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Hamilton Bailey – Coal Wagon Inventor Was Married to Halifax Native

Posted By on February 26, 2016

Catherine “Kate” Pinkerton was born in 1833 in Halifax, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of George Kirby Pinkerton (1797-1875) and Margaret Mary [Wright] Pinkerton (1802-1882).  She married Hamilton Bailey, a blacksmith of Harrisburg.

Two of Miss Pinkerson’s brothers served in the Civil War:  (1) Hiram W. Pinkerton, buried at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Pottsville, and (2) George Arthur Augustus Pinkerton, buried at Methodist Cemetery in Wiconisco. Research is still ongoing on the brothers and information on them will be presented at a later date.

The obituary of Hamilton Bailey appeared on 2 May 1913 in the Harrisburg Patriot:


Veteran Business Man Succumbs to Stroke While Enjoying Usual Health

Hamilton Bailey, a well known retired business man of this city, died at his home, 126 Locust Street [Harrisburg], at 5 o’clock yesterday morning as the result of a severe stroke of apoplexy Wednesday morning.  Mr. Bailey’s death was sudden despite the fact that he was within a few weeks of being 80 years old.  Up until the time he was seized with the apoplexy he was in remarkable health for his age.

Mr. Bailey was a resident of this city from Civil War days.  In that time he was a blacksmith by trade and later became the inventor of the Eureka Coal Wagon, a type used all over the United States.  He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, 8 June 1833, and when a youth came to this country with his parents.

He came to this city in 1863 and set up as a blacksmith and coach maker.  His knowledge of his trade led him to invent the Eureka Coal Wagon, and after it was patented he established a plant in this city to manufacture them.  He has built thousands of these wagons, and they are used extensively in large cities and country towns.  Up until fifteen years ago he was active in business, but at that time, his son, Arthur H. Bailey, County Treasurer, was taken into the business.

Mr. Bailey was married to Miss Katherine Pinkerton, of Halifax Township.  His wife died in 1902.  Two children, Arthur H. Bailey, Dauphin County Treasurer, and Miss Minnie E. Bailey, survive.  Four grandchildren, the children of Dr. M. R. Bailey, a deceased son of Mr. Bailey, survive.  They live in East Peoria, Indiana.

Mr. Bailey was a member of Pilgrim Commandery, No. 11, F. and A. M., and the local order of Heptasophs.  He was a member of Grace Methodist Church.

The funeral services will be held from the home at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.  The funeral in all probability will be in charge of the Harrisburg Lodge of Masons.  The Rev. Dr. John D. Fox, Pastor of Grace Methodist Church, will officiate.  Interment will be in Harrisburg Cemetery.


The obituary is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


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