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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 3/25/2004 at 10:31:08

Biography reproduced from page 105 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Henry P. Hatch is one of the oldest living pioneers of Kossuth county, having emigrated to Iowa in 1866. In this county he preempted government land as one of the first ventures in his business career. He has the enviable reputation of having occupied the office of justice of the peace in Kossuth county for more than thirty-five consecutive years. Such a record is in itself an introduction to the ability and character of Mr. Hatch and also an evidence of the high esteem and confidence in which he is held by his fellow citizens. He was born in Broome county, New York, on the 9th of September, 1834, his parents being Elijah and Phoebe (Rogers) Hatch, who were natives of New York and Connecticut respectively. The father was by trade and occupation a master carpenter. He emigrated to Wisconsin in 1847 and later removed to Elgin, Illinois, from which place he removed to Kossuth county, Iowa, in 1866. Here he filed on a government homestead which he later sold and, retiring from active life, made his home with his son Henry until his death, which occurred in February, 1884, when he had attained the age of ninety-one years. His wife was called to her final rest in June, 1875, at the age of seventy-nine.

Henry P. Hatch was a youth of thirteen when in 1847 he emigrated with his parents to Wisconsin. Shortly afterward he removed to Elgin, Illinois. He received his early education in the common schools of Wisconsin and Illinois. At twenty-seven years of age he enlisted at the first call for volunteers, in 1861, becoming a member of the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. On account of failing health he was honorably discharged from the government service in 1862. After receiving his discharge he returned to Elgin, Illinois, where he remained until emigrating to Iowa in 1866. Here he purchased land from the grant of the Agricultural College, his brother filing upon government land in the same locality and at the same time. His parents, his brother-in-law and his brother emigrated to Iowa from Elgin, Illinois, driving across the country to Kossuth county with teams. They were among the first settlers in Lotts Creek township. S. B. Hatch, the brother of our subject, was among the first settlers in what is now known as Whittemore township. The land upon which Henry P. Hatch first filed became his permanent home and he was engaged in its development for a period of twenty years. When the village of Whittemore was first incorporated he was elected to the office of justice of the peace in Whittemore township. By the earnest request of the citizens of the new village, he rented his farm and moved to Whittemore and shortly after received the appointment as postmaster of Whittemore. In 1885, upon the election of Grover Cleveland, he was retired from this office but again reappointed under Harrison’s administration and continued in this office for the full four years of Harrison’s term. For a number of years before removing to Whittemore and during all the years since he first established his residence here he has served the people of his county as justice of the peace. At the same time he has occupied the office of township clerk. At one time he became a candidate for office of county treasurer but was not successful in being elected. He has also served as mayor of Whittemore for one term. For a period of twelve years he was treasurer of the school board. During all his life Mr. Hatch has been an enthusiastic forester and to him, more than any other man in the county, belongs the credit of stimulating among the people a love for the improvement of their places by the planting of useful and ornamental trees. He planted one of the first groves in this county, from which he furnished cuttings free of charge to all who made application, with the understanding that they should plant and safeguard the growth of their trees. At one time he planted three hundred acres of forest timber east of Emmetsburg, and in Kossuth and Palo Alto counties he has the enviable record of having planted fully fifteen thousand evergreen trees. He was the first active agent for the Charles City Nursery Company and gave much of his time to the handling of fruits of all classes. In addition to his interests in the nursery and forestry business, together with his duties in the offices of township clerk and justice of the peace, he at one time, in company with his son, published a weekly periodical called the Whittemore Champion. This paper was successfully issued during the decade of 1890.

In September, 1864, Mr. Hatch was united in wedlock to Lovina L. Leach, a daughter of Mason and Hannah M. (Lull) Leach, both of whom were natives of Broome county, New York. The father was by trade and occupation a cooper. In 1845 he emigrated to Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming. He afterward came to this county, making the journey in company with the Hatch family, and purchased college land in Lotts Creek township. This he improved and in the early ‘80s retired and moved to Whittemore, where he resided until his death, which occurred in July, 1905. The mother of Mrs. Hatch passed away in February, 1912, at the age of ninety years. She spent the last years of her life after the death of her husband with our subject and his wife. To Mr. and Mrs. Hatch were born three children. Richard M., forty-two years of age, is engaged as mail carrier in Butte, Montana. Myrtle V. passed away in September, 1886, when sixteen years of age. Ethel M. is the wife of George E. Munch, who was engaged in business as a merchant of Lonerock for ten years but is now living retired in Whittemore.

Henry P. Hatch is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic at Algona and is a charter member of the Masonic lodge at that place, joining the organization forty-five years ago. He also belonged to the Good Templars lodge during the period of the temperance movement in this part of the state. During the war period he was identified as a member of the Union League and in the early days when the Grange movement was being promoted he became an enthusiastic member of that organization. At present Mr. Hatch is still occupying the office of justice of the peace, looking in connection with his official duties after collections, conveyances and insurance. Politically he has always been a republican but is now a member of the progressive party. His wife is a devoted member of the Christian Science church. The business career of Mr. Hatch is remarkable for its longevity and continuity. It falls to the lot of but few men to maintain for a long period of years a place of great usefulness in the public confidence. Young and ambitious men are always in the field, watching the opportunities which necessarily present themselves for political preferment. The services, however, of Mr. Hatch in his county have been so satisfactory that, with scarcely an effort on his part, he has been retained in the offices of public trust, and in the discharge of his duties his record has been one of eminent satisfaction to his fellow citizens. All of this argues the progressive tendencies and sustained ability resident in this distinguished citizen of Kossuth county.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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