History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William W. Hamilton
WILLIAM W. HAMILTON was a native of England and located at Dubuque, upon his arrival in America, in 1845. He was a good lawyer and took a deep interest in all public affairs, including education and politics. In 1849 he was elected probate judge of Dubuque County, serving in that capacity until 1852, when the probate business was, by the new Code, turned over to the county judges of the several counties. In 1854 Judge Hamilton was elected to the State Senate from the northeastern district which consisted of the counties of Dubuque, Delaware, Buchanan, Black Hawk, Grundy, Butler, Bremer, Clayton, Fayette, Allamakee, Winneshiek, Howard, Mitchell, Floyd and Chickasaw. Before the meeting of the Sixth General Assembly, the senatorial district had been divided and the counties of Dubuque and Delaware made the Thirty-first District, from which Judge Hamilton was chosen to the Senate for four years. At the convening of the Sixth General Assembly, the Democrats were in a minority in the Senate and Judge Hamilton, who was a Whig, was elected president. He was a popular and able presiding officer and when the General Assembly was organizing many new counties and deciding upon their names, the rare compliment was extended to the presiding officer, of giving his name to the new county taken from the old county of Webster. In the meantime, before the next General Assembly was chosen, the new Constitution of 1857 was framed and adopted and new districts arranged, so that Judge Hamilton, with others, was thrown out, having served but half the time for which he had been chosen.