This autobiography of Samuel George Hamblen includes handwritten notes added by Ella Maria Flint Hamblen Cole and May Quinn Hamblen Eaton.
Samuel Hamblen was born on February 7, 1836, to Ichabod and Lydia Fickett Hamblen in Standish, Maine. Hamblen’s father moved his family, in the fall of 1839, to a farm located in Oxford County. In 1858, he entered Waterville College (now Colby College), located in Waterville, Maine. At the beginning of the Civil War, Hamblen enlisted in the Third Maine Infantry on April 30, 1861, he later served in the Eightieth Infantry United States Colored Troops and the Tenth United States Colored Troops Heavy Artillery. Hamblen saw action in many battles including the Battle of Bull Run, and acted as an Honor Guard in President Lincoln’s funeral in Springfield, Illinois. In June of 1865, Hamblen took charge of two forts, St. Phillips and Jackson, located near the mouth of the Mississippi. While there, he met Maria Florilla Flint and they were married May 2, 1866, in New Orleans. Hamblen was discharged on February 22, 1867, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He and his wife relocated to Buffalo, New York, where they lived until 1869, when they moved to Atlantic, Iowa, where he studied law. By the early 1870s, Hamblen moved his family to Quincy, Florida to do land surveying for the United States' government in the Everglades. His skills came to the attention of Florida governor Marcellus Lovejoy Stearns, and when Stearns was later appointed to the Hot Springs Commission, he offered Hamblen a surveying job in the summer of 1877. In October 1882, President Chester A. Arthur named Hamblen as his choice of successor as superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation, now Hot Springs National Park, and he took charge of the reservation on January 1, 1883. Samuel George Hamblen was the second superintendent of the reservation. He is best known as the superintendent who designed the arch over Hot Springs Creek and it became instrumental in the development of modern-day Central Avenue in the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Hamblen was replaced in 1885, when President Grover Cleveland appointed General Charles W. Field to the post. He remained in Hot Springs until 1907, when he left for his son Samuel’s ranch in Candlish, Texas. He died on June 12, 1908. He was originally buried on Hamblen Ranch but was moved in November of that year to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Samuel George Hamblen autobiography, MG.03320
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Colonel Samuel George Hamblen autobiography, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History