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Thomas B. Hamilton, a native of Bath County, Virginia, was a farmer for several years prior to his admission to the bar of Virginia. Fayette County, Virginia, was formed in 1832, and B. B. Woodson, step-father of Stonewall Jackson, was appointed first clerk of the circuit court of this county, court being then held at Miles Mansers' store, located three miles east of the present town of Ansted. About 1834 Mr. Woodson died and he was succeeded in office by Thomas B. Hamilton, who held the office as clerk of the circuit court until the county seat was permanently established at Vandalia, now Fayetteville. Mr. Hamilton was a very prominent lawyer in his day and his public-spirited interest in all matters affecting the good of the general welfare made him one of the foremost citizens of Fayette County.


(II) James B., son of Thomas B. Hamilton, was born in Nicholas county, now West Virginia, in 1831, and came with his parents to Fayette county when he was a mere baby. He grew up on the old Hamilton farm in the vicinity of Ansted, and after reaching man's estate became a civil engineer. He served as engineer in the Union army during the civil war and died as a prisoner of war in October, 1864. He was deputy surveyor of Fayette County prior to the inception of the war. He married Matilda I. Wood, born in Fayette county, now West Virginia, 1835, now living on the old Hamilton homestead, daughter of Amos Wood, likewise a native of Fayette county and a descendant of early pioneers here. There were three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton: Alexander Wetzel, mentioned below; William T., born June 11, 1860, a farmer and trader at Hawks Nest; Elizabeth S., wife of James E. Bailey, of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia.


(III) Alexander Wetzel, son of James B. and Matilda I. (Wood) Hamilton, was born June 2, 1856, at Hawks Nest, Fayette County, West Virginia. He was reared on his father's farm, and was educated in the public schools of this county. The old Hamilton farm has been in the family since 1831 and is now owned by Alexander W. and William T. Hamilton. Alexander W. Hamilton worked on the farm until he had reached his sixteenth year, when he secured a position as clerk in a general store at Ansted. Subsequently he entered the employ of a coal company at Ansted and was identified with the coal business until 1884, when he was elected clerk of the circuit court of Fayette County. He then established his home at Fayetteville and here has resided during the long intervening years to the present time. He was incumbent of the office of clerk of the circuit court for a period of twelve years, in fact, from January 1, 1885, until January 1, 1897, and during that time discharged the responsible duties devolving upon him with the utmost efficiency. In the latter year he was admitted to the bar of West Virginia and he has since been a legal practitioner at Fayetteville, where he controls a large and lucrative clientage. He is a Republican in politics and has long been an active factor in the local councils of his party. In Masonic circles he has reached the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite branch, Knights Templar, and is likewise affiliated with the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.


Mr. Hamilton married, January 11, 1882, at Fayetteville, Rachel M. Jones, a native of Fayette county, daughter of Levi and Letha Jones, both of whom are deceased. Levi Jones was born in Kanawha county, West Virginia, and for many years was a successful farmer and stockman in Fayette county. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton have six children: Grace V., born September 1, 1883, lives at the parental home; James C., born July 31, 1885, is a practicing attorney at Fayetteville; Edward S., born August 8, 1888, is a physician and surgeon at Oak Hill, West Virginia; Bernard A., born August 18, 1891, at home; Nell M., born July 30, 1896, is a pupil in the public schools of Fayetteville; Elizabeth, born April 7, 1898, is likewise attending school here.


[WV and its people; Volume 3; By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell; Publ. 1913; Pgs. 883-884; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]


John Rowzee Peyton

John Rowzee Peyton, known far and wide for his eccentric humor, was long a resident of this county. He was the son of Captain Garnett Peyton, of the United States Army, and was born at Madisonville, Montgomery County, Virginia, December 6, 1806. When yet a boy he was sent to the Virginia Staunton Academy, and afterward spent some years on the borders of Virginia and Kentucky, but subsequently married in Montgomery county, and in 1845 removed to an estate in Fayette county. Here he engaged in the stock business, the principal occupation of this region at that period. He was thus engaged at the beginning of the Civil War. A Whig in politics, he opposed secession, but when the struggle came, he hastened to Harper's Ferry, and though weighing nearly four hundred pounds, he enlisted in a Virginia regiment belonging to the Stonewall Brigade, which he accompanied to Bull Run. After participating in the desperate action at that place, he was detailed for recruiting service and sent to Southwest Virginia. In 1862, he was assassinated in Roanoke County by three deserters from the Confederate Army. 

He had stopped for dinner at an inn at the base of Bent Mountain, where were stopping the deserters, who were concealing their identity. Colonel Peyton began the ascent of the mountain, they having preceded him, and when nearing the summit, they fired upon him from ambush, and he fell dead from his horse. They were apprehended, tried and one of them executed at Salem, in 1862.

 [Source: History of West Virginia; By Virgil Anson Lewis; publ. 1887; Pgs. 662-663

Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]



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Kanawha    Nicholas    Greenbrier    Raleigh    Summers

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