Skip to comments.Owner of I-5's 'Uncle Sam' billboard dies at 84
Posted on 12/06/2004 2:23:56 PM PST by bushisdamanin04
Owner of I-5's 'Uncle Sam' billboard dies at 84
Man's right-wing messages enraged some drivers
November 12, 2004
CURTIS, Wash. Alfred Hamilton, whose billboard emblazoned with conservative messages engaged drivers on Interstate 5 for decades, has died.
Hamilton, 84, suffered from Parkinson's disease and cancer. He died Tuesday at his home in this southwestern Washington town.
His two-sided "Uncle Sam" billboard dates back to 1971. Over the years, it has carried a litany of messages aimed at politicians Hamilton didn't like as well as homosexuals, Russia, abortion, communism, big government, the United Nations and gun control, to name a few.
"He was a fighter," Sherryl Zurek, one of his daughters, told the (Centralia) Chronicle. "He loved a fight. He loved to argue or discuss."
The family has not yet decided what to do with the billboard, she said.
Born March 31, 1920, Hamilton was raised in nearby Chehalis, attended a one-room school and later studied at what is now Washington State University. He left without graduating during World War II.
"If he graduated, he would have been drafted," Zurek said. "He quit early so he could get a deferment, and he farmed instead of going into the service."
Hamilton married Ruth Knoles in 1942, and the couple had five children. He raised sheep for a time and then switched to turkeys, developing a breed with veterinarian George Duby that was a hit with restaurants in the region.
But he was best known for his billboards.
In 1971, then-state Attorney General Slade Gorton sued Hamilton under the Scenic Vista Act. The case was resolved eight years later in Hamilton's favor.
In 1983, Hamilton and his wife set out on a round-the-world sailboat cruise that took nine years. Tom Bradshaw, pastor of Chehalis First Christian Church, met him after his return.
"He stood about 6-3 or 6-4, and weighed 200 pounds or so," Bradshaw said. "He gave you the feeling he was the kind of man you wouldn't want to mess with."
Hamilton's wife died in 2001. He is survived by his sister, Betty; his children; and 12 grandchildren.
I think his sons have been maintaining the sign for some time, at least since it moved to the new location.
My brother Ramius has the honor of having been threatened by Hamilton once ;~D
BUMP to the WA STATE ping list!
Many of my wife's family were not drafted because they were farmers during WWII. IIRC only one of the males who would have been of age was in the service in WWII and only because he joined up in the summer of 41.
Don't forget that farming was not the, for lack of a better word "productive", enterprise that it is now.
I'll miss his comments, always looked forward to seeing what he had to say, especially his moderate stance on the UN.
He was a crochety old bastard... and it was certainly an honor that he picked me and my dog to point a gun at and get all red in the face...
He didn't run me off when I met him, but then I was buying hay, not trespassing :~D
"Let's Keep the Canal and Give Them Kissinger."
Oh NO!!!! I am so sad. I loved that board. We looked forward to it. May God bless his soul.
Well... I didn't *know* I was trespassing at the time. He could've invested in some fencing if he felt that strongly about it.
But I always looked forward to reading the signs, nonetheless.
I too, always looked for it when driving to Portland to visit the daughter.
I don't know which to want ... I'm glad I won't be here in a hundred years, or I wish I could see America in a hundred years.
I suppose the one true condition we need to maintain is ... don't lose "God Bless America" from our collective conciousness.
So true. I am just a bit behind you (chronologically speaking), Knarf, and I too am deeply concerned about our posterity. Look and the sludge they've grown up in.
People like our dearly departed Uncle Sam billboard owner lived in a time when God and country were something one served. While I am very proud of our military today, we have so many more young people who are unwilling, unable, and unfit to serve on foreign fields or at home.
Were I not a truster of the One who holds it all in His hand, I'd be very fearful of the future.
Besides seeing family in OR - the highlight of the trip was watching for the sign!
I now live in Honolulu and there is a company that has a 'billboard' like sign. Not as political but always has a good point.
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