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Francis & Betty Hamilton Memorial Scholarship Fund


Year Founded


Francis and Betty Hamilton

Purpose of Fund
The primary purpose of the Fund shall be to provide educational financial support to a qualifying Greencastle High School graduate and Putnam County resident, accepted into pre-law or law school at Indiana University. It is understood that scholarship recipients cannot be members or family members of advisory committees or Foundation board members

History of Fund
Putnam County has an honored and rich history of numerous talented individuals who have attained local and national success in their careers.

Judge Francis N. Hamilton loved Greencastle and Putnam County and lived here his whole life. He always felt the need to serve his community through service and to give back so that others could succeed. He was born in Portland Mills in 1910 and graduated from Greencastle High School in 1928. He went on to graduate from DePauw in 1933 and earned a law degree from IU in 1938.

For four years he served in the State of Indiana Attorney General’s Office in Indianapolis, commuting each day from Greencastle. He later joined his father, Faye S Hamilton, in practicing law in Greencastle. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Office stationed in Korea at the end of World War ll.

In the last 18 years of his 50-year law career, he served as the longest sitting Putnam County Circuit Court judge. He was known for his strictness, but also his fairness as well as his deep sense of compassion. He wished to help others learn to do what was right and to have a second chance at a successful life. “The Judge” as he was fondly (or fearfully!) referred to, always credited his upbringing and the solid local values in Putnam County for his successful career.

Inspiration for creating the fund: Sadly, some of the most talented young scholars in the county may not have the chance to fully achieve their future potential. Due to the rising costs of attending college, some of these bright young students in the Greencastle area will believe that they cannot attend college and perhaps give up on their dream.

Francis Hamilton had several simple wishes in his last years. One was to be buried in the Portland Mills Cemetery where several generations of his family are buried. Another was to see his dream fulfilled that a scholarship be awarded to a local student who might pursue a legal career to serve the Greencastle community. Family members shared that dream and created the Francis N. Hamilton Scholarship in his honor with the Putnam County Community Foundation in 1999 following his death.

Scholarship Recipients


Paul Bryan


Paul Bryan

Paul Bryan



Andrew Kieth Carr



Emily Lowe





Charles D. Bridges

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