Herman L. Hamilton, Jr., 83, of Hamburg, entered into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on October 6, 2017, after an extended illness.
“Mr. H.”, as he was affectionately called, was born in a one-room cabin in Prescott, Arkansas, on February 20, 1934, to Herman L. Hamilton, Sr., and Esther Haug Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton graduated from Texarkana, Arkansas High School in 1951, and the University of Arkansas in 1955. He then attended the University of Arkansas School of Law, graduating in the spring of 1957. He was a published author of the Arkansas Law Review, and had the distinction of passing the Arkansas Bar Examination before he graduated law school.
Upon graduation, Mr Hamilton moved to Hamburg, where he joined William S. Arnold in the practice of law. That law firm grew exponentially into the venerable law firm of Arnold, Hamilton and Streetman, adding Thomas S. Streetman in 1964, William S. Meeks in 1980, and his son, James A. Hamilton, in 1989. In 1998, he and his son formed the law firm of Hamilton and Hamilton and continued their record of service. They added a partner, Timothy R. Leonard, in 2006 and their law firm is now Hamilton, Hamilton and Leonard, PLLC. He was one of the foremost experts statewide in the area of real estate and land titles, owning the Ashley County Abstract Company for many years.
He held the office of Hamburg Municipal Judge from 1962 until 1982, and was President of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Law Review from 1991 until 1994. He was a member of the Arkansas Board of Law Examiners from 1966 until 1971, where he served as Chairman from 1969 until 1970. He served as Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1973, 1977, 1979, 1980 and in 1995. He served as Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Foundation from 1981 until 1982. He was instrumental in the creation of the IOLTA program in Arkansas, and served as the President of the Arkansas IOLTA Foundation, Inc. from 1985 until 1986. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association for 60 years, and was a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel for over 30 years.
Mr. Hamilton was instrumental in the management of the Ashley Memorial Hospital, where he served for many years as Board Chairman. He was also instrumental in the building of the Ashley County Medical Center in 1994. He served as the Ashley County Civil Attorney from 1993 until his death, and he absolutely enjoyed serving his home county.
He was a 32nd Degree Mason as well as a York Rite Mason. He was a member of the Hamburg Prairie Lodge #465, where he served as Worshipful Master from 1967 until 1968. He received a Silver Beaver award for his many years at service to the DeSoto Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
He was an active member of the Hamburg First United Methodist Church for over 60 years, where he served as the Administrative Board Chairman, as well as chairman of many other committees. He loved his church family dearly.
He was preceded in death by a son, Herman Lynn Hamilton, III; his parents, Herman Lynn Hamilton, Sr. and Esther Haug Hamilton; and a granddaughter, Elizabeth Gabrielle Hamilton.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patti A. Walsh Hamilton of Hamburg; two sons, David Pearson Hamilton and wife, Linda, of Elkins, and James Andrew Hamilton and wife, Rose, of Crossett; five grandchildren, Callie, Jami-Lynn, Sherri, David and Brandon; two sisters, Pat Mooring and husband, Ellis, of College Station, Texas and Sarah Hamilton of Tulsa, Oklahoma; his secretary for many years, Polly Stell of Hamburg, and an enormous host of nephews, nieces and friends.
While he was in the Ashley County Medical Center during his extended illness, he received the most loving and compassionate care from his personal friend, Dr. Luis Garcia, hospital administrator Phil Gilmore, and all of the nursing staff that cared for him. Words cannot begin to express how much his family appreciated the gracious and kind treatment that “Mr. H.” received there.
Visitation will be held on Monday, October 9, from 6 pm. until 8 p.m., at the Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home in Hamburg.
Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, October 10, at 10 a.m. at the Hamburg First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Greg Comer and Rev. John Martin officiating. Private graveside services will be in the Hamburg Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Hamburg First United Methodist Church, 202 S. Main Street, Hamburg, AR 71646 or a church or charity of the donor’s choosing.