by Mrs. Leroy (Lola Braham) Jones
The community now known as Hatton was established in February, 1881, when Rufus Hisey built a store building there and it was first known as Brighton. It was named for the Bright families who lived in the area. After the store building was completed, an attempt was made to acquire a post office for the community. It was discovered that there was already a post office named Brighton in Polk County, Missouri. Therefore, when the post office was established in 1882, it was named Hatton after the Postmaster General of the United States.
The post office was located in the rear of the store building on the south side of the road. W. A. Harding was the first postmaster and he was followed in turn by George Hatcher, Burt Powell, T.B. Taylor, Mrs. Ada Oldham, B.O. Stephens, W.H. (Bill) Stephens and Mrs. W.H. (Hester) Stephens. The postmaster position was held for the longest period of time by Bill Stephens who held it for 34 years before his wife, Hester, took the position in 1947 and held it until the office was closed by the United States Post Office Department in 1953. The surrounding area was served first by a star route from Aux-vasse until 1903 when a R.F.D. Route was started out of the Hatton Post Office which was carried by J.O. Phillips, followed by J.E. Fry, Madison Brooks, Stanley Creed, and Percy Braham. The last carrier served for 34 years.
Besides housing the U.S. Post Office and serving the community as a general merchandise store until the mid-60's, the store also housed a Saturday barbershop at various times. Some of those barbers were Onie Baum-gartner, Walter Gilmore, and Lewis Gibbs.
Hatton was a two store village at times. On the north side of the road, a store was operated by John and Ed Bright, Ira Cottrill, and the Cannell brothers, Lowe and Robert. This building burned in 1932 or 1933 and was rebuilt by Edgar Hulett. Other operators of this store were Paul Sartor, Cleve Fisher, Bob Tilton, G.H. Shryock and John Abbott. Hatton had two doctors during its earlier history. Dr. Robert Gibbs practiced medicine until 1912 when he moved to Mexico, Missouri. Dr. Ralph Emmons followed and had his office in the store building along with the post office.
Other businesses have come and gone through the years. Joe Bright, Ed Hassler, C.A. Bowers, Clifford Smith and Jess Baber have operated blacksmith shops there. During the World War I era, a garage operated out of the old Christian Church building. Roy Black operated the garage there during 1932 and 1933. During the sixties, Buddy Tilton built and operated a fertilizer plant just west of the Methodist Church. In 1971, Bennie Young built a welding shop just east of Hatton and it enjoys a prosperous business today. The North Callaway Volunteer Fire Department *3 is in a building east of the welding shop. This building was erected in 1981.
The Christian Church was dedicated in 1895 and was quite active for several years before closing around 1910. Two men instrumental in the establishment of this church were P.E. Ratekin and Joe Stephens. This church was built on land donated by Dr. Robert Gibbs. Westminster Presbyterian Church, just north of Hat-ton, was established in 1884 and served its congregation until 1964 when it closed due to a dwindling membership. A few years later the church was sold and torn down as required by church law but the cemetery remains and is well cared for by the Westminster Cemetery Association.
Pleasant Grove Methodist Church in Hatton is a very active church today. The original building was erected in 1854 and built largely of native materials. The present church building was dedicated in 1869 and remained largely unchanged until 1954 when the church was remodeled by raising the floor in order to add a basement for Sunday School rooms and a kitchen. In May, 1980, the congregation built an educational addition attached to the south side of the church. In the spring of 1983, Pleasant Grove congregation built a Parsonage across the road from the church for its minister. The present minister, Jerry Wilier, and family moved into the parsonage in June of 1983.
Although there are no stores operating in Hatton today, a well-kept Community Hall is a hub of activity with monthly meetings of the Hatton Extension Club, the Hatton Community Club, and 4-H meetings. It also is the site of reunions and various community meetings and activities throughout the year.
In October, 1982, Hatton held a two day Centennial in conjunction with the Tenth Annual Crafts Show. Exhibits of tools, equipment and hand crafts from the past were displayed. A smorgasbord was served on Sunday, October 3, followed by a parade of the century. After the parade, a style show, "Fashions of Yesteryear," organized and narrated by Mrs. Elizabeth Wise, was featured.
This history of Hatton has been taken from a centennial book researched, and published in 1982 by a dedicated group from the Hatton community: Mr. and Mrs. Grant Cottrill, Mrs. Woodrow (Jalie) Boulware, and Mrs. Joe (Verna) Sydenstricker.