I am seeking any information regarding the family of my third great-grandfather, a man by the name of Charles Perry Hamilton who was a noted local architect and attendee of Bethany College. He was born in Wellsburg, Brooke County, [West] Virginia in June of 1849 to a “Judge” Samuel C.A. Hamilton, a carpenter, future founder of the Wheeling Intelligencer and Wheeling Observer, and Justice of the Peace (13 May 1814 in Elizabeth, Allegheny [Westmoreland?] County, Pennsylvania/04 December 1895 in Short Creek, Brooke County, West Virginia) and his wife Narcissa Martin (05 September 1819 in Independence Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania/24 September 1897 in Windsor Station [Heights], Brooke County, West Virginia) - her family may have originated in one of the three Independence, Virginias that existed at that time - two of which are now in West Virginia - but accounts and Census records differ.
The elder Hamilton’s parentage and exact date and location of birth are unknown for certain with the exception of the written account, which I include below. No records of his life outside the Federal Census of 1880 for Ohio County [where he is listed with his wife and is "Justice Of Peace"], the Federal Census of 1850 for Brooke County, [West] Virginia, Dist. 4 [where he is listed with his wife and is a "Carpenter"], his 1895 record of death, and a mention in at least one of the early editions of the Rev. Alexander Campbell's 'Millennial Harbinger' [in which S.C.A. Hamilton is listed as an elder in the Wellsburg Christian Church] have, as of yet, been located by us during our research. However, he also seems to be in the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914>1835-1839>A-Z as enlisting in ‘N. Orleans’ in 1838 under a "Capt. Allen" in the ‘4 Inf. H’ at age 25 out of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania where he is listed as being in the trade of "Carpenter". It is believed his parents may have been named Joseph and Ruth Hamilton [according to his 1895 record of death] who originated from somewhere in the vicinity of Washington, Pennsylvania in the late 18th century/early 19th century. Joseph Hamilton may have been from Florida as is alluded to in Samuel Hamilton’s entry in the aforementioned 1880 Federal Census for Ohio County.
Charles Hamilton was wed in 1870 in Wheeling to Maria Baer (1850 in Wheeling, Ohio County, [West] Virginia/01 March 1909 in Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia). She was a daughter of Alexander Caldwell Bier (16 January 1823 in [West] Virginia/1851 in California) and Elizabeth Crouse (born circa 1825 in Washington County, Ohio), a granddaughter of Major Philip Bier II (July 1777 in Frederick County, Maryland/19 April 1852 in Wheeling, Ohio County, [West] Virginia) and Patience Elliot (circa 1781 in Bullock Pens, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania/16 July 1857 in Wheeling, Ohio County, [West] Virginia), and a paternal descendant (through Phillip Bier II’s parents - Johan Philip Bier and Eva Catherina Schley) of the founders of Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland - Johann Thomas and Maria Winz von Winz Schley, immigrants from the Rheinpfalz region of Germany.
Charles and Maria Hamilton were, at their deaths, buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling, while Mr. and Mrs. S.C.A. Hamilton were laid to rest in Mount Wood Cemetery on the National Road - so far as we know in an unmarked plot, as even though the location of burial is mapped and numbered the cemetery is presently in a great state of ruin and disrepair.
