John Hamilton Jr., 67, Former State Legislator

Posted: August 12, 1986

John H. Hamilton Jr., 67, who represented a large portion of northwestern Philadelphia in the state House during the 1960s and 1970s, died Sunday night at his summer home in Somers Point, N.J. He lived in the Roxborough section of the city.

The last Republican to securely hold office against a rising Democratic tide that swept the city during the 1950s and 1960s, he was elected and re- elected to seven terms in office, winning by comfortable margins.

He retired from the seat in 1978 because he felt he should spend more time with his family and let someone else try his hand at representing the 199th Legislative District, according to his daughter, Barbara Longbottom.

He had represented the district - which included Roxborough, Manayunk, Wissahickon and about half of Chestnut Hill - for 14 years, carrying on a family political line established by the grandfather, William Hamilton, in 1919.

His uncle, Robert Hamilton, held a state House seat for six years in the 1930s. Another uncle, Wilbur H. Hamilton, a former city GOP leader, served in the House from 1951 through 1956 and was the GOP nominee for re-election when he died.

John H. Hamilton Jr. succeeded Wilbur Hamilton both in the House and as GOP leader of the 21st Ward. He was ward leader when he died.

In all, the Hamiltons directed Republican affairs in the 21st Ward for more than 60 years. Mr. Hamilton's death evidently marks the end of the family involvement in politics: Longbottom said no one in the family had an interest in carrying the GOP cause further.

Born and raised in the area he represented, Mr. Hamilton attended Roxborough High School and was a graduate of Wharton Evening School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also was a graduate of the North Philadelphia Realty School and held a broker's license that he never used, his daughter said.

An Army veteran of World War II, he was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 333. He was a member of the Green Valley Civic Association, the Roxborough High School Alumni Association and the Roxborough Lions Club.

He was president of the Boardman-Hamilton Co., an insurance firm, until his retirement two years ago. He also served as a director of the Roxborough- Manayunk Federal Savings & Loan Association.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Doris Virginia Hamilton; a son, John H. 3d; four grandchildren, and a sister, Elaine Ley.

A viewing will be held after 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, 425 Lyceum Ave.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 815 Cathedral Rd. Burial will be in George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting.

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