Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Hammells of Waynesville & Cincinnati

Enoch Hammell of New Jersey bought an old tavern in Waynesville, Ohio in 1841 from Nathaniel McLean, which became known as the "Hammell House". He was the owner up till 1863. Evidence indicates that Enoch was an enterprising person. As well as being a tavern owner he was a surveyor and a real estate agent. He is often mentioned in the business advertisement section of the Miami-Visitor weekly newspaper in his role as surveyor and real estate agent. For example, on March 31, 1852, E. Hammell placed an ad announcing that the Hammell House was for rent. The tavern was leased to a Mr. Yeoman by Enoch Hammell in 1852. His Real Estate Agency was first announced in the newspaper on January 29, 1853. He announced that he was offering services again in engineering and surveying on March 21, 1853. He also sold Warwick's Plows and he was the agent for the New York Reaper which was manufactured by Warder & Browkaw, Lagonda Mills, in Springfield, Ohio. He lists many properties for sale one of which is the Hammell House itself. After he sold the tavern in 1863, it became a private residence for quite some time.

He and his wife Eleanor had two artistic sons:
  • Abram (Abraham) Harris Hammell ~ was born in New Jersey on October 26, 1826. He died July 7, 1904. He was a portrait and landscape painter as well as a genre, animal, sign, ornamental and banner painter. He grew up in Waynesville living with his parents in the Hammell House. On January 9th, 1851, A. H. Hammell married Amelia Collett (May 27, 1830 ~ February 4, 1906) in Waynesville. They were married by her father, Elder Thomas Collett, Sr., in the Collett house on Third Street near the Methodist Episcopal Church. Amelia's sister Emma Collett married Phillip Hawke of Waynesville.

    While living in Waynesville Abram Hammell advertised himself as a Portrait & Landscape Painter. He was a suppler of blank artist canvases. He was also an agent for the Western Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. A. H. Hammell announced his plans to move to Cincinnati and was requesting through the newspaper that his debtors to pay their debts to him. He resigned his position of Township Clerk before his move in 1851. Abram studied under Almon Baldwin and Worthington Whitredge and settled at No. 2, Clinton Count, in the West End.

    Abram and his family live their lives in Cincinnati but would visit Waynesville occasionally. 44 year old Abram and 39 year old Amelia are listed in the 1870 Census with their children, George who is 17, Augusta (14), Ada (13), and Emma (11). 53 year old Abram and 49 year Amelia are listed in the 1880 Census with their two daughters, Augusta (25) and Emma (21), living in Cincinnati. His career was spent in Cincinnati. In his later years he focused exclusively on portraiture. He is listed in the Cincinnati, Ohio Directory, years 1890-91, as a portrait painter. His two addresses are given as 174 W. 4th and 263 Richmond. Amelia, the daughter of a Methodist minister was active in her church and the W.C.T.U. When their son George was a minister in Mount Lookout, they moved there in their old age. Eventually, Amelia rejoined the Waynesville Methodist Episcopal Church. Abram and Amelia are both buried in
    Miami Cemetery in Corwin, Ohio next to her parents (Section H).

    Abram and Amelia's son, George Milton Hammell (1852-1916), was born in Cincinnati on July 29, 1852 and was also a landscape painter in watercolor but did not begin his career as a professional artist. He attended Woodward High School and the Ohio Mechanics' Institute and first worked in his father's studio. He was ordained a Methodist clergyman and was a teacher at Nelson Business College in Cincinnati teaching advanced and special courses and at University of Harriman, Tennessee, where he held the chair of Economics. He is best known as a Methodist Episcopal minister, teacher and social reformer.

    George was an ardent Temperance man and was the Prohibition Candidate for Ohio governor in 1899. He is known for The Passing of the Saloon: An Authentic and Official Presentation of the Anti-Liquor Crusade in American which he edited. He was a contributor to many papers and magazines. For seven years he was the literary critic of the "Western Christian Advocate".

    His liberal socialist thinking, however, eventually lead him to sever his relations with Methodism. He then devoted himself to painting and literature. An example of his poetry is in The Mary L. Cook Public Library. He wrote "In Days of Yore", which is a description of his uncle Phillip Hawke's farm near Waynesville. He and his wife Kathryn S. (1855-1942) traveled through out Europe where he studied in art schools. He died in Fort Scott, Kansas, February 28, 1916. He was teaching there in the "People's College", a working class institution. Ten months later, 92 of his paintings were displayed for the first time at the Cincinnati Art Museum. George and Kathryn are buried in Miami Cemetery in Corwin, Ohio (Section M).
  • Alfred Hammell, was the younger brother of Abram H. Hammell, and was a sign and ornamental painter in Waynesville (see 1860 Census).

Enoch and Eleanor Hammell also had a daughter, Rebecca. Three of their children had died before 1850:

  • Joseph H. Hammell d. March 8, 1847, age 10 years 2 months 29 days
  • William Henry Hammell d. April 11, 1847, age 5 year 11 months 23 days
  • Anna M. Hammell d. June 10, 1831 ~ d. April 7, 1850

See, Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A biographical Dictionary, compiled and edited by Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, and Brian L. Meggitt (Kent, Ohio & London: The Kent State University Press, 2000), pp.369-370.

Also see, WAYNESVILLE BUSINESSES & PROFESSIONS LISTED IN THE MIAMI VISITOR WEEKLY NEWSPAPER WITH FURTHER INFORMATION INCLUDED

Miami Cemetery, Volume #8 of Warren County Ohio Cemetery Records compiled by Chester Dunn (Warren County Genealogical Society, 1990).

Also see, the Hammell vertical file, in THE OHIOANA ROOM ~THE MARY L. COOK PUBLIC LIBRARY, Waynesville, Ohio.

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