Search billions of records on

Hampton Families

Return to Mercer Home Page
Return to Surnames Page

Alternate Spellings - None Found

Links - Endicott, Freise, Irwin, Lutz, Noble, Sloan, Reed, Reynolds, Welch, Bean

Contacts - Angela Schultz, working on the Hampton and Hesser families, and a descendant of Joel B. Hampton; Ken Schlobohm, working on the Irwin, Hampton, Hesser, Thornburg, Welch, Liebig, and other Mercer families. Ken furnished the family photos and the newspaper articles about the Hampton Trial

Photos - ( Sarah "Sula" Hampton and female family members); ( male family members)

About the Hampton Trial - Newspaper coverage is given at the bottom of the page. These are verbatim transcriptions from newspaper articles of the time. We apparently offended one Hampton descendant and at her request have removed her name from the pages. We feel the trial is a wonderful piece of history about the legal system in the mid-1800's and the transcripts contain genealogical information about other families in the area at the time. We have therefore entered them despite the descendant's objections. We do not see anything in the articles that reflects in any way on the character of any descendants of the family. The articles are primary sources of information.

There are two Hampton families of interest to our study of New Boston and Eliza Townships. Henry Hampton of Kentucky, and Rock Island County, Illinois, had descendants in Eliza Township from a very early date down to the present time. Lewis Hampton of Pennsylvania is found in Eliza Township in the 1870 census and had been in the county at least five years at that time.

Henry Hampton Family

Two brothers from Kentucky came to Rock Island County at an early date: Henry Hampton and Joel Hampton. They had apparently come earlier to Fulton County, Illinois, as Henry Hampton married Parmelia Ann Brown there on 6/27/1832. Henry Hampton may be the one that served as a Private in P Vance Company in the Black Hawk War. He enlisted from Rushville, Illinois. (See History Part 1 for brief information about the Blackhawk War.) Many future settlers became aware of the potential for settlement in the Mercer County area while serving in the Indian Wars. The History of Rock Island County in the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois lists Henry Hampton among those settling some time prior to 1837 in what was afterwards to be known as Drury Township. Public land records show the purchase of W/2SW Sec 30 T16N R4[5?]W on 10/1/1839 and the purchase of the SWNW of Sec 30 on 5/20/1841 by Henry Hampton.

The Hampton brothers are found in 1850 in the Rock Island County Census: Henry Hampton, age 42, Farmer, born Kentucky; Parmelia A., 36, born Indiana; Jasper N., age 17; James G.[actually T. for Turner], 14; Joel, 12; Mary, 9; Sarah, 7; William W., 5; Elisa J., 2; all born Illinois; Joel Hampton, 33, laborer, born Kentucky. Ken Schlobohm tells us that the original Hampton farm was in the NW quarter of Section 30 of Drury Township (agrees with 1841 purchase above). It is on the East side of the New Boston blacktop road (from New Boston to Muscatine), about 2 miles north of the Mercer county line, on the South bank of a small creek (then Copperas Creek). There is a small private Hampton family cemetery on this land, visible from the New Boston Blacktop and almost directly opposite the Drury Reynolds Cemetery on the north bank of the Creek. Henry Hampton and several others are buried there. Ken has posted several photographs of the gravemarkers online at the Virtual Cemetery. (Don't be intimidated by their search page - click on "search tombstones" and you need put up only first and last name of person and "IL" for Illinois when the search page comes up.)

On July 9, 1859 son Jasper Hampton allegedly shot and killed neighbor Charles Bean after numerous quarrels about right-of-way over the Bean land. Henry and his sons had been in the habit of crossing Bean's land for access to the river so they could visit back and forth between Drury Township in Rock Island County where Henry lived and Eliza Township in Mercer County where sons Jasper and Joel lived. An account of the quarrel is given in a newspaper article about the arrest of Jasper and Turner Hampton, their father Henry, and a Frenchman, Joseph Langley, who worked for them (see Trial below). Henry had sought legal advice about the problem and had been told that they had the right to cross over Bean's land, according to one of the articles. Captain John Phillips, operator of the New Boston Ferry, was also implicated in the quarrel and shooting. Jasper Hampton was the one charged as he actually fired the gun, but with him on that day were Turner Hampton, William Hampton, Joseph Langley and Samuel Beardsley. Surprisingly Jasper Hampton was found "not guilty." Apparently bad blood remained between Captain John Phillips and Jasper Hamilton, for on October 30, 1868, Phillips shot Jasper Hampton aboard the ferry (we believe Phillips was operating a ferry in Rock Island County when the shooting occurred.) Hampton survived (see "Aftermath" on the Trial below). Phillips was apparently not imprisoned.

