Perry County, Illinois
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|Humphrey B. Hamilton|
Hon. Humphrey B. Hamilton -- Success in any profession is more the result of energy, perseverance and natural
aptitude than connection, influence or social standing. The majority of the most prominent and able lawyers of the New Mexico
bar are what may be termed self-made men. Among the number who have won positions of eminence in the legal profession
through inherited energy and determination is the present Judge of the Fifth District Court of the Territory, Mr. Hamilton. A brief
record of his career is as follows:
A native of Perry county, Illinois, he was born on the 26th of October, 1850, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, coming of a family whose members were early pioneers of Maryland and Virginia, and were prominent in the history of the Colonies as participants in the struggle for independence and in the walks of civil life. The paternal grandfather of our subject became one of the pioneers of Missouri, where Leo F. Hamilton, the father, was born. Having arrived at years of maturity, he married Miss Sarah Jones, of Kentucky parentage, and removed to Illinois, where he successfully engaged in the practice of medicine up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1852, when he was aged about forty years. His wife departed this life about a year previous. They left a family of five children, of whom the Judge was the youngest.
Mr. Humphrey B. Hamilton acquired his literary education in various schools in the State of his nativity, and, on determining what business he wished to make his life work, made choice of the legal profession. Preparatory to entering upon practice, he read law in the office of Hon. DeWitt C. Jones, now of Chicago, and was admitted to the bar in 1871. He entered upon the prosecution of his chosen calling in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he remained from 1872 until 1885, the latter being the year of his arrival in Socorro, New Mexico. He came here with the hope that the more healthful climate of the South would prove beneficial to his wife; but after lingering about five years she departed this life in January, 1890, leaving three children to mourn her loss, namely: Lulu H., Humphrey B. and Fenwick D. Her death was a most severe bereavement to the family, and also to many friends who had for her the highest regard.
On locating in Socorro, Judge Hamilton opened a law office and continued to engage in general practice until January, 1895, at which time he was appointed by President Cleveland as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of this Territory, a position which he is now filling with marked ability. He has already tried many important cases and has shown himself to be thoroughly informed in the law. His jurisdiction extends over the territory lying between Arizona and the Pan Handle and including most of the southern portion of New Mexico.
Upon the bench his manner is characterized with a dignity becoming his office, and advocates, juries and litigants recognize that he is master of the situation. He is possessed of superior legal attainments, a comprehensive mind, powers of keen perception and judicial fairness. He is singularly unbiased by personal predilections or opinions, and gives to each point of evidence its full weight. He is undoubtedly one of the most eminent representatives of the legal profession in the Territory.
In politics Judge Hamilton is a Democrat, but not an active partisan, and since being on the bench gives less attention than ever to politics. He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite. He is also a member of the order of the Knights of Pythias.
In manner he is a pleasant and agreeable gentleman, having a wide acquaintance and a host of warm friends in New Mexico, the Territory of his adoption.
"An Illustrated History of New Mexico . . .;"
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895;
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails Transcription Team