W. J. HAMILTON, is a native of DeWitt County, Illinois, born July 1, 1843, a son of Absalom and Ollie (Hutchins) Hamilton. When he was six years of age his parents died leaving him a penniless boy, but he found a friend in Captain S.P. Glenn, who took him home and cared for him until he was old enough to depend upon his own exertions. He remained with Captain Glenn until seventeen years old, accompanying him, in 1853, to Iowa. In 1861 he enlisted in defense of his country, and was assigned to Company B., Sixth Iowa Infantry. He participated in many hard-fought battles, his regiment being engaged in twenty-seven, and marched 4,000 miles, but a part of the time he was absent on account of wounds received at Shiloh. He was wounded twice, in the arm and leg, and was absent from his company several weeks. He was at the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, Lookout Mountain and the siege of Vicksburg. He started on the Atlanta campaign, but was wounded at the battle of Resaca. He was in the fight at Macon, Georgia, the siege of Savannah and at the surrender near Goldsboro. He then marched to Washington and was in line at the grand review of Grant’s and Sherman’s armies. He was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and discharged at Davenport, Iowa, July 20, 1865, having served over four years. While at home on furlough, after his wounds at Shiloh, a band of rebels collected at the resident of Mr. Goble, for the purpose of killing the wounded soldiers then at home, but being suspected Captain Glenn took out his company of home guards and captured the entire number. They fired upon the guards but the troop closed in upon them and took their arms. Two of the number were killed and the rest were taken to Osceola, but on taking the oath of allegiance were released the next day. After the war closed Mr. Hamilton returned to Iowa and rented land of Captain Glenn, about two years. He then bought a farm of 200 acres which he improved, and then exchanged it for 200 acres of his present farm, to which he has since added 120 acres on sections 34 and 35. He is the owner of one of the best farms in the county, which he has acquired by industry, frugality and good management. He is one of the substantial and esteemed citizens of the township, having gained the confidence of all who know him, by his strict business integrity and straightforward dealing. In politics he is a staunch Republican. He is now Captain of Company A, Fifth Infantry, Iowa National Guards. He was married November 25, 1869, to Miss Amy R. Winters, daughter of John and Emma Winters, of Henry County, Iowa. They have had nine children – John A. (deceased), Willie F., Jesse S., Susan L., Robert Glenn, Clarence Blaine, and three who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton are members of the Christian church, and are among its earnest and liberal supporters.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 436-9