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April 05, 2011

Namesakes - Hatch Library and Henry R. Hatch

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J. Colin Forbes painting of Henry Reynolds Hatch

At his death in 1915, the Western Reserve University Trustees honored Henry R. Hatch with a memorial resolution which read, in part, “Through a long and successful and highly honorable business career he showed an ever developing interest in whatever tended to the betterment of life, both intellectual and spiritual, and so it was that he brought to the service of this Board not only great business acumen but high ideals and a most generous self-giving.” [1]

Henry Hatch served on the Adelbert College Board of Trustees, 1895-1915, and on the Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, 1897-1915. Above and beyond 20 years of service as a Trustee, Hatch was the donor of the first WRU building constructed as a library.

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Hatch Library, 1895-1898

Hatch Library was constructed in 1895 on the southwest corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue. Until its construction, the Adelbert College library was housed in a single room in Adelbert Hall. A description of the room’s amenities in the 1901 WRU Annual Report made particular mention of the two tables for the use of students, another table to display current periodicals, and a fourth table for the use of the librarian. Clearly, the two-story Hatch Library was an improvement. In 1898, Mr. Hatch donated additional funds to add two one-story wings, further expanding collection and study space. In 1901 the students dedicated the yearbook to Henry Hatch, “a true and tried friend.” By 1901, the collection had reached 43,000 volumes. [2]

In 1943 the collection was integrated with that of the University Library in Thwing Hall. Hatch became the home of the Geology and Astronomy departments and, for several years, the Reserve Tribune, the WRU student newspaper. Hatch Library was razed in 1956 to make room for construction of the Newton D. Baker Memorial Building. The auditorium in Baker and, later, the Special Collections reading room in Kelvin Smith Library were named for Henry Hatch.

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Hatch Library reference room (left) and second floor (right)

Henry Reynolds Hatch was born in 1831 in Grand Isle, Vermont. He came to Cleveland in 1853. He found work at the dry goods firm, E.I. Baldwin & Co., which eventually became H. R. Hatch and Co. Hatch’s other interests included serving as director of Cleveland National Bank and First National Bank. He was a trustee of Lake View Cemetery Association, Elder of the Euclid Avenue Presbyterian Church, and a trustee of the Young Women’s Christian Association.

[1 2KD 1:2 Western Reserve University Trustee minute, 6/13/1916]
[2 1DA 2:2 Western Reserve University. Reports of the President and Faculties, 1900-1901]