The newspaper articles mention that Henry Hampton was in the habit of going down river to visit his sons [in Eliza Township]. Two of the Hampton sons and one daughter are found in Eliza Township in the 1860 Census: Jasper N. Hampton, 26, laborer, born Il; Maria, 22, Oh; Abraham, 4, Il; Maria, 2, Il; George Beardsley, 30, laborer, born France; Joel Hampton, 22, laborer, born Il; Unknown wife, 20, In; Stephen, 1, Il. Jasper married Maria Irwin 4/20/1854 and Joel married Emeline Irwin on 3/12/1858 in Mercer County. Maria and Emeline were daughters of William Irwin of Eliza Township (we will be putting up an Irwin page although we still have many uncertainties about this family.) Henry Hampton's daughter, Sarah, age 17, was working as a domestic in the George Noble household, not far from her brothers. She was also listed with her father in Rock Island County. Sarah may have been the one who married William Henry Stigers on 1/1/1867 in Muscatine County, Iowa. This may be a dangerous assumption as there seem to be several Hampton families in Muscatine County and a Joel Hampton marriage is found there in 1868, so they may have been related to these families.

Henry Hampton is still found in Rock Island County in 1860: Henry Hampton, 52, farmer; real estate $3500, personal property $2000, born Ky; Parmelia, 46, Ind; James T[Turner], 24, farm labor, Il; Mary, 19, Il; Sarah, 17[also censused in Eliza Township], Il; William, 14; Eliza, 13, Il; Parmelia, 6, Il; Millard Fillmore, 3, Il; Riley H., 1, Il; George, 1 (natural son of daughter Mary per census record), Il. Daughter Mary Hampton shortly married Henry F. Endicott on 8/26/1860 in Rock Island County. Henry Endicott is not found in Mercer County in 1870 and had probably left the area. George married Sarah Standley 7/28/1880 in Mercer County, so we believe he may have stayed with the Hamptons and that Mary died early. Daughter Eliza Hampton married Daniel Noble on 3/2/1868 in Muscatine County, Iowa. Daughter Parmelia married Oscar C. Lutz on 11/1/1871 in Muscatine County. Son Millard Hampton married Sonora Irwin, daughter of Alexander and Frances Reed Hampton, on 12/21/1881 in Mercer County (we will be putting up a Reed page).

The decade of the 1860's saw Turner and William Hampton losing their lives in the Civil War. James T. Hampton enlisted in Company K, 102, Illinois Infantry, at Eliza Township August 10, 1862 and died at Gallatin, Tennessee, on January 10, 1863. Since the 102nd Regiment was in winter quarters at Gallatin and did not see any action until May 1863, he apparently died, as so many did, of disease. (See History Part 4 for New Boston and Eliza in the Civil War and a link to Civil War Medicine.) Brother William Hampton signed on as a recruit in Company K on March 1, 1864. He died March 23, 1865 of wounds. The regiment fought a battle at Averysboro (near Fayetteville, North Carolina) on March 16, 1865, where 2 were killed and 19 wounded, apparently William Hampton among them. They camped at Goldsboro on March 23 where General Sherman's whole army had arrived. Temporary hospitals were set up but serious cases were transferred to New Bern, so we are not entirely sure of the place of death of William. The names of both men are inscribed on the Soldier's Monument at Aledo.

Henry Hampton was still in Rock Island County, Drury Township in 1870: #25 Henry Hampton, 62, farmer, born Ky; Permela, 56, In; Permela, 17, Il; Millard F, 14, Il, George, 11, Il. Next to him is son Jasper: #26 Jasper, 36, farmer, Il; Maria, 34, Il; Clara, 13, Il; Mary, 8, Il; Anne, 6, Il; Ida, 4, Il, Milley, 2, Il. Jasper was still in Mercer County in 1865 as he is found in the 1865 Manufacturing and Agricultural Census in Eliza Township: 1 male 30-40, 1 male 10-20, 3 females under 10, 1 female 20-30, value of grain products $490. He is listed next door to blacksmith Edward Bishop, so probably lived very near Bishop's Corners.

