One of the progressive, prosperous and substantial business men of Ottawa, LaSalle county, Illinois, is Andrew Hamilton, who was born November 15, 1837, in Fairfield, Connecticut. His parents, James and Isabella (Gilchrist) Hamilton, were natives of Scotland, where they were married, moving thence to the United States in 1835 and settling at Fairfield, remaining there a few years and then locating near Rockland Lake, Rockland county. New York, where they resided until their death. The father died in 1890, and the mother in October, 1897. There were two boys and two girls in the family, - Robert, Andrew, Margaret and Sarah. Robert lives in Spring Valley, New York; Margaret in Monsey, New York; and Sarah in Brooklyn, New York.
Andrew Hamilton received his primary education in the district schools of Rockland county, supplementing this with two years in the schools of New York city. He continued to assist his father on the farm until he was nineteen years of age. In 1856 he came to LaSalle county and secured employment with M. F. Fairfield. After this he clerked in different stores in Ottawa until 1868, when he embarked in the mercantile business for himself, opening a flour, feed, salt and cement store. He buys his flour and feed by car-load lots and sells at wholesale and retail, and also handles foreign and domestic cement. He is nicely situated at 222 West Main street, and has worked up a lucrative trade, his courteous and accommodating treatment meeting with a quick response from his customers.
Mr. Hamilton was married April 12, 1861, to Miss Eliza A. Richards, a native of Rockland Lake, New York. To them one daughter was born, Eliza, wife of J. D. Vincent, of Ottawa. Mrs. Hamilton died February 22, 1867, and in 1876 Mr. Hamilton chose as the head of his household Miss Serena Bailey, daughter of William Bailey, a resident of this city. They have a beautiful home, at the corner of Paul and Washington streets, in which they entertain their friends in the most hospitable manner. They are attendants of the Congregational church, and are among the most influential citizens of Ottawa.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 113-114.