Monday, May 27, 2024

Marker Details

The marker is located in the town of Otterville, on the grounds of the large two-story stone school, which is on the north side of Main Street. Otterville is about 8 miles southwest of Jerseyville.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Friends of Hamilton Primary School and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
In 1834 Dr. Silas Hamilton, physician and humanitarian, bequeathed $4,000 for construction and operation of a building for educational and religious purposes. A stone school was opened in 1836, and the tuition-free education for local students attracted families to this area. The school was razed in 1872, rebuilt and enlarged, with the original stones at the base. Classes were held here until 1971.

George Washington, a slave freed by Dr. Hamilton, studied here, became successful, and established a perpetual scholarship fund for Americans of African descent. He also provided for the erection of a monument to his former master.

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