John Burns Hatcher, son of George Farley Hatcher and Amanda Burns, daughter of the “ole Revolutionary Soldier,” Jeremiah Burns, and wife Elizabeth Rowland, was born at Prestonsburg, Floyd County, Kentucky, on March 4, 1834. Married at Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, on November 28, 1855, to Elizabeth Clarenda Wallace, daughter of Thomas Wallace and his first wife, Elizabeth Averill, daughter of John Hiram or Jacob Averill, said to be from New York. The officiating minister’s return reads as follows:
“I hereby certify that on the 28th day of November 1855 John B. Hatcher of Lawrence Co. Ky 21 years old, born in Prestonsburg, Floyd Co. Ky. was married to Elizabeth C. Wallace of Lawrence Co Ky 20 years old, born in Prestonsburg, Floyd Co. Ky…”
S. S. Mallory, Minister
MMEC (Church) South
At the time of his marriage he was Captain of the Steamer “Alto” owned by his father and his first cousin Jake Rice, together with Samuel Short.
In 1856 he was still Captain of the “Alto”, as in June 1856 he was issued a Pilot’s Certificate Number 331, in accordance with the Act of Congress, approved August 30, 1852, to operate a Steamboat on the Big Sandy River. He was probably issued one in prior years, but this is the only one listed among documents that were in my aunt’s possession.
In 1857 or 1858 they migrated with his parents to Cordova, Rock Island County, Illinois where they had purchased a large farm on the banks of the Mississippi River on which they built their big white house.
After the death of his mother, Amanda Burns Hatcher, on January 22, 1861, and the second marriage of his father to Mary Ann Branham on August 22, 1861, John Burns and Elizabeth returned to Louisa, Ky.
In 1864 John and his first cousins, John M. Rice and Jake Rice, together with Lloyd B. Dennis leased from Thomas Wallace (his father-in-law), five thousand acres of land on Big Blaine Creek and its tributaries, and the waters of East Fork of Little Sandy, for the drilling of oil and other privileges.
On April 5, 1865 John, along with his first cousins, John and Jacob Rice, purchased the mineral rights to the Mary J. Potter Farm, situated on the Big Sandy River, Lawrence County, around Fallsburg, Kentucky, for the sum of $100.00. Oil was discovered on this property about 1916, but there was a court battle over the ownership of same which was not settled for several years. These wells are still producing (as of the 1980’s).
On July 11, 1865, he purchased one thousand shares of stock in the Greater Kentucky Oil Company, incorporated by the State of Kentucky on January 17, 1865, of which his cousin, John M. Rice, was President, and ________ Owens, Secretary and Treasurer. He was issued two certificates of stock for 500 shares each at $10.00 per share or a total of $10,000.00.
In September 1865 they were living at Southpoint, Ohio, which was across the Ohio River between Ashland and Catlettsburg, but no record as to his occupation. In August 1867 they were living at Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.
In 1868 he secured his license to practice law as per the following:
Boyd County Court
May Term 1868
The Court from personal knowledge orders that a certificate of honesty, probity and good demeanor be granted John B. Hatcher of this County.
A Copy Attest: W. O. Hampton, C D C C
And on June 5, 1868, the following:
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
The undersigned two of the Circuit Judges of the Commonwealth aforesaid, certify that John B. Hatcher, Esq., of Boyd County, produced to us the certificate of the County Court, that he is a gentleman of honesty, probity and good demeanor; And we have examined him touching his qualifications to practice law, do find him qualified.
He is hereby licensed to practice Law in any of the Courts of this Commonwealth.
Given under our hands, June 5th, 1868.
Jas. M. Rice
Judge of the 16th Dist., Ky.
R. Apperson Jr.
Judge 11th District
The exact date as to when they returned to Louisa is not known, but it was found on May 3, 1869, Page 344 of Court Orders 1863-1876, the following:
It is ordered that John B. Hatcher be appointed a Commissioner to investigate and report to this court the number and character of the public books now in possession of the public office for the State of Kentucky in the County of Lawrence.
He is directed to ascertain and report the number and character of said books that have been lost or destroyed, and as far as he is able to do, to ascertain how and in what manner they were lost or destroyed and in whose possession they were at the time of such loss or destruction; whether it occurred by the fault of neglect of the public office having the custody thereof; and will report his proceedings to the next term of this court with an affidavit as to the findings thereof.
When he returned to Louisa in 1868 or 1869, he entered into a partnership with R. F. Prichard, Attorney; Firm known as Prichard and Hatcher, with offices in the brick building on the Public Square, which R. F. Prichard had purchased in 1865 from Lawrence County Court per the following found in Court Orders, Vol. 5 – 1863-1871, page 76.
