Biography of Hon. Gail S. Hamilton
Coshocton County, OH Biographies

Hon. Gail S. Hamilton, mayor of Coshocton, is giving to the city a public-spirited and businesslike administration, his support of many progrcssive measures gaining for him the endorsement of the large majority of his fellow townsmen. A native son of Ohio, he was born in Wellington, Lorain county, August 3. 1868, his parents being Gaylord B. and Flora (Selkirk) Hamilton. In the paternal line he is descended from Alexander Hamilton and on the maternal side from Daniel Boone. his father was born in Medina county, Ohio, in 1824 and was a son of Lindsey Hamilton, who walked the entire distance from New York to Ohio and settled four miles north of the village of Medina. He was accompanied on the trip by a brother and two cousins and they settled at the four corners of the road, which district still bears the name of Hamilton's Corners. Gail S. Hamilton is today the only descendant of these four kinsmen bearing the name in Ohio. They were prominent factors in the early development of this part of the state.

Gaylord B. Hamilton was made postmaster of Medina., Ohio, when twenty-one, years of age and after retiring from that office he entered the railway mail service, with which ho was identified for many years. While thus engaged he became the inventor and patentee of the mail catcher, which is now universally used by all railroads for catching the mail bag at way stations while the train is in motion. Previous to this time it had been the custom to catch the bag with the arm and a broken shoulder frequently resulted. The need suggested the invention to Mr. Hamilton, who at length perfected it. Prominent in political circles, he was for years a member of the state central committee, of Ohio but was never an aspirant for public office. He was an intimate friend of James A. Garfield and other distinguished republicans of the state and his labors were untiring in behalf of their success. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and he was widely recognized as one of the influential and honored residents of his section up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1889, when he was sixty-five years of age.

Gail S. Hamilton was reared to farm life, for when he was five years of age his parents removed to the farm belonging to his grandfather, who had been paralyzed and needed the assistance of his son upon the old homestead. It was thus that Gail S. Hamilton spent his early youth amid rural surround ings, acquiring his preliminary education in the district schools. He was twelve years of age when the family removed to Medina and there he attended the graded and high schools. When seventeen years of age he entered upon his business career, securing a situation in the flour and feed store owned by the O. C. Shepherd Milling Company. Two years later he resigned in order to accept a position in a laundry and was identified with that line of business for eight years. In 1895 he came to Coshocton, Ohio, and accepted a position as clerk in the Empire Hotel, where he remained for three years. He was later connected with a laundry in Toledo for two years, but in 1900 returned to Coshocton, where he again acted as clerk in the Empire Hotel for a year.

It was during that period that Mr. Hamilton was married to Miss Lena Atkinson, of Delta, Ohio, and immediately following his marriage he purchased a restaurant on Hickory street, conducting it for three years. On selling out in 1904 he took a nine months' trip to California for the benefit of his wife's health, and on his return in the spring of 1905 he purchased the Star restaurant, which he conducted in connection with the Star Hotel for eighteen months, after which he sold out and engaged in the theatrical business, establishing the first electric theater opened in Coshoeton. This has proven a financial success and is the popular theater of the city.

Mr. Hamilton is perhaps even better known in political circles and is an ardent republican, who has labored earnestly for the welfare and success of his party. In 1904 he announced his candidacy for the office of mayor but was defeated in the nominating convention. In 1906 he withdrew in favor of a friend but in 1908 again sought the nomination and at the ensuing election was chosen for the office by a handsome majority, He is proving a capable chief executive, who administers the affairs of the city along econoniical yet progressive business lines and has secured the passage of a number of important measures relative, to the city's welfare.

Mr. Hamilton belongs to Coshocton Lodge, No. 96, A. F. & A. M., Samaritan Chapter, No. 50, R. A. M.; Coshocton Commandery, No. 63, K. T.; Fidelity Lodge, No. 135, K. P.; Coshocton Lodge, No. 76, B. P. O. E.; and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, No. 761. He also attends and supports the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is a member. Mr. Hamilton is a popular man, of friendly and cordial spirit and his good nature and many sterling traits of charactor have gained him the friendship and regard of many, while his recognized business ability constituted an element in his election to the office which he is now ably filling.

Centennial History of Coshocton County, Ohio
By William J. Bahmer
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1909

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