Ancil F. Hatten

ANCIL F. HATTEN has been continuously editor and owner of the Westphalia Times at Westphalia since 1889. This is the only newspaper of Westphalia, and is one of the oldest journals of opinion in Anderson County. It was founded in 1885 by A. D. Reed, and four years later Mr. Hatten took charge and has been responsible for the large circulation and influence the Times has enjoyed throughout the past thirty years.

Mr. Hatten is a former postmaster of Westphalia and has long been an influential figure in democratic politics in that section of the state. He came to Kansas when a boy, having been born in Iowa City, Iowa, January 11, 1869. His parents were Jacob and Frances (Payer) Hatten. His father was born at Springfield, Ohio, March 14, 1840, son of David Hatten, also a native of Ohio. Jacob Hatten in early life became a miller and millwright and moved out to Iowa. Soon after reaching his majority he enlisted as a private in Company K of the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry and saw three years active service in the Union Army. He was wounded both at Shiloh and at Vicksburg. When the war was over he located at Washington, Iowa, as a miller, and in 1879 brought his familiy[sic] to Kansas, continuing the business of miller at Burlington. In 1884 he removed to Westphalia and is still living in that city, retired. On December 27, 1865, soon after his return from the army, he married Miss Frances Payer. She was born in France September 12, 1846, and was four years of age when brought to America in 1850 by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Payer. Jacob Hatten and wife had five children: Ancil F., Loren T., born March 17, 1871, now a baker at Westphalia; Ida L., born May 20, 1873, wife of James M. Clark, of Burlington, Kansas; Walter H., born May 20, 1875, a merchant at Baldwin, Kansas; and Carey H., born November 20, 1889, now a druggist at Osawatomie, Kansas.

Ancil F. Hatten was educated in the local schools and finished in the Kansas State Normal at Emporia. He was only twenty years of age when, in 1889, he bought the Times at Westphalia and has given the best years of his life to its management and publication. Mr. Hatten's service as postmaster of Westphalia was during President Cleveland's second administration, from 1893 to 1897. From 1913 to 1915 he was commandant of the Kansas State Soldiers Home at Fort Dodge. The efficiency of his administration received a significant testimony as he retired from office, when the inmates of the home presented him with a solid gold watch of the famous Hamilton make. And this was only a token of the thorough appreciation in which the old soldiers held the commandant. In 1898 Mr. Hatten was appointed a member of the Board of Regents of the State Normal School at Emporia but declined to qualify for that office. As a leading democrat he has been chairman of both county and congressional committees and has attended as a delegate numerous state conventions. Mr. Hatten is a communicant of the Catholic Church and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

June 30, 1897, at Westphalia, he married Miss Mamie Agnew. Mrs. Hatten was born at Westphalia May 3, 1873, daughter of Matthew and Bridget (McManus) Agnew. Her parents were both born in Ireland. Mrs. Hatten is a graduate of the Garnett High School and for five years prior to her marriage was a successful teacher. They have two children. Ruth Frances, born June 5, 1898, is a graduate with the class of 1917 from St. Mary's of the Plains of Dodge City and is now employed as a teacher. William Jacob was born June 21, 1900, and is still continuing his education.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Erica Murphy, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March 13, 2000.

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