W. Noble Hamilton, a retired builder and developer, died Monday of pneumonia at his home near Havre de Grace. He was 89.
Mr. Hamilton retired in 1991 from W. Noble Hamilton & Son, a concrete business he had established in 1968.
He was the first contractor in Harford County to use the concrete mobile for metered concrete. The vehicle carries the necessary ingredients for making concrete -- gravel, sand, water and cement -- to the job site where the mixing occurs rather than en route in a conventional drum mixer.
The process eliminates waste and provides more accurate records of the amount of concrete used on a project.
"He invented a concrete curb anchoring system, where the curb is fixed to the blacktop by concrete pins created through key holes rather than using conventional steel pins," said his son, W. Marshall Hamilton of Havre de Grace.
"He was an honest man who worked on a handshake and his word. That's the way he did business," said his son. "He lived by three simple rules his mother had taught him: Be honest, fair and treat people they way you expect to be treated."
"He built houses, barns, roads, and fire ponds all over Harford County," said the younger Mr. Hamilton, who described his father as having "a great deal of common sense who could see things finished before they were built."
Born and raised in a log cabin near Churchville, Mr. Hamilton was educated in a one-room schoolhouse near Jefferson. He left school after the fourth grade to help work the family farm with his parents.
"He always said he went through grade, junior high and senior high school in that little schoolhouse," said his daughter, E. Carolyn Hamilton of Havre de Grace. "He built a good life with very little education, but made education a priority for me and my brother."
Mr. Hamilton maintained a large vegetable garden at his home, and in his younger days enjoyed fox hunting.
"He didn't ride to the foxes but would sit on a log in the woods listening to the dogs 'tonguing' as he called it," his daughter said. "He found it very relaxing and when the dogs cornered the fox, he would call off the dogs and let the fox go."
A religious man, Mr. Hamilton helped build Smith's Chapel United Methodist Church, 3111 Churchville Road in Churchville, where a memorial service was set for 11 a.m. today.
Other survivors include his wife of 31 years, the former Helen Brissenden; a stepson, Bert Shore of Rockville; two stepdaughters, Barbara Hessenaur of Midland, Mich., and Marianna Eagle of Greensboro, N.C.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Smith's Chapel United Methodist Church; or Grace United Methodist Church, 110 W. Bel Air Ave., Aberdeen 21001.