Biography of Alphius Lamont Hamilton
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Alphius Lamont Hamilton. Forty-five years of continuous work and association with the law, public office, politics and civic affairs in El Dorado and, Butler County have naturally made Alphius Lamont Hamilton one of the noteworthy figures in that section of Kansas. That he takes first rank in the Kansas bar is a distinction that will be readily acknowledged by lawyers all over the state. He is also the dean of the profession in his home county. No one could be more thoroughly American than Judge Hamilton. His ancestors have been connected with every great war in which our nation engaged from the Revolution to the Civil war. He belongs to that class of people who have been called “the sum everlasting to everlasting Scotch-Irish,” and who gave their character to much of American history and were especially prominent in founding and developing the country west of the Alleghanies. One of these Scotch-Irish immigrants during the first half of the eighteenth century was James Hamilton, who located in Newton Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He was the great-great-grandfather of Judge Hamilton. James Hamilton, who died in 1777, married Peggy Laughlin, and all their three sons served in the Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolution. The youngest son, Hugh, was born near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and married Martha Moorehead. About the close of the century they located in Westmoreland County. One of the sons of Hugh was William Hamilton, grandfather of Judge Hamilton. William Hamilton saw active service in the War of 1812 and later became prominent in the state military organization of Pennsylvania, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. General Hamilton married Sarah Stewart.
William Hamilton, father of Judge Hamilton, was the third son of General Hamilton and was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania September 3, 1818. He married Catherine Logan. Her father, Robert Logan, was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war, being a member of the noted “Roundhead” regiment, officially the 100th Reglment, Pennsylvania Infantry. He was sixty-four years of age when he answered the call of patriotism and went to the war, and as a result of advanced years and exposure suffered at Newport News, Virginia, he died before completing his three year therm of enlistment. Another interesting ancestor of Judge Hamilton was his great-grandmother on the materual side. Massie Dillon when a girl of twelve years was captured, sealped and left for dead by the Indians during a raid on Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Both her parents were killed at the same time. She was found by the white settlers and finally recovered. Her father, Isaac Dillon, of New Jersey, was a soldier in the Continental army in the Revolution.
Judge Hamilton’s father was a member of the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery in the Civil war. This regiment saw much active service both by land and sea. After the war he came west in 1866 to Floris, Davis County, Iowa, and resumed his former occupation as a building contractor.
Alphius Lamont Hamilton was born at Harrisville in Butler County, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1850, and was sixteen years of age when he accompanied the family to Iowa. In Pennsylvania he attended the common schools and also the Harrisville Academy and his later education was acquired at Iowa City, Iowa. At Bloomfield, Iowa, he took up the study of law under General James B. Weaver, afterwards nationally known as a prominent figure in the greenback and populist parties and who was a candidate for president in 1880 and again in 1892. From General Weaver’s office Mr. Hamilton continued the study of law with Judge Williams of Ottumwa, Iowa. He completed his course in the law department of the University of Iowa and graduated with the class of 1871, and was admitted to the bar at Des Moines in June of the same year.
Judge Hamilton arrived in Kansas and located at Emporia July 12, 1871. For a few months he practiced in that then young village with Ed S. Waterbury, but in April, 1872, came to El Dorado, which had been the home and center of his professional and business activities for forty-five years. The law had always represented to Judge Hamilton the dignity of a great profession and all his practice had been regulated in conformity with its strictest ethies and its great opportunities for human service. It had brought him honors as well as financial success, and for years he had been a familiar figure in the United States Courts of Kansas.
Judge Hamilton formed a partnership with J. K. Cubbison in 1886. In 1890 the firm was enlarged and became Clogston, Hamilton, Fuller & Cubbison, with offices in El Dorado, Eureka and Kansas City. This firm was dissolved in 1892 and later Mr. Hamilton became a partner with Bruce R. Leydig under the name Hamilton & Leydig. This was a long standing partnership, continuing until March 1, 1916. Becently Judge Hamilton had associated himself with James Blaine McKay, formerly of Olathe, Kansas, and they are still in practice as Hamilton & McKay. Judge Hamilton is attorney for the Citizens State Bank of El Dorado, and represents other important banks and corporations. He is a member of both the Kansas State and American Bar Associations.
He had long been an influential figure in the republican party. He was elected and served in 1877-78 as county attorney of Butler County. In 1887 he was chosen judge of the twenty-sixth judical district, but after about a year resigned from the bench, preferring the role of a lawyer to that of judge.
Soon after locating at El Dorado, on August 12, 1873, Judge Hamilton married Jennie Carr. Her father, Joseph Carr, of Augusta, Kansas, was a Butler County pioneer and attained the remarkable age of ninety-six years. He cast his first presidential vote for Henry Clay. Three children, all sons, have been born to Judge and Mrs. Hamilton. Dillon is practicing dental surgery at El Dorado. Homer graduated from the Kansas City College of Law in 1899 and is now in practice in Kansas City, Missouri. Hugh is a graduate of the Kansas City Dental College and is a resident of Kansas City.