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William Henry Hatch (September 11, 1833 – December 23, 1896) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri. He was the namesake of the Hatch Act of 1887, which established state agricultural experiment stations for the land-grant colleges. Hatch is also the namesake of Hatch Hall, a Residence Hall at the University of Missouri.

William Henry Hatch
William H Hatch.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1883
Preceded byJohn M. Glover
Succeeded byCharles H. Morgan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1895
Preceded byMartin L. Clardy
Succeeded byCharles N. Clark
Personal details
Born(1833-09-11)September 11, 1833
Georgetown, Kentucky
DiedDecember 13, 1896(1896-12-13) (aged 63)
Hannibal, Missouri
Political partyDemocratic


Born near Georgetown, Kentucky, Hatch attended the schools of Lexington, Kentucky, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in September 1854 and practiced as a circuit attorney in 1858 and 1860. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army. He was made a commissioned captain and assistant adjutant general December 1862, and in March 1863 was assigned to duty as assistant commissioner of exchange of prisoners under the cartel, and continued in this position until the close of the war.

Hatch was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth and to the seven succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1879 – March 4, 1895), during which time he served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture (Forty-eighth through Fiftieth and Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894 to the Fifty-fourth Congress. After his congressional career, he engaged in agricultural pursuits.

He died near Hannibal, Missouri on December 23, 1896, and was interred in Riverside Cemetery.

Hatch is the namesake of the community of Hatch, Missouri.[1] While William Hatch is by no means a household name, his name has become synonymous with the agricultural experiment stations that were founded by his legislation. He is best remembered through the many laboratories and lecture halls named in his memory at land-grant institutions across the United States. In his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, a bronze statue was erected in his name in 1914, nearly twenty years after his death, which still stands in the center of that town today. In 1987 a plaque was added to this monument commemorating the centennial of the Hatch Act of 1887.

See alsoEdit


  • United States Congress. "William H. Hatch (id: H000339)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  1. ^ "Ralls County Place Names, 1928–1945". The State Historical Society of Missouri. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.

External linksEdit