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 loved seeing that sign. Sad.
Sounds like he would have made a good Freeper.
What kinds of things did his billboard say?
I heard on the radio today that his family was continuing the billborad.
I'll look for a link. I've seen it probably 50 times or more, but it is hard to recall exactly what it said at any particular time. But he did love to slam BJ.
Mostly great statements about the U.N. He would have made a good Freeper!
"How Many Recounts Does it Take to Determine Gregoire is a Loser?"
Was up over Thanksgiving. Got lots of readership that weekend.
A sad day. Hope the family keeps it up. Or....perhaps Freepers of WA should take it over?
I hope they keep it up. Some of the things were down right insane rants, but I remember when I was I kid driving by and getting excited to see what it said.
On another note, if anybody knows where all the different quotes over the years can be found I'd love to know.
It really is a landmark. I used to get a kick out of that....along with the highway sign for RUSH ROAD! Wonder if anyone ever sent Rush Limbaugh a photo of that.....
If they start up a fund to keep it going I'm sending them $50!
The man lived a nice long, honorable life. His family and friends should be proud.
Wow -- a lot of folks are familiar with his sign. Sounds like it's a real Washington State landmark.
Mr. Hamilton was a true trailblazer -- manually posting his comments since 1971.
a sad day...
Love that sign! Seen it 50 sixty times over the last 30 years or so, I never say any reference to homosexuals, mostly get out of the UN, and other stuff. I think the author might have made that anti-homosexual up just to make him fit the wacko-prototype....
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