William Benjamin Hamilton, now special deputy collector of port at San Francisco, has had a noteworthy career in public capacities in California, and is one of the native sons who have honored and been honored by their state. He has been familiar with the internal revenue and customs service of the United States since boyhood, when he was first placed in a position under the federal government. His executive ability has brought him in touch with men and duties of national importance and reputation, and he has been meritedly advanced in the confidence and esteem of the government and the people.

Mr. Hamilton was born at Centerville, Alameda county, California, June 1, 1857, a son of Noble and Lydia D. (Marston) Hamilton, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Maine. For generations back the family on the father's side had resided in Kentucky, and on the mother's in Maine. Noble Hamilton had engaged in the practice of law after the Mexican war, and had come to California with his wife in 1854.

Mr. Hamilton received his early education in the public schools. In 1874, at the age of seventeen, he served a short term as inspector of customs at the port of San Francisco, and while there attended the Pacific Business College, from which he was graduated in 1877. He studied law in his father's office for two years, and in 1881 was made chief deputy county recorder of Alameda county, in which office he remained until 1887. February 15, 1890, he was appointed deputy naval officer at the port of San Francisco, and remained during the four years of Danforth's term as naval officer. From 1894 to 1897 he managed the affairs of George C. Perkins in connection with the latter's campaign for election to the United States senate. Senator Perkins was elected for the unexpired term on the first ballot, and in 1897 was elected for the full term by unanimous choice. June 1, 1897, Mr. Hamilton was appointed cashier of the custom house at San Francisco, under Collector of Port J. P. Jackson, and on January 1, 1901, was appointed special deputy collector of port, under Collector Stratton, and the duties of this position he is still discharging most satisfactorily and efficiently.

September 12, 1889, Mr. Hamilton was married at Oakland, California, to Miss Ceil Doyl, a native of Nevada. They have one son, Allan Wooster Hamilton, who is eleven years old. Mr. Hamilton is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, of the Athenian Club of Oakland, and the Family Club of San Francisco.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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