Claude T. Hamilton

Page 554-555 - Claude T. Hamilton, who has been prominently associated with financial and other business activities in Grand Rapids, and who is now allied with the firm of Howe, Snow & Bertles, with offices on the fourth floor of the Grand Rapids Savings Bank building, is on the maternal side, a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of Kent county, as may be seen by reference to memoir dedicated to his mother, the late Mrs. Phila L. Hamilton, elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Hamilton was born in Rockford, Kent county, Michigan, March 21, 1873, a son of Hiram T. and Phila L. (VanBuren) Hamilton. He was but five months old at the time of his fatherís death, and by his gracious mother he was reared with the deepest maternal solicitude and given the best of advantages along educational lines. After his graduation from the Central high school of Grand Rapids, Mr. Hamilton passed the examination that marked him as eligible for admission to the law department of Harvard University, but he decided to turn his attention to business affairs rather than to take up the study of law, with the result that he did not enter the university. In 1894 he assumed the position of teller in the offices of the Michigan Trust Company of Grand Rapids, in which representative financial institution he eventually gained advancement to the office of vice-president, of which he continued the incumbent more than a quarter of a century. Mr. Hamilton remained as an executive officer of the Michigan Trust Company until 1923, when his impaired health led to his resignation and retirement. He has since continued his connection with financial affairs in his home city through the medium of his alliance with the firm of Howe, Snow & Bertles, which is here engaged in the banking business. Mr. Hamilton is vice-president of the Merchants Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa, and is a director of the Grand Rapids Railway Company, the Grand Rapids National Bank, the Boyne City Lumber Company, and of the James D. Lacey Company, Chicago, this last named concern being engaged in the timber business. Mr. Hamilton has shown great interest in those measures and enterprises that have tended to advance the progress and general welfare of his home city and native county and state. He has served as a member of the Grand Rapids board of park commissioners, and for thirty years he was a member of the High School Scholarship Association of Grand Rapids, in which connection he was one of the first and most influential workers in obtaining collegiate scholarships for deserving high school students. He has been for many years a member of the board of trustees of the Fountain Street Baptist Church, and is now vice-chairman of the board. He has also been elected trustee of Kalamazoo College. Mr. Hamilton has been influential in the councils and campaign activities of the Republican party in this section of Michigan, has been for several years a member of its state central committee, in which he was formerly chairman of the executive committee, besides which he was chairman of the Kent county Republican committee during the period of 1918-24. He has had much leadership in the affairs of the local organization of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, of which he is a former president, and he has made exhaustive research along various lines of Michigan history, in which connection it is to be noted that he contributed to the Grand Rapids Herald of December 14, 1924, a most interesting and valuable article touching the part the Grand River valley of Michigan played in the war of the Revolution. Mr. Hamilton owns and occupies one of the most beautiful homes of Grand Rapids, this residential estate, at the juncture of Lakeside drive and Robinson road, having twenty-one acres of ground, traversed by a creek and enhanced in beauty by fine trees and shrubbery, velvety lawns and parterres of flowers. Mr. Hamilton has one of the most comprehensive and select private libraries in western Michigan, and also one of the best collections of stone and other prehistoric artifacts to be found in any private assemblage of such interesting relics. In 1918 was solemnized his marriage to Miss Lillian Hills, who was born and reared in Greenville, Texas, and they are popular in the representative social and cultural circles of the community, while their beautiful home is known for its gracious hospitality.


Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 January 2004