Frank Hatton (American politician)

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Frank Hatton
Frank Hatton (US politician).png
32nd United States Postmaster General
In office
October 14, 1884 – March 4, 1885
PresidentChester A. Arthur
Preceded byWalter Q. Gresham
Succeeded byWilliam Vilas
18th First Assistant United States Postmaster General
In office
October 22, 1881 – October 13, 1884
Preceded byJames Noble Tyner
Succeeded byJohn Schuyler Crosby
Personal details
Born(1846-04-28)April 28, 1846
Cambridge, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 30, 1894(1894-04-30) (aged 48)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth J. Snyder (m. 1867-1894, his death)
ProfessionNewspaper editor and publisher
Military service
AllegianceUnited States (Union)
Branch/serviceUnion Army
Years of service1862–1865
RankFirst lieutenant
Unit98th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
184th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Frank Hatton (April 28, 1846 – April 30, 1894) was an American politician and newspaperman. He was a Union Army veteran of the American Civil War, served as United States Postmaster General, and later edited The Washington Post.

Early life[edit]

Hatton was born in Cambridge, Ohio on April 28, 1846, a son of Richard Hatton and Sarah (Green) Hatton.[1] He was raised and educated in Cadiz, Ohio and apprenticed to his father, who was a printer and newspaper publisher.[1]

Civil War[edit]

Though he was only 16 years old, in 1862 Hatton enlisted for the American Civil War as a private in Company C, 98th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment.[2] His unit served primarily with the Army of the Cumberland, and Hatton took part in numerous engagements including the Battle of Atlanta.[2] In 1864, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant and he served with the 184th Ohio Infantry before being mustered out at the end of the war.[2]

After the war, Hatton was an original member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.[3] In addition, he was also one of the organizers of the Grand Army of the Republic in Ohio.[4]

Early career[edit]

After the war, Hatton worked in the newspaper business in Mount Pleasant, Iowa and later in Burlington, Iowa.[1] A Republican who was active as a member of the Stalwart faction,[5] he served as Burlington's Postmaster,[2] and held several party positions, including Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party's Central Committee.[6]

Political career[edit]

In 1881, Hatton was a candidate for several federal appointments at the start of the James A. Garfield administration.[7] Garfield died that summer and in October, Hatton was appointed First Assistant Postmaster General during Chester A. Arthur's presidency.[7]

In 1884 he was promoted to Postmaster General when incumbent Walter Q. Gresham became Secretary of the Treasury.[8]

Hatton worked unsuccessfully to nominate President Arthur for a full term at the 1884 Republican National Convention.[9] The nomination was won by James G. Blaine, who went on to lose the general election to Democrat Grover Cleveland.[10] Hatton left office at the end of Arthur's term and returned to the newspaper business.[11]

Later career[edit]

Hatton was part-owner and editor of The Washington Post until April 24, 1894, when he was stricken with a massive stroke while working at his desk.[12] Hatton experienced complete paralysis, and was transported to a hospital, where his condition continued to decline.[12]

Death and burial[edit]

He died on April 30, 1894, a week after his stroke and two days after his 48th birthday.[13] He was interred in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.[14]


In 1867, Hatton married Elizabeth J. Snyder (1844-1944) of Mount Pleasant Iowa.[1] They were the parents of a son, Richard Hatton (1872-1939).[1]


The town of Hatton, North Dakota was founded in 1882, and is named for Frank Hatton.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cutter, William Richard, ed. (1918). American Biography: A New Cyclopedia. New York, NY: The American Historical Society. pp. 89–90 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d State Historical Society of Iowa (1896). The Iowa Historical Record. X–XII. Iowa City, IA: H. L. Throop & Co. pp. 142–143.
  3. ^ Carroon, Dr. Robert Girrard; Niermeyer, Douglas Reed (2005). "Original Companions of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States". Harrisburg, PA: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
  4. ^ Grand Army of the Republic (1885). Journal of the National Encampment. 19. Toledo, OH: Montgomery and Vrooman. p. 19 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "The Week: President Arthur has now to appoint a new Postmaster-General". The Nation. XXXVI. New York, NY: The Evening Post Publishing Company. March 29, 1883. p. 263 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Jackson, Henry A.; Peck, John B., eds. (1879). New York Evening Express Almanac. New York, NY: New York Evening Express. p. 243 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b "Cabinet Nominations: Judge Folger for the Treasury Department". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg, PA. October 27, 1881. p. 1 – via
  8. ^ "First Assistant Hatton Appointed Postmaster General". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, MD. October 15, 1884. p. 5 – via
  9. ^ "Concentration: Elkins Puts Blaine's Figures to 340 on the First Ballot". St. Paul Globe. Saint Paul, MN. May 30, 1884. p. 5 – via
  10. ^ "A Great Party Rebuked: Grover Cleveland's Election to the Presidency". The New York Times. New York, NY. November 6, 1884. p. 1 – via
  11. ^ "A New Organ: Frank Hatton to Give Chicago a New Republican Paper". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. June 27, 1885. p. 10 – via
  12. ^ a b "Frank Hatton: The Washington Editor Attacked with Total Paralysis". The Times. Philadelphia, PA. April 25, 1894. p. 1 – via
  13. ^ "Frank Hatton's Life Ended: Dies at Washington After a Week of Unconsciousness" (PDF). The New York Times. New York, NY. May 1, 1894.
  14. ^ "Frank Hatton's Funeral". The San Francisco Call. San Francisco, CA. May 4, 1894. p. 2 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  15. ^ Profiles of America: Minnesota, North Dakota. Fremont CA: Toucan Valley Publications. 1995. p. 107. ISBN 9781884925214. Hatton was founded in 1882 and named for Frank Hatton who was Third Assistant Postmaster General at that time.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Q. Gresham
United States Postmaster General
Served under: Chester A. Arthur

October 14, 1884 – March 4, 1885
Succeeded by
William F. Vilas