Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
IRA HAMILTON has lived a good
many years in the Big Bend country and believes to-day that it is one of
the choice regions of the west. His estate lies four miles east from Bridgeport
and his attention is given almost entirely to raising horses. He
has made excellent success in this enterprise and won a reputation for
himself that has made his stock sought for on every hand. When he
first came to Douglas county in the early eighties, he took a pre-emption
which later the government reserved for school land and he was forced to
take a homestead where he now lives. He bought land in addition to
this and has devoted the same to hay and crops to support his stock.
He first went into cattle raising and soon sold out and secured horses.
He bought the best grades he could find in the Palouse country and bred
them up with choice Percheron and Shire animals until his draft horses
are known all over the country as the very choicest to be had. He
always receives the top price on the market whenever he has animals to
sell. He now has sixty brood mares on the range besides a band of
young horses. When he first came here, his nearest neighbor was eight
miles distant on Foster Creek. His postoffice was Barry, twenty-four
miles away and his base of supplies, Wilbur. He has labored steadily
and faithfully and has not only won excellent success in temporal matters
but also the respect and esteem of his fellows. He has hosts of friends
and is known all through the country. Mr. Hamilton has one brother,
Alvah J., and the following sisters, Mrs. Mary A. Gaines, Eliza, Emma,
Nora, Alice, Bertha, Nellie, Edith and Rue. They are all married
except the last two. Mr. Hamilton was raised under the influence
of the Baptist church and in political matters is a Democrat.
The birth place of our subject was Leon, Iowa,
and he first saw the light on December 3, 1863, being the son of Jonathan
P. and Mary J. (Smith) Hamilton, natives of Indiana and Ohio, respectively.
The father is now a retired farmer and stockman. Ira received his
education in the common and high schools of his native place and first
worked at a general merchandise store for two years. In June, 1884,
he lived in Pine City, Whitman county, Washington, and secured a relinquishment
of a homestead. After farming a year, it lapsed to the government
and he came on to Douglas county, and since that time he has been one of
the substantial men of this section.