Joseph H. Hamill, a successful farmer and stock raiser of Big River
Township, and the only surviving child of Hugh and Mary (Conel) Hamill,
was born in Big River Township, Jefferson County, in 1862.  His parents
were natives of Ireland, and when quite young both came to the United
States (his father being twenty years of age, and his mother fourteen)
where they were married, in 1861.  In about 1847, the father settled
in Jefferson County, about fourteen miles northwest of Hillsboro, on 
Calvey Creek, where he improved a good farm, where he remained until 
his death in 1863, at the age of forty-three.  The mother afterward
married Patrick Lyons, of Lexington, Mo., who was drowned in Big River,
August 15, 1871, leaving three children: Briggie, Mary and Martin.  
Joseph H. was educated in the common country schools and also attended
two years at a Lexington private school.  He has thus far resided on
the old home farm which consists of 365 acres, and of which he is the
owner.  It is well cultivated and well improved, and makes one of the
best farms in the county.  Mr. Hamill is a Democrat in politics, casting 
his first presidential vote for Grover Cleveland, in 1884.  The family 
were Catholics.