Robert Willis Hamilton


Robert Willis Hamilton. The vice president of the Parkinson-Trent Mercantile Company of Okmulgee, Mr. Hamilton is one of the oldest business men of Indian Territory and Eastern Oklahoma. His experience in this section covers a period of fully thirty years. He helped to sell goods here when the population was made up almost altogether of Indians and intermarried citizens. He is first and last a business man, a merchant of exceptional ability and progressiveness, and his own career has been one of progress from the time he was eighteen years of age.
He is a Canadian by birth, having been born at Elgin Mills, Ontario, January 2, 1865. His parents were John and Jessie (Montgomery) Hamilton, natives of Scotland, who married after they went to Toronto. His father spent most of his active career in the cooperage business and had a large plant at Elgin Mills.
One of a family of nine children, Robert W. Hamilton lived in his native town and acquired an education from the public schools until the age of eighteen. He gained his first mercantile experience at Toronto in a wholesale dry goods house, the firm Ogilvy & Company, and later went to St. Louis, where he was connected with the firm of Samuel C. Davis & Company until 1885.
In 1885 young Hamilton became one of the employees of Capt. F. B. Severs, whose career was one of such striking prominence as a merchant, trader and general business man in old Indian Territory. Mr. Hamilton spent about fifteen years with Captain Severs and then started in business for himself with C. J. Shields as a partner. A year later the business was taken over by the Parkinson-Trent Mercantile Company, and since then Mr. Hamilton has been identified with that large and important concern, of which he is now vice president. This firm has been responsible for giving Okmulgee one of the most complete department stores found in the state. Its trade in the course of a year reaches the volume of almost $200,000. The business was established at Okmulgee in 1902, and it is now housed in a largo two-story building occupying ground space 150 by 210 feet. From fifteen to twenty people find employment in the store and Mr. Hamilton gives his entire time and energies to the management of the dry goods department of the concern.
He is also a director in the Guaranty State Bank of Okmulgee and has some interests in oil property. Politically he is a democrat, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner.
In 1894 Mr. Hamilton married Miss Sue C. Thompson of Tahlequah, Indian Territory, daughter of Rev. Joseph F. Thompson of Tahlequah Methodist Episcopal Church South, one of the oldest ministers of this section. They are the parents of three daughters: Manell, Waunett and Jessie Elgin. The two oldest girls graduated from high school at Okmulgee and also from Howard Payne College at Fayette, Missouri.