What little information the family has on Charles Perry Hamilton and his family is taken from: History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens, by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902. In the biographies of Charles Perry Hamilton and his brother, Nathaniel on pages 770 & 773 and pages 531-532, respectively, it is written:
“ …CHARLES P. HAMILTON, a prominent architect and builder of Wheeling, West Virginia, has followed that line of work in many states of the Union, and is unexcelled in his professional capacity. He was born at Wellsburg, Virginia, June 15, 1849, and is a son of S. C. A. Hamilton, concerning whom mention may be found in the biographical sketch of N. C. Hamilton, on another page of this volume. Mr. Hamilton attended the public schools of Wheeling, and in 1869 took a mathematical course of study in Bethany College. He also studied architecture with Messrs. Frank Coen and Charles C. Kemple of Wheeling. He continued with these gentlemen three years, and then went to Philadelphia, and later to Baltimore, where he remained about six months, a part of the time under the instruction of Robert Riddle, at that time, 1872, one of the best mechanics in the United States. He returned to Wheeling, opened an office on Market Street, near Twentieth Street, and engaged in architectural work and general contracting until 1876, when he moved to California and Oregon, where he followed the same line of business until 1879. In that year he returned to Wheeling, where he continued his business successfully until 1885. He then located successively in Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, where he was employed in erecting buildings for the manufacture of glass, in what was then known as the new "glass belt." He continued thus until 1890, since which time his attention has been devoted to contracting and building and general architectural work at Wheeling. He has met with much success in his profession, and has built some of the largest glass-plants in the country, among them the Libby Glass Works in Toledo; the Crystal Glass Works in Bridgeport; the Over Glass Works in Muncie, Indiana; the Fostoria Glass Works of Fostoria (since removed to Moundsville); the North Wheeling Glass Works; the Riverside Glass Works of Wellsburg, and many others. He made drawings for the City Bank building of Wheeling; Baer's Warehouse; Greer & Laing's Store; and Johnson's store on Main Street. He enjoys a fair share of public patronage, and is highly respected by all with whom he comes in contact. In 1870, Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage with Maria Baer, a daughter of Alexander C. Baer, who died in California about 1851. Her mother was Elizabeth Crouse, who was born in Washington County, Ohio, of German parentage, and whose great-grandmother was Eve Schley. Mrs. Hamilton is a granddaughter of Maj. Philip Baer, a pioneer resident of Wheeling, and a second cousin of Rear-Admiral W. S. Schley. Mr. And Mrs. Hamilton became the parents of seven children, of whom five are now living, as follows: Charles C., an architect, of New York City, who is establishing an excellent reputation in his profession; Elizabeth, wife of John H. Rosenberg; Patience Elliott, wife of Wallace Smith of Wheeling; George Edward; and Allen Walker. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton are faithful members of the Christian Church. Mr. Hamilton served for eight months during the Civil War as ambulance driver for Colonel Boyden, who had charge of the hospital corps under General Sheridan. In politics, he is an unswerving supporter of the Republican Party. He is a member of Nelson Lodge, No. 30, A. F. & A. M…”
“ …Samuel C. A. Hamilton was born at Elizabeth, in what is now Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, in 1814, and removed to Virginia in 1837. He came to Wheeling in 1853, and with A. W. [Archibald] Campbell [a nephew of Alexander Campbell] started the Wheeling Intelligencer. He was the pressman, and continued with that paper until 1861, when he became pressman for Trowbridge & Downing, proprietors of the Wheeling Press. In 1862, he and Robert Silvey started the Wheeling Observer, the first penny paper in Wheeling, which had an existence of but six months. He then left Wheeling and became an oil-well contractor, at which occupation he continued until 1874. During the following ten years he engaged in cabinet and pattern making, and in 1884 moved to Windsor, 11 miles north of Wheeling, where he lived a retired life until his death, which resulted in being run down by a train of cars, at Short Creek, in 1897. He was then in the eighty-third year of his age. He was a member of the Christian church, having been immersed in baptism by Alexander Campbell, founder of the local church. He was a Democrat up to the Grant campaign, and from that time on identified himself with the Republican Party. He was a Mason and an Odd Fellow. He served as justice of the peace two or three terms. In 1837 he married Narcissa Martin, who was born at Independence, Virginia, in 1819, and was a daughter of Joseph and Mildred Martin. Of the 12 children born to them, the following are now living: Virginia R., widow of Alexander Morrison, who lives on the Island, at Wheeling; Agnes Jane, widow of William H. Bassett, who lives with a son in the same locality; Cornelia R., who is unmarried, and lives in New York City; Leonora D., who married William Brown, of Detroit, Michigan, a member of the Perry Machine Company; Mildred M., who is a trained nurse in New York City, and a graduate of Bellevue Hospital; William J., who lives on the Island, in Wheeling; and Nathaniel C. and Charles P., twins. The latter is an architect, and lives on Sixteenth Street, Wheeling…”
MR. HAMILTON DIES
Wheeling Intelligencer - December 4, 1895 and Wheeling Register – December 5, 1895
The Injuries He Received Last Sunday Were More Serious Than at First Supposed - The Circumstances Very Distressing
“Last night at at 11:30 o'clock, in Wellsburg, occurred the death of Mr. S.C.A. Hamilton, of Short Creek, father of Messers. N. C. and C. P. Hamilton, the architects of this city. The circumstances were unusually distressing.
