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Illinois DAR
Dr. Silas Hamilton Chapter, NSDAR, was organized in Jerseyville, Illinois, on November 20, 1963, with fifteen charter members. The chapter was named for Dr. Silas Hamilton, a dedicated physician, and a native of Tinmouth, Vermont, who died in Jersey County in 1834. In his will, he bequeathed “Four Thousand Dollars for the establishment of a primary school.”(sic). This school was built at Otterville, Jersey County, in 1834. In 1870, the original building was razed and a stone building was erected upon the same site. The latter structure has been widely known as the first free school in the State of Illinois.

Immediately west of the schoolhouse is a monument erected according to the provisions of the will of George Washington, a slave purchased as a young child by Dr. Hamilton and later freed by him. So far as is known, this is the only monument ever erected by a freed slave to his former master.  Hamilton Memorial School was used until 1971 as an attendance center for Community Unit School District #100.
Hamilton Primary School 1835
Original Hamilton Primary School 1835

Current Hamilton School
Hamilton Primary School today
         Dr. Silas Hamilton Tomb
Dr. Silas Hamilton burial site

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