NOVEMBER TERM – 1865
It appearing to the satisfaction of this Court that the brick building, formerly occupied as Clerk’s Office, has been by the County Court condemned. It is now ordered that the house be and is hereby sold to R. F. Prichard of Louisa, Ky., with the knowledge of keeping said house on the Public Square for the time of 10 years and R. L. Vinson is appointed by this Court commissioned to convey the same to him in the name of the Justices of Lawrence County, Ky., and the said R. F. Prichard is not to charge the County of Lawrence for the next year for his services as County Attorney for said County; and the said Prichard is to give said Vinson a receipt for the same and to that effect by him to be filed in the Office of the Lawrence County Court.
AUGUST TERM – 1870 – Lawrence County Court – Page 451
This day John B. Hatcher presented his Certificate of Election as County Attorney for Lawrence County, Kentucky; and thereupon took the oaths required by Law; and Jake Rice, the present acting County Attorney, is ordered to deliver to said Hatcher all books received by him as County Attorney of every description.
AUGUST TERM – 1870 – Lawrence County Court – Page 454
Ordered that John B. Hatcher, as County Attorney for this County, bring suits and all bonds due this Court, as justification for the non-compliance with contracts.
(This appeared to be regarding the case of the road on top of town hill.)
In March 1881, he purchased for Elizabeth, the home they were renting, as attest:
James Wellman & Flora, his wife, of Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky, for the sum of $2,000.00 to Elizabeth C. Hatcher, wife of John B. Hatcher, in fee simple.
All that certain Block or Square, situated, lying and being in the town of Louisa, Lawrence County, Ky., known on the Plat of said town as Lots Nos., 75, 76, 77 & 78.
It being the property where the said John B. Hatcher now lives and the same deeded byR. D. Callihan and wife, to James A. Wellman, by deed bearing date of 24th March 1865, and recorded in Deed Book “H” of Lawrence County Records, to which reference is here made for further description.
R. F. Wilson, Clerk
By Deputy J. W. Jones
Recorded Deed Book “J” — Pages 248 & 249 March 1, 1871.
On March 3, 1875 John Burns Hatcher died, cause unknown, but he suffered with pains in his stomach all night before his death. It later was thought he probably had a ruptured appendix as his symptoms were the same as at the present time with appendicitis.
The following resolution was presented at the March Term of Lawrence County Court:
Lawrence County Court
March Term — 1875
R. F. Vinson presented to Court the following resolutions which with the unanimous approval of the bar were directed to be recorded.
That it is with profound sorrow that we are called upon to mourn the death of John B. Hatcher late a member of the bar in this Court who departed this life at six o’clock P. M., March 3rd 1875.
2nd. That he was a man possessed of great legal ability and kindness of heart and by his death we have lost a friend, the community a good citizen and his family, with whom we deeply sympathize, a kind husband and an indulgent father.
3rd. That these resolutions be spread upon the records of this Court. A copy to the Wayne Advocate and the Catlettsburg Enquirer with the request to publish same.
A copy Attest
C. F. Johnson Clk.
John was buried with services by his lodge, International Order of Odd Fellows, and they implanted their emblem in his tombstone.
He was buried in the old cemetery beside his two children, Mary A. and Frank, who had preceded him in death.
When the new Cemetery was opened on the hill back of Louisa, Pine Hill Cemetery, Elizabeth had them all moved to it as attest to the following:
Burial Permit issued by Pine Hill Cemetery, Louisa, Kentucky, on December 10th, 1884, granting permission to bury J. B. Hatcher, Frank Hatcher and Mary A. Hatcher.
BY: Eugene Wallace, Secretary
Elizabeth was sought by many a suitor for her hand in marriage, turning all of them down, as she had twenty years of marriage bliss with John, whom she loved very deeply, and wanted no one else.
She took up the task of raising their children alone and made sure all of them received a good education.
John and Elizabeth had issue, surname Hatcher:
James Ross Napoleon
Margaret Permelia (Maggie)
John (Rowland) Chase
John Burns, along with his father-in-law, Thomas Wallace, enlisted in Co. I – 68th Regiment Kentucky enrolled Militia Infantry, on 21 May 1864 and served through 22 Jun 1864 as a Commissary Sergeant. He was not issued a uniform nor did he receive any pay for his services.
On 16 Jan 1915 Elizabeth applied for a pension under the Act of 19 Apr 1808, but her claim was denied since he only served thirty days. Claim No. W. O. 1040,965 and, since he was not wounded and no health problems due to service.
During his service they made a raid on the Rebels in West Virginia where it is said they killed one man at Licking Ridge; also made another raid somewhere in Kentucky and captured Col. Cly Bibell (Bihell?), a commander general.