History in Wood and Oil

Three CAFNR artifacts are connected to William Henry Hatch

William Henry Hatch was born near Georgetown, Kentucky. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 and practiced as a circuit attorney until 1860. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a captain and then assistant adjutant general. In March 1863, was assigned to duty as assistant commissioner of exchange of prisoners. Hatch was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth through Fifty-third Congresses (1879 – 1895), during which time he served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894. After his congressional career, he engaged in agricultural pursuits.  He died at his Strawberry Hill Farm near Hannibal, Missouri on December 23, 1896, and was interred in Riverside Cemetery. This portrait is thought to have been painted by George Caleb Bingham.William Henry Hatch was born near Georgetown, Ky. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 and practiced as a circuit attorney until 1860. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a captain and then as assistant adjutant general. In March 1863, Hatch was assigned to duty as assistant commissioner of exchange of prisoners. Hatch was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth through Fifty-third Congresses (1879 – 1895), during which time he served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894. After his congressional career, he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and died at his Strawberry Hill Farm near Hannibal, Mo., in 1896. This portrait is thought to have been painted by George Caleb Bingham.

A bit of agriculture history can be found in the CAFNR Dean’s Offices.

The two pieces of furniture and a portrait are tied to William Henry Hatch (Sept. 11, 1833 – Dec. 23, 1896), the U.S. Congressman who in 1877 wrote legislation known as the Hatch Act of 1877. This act established state agricultural experiment stations for land-grant colleges across the nation.

The furniture pieces, a hutch and a close stool (a chair with a hidden chamber pot in the absence of indoor plumbing), belonged to Hatch and were donated to the College after his death. The furniture came from his Congressional office.

The portrait of Congressman Hatch is thought to have been painted by noted Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham. Bingham (March 20, 1811 – July 7, 1879) was an American artist whose paintings of American life in the frontier lands along the Missouri River exemplify the Luminist style. Left to languish in obscurity, Bingham’s work was rediscovered in the 1930s. By the time of his bicentennial in 2011, he was considered one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century.

The Hatch Act of 1887 gave federal funds, initially of $15,000 each, to state land-grant colleges to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth. The bill was named for Congressman Hatch, who chaired the House Committee of Agriculture. State agricultural stations created under this act were usually connected with land-grant state universities founded under the Morrill Act of 1862.

More than 20 Agricultural Experiment Stations  – scattered throughout the state – are part of the University of Missouri and are a direct creation of the Hatch Act. Their research is geared to making the most effective use possible of the state’s natural resource base, including its people resources, in an increasingly global economy.

A hutch once owned by William Henry Hatch.A hutch once owned by William Henry Hatch.
A close stool, often referred to as a commode, that came from Hatch’s Congressional office.

While William Hatch is by no means a household name, his name is synonymous with the agricultural experiment stations nationally 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, Mo., a bronze statue was erected in his name in 1914, nearly 20 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.

He is also the namesake of Hatch Hall, a residence hall at Mizzou.

Many stations founded under the Hatch Act later became the foundations for state cooperative extension services under the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.

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CAFNR DEAN HISTORY SERIES

How Mizzou Got Ag: the Morrill Act Gets Things Started

Border Ruffian Savant: MU’s First Dean of Agriculture

Academic Co-Stars: Tribulations of Ag’s Second Dean

Change Agent: The Third Dean Begins to Fix the Place

Henry Waters: Missouri Soil in his Veins

Mission Excellence: Mumford Makes the College a Top School

Gentleman Dean: Roger Mitchell 1932-2013

OTHER STORIES ABOUT CAFNR HISTORY

Deep Roots: CAFNR’s Colorful Wine History

Cows on the Lawn: Eckles Hall Was a Big Boost to Missouri Dairy

A Concrete Pedigree: the Ag Building’s Connection to a Political Boss

Sam’s Slab Lab: the Unique Architecture of the Ag Building

Flavor Resurrected: How Mizzou’s Ice Cream Shop Came Back

Fort MU: Higher Education’s 1946 Housing Crisis

From the Soil, Medicine

No Men Upstairs: Gentry Hall

Legacy of Success: Entomology was MU’s Early Global Research Leader

C.V. Riley Wrote the Birth Certificate of Modern Entomology

A Century of CAFNR in Photos

An Agriculture Graduate’s Plea Inspired MU’s Memorial Union

CAFNR’s World War I Mack Truck

Fever Fighters: MU and Texas A&M Partner to Cure a Cattle Disease

J.C. Penney, Missouri Farmer

A Whale of a Journey, MU’s Whale Jaw

The 1872 Plow Trial

HARC’s Hickman House is Still Standing

CAFNR’s Three William Henry Hatch Artifacts

Mizzou’s Air Force

The Notorious Miss Mizzou

Mizzou From the Air, 1919

Farmers’ Week, 1910-1957

The Bidding War for CAFNR

Last Quarter Acre of the Horticulture Farm