Saturday, February 27, 2016

1901 Death of Uncle Robert Marshall Hamilton.

John Morgan's Uncle Robert Marshall Hamilton was married to his father, Garrard Morgan's sister, Mary Morgan. John Morgan referred to him numerous times throughout his journal. These wonderful Greensburg, Indiana obituaries tell the stories of their lives. Robert Marshall is the youngest brother  to Cyrus, Thomas, and Eliza who's obituaries were posted here earlier. 

Death of R. M.Hamilton.
[August 30, 1901, Greensburg Standard]
Review of a Long Life, Exhibiting Many Noble Qualities.

Robert Marshall Hamilton, who died August 5, 1901, at the residence of his son-in-law, S. L. Jackson, three miles east of Greensburg, was born November 17, 1811, on McBride’s Creek, some three miles southwest of Carlisle, Nicholas county, Ky. His father, Robert Hamilton, died in 1817; and his mother, Mary Edward Hamilton, removed with seven of her eleven children to this county in October, 1823, and settled on the farm, where the deceased lived continuously from that time to his death. Two brothers and two married sisters preceded the rest of the family to the same neighborhood, and of the eleven, eight lived in this county to more than seventy-five, and five to more than eighty years of age. Upon the marriage of his older brother, Thomas, in 1826, Robert M. succeeded, at the age of fifteen, to the management of his mother’s farm. September 26, 1834, he was married to Miss Mary Morgan, who lived with her mother on the farm where the orphans’ home now stands. Of the six children born to them. Thomas W., Charles C., Mr. [sic. Mrs.] J. T. Rankin, and Mrs. S. L. Jackson are living.  Naracissa died in childhood, December 5, 1840, and Garrard in early manhood, December 13, 1882. Mrs. Hamilton died February 4, 1884, after a lingering illness.

As a farmer Mr. Hamilton was something of a marvel to two generations. Beginning in the era of low prices and costly transportation he acquired by unremitting industry and energy more than twelve hundred acres of land; and it was one of his rare qualities, that though he had never spared himself in its accumulation, he gave it all to his children long before his death. About the same time he gave $1,000 to the endowment fund of the Kingston church, a like amount to the endowment of a professorship in Hanover College, named at his request after his mother, and $700 to the Camp Nelson colored school in Kentucky and the same amount to Washington and Swift Memorial Colleges in Tennessee.

Unlike most men intensely devoted to business, Mr. Hamilton took a strong interest in many public questions. He was almost born an abolitionist. He used to say he would like to have voted for Henry Clay in 1840, but stayed away from the polls rather than vote for a slaveholder. In 1844 he voted for James G. Burney and acted thereafter with the Liberty and Free Soil parties until the disruption of existing parties in 1854. He was a zealous Republican until the great issues growing out of the war and slavery were settled. But the temperance question had also had his livelong sympathy, probably since the first total abstinence movement in this county in 1827. It is recalled that in the old days he chose to haul his wheat to Madison rather than to accept a higher price from the Lawrenceburg distilleries. Upon the formation of the Prohibition party he felt called upon to make a great sacrifice of party, neighborhood and family ties in obedience to his convictions. However we may differ as to the practical value of this step the spirit of self-sacrifice for a principle in which it was made was most admirable. It was affecting to note how this veteran of the anti-slavery struggle fortified himself with memories of that older warfare for what he believed to be a new crusade against as great a wrong and a more galling servitude. 

Mr. Hamilton had long outlived those of his own generation, only one sister, Mrs. Minerva Donnell, surviving him. He had grown very feeble physically the last few months of his life, though his mind remained unclouded to the last. As he had never spared himself in earlier life, so to the very end he used the failing remnant of his strength to the utmost, driving about alone when other men would have been in their beds. He attended the reception given to his past at Kingston only four days before his death. His last ailment was so slight that but little apprehension was felt, yet he sank gradually into unconsciousness. In the late afternoon of the third day he passed almost imperceptibly from the sleep of dreams into the sleep of death.

In accordance with his expressed wish the funeral services were held  the following afternoon at the Kingston church of which the deceased had been a life-long member, conducted by the pastor, Rev. C. R. Adams, and attended by a large circle of relatives and friends. And so passed to his rest one who had in his long life, exhibited some of the strongest and most admirable traits of character.


  1. That is an amazing obituary!!!

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting on a couple of these obituaries Nancy. They moved me enough to decipher and transcribe the worn out print. May our lives be as worthy of emulating as these fine people.