President's Day Special: Scots and Water

Hamilton County was named after Alexander Hamilton.

Many people think it was because Alexander Hamilton was President. He wasn't. He was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper.

As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration.

Not president, but a man of great importance to the founding of our nation.

Sixty-six years after Alexander Hamilton died, the James Waddles, John Lauries, David Hendersons, James Camerons & Robert Lamonts followed Jarvil Chaffees to form the nucleus of the first settlement in the Farmers Valley area of what became Hamilton County. These families, all of Scottish descent, moved from Wisconsin to Hamilton County to become some of the county's earliest settlers.

Did I mention Alexander Hamilton was Scottish? His grandfather was the fourth son of Laird (same as an English Lord) Alexander Hamilton of Grange, Scotland.

Alexander Hamilton's father was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, a scant two and a half hour drive (in modern vehicles) from Newton Stuart/Wigton where the John Laurie family began their journey to Nebraska.

Scots and Water: The Laurie family traveled over the ocean to Canada, down the St. Lawrence River to settle for a while in Monroe, Wisconsin and finally by covered wagon to Hamilton County, Nebraska.

Hamilton wasn't president. But he was the cousin of a Scottish Lord, so....

Alexander Hamilton spent the winter of 1778 with the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

The Scotch Colony Spent the winter of 1878 in Farmers Valley, Nebraska, one hundred years later.

In 1976, only two years shy of of 100 years later, The Plainsman Museum opened to house the history of Hamilton County.

Which just goes to show everything is connected, somehow.

Come to The Plainsman Museum and find your connections.

For more information about Hamilton County History, and the histories of each town in the county, click here

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The Plainsman Museum 2020   ~  210 16th Street ~ Aurora NE ~ 402-694-6531 ~ plainsman@hamilton.net

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