My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

Dr. Edward L. Hamilton, practicing physician, Richmond, Ark., was born in Dallas County, Ala., on May 13, 1836, and was the third child born to the marriage of Edward W. and Elizabeth I. (Lynah) Hamilton, natives of South Carolina. They came to Alabama in 1830, and here the father, who was a physician and surgeon, a graduate of the Medical University of Pennsylvania, having graduated at the age of twenty-one years, entered actively upon the practice of his profession, at that place until 1849. He moved near Camden, Ouachita County, Ark., on that date, and resumed his practice there until 1855. He and wife were the parents of five children, four of whom are still living: Paul (who resides in Little River County), Elizabeth Rose (wife of Maj. R. B. Smith, who was the first male child born at Camden, Ark.), Edward L., Archibald, and Mary (wife of George A. Proctor, of Austin, Tex.). The parents were both church members, but belonged to different denominations, he believing in the doctrines of the Episcopal, and she in those of the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. The mother passed from life in 1882. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Paul Hamilton, was descended from a line of Paul Hamiltons, his great grandfather, grandfather, and an uncle having borne that name. He was born at Wiltown, St. Paul's Parish, S. C, on October 16, 1762, of Scotch-English parentage. His educational advantages were limited, but were the best that his State afforded in that primitive clay. When he was sixteen years of age he shouldered his musket and joined the Wiltown Hunters, the first military company raised in his neighborhood, and during his service with this company took part in several engagements and was frequently commended by his commander for his bravery. He served as a volunteer under Baron De Kalb, and was at the battle of Camden where Gates was repulsed by Lord Cornwallis. Upon the reorganization of the army, he returned to his own State and served in the campaigns of 1781 and 1782 with distinction, most of the time with Gen. Marion, on whose staff he served for several months. He participated in the crowning victory at Eutaw Springs in September, 1781, and at the close of the war laid aside the garb of the soldier and assumed that of the private citizen. His public career began in 1785, being then appointed general tax collector for Saint Paul's Parish in which capacity he served for two terms. In 1787 he served in the convention that adopted the Federal Constitution, and in 1790 in the convention that framed the constitution of his own State. Subsequently he moved from St. Paul's Parish to St. Bartholomew's Parish, from which he was almost unanimously elected to the Senate in 1794, and re-elected in 1798. His next public position was that of comptroller of the treasury, to which office he was twice re elected without opposition. On December 10, 1804, he was elected governor of his State, and discharged his duties with great credit to himself and benefit to his people. He was called to the United States cabinet by James Madison, in 1809, and made Secretary of the Navy, which office he filled until December 12, 1812, when he retired from public life, and on June 30, 1810, he passed from life on his plantation in South Carolina, while still comparatively young. One of his sons, Archibald, first lieutenant in the navy, was killed on board the "President" in an engagement between that vessel and the British fleet, off the shores of Long Island, on January 15, 1815, after the treaty of peace had been signed by the commissioners of the respective countries. It is a singular coincidence that three of his grandsons, Capt. Paul Hamilton, Paul Hamilton Seabrook, and Paul Hamilton Waring, all bearing his name, should have fallen in the late Civil War. On the Southern side were soldiers from South Carolina. The maternal grandfather, Dr. Edward Lynah, was born on the ocean prior to the Revolutionary War, while within one-half day's sail of Charleston, S. C. His father, Dr. James Lynah, was an Irish patriot, and was banished from that country to America, and participated in the Revolutionary War, serving in the surgical department, and was at the siege of Savannah, Ga. The immediate subject of this sketch received his literary education in Camden, this State. He always had a predilection for medicine, and at the age of twenty years he entered the University of Louisiana and was graduated from that institution in 1858. The same year he returned to Arkansas, a full-fledged physician, and entered upon the practice of medicine at this place, where he has ever since continued, with the exception of four years during the late war, when he served as surgeon in Gen. Churchill's division of the Trans-Mississippi Department. While acting as such he was captured at Arkansas Post and taken to Memphis and there retained one month, when he was paroled and returned to his regiment. He surrendered at Shreveport, La., and immediately after returned to his home and resumed the practice of his profession. He found himself in a deplorable condition at the close of the war, his negroes all gone, and he a financial wreck. All that was left of his possessions was his residence in this village. The principal crop raised on this land is cotton and corn, and of the former commodity about three-fourths of a bale is raised to the acre, and about forty bushels of corn. He has been twice married, the first time on January 10, 1801, to Miss Nannie J., daughter of Bolon C. and Mary (Williams) Phillips, of this county, who died on January 8, 1809, after bearing two children— Linah and Nannie (deceased). On November 17, 1870, Dr. Hamilton married Miss Dollie H. Wasdin, daughter of David and Dollie (Sherrard) Wasdin, natives of North Carolina, who came to this State in 1850. She is a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church, while her husband belongs to the Episcopal Church. The Doctor is a Knight Templar, and belongs to the Cour de Leon Commandery, A. F. & A. M., of Texarkana, Ark.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 38 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Little River County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Little River County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Little River County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.