The Man Behind the Street Sign: Charles H. Hamilton

By Tammy Harvey

 

Charles H. Hamilton held no local office, he wasn’t involved in any local civic clubs. In fact, he never actually lived here, but he still played an integral part in the founding of Stamford.

Born April 28, 1842 in Meadville, Pennsylvania to George and Mary Hamilton, Charles attended public schools in that area. He fought in the Civil War with the Pennsylvania Union troops and was discharged in July 1865. Charles remained in the Meadville area and married Maud Wise in 1872. It was their move to Waco, Texas in 1890 that was the beginning of his Texas railroad career and his link to our local history.

Hamilton served as director, vice-president, and general manager of the Texas Central Railroad. In March 1895, Hamilton, along with Henry McHarg, traveled to Albany, Texas to inspect the line of the Texas Central Railroad that was to run from Albany to New Mexico. While there, they met with citizens of both Albany and Anson to discuss the new railroad that would soon be coming their way. The line was to extend from Albany to Stamford and then on to Rotan. In the Annual Report of the Texas Central Railroad, Mr. Hamilton stated, upon its completion, the extension was a success and Stamford was to be one of the most advertised cities in the state of Texas with a population of 7,000.

Charles Hamilton also had an important role in the banking foundation of Stamford; he was part of a group of men who organized the National Bank of Stamford.

Many articles addressed him as Colonel Hamilton, but according to his obituary in the Waco Times Herald, he served as a private in the Union army during the Civil War. He was given the title because of his contribution to the community of Waco.

The home that Charles and Maud purchased in 1893 in Waco is considered a local landmark. Since the couple had no children, upon Maud’s death in 1936, the home was passed to the Ladies of Waco with the intent of it being turned into a women’s clubhouse. It now is home to an antique store.

 

Mr. Hamilton passed away December 16, 1927 in Waco, Texas.

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