Capt. John Hamilton, acting under orders from Gen. Zachary Taylor, founded Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1842. He was a native of Pennsylvania, a soldier in the regular army, and first came to Kansas as a youth of nineteen and a United States dragoon, stationed at Fort Leavenworth. In 1842, as a sergeant of the First Dragoons, under Capt. Benjamin D. Moore, he left Fort Wayne, Cherokee Nation, to assist in selecting a site and to establish a military post in Kansas. There wore twenty men in the party and, after selecting the ground, the captain and surgeon of the expedition, detailed directly under Sergeant Hamilton, returned to Fort Wayne, leaving the execution of the work to the latter. Sergeant Hamilton himself cut the first tree on the site of Fort Scott on the 9th of April, 1842, an additional working force was sent in the following month, and in June Captain Moore, with two companies of the First Dragoons, arrived to take command of the post. Maj. William M. Graham and Capt. Thomas Swords were afterwards placed in command, Hamilton being quartermaster sergeant under the latter. He was then appointed ordnance sergeant by the secretary of war and ordered to Fort Jessup, Louisiana. After serving his term of enlistment in the army Sergeant Hamilton returned to Fort Scott in March, 1855, and became a permaneut resident of that place. During the border troubles he was made captain of the first company of militia, which was organized in January, 1859, and experienced considerable rough service. In 1865 Captain Hamilton moved to Sheridan Township, Crawford County, and was elected from that district to the House of Representatives of the 1868 Legislature. His death occurred at Independence, Kansas, on February 26, 1876.
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