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