Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

BENJAMIN F. HAMILTON. Here and there among the fertile farms of Kansas may be found quiet, retiring people of both sexes who have found peace and contentment in the surroundings of a retired home. Such has been the case with the subject of our sketch, who resides in Lincoln Township, Anderson County, where he has made his home since 1875. His father, Rufus Hamilton, was born in Waterborough, Me., in 1801, to John Hamilton and his wife. John was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died at the great age of ninety-four years. The mother of our subject was Mary Orne in her single life, and was born in 1799 in Gray, Me., where she was married. Her father was David Orne, who was of Scottish ancestry.

After the marriage of our subject's parents they settled in Gray, where they lived for some time, and then moved to Portland; they remained there only for a short period, and then located in Aroostook County. They lived in that county until 1848, at which time they found a suitable location in the town of Grand Detour, Ill., where the mother died in 1856. The father then returned to Maine, and lived in Saco until the time of his demise. Following are the names of the children born to Rufus and Mary (Orne) Hamilton: Benjamin F., Royal G., William W. and James T.

Our subject was born in Gray, Me., September 13, 1823, and spent the first seven years in his native place. When his parents moved to Aroostook County he accompanied them, and there lived on his father's farm until he reached his majority, in the meantime acquiring some little knowledge of blacksmithing from his father, who was a follower of that trade. When he reached his twenty-first year he went to Grand Detour, Ill., in Ogle County, and was there employed in the Deere Plow shops, later accepting a like position in Dixon, Ill., which he held until coming to Kansas. For twelve years prior to his coming to Anderson County he was engineer for the company in whose employ he had been for so long, and to which he had been a valuable workman. When he came to this county he settled on section 27, in Lincoln Township, where he has been engaged in farming and stock-raising ever since. Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage in Grand Detour, May 9, 1856, to Miss Margaret Harkness, who was born in Newburgh, N. Y., December 31, 1835. Their union has been blessed by the birth of four children: Mary O., the wife of F. Hayes; William, who married Lizzie Smith; Lillie, widow of the late Henry Corman; and Jennie, who is also married. Our subject has filled the office of School Director, and is very much interested in all things looking toward the improvement of his section. He is an energetic, honest, progressive and upright citizen and ranks high in the community.

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