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Charles F. Hamilton. The business life of Champaign owes much to the enterprise and energy of Charles F. Hamilton. He first became identified with the city in the lumber trade, and while he has numerous interests elsewhere he has always remained loyal to this city and it is not only to him a home but a place where his many well considered investments have contributed much to local improvement and benefit.
Mr. Hamilton is a native of Macoupin County, Illinois, where he was born November 26, 1864, a son of Julius and Virginia L. (VanDeventer) Hamilton. His parents were both natives of Virginia and of old Colonial stock. Julius Hamilton came out to Illinois in 1856, first locating in Cass County, and in 1861 establishing a home in Macoupin County. For many years he was one of the most extensive lumber dealers in the state, operating a string of yards throughout the state. In the fall of 1880 he removed to Champaign and from this city he subsequently directed his interests and he died here January 21, 1903. His wife is also deceased and they were the parents of three children: Mary, Lizzie and Charles F.
Charles F. Hamilton acquired a good education, but most of it out of school and by active contact with men and affairs. When only fifteen years of age he started work in bis father’s lumber yard. In a few years he was able to relieve his father of many of the heavier responsibilities of the business, and they continued actively associated until 1890. In that year Mr. Hamilton went to Watseka, Illinois, and for three years was in the lumber and coal business for himself. Returning to Champaign in 1893, he again became his father’s associate as a lumberman. For ten years Mr. Hamilton was manager of the Walker Opera House at Champaign. In later years many of his investments have been made in California. Much of his time has been spent at Los Angeles, where both of his children live. In 1915-16 he erected a large three-story brick building at the corner of Park Avenue and Neil Street.
On July 3, 1884, he married Miss Mary Rugg, daughter of Daniel Rugg, who was one of the pioneers of Champaign County. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton have two children: Julius R., a successful young physician, practicing at Los Angeles; and Florence, wife of Samuel J. Tilden, of Los Angeles.