians he travelled the coasts of James and Hudson Bays by canoe, travelling the distance of over 2,000 miles each short summer season. The extension of the T. and N. O. railway bridged the gap between Moose Factory and civilization and he was visited last summer by his wife and family. He assisted the missionaries very materially in their labor of love among the Indians and gave medical treatment, performed operations and supplied the Indians with clothing and to some extent assisted in maintaining sanitary conditions among them. Early this spring he was unfortunate in having his house, including equipment, medicines, etc. destroyed by fire and it was after that he came to visit his relatives in this district for a short time.

He had always enjoyed good health but expired very suddenly as the result of a heart attack on Monday, May 25th, while working in his garden. It was Saturday before the remains reached Auburn, where they remained at the home of his sister, Mrs. Jas. Johnston. The funeral was held on Sunday afternoon. Short private services were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston previous to the church services, which was from St. Mark's Anglican church, Auburn. The funeral was very largely attended by former acquaintances, friends, relatives, and neighbors, it being on of the largest ever seen at Auburn. The services were conducted by Rev. V.L. Pocock, rector of the church while the sermon was preached by Rev. J.N.H. Mills of St. George's Church, Goderich.

Being an ardent Mason, the funeral was conducted under Masonic Auspices, officers of Blyth No. 203, with many visiting brethren from Wingham, Lucknow, Carlow, Goderich, Clinton, and Seaforth lodges. The deceased man is survived by his widow and daughter, Helen, of Sault Ste. Marie, and two sons, Clayton, who was with his father last season, and Ross, who is studying medicine at Toronto University. Five sisters survive: Elizabeth (Mrs. R. Sprung), of Auburn; Emma (Mrs. A.J. Goldthorpe) and Lena (Mrs. J.J. Robertson) both of Colborne Twp.; Milly (Mrs. S.H. Johnston), West Wawanosh, and Grace (Mrs. J.H. Johnston) Auburn. One sister, Mary (Mrs. Wm. Plunkett) predeceased him many years ago. Four brothers; Dr. Jos. Hamilton of Dungannon; George and Thos. Hamilton of Auburn; and David Hamilton, of West Wawanosh, also survive.

The flower bearers were eight nephews; Thos. Johnston, Benson Goldthorpe, Reginald Hamilton, Norman Hamilton, Benson Johnston, and George Hamilton. The pallbearers were Robert McGee, W.T. Ridell, J. Johnston, Dr. B.C. Weir, Chas. Robertson, M.L.A., and Chas E. Asquith. Among the beautiful tributes were those from the Masonic bodies at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Blyth Lodge A.F. and A.M., and Medical Society of Sault Ste. Marie. Interment was made in the family plot at Maitland cemetery, Goderich. Sincere Sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives.

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