Biography of John Hatch, Esq.
The elder of the brothers, John and Joseph Hatch, was born at Preston, Connecticut, June 9, 1727; came to Norwich Vermont in the earliest days of its settlement and founded his home on the hill farm owned and occupied at a later day by Deacon John Dutton.
At a proprietors’ meeting at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1766, Mr. Hatch was elected one of the selectmen of Norwich; at a town meeting at the latter place, held in 1769, he was elected selectman, town clerk and one of a committee of five to lay out highways “where they shall think needful.” He held the office of town clerk continuously until 1780, except for the year 1766, when it was filled by Peter Olcott.
Mr. Hatch was a practical surveyor of land, and his services were much in request for that purpose. He made the survey of Norwich into lots in 1766, and laid out in person most of the highways in town during the first twenty-five years after its settlement. In 1778 he was employed to make a survey of the town of Hartford into lots, under the direction of Benajah Strong and Israel Gillett, a committee of that town. At that time he held the office of county surveyor of Cumberland County, by the appointment of the Governor and Council of Vermont. April 10, 1772, he was commissioned a justice of the peace for Gloucester County by William Tryon, the royal governor of New York, he executed the duties of this office for several years, probably until the establishment of state government by Vermont in 1778.
Mr. Hatch married Sarah Richards at Preston, Connecticut, April 7, 1748. Their children were:
- Benjamin, born Dec. 16, 174-;
- Alpheus, born Dec. 22, 1750;
- Ashur, born Aug. 27, 1752;
- Rizpah, born Sept. 30, 1754;
- Adrian, born July 7, 1756;
- Naomi, born Dec. 9, 1758, married Jeremiah Percival, Dec. 9, 1799;
- John, born June 8, 1761;
- Harper, born Aug. 12, 1763;
- Sarah, born Dec. 9, 1769, married Jehiel Boardman, March 19, 1789.
Mr. Hatch died April 24, 1806, aged seventy-nine years, preceded by his wife, April 13 of the same year, aged seventy-eight years.
Two of his sons, John and Alpheus, settled on farms near their father’s home, the former on the place known in later years as the Neal farm, and the latter on the farm now occupied by Charles Swasey, both farms being on the range of hills next west of Norwich village.
Mr. Hatch was a son of John and Jerusha (Herrick) Hatch, who were married at Preston, Conn., August 31, 1726, to whom were born John (the subject of this sketch); Elizabeth, May 12, 1731, who married Major Thomas Murdock; Rufus, Dec. 5, 1735; Joseph, May 13, 1738; Eunice, June 16, 1741, who married Lieut. Elijah Gates. November , 1769.
John Hatch, senior, died in the year 1751.