Joel Hampton is found in Eliza Township in 1870: Joel Hampton, 31, grazing cattle, born Il; Emmeline, 29, Il; Ella, 11, Il; Amelia, 6, Il; Henry, 4, Il; and Mary, 2, Il. Daughter Ella married Charles August Freise on 11/29/1881 in Mercer County. Son Henry Brown Hampton married Sarah Hesser on 11/17/1887 in Muscatine County, Iowa. They had a daughter Eloisa Hampton who married John Welch. Ken Schlobohm is researching this family. Henry and Sarah Hessler Hampton lived out their lives in Mercer County and are buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery. Sarah is shown in the photo linked at the top of the page.

Lewis Hampton Family

The Lewis Hampton family is found in Eliza Township in 1870: Lewis Hampton, 39, farmer, born Pennsylvania; Eliza, 37, Pa; Alice, 13, Pa; Ida, 9, Pa; Maggie, 7, Pa; Willie, 5, Il. This indicates the family came to Mercer County between 1863 and 1865. Daughter Alice Hampton married William H. Heath on 10/28/1876 in Mercer County. There is also an Alice Hampton who married Chester Glassock on 11/4/1869 in Mercer County who might have been a sister of Lewis. Glassock is not found in Mercer County in 1870. Daughter Ida married Elliott Williams on 8/8/1877 in Mercer County. There is a marriage license listed for Margaret E in 1882 and one for Maggie E in 1894 so we are not sure which is correct for daughter Maggie. As time permits we will check the 1880 census for more information.

The Hampton Trial

Following are verbatim transcripts of newspaper articles concerning the trial and acquital of Jasper Hampton for the shooting of Charles Bean, the implication of the ferry operator John Phillips, and the shooting of Jasper Hampton by Phillips on the ferry (articles courtesy of Ken Schlobohm). While Phillips was the operator of the New Boston Ferry at the time of the trial we believe he was operating a ferry further north at the time of the shooting of Jasper Hampton and are attempting to verify this.

The Occurrence & The Arrest

The Rock Island Weekly Register, July 13, 1859, Page 3, Rock Island, Illinois
Homicide in Rock Island County - We have been placed in possession of the particulars of a most distressing affair which happened on Saturday last, near Drury's Landing, in this county. The circumstances are substantially as follows: Henry Hampton and Charles Bean own farms in the bottom opposite Muscatine, the farm of Bean lying between that of Hampton and the river; and a road runs through Bean's farm, which Hampton has been accustomed to travel on his way to and from the residence of his sons, situated down the river. There had for a long time been an ill feeling exhibited between the Hampton and Bean families; and a few weeks since Bean sent word to Hampton that he intended to close up the road, and that if he (Hampton) attempted to travel over it again, he would shoot him. On Sunday, the 3rd inst., Hampton, disregarding these threats, was passing with his family over Bean's farm, on this road, on his way to his sons', when Bean came out with a gun and drove them back. During the week Hampton came to Rock Island and took legal counsel in regard to the matter, and was advised to insist upon passing over the road. On Saturday last, Mr. H.'s two sons were passing by Beans, on the disputed road, on or from a visit to their father, when Bean came out with a gun and ordered them to turn back. They did not heed him, but continued on, when he raised his gun, and as he did so, one of the young Hamptons drew up another gun and shot him dead. Both the Hampton and the Bean families are old and prominent ones in the county, and this tragedy will excite deep feeling among the respective friends of the parties.

