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Archive for the ‘Hamilton County History’ Category

An historical marker will be unveiled and dedicated on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the home built by Col. George R. Freeman on the corner of Main and College streets–immediately west of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hamilton.

The marker will commemorate the builder of the house, Col. George R. Freeman (1830-1910), who was a Confederate officer during the Civil War.

The Texas Historical Commission places historical markers and designations as tools to be used to interpret, promote and protect historic and cultural resources that are worthy of preservation.

On June 11, 1865, in Austin, Col. Freeman interrupted the robbery of the Texas State Treasury preventing bankruptcy of Texas.

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sanitarium

About 1924/1925 With Nurses/Student Nurses on the Balconies. From a Postcard shared by Burt and Charlene (Livingston) Rose.

The first hospital in Hamilton was opened in 1921 in the East Main Street former home of Dr. C. C. McMordie by Dr. C. E. Chandler and Dr. D. B. Beach after they moved their medical practice from Shive.  Drs. Beach and Chandler were soon joined by Dr. C. C. Cleveland, who had been practicing at Pottsville.  The three young doctors decided to build a 4-story hospital across the street of Dr. McMordie’s home.  The new 50-bed hospital opened in 1924.  (I was born in this hospital.-ECW.]  The three lower floors were constructed with brick, and the fourth floor (dormitory for nurses) was of frame construction.  Internal ramps, as well as stairs, connected the floors.  An accredited school of nursing provided training for many young ladies.

Following the death of Dr. Beach in 1936 and Dr. Chandler in 1940, the hospital was closed for a few years.  The building was used as a barracks during World War II for student pilots who were training at the Hamilton Airfield.  Following World War II the building was again used as a hospital for a few years.

A group of Hamilton citizens met 23 January, 1957, to formulate plans to construct a new hospital.  A stock company was formed with a capitol stock of $150,000.  Officials of the stock company were: George B. Golightly, Chairman; W. P. Lawson, Vice President; and W. G. Barkley, Secretary-Treasurer.    Dr. C. C. Cleveland, C. M. Hatch, Haskell Harelik, Floyd Campbell, and W. O. Manning were also on the Board of Directors.  Haskell Harelik had  purchased the East Ward School Campus following the closure of that school and the opening of Ann Whitney Elementary School in 1949.  This property was chosen to be the location of the new hospital.  Mr. Harelik accepted stock in the Hospital Stock Company equivalent to his cost in purchasing the property from Hamilton ISD.  Hamilton General Hospital opened 31 August, 1958.

In July, 1966, Medicare was available to the residents of Hamilton County. Congressman Omar Burleson estimated that 1,700 Hamilton County residents who were 65 or older were eligible for Medicare. Medicare was part of Lyndon Baines Johnsons’s “The Great Society” The first person to be admitted to the Hamilton County General Hospital as a Medicare patient was eighty-one-year-old Mrs. Charlie Etta (Riley) Henderson, daughter of Lorenzo D. Riley and Nancy Perkins Riley.

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In 1987 Hamilton General Hospital was closed by Harris Methodist Affiliated Hospital System.  Residents of Hamilton and Hamilton County raised in excess of $320,000 to re-open the hospital in September, 1988.

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New Hamilton General Hospital.

Be sure to visit the That’s My World! blog.

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Today’s My World Tuesday features photos from Hamilton most taken prior to 1950.

Rice Street, West side of Courthouse Square, Hamilton

Rice Street, West side of Courthouse Square, Hamilton. The picture is from a postcard supplied by H. L. Griffith, Griffith is a descendant of Jesse Jones Griffith, First Treasurer of Hamilton County, TX.

Southside of Hamilton Square prior to 1930.

South side of Hamilton Square prior to 1930. The Wm. Connolly & Co. Groceries & Dry Goods store can be seen on the left. Notice that the street has both cars and horse drawn wagons. Contributed by H.L. Griffith.

Hope you enjoyed this little jaunt back in time.

Be sure to visit the That’s My World! blog.

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Hamilton Mill & Elevator Company

Burned in the 1940's and the Wieser family moved their milling business to Lampasas where there was a railroad.  The abandoned structure still stands on South Railroad Street, north of Kooken Field.

Burned in the 1940's and the Wieser family moved their milling business to Lampasas where there was a railroad. The abandoned structure still stands on South Railroad Street, north of Kooken Field.

McKINLEY-CORRIGAN GROCERY STORE

George Thomas "Tom" Smith, Sr.,    ?  ,    ?   , Jesse Smith,   ?  Shared  by Norene Brian Walls

Left-Right: George Thomas "Tom" Smith, Sr., ? , ? , Jesse Smith, ? Shared by Norene Brian Walls

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Jack’s Self Service Grocery

Contributed by Tom Leeth

Contributed by Tom Leeth

Robert Vernon “Jack” Leeth  entered business on his own in Hamilton  in 1926 at age 19, as the owner and manager of the 1st Cash and Carry Grocery in Hamilton–Jack’s Self-Service Grocery-.  Until this store opened, all grocery shopping was done by bringing or calling grocery lists to the grocery store for employees to fill.

