Lee County Biography


Charles L. Hatch, who is a native of Lee County, is now one of its prominent farmers and stock-raisers. He has a large and will-conducted farm in Sublette Township,including the old homestead where he was born December 12, 1848. His paternal ancestry were New England people, and his great-grandfather was for many years a resident of Hartford, Conn. His mother's family was also of New England stock, and his maternal grandfather was one of the first settlers of Cavendish, Vt.

Sherman L. Hatch, who is now living in retirement from active business in the home of his son, our subject, was one of the early settlers of this region, acquired wealth while aiding in the development of the agricultural resources of the county, and is entitled to a high place among the pioneers who laid the solid foundation of its present prosperity. He was bom in Cavendish, Vt., July 25, 1807, a son of Sherman and Caroline (Lovell) Hatch, of the same place. He grew to manhood amid the pleasant scenes of that Vermont town, and joining the State Militia, was Captain of his company. At the age of thirty, he resolved to see what the West had to offer him, and he made his way to Chicago, thence to Milwaukee, and from there to Janesville, Wis. He there embarked in a boat with seven others, and made a voyage down the Book River, stopping at Rockford, Dixon and Prophetstown. The little party remained over night in Iowa, opposite the mouth of the Rock River, and the next day Mr. Hatch returned up the river to Dixon, where he arrived in June. From there he went to the home of Charles F. Ingals, who bad settled at Lee Centre, and on his way he stopped at the dwelling of Mr. Whittaker, which was the only house that he saw after leaving Dixon. After a short stay with Mr. Ingals, Mr. Hatch proceeded to Sublette Township, and here on section 7 he found an abandoned claim that suited him, and completing the unfinished log cabin that stood on it, he lived in it until his return to his native State in the fall of the year. The following spring of 1838, Mr. Hatch was married to Miss Lucy Brown, a native of Chester, Vt. Returning to his new home in the West with his bride, he found his claim occupied. He appealed to the Squatters' Tribunal, and they decided that he should pay the usurper $150 in consideration of the improvements he had made, or the gentleman should pay him $125 and retain possession of the premises. Mr. Hatch chose to pay the $150, and regained his humble home. The cabin was primitive in its construction, with a floor of earth. In 1839 Mr. Hatch jaid a floor of split rails, covered with cornstalks. He claimed two hundred and forty acres of land, but not being able to collect money that he had loaned, he could not pay for that amount when it came into the market, and so had to content himself with eighty acres for a time. In 1846 he built a frame house on his place, and in 1852 erected a commodious brick house and a large barn, the luinl>er for the latter building being brought from Chicago. He met with more than ordinary success in his operations, making a goodly fortune, and besides Incoming the possessor of five hundred and sixty acres of land had much personal property. In 1890 he generously divided the same among his fonr children, giving our subject four hundred acres of the homestead, and the others land and money of like value. His declining years are passing serenely in the lome of his son,of which he is a welcome member, ind where he is surrounded by every comfort that can make his life pleasant.

The mother of our subject died in November 1876, leaving four children, of whom this is the record: Harriet L. was born in December, 1839, and is now the wife of Francis Gardner, of Sublette; Caroline Louise, born December, 1840, mar- ried James Garrett, of Ash ton; Julia A., born De- cer , 1840, married Joseph W. Latta, of Dixon; and Charles L., is our subject, he of whom this biography is written was given excellent educational advantages in his youth, laying the foundation of his education in the schools at Sublette, and afterward pursuing a good course of study in the academy at Lee Center. After leaving school he taught two winters, but his attention has been mostly given to farming andstock-raising, in which he is eminently successful. His father gave him a valuable property, but a part of his wealth is of his own accumulation, and his landed possessions amount to six hundred and eighty acres. His improvements are of the best and his estate is in a fine condition. His well- cared-for stock is of high breeds, and commands a ready market whenever offered for sale. Mr. Hatch is a cool calculator, is cautious in his dealings when prudence is required, and at the same time is quick to lake advantage of all legitimate means of making money, and is one of the solid men of his township. In politics he cleaves to the Republican party. He has been Road Commissioner and School Director, and, whether as an office-holder or private citizen, has always done what he could for the benefit of the community. Religiously he is of the Congregational faith, and is generous in his support of the church.

Mr. Hatch was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Barse in 1874. Mrs. Hatch is a native - of Detroit, Mich., and a daughter of William and Maria Louise Barse. His following is a record of the four children born to her and our subject: Lucy M. was born in April, 1875; Hayes L., in May, 1877; Kittie L., in March, 1885; and Charles S. in July, 1887. June 20, 1890 our subject's place was visited by a cyclone, which destroyed all outbuildings, etc., causing a damage of $5,000.

1892 Portrait and Biographical Record Lee Co Pg 410

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