The Muscatine Journal, Monday, July 11, 1859, page 3
The circumstances, as near as we can ascertain them, are as follows: A road formerly running across the premises of Charles S. Bean (the deceased) was recently fenced up by him. His neighbors, named Hampton, however, persisted against repeated warnings in throwing down the fence while passing that way, and about 7 o"clock on Saturday morning last, four of the sons, with a French man in their employ, all armed, passed and as usual trespassed upon Bean's premises. The deceased came out with a shot-gun in his hand, but before he had time to say a word or exhibit any intention of using the weapon was shot through the left shoulder by a rifle ball. The ball passed immediately below the collar bone, through a vital part, and caused death in about 15 hours afterwards. The Hamptons immediately fled to the river, where they obtained a skiff and came to this side. The Frenchman was arrested in a drinking-house in this city soon after he landed. The Hamptons escaped in the skiff but were finally overhauled near the mouth of Copper Creek. Their father, Henry Hampton, was also arrested as accessory to the bloody deed. All the parties charged with the murder are now under arrest. Jasper N. Hampton, one of the sons is charged with firing the fatal shot. Yesterday a post mortem examination was made of the body of the deceased and a coroner's inquest was also held, the result of which established the facts already detailed by us.

The deceased was about forty years of age, and bore the reputation of an honest and peaceable citizen. He leaves a wife and three small children. The Hamptons have been for some time endeavoring to provoke him into a difficulty, not only in the manner above intimated but by stealing wood from him, letting his flat=boat loose, etc. It is said that their animosity had its origin in the ferry troubles and that all their evil deeds are prompted by Captain Phillips himself. The frenchman has already confessed that Phillips laid the plan of this affair to get rid of Mr. Bean, who was formerly his friend and bondsman, but who not long since discovered his true character and renounced all further fellowship with him. The Frenchman now under arrest is said to be a refugee from Canada. It is thought that the plan was for him to leave the country immediately after the murder, in order that the Hamptons might clear themselves by swearing that he committed the deed. But the evidence is pretty clear that Jasper Hampton is the guilty one, and the others can only be held as accomplices. The prisoners will be taken to jail at Rock Island to await trial.

P. S. Since the above was in type, we have received the affidavits of witnesses before the Coroner's Jury, which we will publish in full to-morrow. The testimony establishes beyond doubt the complicity of the notorious Capt. John Phillips in the matter. Joseph Langley, the Frenchman, declares that Phillips told him he need not fear to shoot Bean, as he (Phillips) would see him through. It is but charitable to suppose that those in this city who have been giving aid and comfort to Phillips in the ferry matter were not aware that he is the malicious and unprincipled wrtetch which this affair proves him to be.

The Trial

Weekly Argus, Wednesday, October 5, 1859 COURT RECORD - Monday, Sept. 26. - Court called at two this afternoon, with a new judge on the bench; Hon J. V. Eustace of Dixon, Judge Drury will be absent the balance of the term.

The afternoon was occupied with settling issues, and making and disposing of issues in various cases.

In the case of Boyce vs. Sparks, appealed from a justice's docket by the defendant, Judge Eustace made the following important rulings: 1st. A justice is presumed to receive his fees as he performs his services. He has therefore no private lien upon the papers until his costs are paid, when a change of venue is demanded or an appeal is taken. If he trusts his fees, the law gives him no special security upon papers in his hands for collection. 2nd. If a justice refuses a change of venue, though a sufficient affidavit has been made, he thereby loses jurisdiction of the party making the affidavit. All farther proceedings in the case by him, are null and void. 3rd. Even if a party, after change of venue is refused submits, and goes to trial before the justice, and demands a jury, all this does constitute a waiver on his part. He can still legally except to the judgment of the justice in the case, because of his want of jurisdiction.

In the course of the argument on this case, which was ably contested by Judge Wilkinson for the plaintiff, and by Webster and Reed for the defendant, the constitutionality of the law imposing a penalty of two dollars upon the owner of each hog found running at large in the counties of Rock Island, Henry and Mercer, was questioned on this ground; that the penalty being wholly given to the informer, in effect legislates money out of one man's pocket into that of another; and that no legislature has power to do this.

Among the lawyers from abroad at the bar this week, are Judge Harris, an able lawyer from Oquawka; Wm. Hall from Davenport; Mr. Sanford of Genesso, Henry County, and Mr. Alden of Annawan, Bureau County.
Trial of Jasper Hampton, Turner Hampton and Joseph Langley, for the Murder of Charles S. Bean, at Drury, on the 9th of July, 1859.
Hon. J. V. Eustace, Judge.
For the People - John B. Hawley, Prosecuting Attorney, assisted by Knox & Reed.
For the Defense - Messrs Wilkinson and Pleasants and Messrs. Beardsley & Smith.
Jury - W. H. Will, Jesse Maxwell, Daniel Mosher, Timothy Wood, John P. Odell, Oliver Gunnell, Joseph Cain, William Shook, Gilbert C. Bown, M. A. Swiler, D. C. Waugh, Jr. Currie Smith.