Hamilton Market

Jack Leeth built the Hamilton Market place around 1933 or 1934. Photo from Tom Leeth

Jack Leeth built the Hamilton Market place around 1933 or 1934. Photo from Tom Leeth

Jack built this store about 1933-34. He ran it as Hamilton Market Place until late 1930s when Clinton Leeth, Jack’s cousin joined him and opened L & L Auto Supply.  Along in the early 40s, Jack sold the building to Clinton.  During the war years it was terribly difficult to get merchandise to sell and it eventually went out of business in this location.  He later went into the feed and seed business and was located in several different locations over the years until his death in 1972.

Note the unique motto:  “We buy what you have to sell; we sell what you have to buy.”  The first part of the motto appears on the sign toward the left (north) end of the building. The other part of the motto appears on the south end of the Hamilton Market Place sign.

You can also see the sign for the Ice Plant just at the north end of the Hamilton Market Place building.  Not visible in the picture, but located south of the building was the old steam laundry which was run for a number of years by the Havens family.  Their son, Bill, was a 1948 graduate of Hamilton High school.

Photo Contributed by Jack's son Tom Leeth.

Photo Contributed by Jack's son Tom Leeth.

An alternate picture which is a bit lighter and might print better.   The other picture would obviously been on a Saturday when every farmer near and far came to town, many to sell their eggs, cream, butter, pecans, wool, mohair and even the dreaded skunk pelt. Jack would then load all these purchases up and take them to Fort Worth on Saturday night to either Swift and Company or Armour and Company. — ECW

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Misner Hotel

Edwin Ruthvin & Sarah Elizabeth (Collett) Misener operated this hotel in Hamilton for many years.  Contributed by Nancy Ellen (Davis) Stonebraker

Edwin Ruthvin & Sarah Elizabeth (Collett) Misener operated this hotel in Hamilton for many years. Contributed by Nancy Ellen (Davis) Stonebraker

Smith-Harris Lumber Co

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Smith-Harris Lumber Company before 1912. Contributed by Nancy Ellen (Davis) Stonebraker.

Charles Martin Hickman was an accountant with this firm

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is in the left background, and a Hamilton School building is in the right background.  The rock fence in the foreground  remains in front of the house built in 1872 by Francis Marion Graves on what is now West Ross Street.

Between the two Smith-Harris Lumber Company Buildings is a Rock Island Railroad car on the Stephenville North and South Texas Railroad Tracks.  The SN & ST Railroad depot is behind the Smith-Harris Lumber Company Building on the left.

Haskell Harelik Dry Goods

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Excerpt from the 1938 Pioneer Edition Hamilton County News, Vol 8 No. & The Carlton Citizen, Vol. 30 No. 23, Originally published Friday, 24 June  1938, W. F. Billingslea, Publisher, Hamilton County, TX:

During these 27 years we have had business contact with 90 per cent of the people of Hamilton County at some time or other.  We located here with the idea of making this our permanent home and started in a small way.  In every business transaction since that time we have endeavored to make each buyer a satisfied customer by giving him 100 cents in valuable merchandise for every dollar spent with us and rendering prompt and efficient service.  This has paid us dividends in increased business and made us many friends throughout the territory.  We appreciate this and in return will continue to serve you with “The Best At the Least Possible Cost.”

From Milton Harelik, 6 August 2002: Milton Harelik is the son of Haskell Harlik. Milton’s son Mark wrote a play The Immigrant based upon his Grandfather’s life.

The Harelik Store history dates back to 19ll when Mr. Perry rented a north side building to Papa when he opened up his grocery store. That was in the era when all the north side saloons were closed and there were a few empty buildings. In 1924 he bought out a Mrs. Paul Harelik who was running what they called “The Racket Store”. Her husband, a 3rd cousin of Papa’s had died the previous year and she decided to move to San Francisco. Then in 1939, (before #WW2) a decision was made to remodel the store and Mrs. Ethel Kooken (Dr. Kooken’s mother) offered to build a place to our specifications and we moved to the north side in 1940. Mark’s  story about Papa depicts a lot of that history in his play, The Immigrant.

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This picture originally belonged to Ethel Bertha (Freeman) Jones. Shared by Joanna Whitcomb.

This picture originally belonged to Ethel Bertha (Freeman) Jones. Shared by Joanna Whitcomb.

Traditionally this train  has been identified as the first passenger train in Hamilton.  The first train    in Hamilton was  a Stephenville North and South Texas train which arrived   25 December, 1907.  We do not know if the first train was  a passenger train.  The crossties in the foreground do not appear to have been installed into a track. — ECW

Building the SN&ST Depot. Shared by David Lenz.

Building the SN&ST Depot. Shared by David Lenz.

The SN & ST Railroad was chartered on 4 February, 1907, and the first train from Stephenville arrived in Hamilton on Christmas Day, 1907.  This picture was likely made prior to December 25, 1907.  The SN & ST Depot was located south of the the Smith-Harris Lumber Company which faced the current West Ross Street.  The depot appears to be between West Ross and West Henry Streets and between North Rice and North College Streets. The Courthouse is in the background. David’s grandmother, Bertha (Wilson) Lenz, had this picture in her things when she died. Her parents and maternal grandparents were early settlers of Jonesboro. — ECW

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