Last Sunday at Short Creek where he resides, Mr. Hamilton attempted to cross the track in front of a Pan Handle passenger train that was slowing up at the station, but being very old and not very active he was caught in front of the engine and received injuries which while serious, were not at the time thought to be fatal.
Mr. Hamilton was taken to Wellsburg on the train, where he could reserve the benefit of first class medical attention and his recovery was expected for a time, but yesterday he grew worse and died last night. Mr. Hamilton was an old and esteemed citizen of the upper end of the county and the news of his death under these circumstances particularly will be received with general sorrow. The arrangements for the funeral had not been completed last night.
Mr. Hamilton was a printer in early and middle life back in the fifties he was a "comp" in a New England newspaper office where Horace Greeley occupied a similar position at the same time. He followed the founder of the Tribune to New York and "held cases" on that paper before the war.
Mt. Wood Cemetery, located on the north end of Chapline St. in close proximity to the famous historical spot known as "McColloch's Leap", was the property of a private company and was pretty well filled by 1879. Many of our oldest and most respected citizens are buried there.”
Another mention of S.C.A. Hamilton was recently located in the citations for The Journals of Patrick Gass: Member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1997. MacGregor, Carol Lynn, ed.
Patrick Gass, noted member of The Corps of Discovery, befriended a family by the name of Hamilton upon his removal to Wellsburg around 1829. He was lodged in the boarding house operated by a "Judge" John Hamilton, and in 1831, wed his daughter, Maria [02 July 1812/15 February 1849 in Wellsburg, Brooke County, Virginia].
BOOK II: The Account Book of Patrick Gass, 1826-1837 and 1847-1847
Citation 54: “Hambleton” or “Judge” John Hamilton entered Gass’s diary here as the recipient of a gallon of whiskey. It is not clear if this was a gift or a favor for which Gass would be reimbursed. Hamilton was his future landlord and father-in-law; Gass moved to the Hamilton boarding house the fall of 1829. Jacob, Life and Times, 178.
When Patrick Gass and Maria moved to Grog Run, Hambelton (age 60-70) and his wife (age 50-60) lived on adjacent property in 1840. (1840 Virginia Census, Brooke County National Archives, series M704, reel 552:22A).
On April 25, 1856, S.L. Marks received $100 for the yearly keep of J. Hamilton (Wellsburg Weekly Herald, April 24, 1856). He was not on the poor list in 1859. The Board of the Overseers of the Poor noted in 1855 the higher prices and greater unemployment, causing expansion of those receiving aid.(Wellsburg Weekly Herald, May 4, 1855) Gass’s biographer, J.G. Jacob referred to Hamilton in 1858 as “a wreck of a powerful and once influential man.”
Another man, Judge S.C.A. Hamilton, with John Wier, built a building for a Steam Planing Mill near the Foundry at Wellsburg in 1853. Noted as “very ingenious,” this man could have been related to John and Maria Hamilton. Later this Judge Sam Hamilton, formerly of Wellsburg, managed the steam press at the Intelligencer office at Wheeling by 1858. Known as a “true-blue ‘unwashed’ Democrat,” this Judge Hamilton had a “portly” figure. Wellsburg Weekly Herald, April 29, 1853, and January 29, 1858.
Any information that may be available regarding Hamiltons in Brooke County, Ohio County, and Southwestern Pennsylvania - this branch in particular - or any referrals to available resources or persons who may be able to assist will be most appreciated. Thank you.