History often has several versions and debate can be very heated. The establishment of the village of Hamilton west of Anderson, Indiana, on 8th Street in Jackson Township is one of those conflicts in history. One history story has the village laid out in 1836 by businessmen who established stores, stations, and the small settlement along the Indiana Central Canal which was under construction at the time.
However, the other history story, claims that Robert Boyd laid out the village. Not in dispute though is for whom Hamilton was named: Robert Hamilton, a local teacher. The little town was somewhat successful for around 40 years, having a post office off and on, several businesses, the first tavern in the entire township, private homes, as well as Methodist and Christian Churches. However, by the time Madison County’s first published history, 1880, Hamilton’s enterprises had “all disappeared.”
The Hamilton Cemetery, which was east of the village, has gravestones with the names of Cunningham, Harless, Males, and White. Of the some 40 recorded graves in this burial ground, 15 of them are children. This percentage supports the statistic that the death rate among children in the 19th century was customarily one out of four, often reaching as high as one out of three.