|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1887|
|Death: ||Oct. 11, 1969|
DEATH CLAIMS MR. & MRS. ALEXANDER HAMILTON, COUNTY PIONEER COUPLE
by Mrs. Don Hamilton (Lucy Martinson Hamilton)
Another of Whatcom County's brave pioneers was laid to rest on Oct. 15, when a multitude of relatives and friends paid their last respects to Alexander Hamilton in a beautiful autumn setting. The hills, that this 82 year old logger loved so well, were a testimony of God's handiwork in their blaze of color, on his last ride up the Mount Baker Highway where he had often traveled in early days when this highway was little more than a muddy wagon trail through dense forest.
Alexander (Shorty) came to this area on the immigration train, at the turn of the century. With him was his powerful father, Joseph, his invalid mother, Armitta, brothers Ellis, Bert, Zedrick and baby, Oliver. Sisters were Gordy, Florence and Mae. They were saddened to leave three small children dying at birth or when very young, behind, in Johnson County, Arkansas. The long trip west was great fun for 12 year old Alexander and the other youngsters on the train, but for the parents, it was not easy. As they rushed to change trains, if Armitta found the pace to fast for her, Joseph would swoop her up in his strong arms as the older children did with younger ones and they would hustle to the next leg of the long journey. The parents on the train would cheer each other up with exciting stories of the rich land to be had for the taking, on the beautiful Pacific Coast, in Washington State.
The Hamiltons settled in Deming, where baby Evelyn, was born and then twins Earl and Pearl, making the number of family births fourteen. Young "Shorty" explored the Nooksack River, fished, hunted and grew to manhood. He worked in mills and woods. He helped raft logs from Chinn Mountain where homesteads were, down the Nooksack to the VanZandt (US Mill). Shorty became a top rate timberman. His keep ability in the woods is still fresh in many minds, from early cutting and burning to giant old-growth trees in preparation for cabin and garden, to horse powered big logging companies that hired many dozen of horses, or his own small logging outfit, his young sons and favorite tea "Eagle and Rock."
Though he was much smaller than his father, he was quick and strong. His energies carried him on into another generation, into the changed value of a tree. From a problem to be rid of for homesteads, to high value in every foot of every tree. He continued to out cut most younger men and could leave them panting while cruising timber by foot, long past the age expected. As he neared 80, he had slowed down at last and spent his time cutting wood and hiking over his son's logging job at Cedar Gulch, above Deming, where he worked in early day in a booming shingle mill. At last he found joy in just caring for his son's team of Belgian stallions and watching deer and birds amount the trees he loved so much. He was content to remember his log bucking day, for he had left a good name in camps while busheling all over these mountains and on the Olympic Peninsula.
He was full of stories he'd witnessed while in his teens and early 20's, in Kendall, an active town in timbered Kendall Valley. It had two stores, dance hall and depot. Colorful were the dances held in this hall, with ankle length dresses swirling and heavy booted loggers stomping in joy to the old time fiddle. Shorty took part in the booming of the logging town of Maple Falls. Here was on of the true wild west towns of our history. Excitement oozed from the swinging doors of each of the many saloons. Fists and guns were used often, with shots fired through the floor of his hotel room in one of the many gun battle of early Maple Falls.
He met his faithful wife, Lillie Allen, at a dance in the present township hall of Lawrence. Lillie, with parents John and Margaret Allen, had come to Deming, then named Hollingsworth in 1892, with older brothers Clint and Roy and year-old sister, Ethel. Her mother was excited to be with her family, at Hollingsworth were her father (Lillie's grandpa) operated a store. The town was a cluster of stores and other businesses on the lower end of the Deming Hill. This was a complete good sized town, with a busy train depot.
The church was built where it remains, with the town of Deming mushrooming up about it and the one room school where the grade school is today. Lillie went to that school and church at age 7. Alexander and his brother and sister went to this one room school also.
Alexander and Lillie were married at Wenatchee in 1906. Many joys and trials followed. They were living with her grandfather at Kendall, where Grandpa William Allen owned one of the stores, when the Hamilton's first born arrived. A fragile daughter, named Evelyn. It seemed hopeless to save her but the determined young couple coddled her into a health little girl. Soon she has a sister, Carrie and a brother Ora (Buster). Today these girls are Mrs. Grady Brown and Mrs. Fanton Morganthaler. Buster married Edith Compton. Each of these couple brought joy to the Hamilton's in form of a grandson each. Buster contracted tuberculosis and left wife and son, Douglas, and his parents. He was laid to rest at Kendall in 1936. Four more children were born to Shorty and Lille: Donald, Bernice (Mrs. Jack Cambell), Russell and Kenneth. Twenty-three more grandchildren were added and thirty-two great grandchildren. These parents knew the fears of having their last two sons in the violent battles of World War II and the joy of having these sailor boys come home. As with their grandsons, sons of Bernice and Jack, who served with the Marines in Vietnam.
While outwardly this couple seemed the same, inwardly the searching grew. At last the answers came that changed their lives forever. Shorty and Lillie had moved to Forks. They attended a Christian service with his brothers, Oliver and Earl and families. They left that service filled with a new peace and joy. No longer was the world a mystery, but somehow this couple knew why they were born and that they had a new job to do. They were baptized together in the Bogochiel River. The two of them hardly missed an evening of reading and discussing the scriptures together, for the next 25 years. They returned to the Deming area, as they had returned when moving for a time to Canada. It seemed the Mount Baker Highway drew them. They settled back in Kendall again, to finish their late years, in a cozy little home in a grove of fir trees.
Alexander was born Sept 18, 1887 and passed away Oct. 11, 1969. The service for Alexander was unusual and interesting to all. Rev. Hugh Cantelon among other subjects, spoke on the need for loggers and timber in Bible times. The Hamilton family was please to have former and present pastor friends of Alexander, from the Maple Falls Assembly of God Church, has honorary pallbearers. He was buried in Kendall Cemetery beside his son, Buster. Mrs. Hamilton (Lillie) passed away Nov. 27, 1969 and services were held on Dec. 1, 1969.
Lillie Mae Allen Hamilton (1886 - 1969)
Carrie E Hamilton Morgenthaler (1908 - 2000)*
Created by: Carolyn Farnum
Record added: Jan 04, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6065152
Alexander Hamilton was known to me as "Little Grandpa". He was my Great Grandfather. My memory will always be of him sitting beside me on the final day of his life. He was a very kind and gentle man. Very family oriented and cared deeply for all of us...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 22, 2004
Rest In Peace|
Added: Nov. 10, 2003