The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Thos. Beaumont in the chair.  He opened with appropiate (sic) remarks and introduced Mr. Hamilton, who delivered a short address.  Mr Hamilton took occasion to remark that he deserved no praise.  He had merely done his duty as a public servant.  He was followed by Nat L. Baker, Capt. J. W. Allen, Thos Beaumont, and others; all of whom congratulated the citizens of the county on their good fortune.

A committee was then appointed by the chair, consisting of Joel Simmons, Nat L. Baker, J. R. Vancleave, Sol Marsh, and A. Simmons to draft resolutions of thanks to Senator Carpenter and our representative for services rendered the taxpayers of Norton county.

Thus a new era dawned upon Norton county.  With no bonded indebtedness hanging over us, with a soil as prolific as any in the world, nothing stands in the way of making it the "garden spot."  Let us with our shoulders to the wheel, work faithfully to this end. "

During the session of 1877 Mr. Hamilton succeeded in passing a law fixing the salary of county clerk and county treasurer at $700.00 per annum.  This was the first special salary law that had been enacted by the legislature.  In 1880 the attorney General filed an opionion (sic) to the effect that this law was unconstitutional for the reason, "that no special law shall be enacted where a general law will apply."  After this the county commissioners paid the clerk and treasurer under the general law.

This led to litigation and was carried to the supreme court where an opinion was handed down sustaining the special salary law.

Hamilton was reelected to the legislature in 1878, defeating George Hood, of Lenora.  During the session of 1879 a bitter fight was raised against the re-election of John J. Ingalls.  Hamilton supported Ben Simpson, but at the end of a bitter fight which lasted several days the opponents of Ingalls united on Chief Justice Horton, the Horton caucus containing a majority of one of all the votes in the legislature.  On the final ballot Hamltion (sic) voted for Horton, but the Ingalls crowd had secured one of Horton's men which elected Ingalls.

During this session Hamilton secured the passage of a bill prohibiting Texas cattle from being driven through this county.  In 1880 he declined a nomination and decided to give his entire attention to the practice of law.  In 1881 he received the vote of Norton county in the convention at Millbrook for district judge, but W. H. Pratt, of Phillips county, was nominated and elected.  He was a candidate for state senator in 1884 but was defeated by H. S. Granger of Phillips county.  He was a candidate for congress in 1890 before the celebrated Colby convention where Webb McNall secured the nomination.

Hamilton received the unanimous nomination for state senator in 1892.  He made a gallant fight, ran many votes ahead of his ticket, but was defeated at the polls by George E. Smith of Smith county, his populist opponent.  He was the first mayor of the city of Norton, elected in 1885 at the time the city was incorporated.  Hamilton was the legal adviser of Norton Town company from 1874 until its disorganization.  He has probably done more law business for which he received no fee than any attorney in western Kansas as he never refused to take a case because of the poverty of his client.  He has an extensive state acquaintance. having spoken in behalf of his party in all the political campaigns since 1880.  He took an active part in the county seat elections and the litigation growing out of them on behalf of Norton; he has contributed liberally toward the social, moral and material upbuilding of Norton and Norton county.

He is a member of the Presbyterian

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