Tuesday, Sept. 27. - The people of the state of Illinois vs. Jasper Hampton, Turner Hampton and Joseph Langley, indicted for murder, was taken up. Counsel for People, Hawley and Knox & Reed. Counsel for defense, Wilkinson & Pleasants and Beardsley & Smith.

Defendants brought into court in custody. &c., copies &c., furnished to defendants - to each.
Motion by defendants to quash indictment - overruled - defendants excepted.
Motion by defendants for severance in the

More to come
Testimony of George "Spittswaggle" [Spitznogle] as reported by the Weekly Argus, October 5, 1859
George Spittsswaggle examined, by Wilkinson: Know Hampton and his boys; have known them five or six years; knew Bean; heard threat sometime before he was killed; said he had given them written notice to keep off his premises, if they didn't by Jesus he would kill them, every one of them, from the oldest down to the suckling child; there was nothing to bring this up except that Mr. Hampton was in right; Mr. H. and I were not very good friends. Cross examined, by Knox: Live in Mercer county, have not been friendly towards the Hamptons; have not been friendly for two years, time after Mr. Bean made threats, I told Jasper that he better look out or Bean would kill him, were not so mad that we did not speak; I would have been willing to have 'fit' him; had been sending challenges backward and forward for a year, maybe longer; I told him Bean had threatened him; he did not subpoena me to come up until week before last; old man Hampton came after me; I had told some of the neighbors and they told Mr. Hampton. Direct examination resumed by I. O. Wilkinson: Defendant Hampton was tied up stairs at Bean's; the coroner's jury was held out doors; J. W. Hampton didn't call any witnesses that I know of; saw several of the Drury's there. Cross examined by Mr. Knox: Can't say how much of time I was there; half time; none of the defendants called me up; saw Reynolds Drury and Esq. Silas Drury hunting or getting up jury; they were hunting the men or picking the men to set on inquest; I heard them name out E. S. Murdick (Murdock) and his brothers; I cannot tell what questions Drury's ask; didn't hear Reynolds Drury ask. Court adjourned until Friday morning at 9 o'clock. More to come

The Verdict

Rock Island Argus, 5-Oct-1859 Not Guilty! - The case of Jasper Hampton, Turner Hampton and Joseph Langley, for the murder of Charles S. Bean, at Drury, on the 9th of July, was on trial last week at Rock Island. the jury finally brought in a verdict of "not guilty." The case as proved is simply this. The defendants had been notified not to trespass on Mr. Bean's grounds by crossing them. They continued to cross - Bean went out one morning to intercept them, armed with a gun, and while he was approaching the party he was shot down and killed in the presence of his wife, by Jasper Hampton - and the jury returned a verdict of "not guilty!" By this verdict, this respected fellow-citizen of Illinois, can intrude on any man's grounds he pleases, and if interfered with by the proprietor, can take his gun and shoot down the owner of the grounds on his own premises, at his own home, and in the presence of his own family - and a Rock Island jury will say "all right." Those jurymen ought to now go and hang themselves. - Dav.[Davenport] Gazette. We do not quite agree with the Gazette in its conclusions in regard to the jury, but we do not preceive how they could declare Jasper Hampton innocent!

The Aftermath

The Muscatine Journal, Monday, November 2, 1868, Page 1 The Case of Phillips for Shooting Hampton - A prelimary examination of John Phillips, charged with attempt to murder Jasper N. Hampton by shooting on the ferry boat last Friday, took place before Mayor Klein to-day. Phillips was held to bail in $2,000 to stand trial at the next term of the District Court. D. M. Lambert appeared an attorney for Hampton, and D. C. Cloud for Phillips.

It appeared from the testimony that Hampton was drunk when he met Phillips on the boat, and that he persisted in following him up and insisting on a "settlement," though he had no kind of weapon in his hand. Phillips, after retreating some distance, turned and fired. Phillips' defense related mainly on threats and assaults made by Hampton on former occasions.

We learn that Hampton is slowly recovering. The balls in the shoulder and groin could not be taken out by his surgeons.