Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Jotham Lowell Hamlet

JOTHAM LOWELL HAMLET,* one of the pioneer settlers of Kansas, where he first located in 1853, is a resident of Shawnee township, Cherokee County, where he owns the southeast quarter of section 20 and the east half of the northeast quarter of section 29, township 33, range 25. He was born in Bedford County, Virginia, March 8, 1833, and is a son of Theodore and Susan (Williams) Hamlet.

The Hamlet family was established in this country by John Hamlet, who came from Denmark and located in Virginia. He was the father of John Hamlet, grandfather of our subject, who was born in Virginia where he followed farming for some years. His brother Thaddeus entered a claim for a whole township in Maine, about 15 miles south of Moosehead Lake, when that State was cut off from Massachusetts, paying therefor three cents an acre. This property John Hamlet inherited from his brother and removed to Maine, where he engaged in lumbering in addition to farming. He served as postmaster of South Solon for many years, also as selectman. His wife was a Hunnewell.

Theodore Hamlet, our subject's father, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and was about three years of age when he accompanied his father to Solon, Maine, where he was reared. He engaged in the lumbering business until his death in 1864, and for some years owned mills for the manufacture of his lumber, but this did not prove a successful venture. He married Susan Williams, a native of Virginia, by whom he had three children: Aura (Mrs. John Walker) of Maine, deceased; Jotham L.; and Susan Jane (Mrs. James Rowell) of Maine, deceased. Both parents were members of the Congregational Church.

Jotham L. Hamlet was reared in the State of Maine and worked with his father in the lumber business, driving a four-horse team between Solon and the lumber camp. As the trip could be made between Saturday and Monday, it gave him opportunity to attend school, and he received a superior education. He continued at this work until he came of age, and in 1853 came West to Manhattan, Kansas, which town he helped to lay out. The following spring he took up a claim and planted some corn, breaking 20 acres. While there he cast his first vote at the first election held in the State of Kansas for the notorious-Lecompton Legislature. Before his crop matured, he grew homesick and went East to the little town of Parkville, near the present city of Kansas City. There he remained until 1881 and engaged in farming, then removed to Shawnee township, Cherokee County, and purchased his present farm. For six terms he taught at the Brighton school house in Pettis County, Missouri. He followed farming with a great deal of success and at the present time is living in practical retirement, the farm being in charge of two of his sons. At the time of the Civil War he lived eight miles above Kansas City, which was the scene of forage raids by both Northern and Southern troops. O. H. P. Morse secured permission from the United States government to organize a regiment of Home Guards for Missouri, which our subject promptly joined. It was made up chiefly of Southern sympathizers and they would not allow a bushwhacker to come nearer than the river. It was called the "Paw Paw Regiment, and was made up of Platte and Clay County men. They were finally disbanded by the government because of a clash with Federal troops.

On January 12, 1856, Mr. Hamlet was united in marriage with Emily Williams, a daughter of William and Olive (Shelton) Williams, and they are parents of four children, as follows: William L.; Cora, who married Edward Prather of Kansas City, and has six children,—Arthur, Herbert, Lowell, Emma Lou, Estella and William; Henry Clay, who lives at home; and Edward Willis, of Shawnee township, who has three children,—Harry, Cora and William T.

William L. Hamlet, oldest son of our subject and his wife, was born in Worth County, Missouri, August 15, 1858, and was reared on the home farm in Platte County until grown. He attended Park College at Parkville, Missouri, and always farmed until he come to Crestline, Cherokee County, in 1884, when he entered the hardware establishment of Henry Wiggins, which he purchased in 1895. It is the only business of the kind for some distance and commands an extensive patronage. He is a Democrat in politics. He is a member of Crestline Lodge, No. 476, I. O. O. F.; and Shawnee Camp, No. 7,800, M. W. A., of which he has been clerk since its organization. In February, 1885, he was united in marriage with Emma Jones, a daughter of R. M. Jones of Crestline, and they have five children: Robert L., Charles C., Don, and Dean J. and Jean J. (twins). Religiously, they are members of the Christian Church.

Religiously, our subject and his wife are members of the Christian Church. In 1855, Mr. Hamlet helped organize the first Masonic lodge in Kansas, at Wyandotte, all of the members being Indians. He had been made a member that year at Parkville, and is at the present time a member of the lodge at Galena. Politically, he has always been a Democrat, as were his father and grandfather before him.

[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]