Henry Reynolds Hatch
The Hatch Special Collections Reading Room was given in memory of Henry Reynolds Hatch, a prominent Cleveland businessman and philanthropist who was a generous supporter of both Western Reserve University and Adelbert College. He served as a trustee for Western Reserve University from 1895, and for Adelbert College from 1897, until his death in 1915. Hatch donated Western Reserve University's first central campus library building, Adelbert College Library (1896-1956) and insisted that the students of Case and the College for Women also be allowed to use its resources. In addition to his support of the Western Reserve University, Mr. Hatch was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and made numerous contributions to the city of Cleveland. From 1896 to 1915 he was the President of Lake View Cemetery Association and during his tenure he brought the organization out of bankruptcy and built a fine stone office building. He was one of the original members of Bethel Associated Charities and assisted in the construction of a building for that institution. He was an officer of the Cleveland Humane Society and as a memorial to his deceased wife he established the Lida Baldwin Infant's Rest in 1890. Hatch was also actively involved in Cleveland's religious institutions and was president of the board of trustees of Calvary Church and an elder of the Euclid Avenue Presbyterian Church. He served as a trustee of the Young Women's Christian Association. In addition to his work for social, educational and religious institutions he participated in promoting Cleveland's cultural institutions and from 1913 until his death he was a member of the Cleveland Museum of Art Advisory Council.
Hatch was born on October 3, 1831 in Grand Isle, Vermont, and was raised on his father's farm. He acquired experience and education in merchantile lines and spent his early life in merchantile positions in New England. In 1853 he decided to move west to seek greater opportunities and left the firm of S.L. Herrick in Burlington, Vermont. He purchased a ticket and left for Minneapolis/St. Paul on March 22nd and made a stop in Cleveland to visit a friend. The friend's employer, Mr. Sackrider of the firm of Palmer & Sackrider, introduced Hatch to E.I. Baldwin. Baldwin owned the dry goods firm of E.I. Baldwin & Company. After a brief conversation between the two young men Hatch was hired and his journey to the Twin Cities went only as far as Cleveland. He was made head clerk after three months and was offered and accepted an interest in the business after two years and seven months.
The company prospered and managed to maintain itself throughout the 1857 financial panic. In October of that year he married Lida Baldwin of New Haven, Connecticut the sister of E.I. Baldwin. Two of their six children survived infancy, Alice G. and Anna L. Business began to revive in Cleveland around1860 when the city secured a number of manufacturing concerns and the Civil War broke out. After the war, as early as 1866, the firm began to reduce the stock in their wholesale department in anticipation of a significant reduction in values. They reduced it to almost nothing which eventually proved to be a wise business maneuver.
During the years preceding his death Baldwin's poor health left him unable to give sufficent time to running the business. In 1867 poor health led him to go abroad and the responsibility of running the entire business fell upon Hatch. The company continued as E.I. Baldwin & Company until the 1870s when two junior partners joined the firm and it became E.I. Baldwin, Hatch & Co. The business was managed primarily by Hatch and the junior partners until Baldwin's death. In 1886 Mrs. Lida Baldwin Hatch died and in 1888 Hatch married Mary Cummings Brown of Newark, New Jersey. They had two children, Esther and Henry Reynolds, Jr. After Baldwin's death in 1894 Hatch assumed all the responsibilities of the firm, retained the junior partners and formed H.R. Hatch and Company, which became a leading dry-goods house and one of the first large department stores in Cleveland. In 1902 he sold out to the Morehouse Co. but remained actively connected with the Cleveland Storage Co. Mr. Hatch's distinguished business career and civic contributions have contributed to Cleveland's becoming one of the most prominent cities of the Western Reserve, well known and respected for its cultural, educational and social institutions.
Portrait by J. Colin Forbes; Hatch Library photo courtesy of University Archives.
Return Case or OhioLINK items to any Case library, yes. Case libraries have different hours, so your book might not get checked in on the day you return it if you use a bookdrop.
Return the CPL@Case-KSL books only to KSL, so the collection is here for you & others. Case libraries are not responsible for returning other local libraries’ books. Returning public library books here will not check them off of your account at those libraries.