By Jonathan K. T. Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1996


Situated within a brick wall enclosure about .1 mile southwest of the old Illinois-Central Railroad trackbed at a point .8 mile south on this trackbed from Pope Road in south-central Madison County. These brick walls, each wall three-bricks deep, are now in ruins with but one side (east) standing completely. The fence walls, inside and outside, were smoothly plastered. The enclosed burial area is about 20' x 20'. This is the long-abandoned burial ground of the GEORGE F. HAMILTON family.

[HTML editor's note: Two xeroxed photographs too poor to reproduce went here; captions are noted.]

View of the SE corner of the brick fence

View of the east wall of the brick fence

In the 1850 U. S. census of Davidson County, Tennessee, page 343, George F. Hamilton is listed as age 46, born in Tennessee; Elizabeth Hamilton, age 43, born in Virginia; Amanda Hamilton, age 19; Sarah Hamilton, age 13; Mary J. Hamilton, age 9; Franklin B. C. Hamilton, age 7; Eleazer Hamilton, age 5; Samuel M. Hamilton, age 3; Robert T. Hamilton, age 1; the children were born in Tenn.

On October 20, 1852 George F. Hamilton, then residing in Madison County, bought a 400 acre tract which he may have been renting or under contract for, from Eli Anderson of DeSoto Co., Miss. for $2800. (Madison County Deed Book 16, page 458; deed registered May 6, 1853) In the 1860 U.S. census, June 30, Civil District 2, Madison County, page 80, G. F. Hamilton is given as age 56, born in Tennessee, with a real estate valued at $5000 and a personal estate valued at $12,000. Martha Hamilton, age 53, born in Tennessee; Frank Hamilton, age 17; Eleazar Hamilton, age 15; Sam Hamilton, age 13; Robert Hamilton, age 11; all the children were born in Tennessee.

Apparently George Hamilton's wife, Elizabeth, died about 1852 and was buried on the family's farmstead. Hamilton remarried to Martha McLeod in Fayette County, November 17, 1853. She survived her husband to remarry later.

On August 8, 1866, with notice that George F. Hamilton was deceased, the Madison County Court appointed Archibald S. Rogers administrator of his estate. (IBID., County Court Minute Book 10, page 287) In July 1867 his widow was awarded 146 acres from his land as her dower. (IBID., page 498) The deceased's other heirs were given as Frank B. Hamilton; Margaret (Hamilton) and John Pope; Jane (Hamilton) and William C. Cason; Eleazer Hamilton; Robert Thomas Hamilton (IBID., page 327); missing from this listing were the daugh-


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ter, Sarah E. Johnson and Sam Hamilton. The latter may have been deceased. (The daughter, Mary Jane Hamilton, had married William C. Cason, June 27, 1860; the daughter, Sarah E. Hamilton, had married Samuel J. Johnson, March 24, 1857) On December 2, 1871, Dr. F. B. Hamilton sold for $700 to Eleazer and R. T. Hamilton his undivided interest in a 400 acre tract, "It being the tract of land that belonged to my father George F. Hamilton at the time of his death." (IBID., Deed Book 29, page 301) The Cason couple sold their interest in the same tract, for $800, to the same men, December 2, 1872 (IBID. Book 30, page 434). Sarah E. Johnson and her husband sold their interest in the same tract, for $800, to the same men, July 8, 1872. (IBID., page 556)

On December 16, 1874 Eleazer Hamilton and wife, Rebecca and R. T. Hamilton and wife, Cora, sold to James W. and Neil P. Anderson, for $1425.84, 150 acres (from the 400 acre tract), "including and excluding acre for the grave- yard, the right of way to pass to the said graveyard being reserved by us being a portion of the original Hamilton homestead." (IBID., Deed Book 33, page 23; deed registered December 17, 1874) The Andersons co-owned the 150 acres in a business enterprise known as the Anderson Brothers.

In a Chancery Court case, D. H. Parker (representing the Hamilton interest) vs W. E. Dunaway, guardian of several Anderson heirs, in July 1880, this 150 acre tract was ordered sold, including "a lot of one half acre which has been given as a graveyard and has long been used as such." (IBID., Chancery Court Minute Book 10, page 558) On October 2, 1880 the tract was sold to W. K. Walsh and William M. Murchison, for $800, an unconfirmed sale; so that the tract was struck off to C. B. Mayo, for $1000, on April 1, 1881 and he immediately transfered his interest in the land, for the same amount of money, to John R. Dodds, "including and excluding one half acre given for graveyard." (IBID., Deed Book 39, pages 218-220, deed registered Oct. 17, 1881; Chancery Court Minute Book 11, pages 89-92)

John R. Dodds built a substantial frame house on this tract, to the northwest, at a point overlooking the farmland to the east, south and north. After his demise, his son, E. P. Dodds, acquired this land, after whose death, his nephew, Arthur D. Johnson (born 1914) bought it about 1951; who accompanied Jonathan Smith to this enclosed burial ground on October 24, 1996.

As far as is known there were no tombstones erected over the graves in this graveyard. Dr. Frank B. Hamilton (1843-1910) was a well-known and prominent citizen of Jackson, Tennessee for many years and he may have been largely responsible for the building of the brick-plastered wall around the graves of his parents, George F. and Elizabeth Hamilton, and perhaps others of the family connection.

In his Civil War pension application, Dr. F. B. Hamilton, deposed that he was born in Davidson Co., Tenn., July 2, 1843. Enlisted July 17, 1861 in Co. C, 6th Tenn. Inf. Reg. Wounded at battle of Franklin with a shot through his face and neck and injury to his spine. Had been married twice; five children. His former captain, A. B. Jones of Jackson, wrote, "F. B. Hamilton was one of the most faithful soldiers in the 6th Tenn. Reg. Vols., was in my company after the consolidation, was in all the battles in which that regiment was engaged and was severely wounded at the battle of Franklin. . . . He is unable to walk and has to be carried from place to place. "(Pension 6460, applied Sept. 1904; approved) (Dr. Hamilton died in Jackson, March 11, 1910.)

Same pension, 8306 (applied July 1906) of his brother, E. Hamilton, in which he deposed he was born in Davidson County, Jan. 28, 1845. Served in Company C, 14th Tenn. Cav. from July 1863 until close of the war. His pension was approved. He died July 25, 1907.


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