About 20 decedents of Lorenzo Hill Hatch were in Franklin Wednesday, October 24, 2018 to visit his family home and donate his beaver skin top hat to the town’s Relic Hall. Hatch was the first mayor of the first town in Idaho. He also served as the community’s spiritual leader as a Bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1863 to 1875 in Franklin.
Lorenzo Hatch’s decedents came from all across the country, including New York, North Carolina, Connecticut and Alaska to be a part of the donation and to celebrate the Sunshine Terrace later that evening.
Sunshine Terrace Foundation was celebrating their 70th anniversary and wanted to honor the Hatch family, who founded the organization. Two of Lorenzo Hill Hatch’s grandsons, Boyd and Adrian, founded the organization in 1948. The two were sons of Hezekiah Hatch, the son of Lorenzo.
“That’s what brought the Hatches out of the woodwork,” Richard said. “They all came to Logan at the invitation of Sunshine Terrace.”
The group got a chance to visit several historic sites in Logan before going to Franklin to see the elegant stone home Lorenzo built in 1872 on the town’s Main Street.
The hat was purchased in England in 1856 while Hatch was serving a mission for his church. Richard Hatch of Logan had the hat in his possession. The family heirloom was passed down from father to son until it came to him. He decided it would be of more benefit at the Relic Hall than in someone’s closet.
There is a hand scrawled note telling the history of the hat that came in the same case.
“I think it is a good home for the opera hat,” Richard said. ”It has been returned to its original home.”
Susan Hakes, site coordinator for the Idaho State Historical Society, welcomed the group and talked to them at length about Hatch’s leadership and his contribution, not only in Franklin, but all the way to Arizona.
“I get to share his story to hundreds of people a year,” Hawkes said. “We have cars stop by all year round to ask about the Hatch house and I get to tell his history.”
Hawkes said she had been talking to Richard about donating the hat to the Relic Hall for some time, so it could be on display for visitors.
The Lorenzo Hill Hatch home has been turned into a historical center with interpretive signs telling the history of the area dating to before the Native Americans roamed that part of the county.