For eighteen years this well-known physician and surgeon of Peru has been a resident of LaSalle county, actively identified with western interests. Among his professional brethren he ranks high and his ability has gained him prestige, and his devotion to his profession has given him a leading place in the ranks of the representatives of the medical fraternity. In tracing the genealogy of our subject we find that he is descended from a long line of sturdy, intelligent and honorable ancestors, and that in both the lineal and collateral branches the representatives have been prominent in the history of the nation in connection with civil and military affairs of the country.
The first of the name to seek a home in America was Thomas Hatton, who was born in England in 1600 and died in Maryland in 1655. He was descended from Sir Christopher Hatton, a lord chancellor in Queen Elizabeth's reign. In 1648 he bade adieu to the land of his birth and sailed from London for the colonial possessions of England in America. He was the trusted friend of Lord Baltimore and shortly after his arrival was appointed secretary of the province and privy council. He was closely identified with the interests of Lord Baltimore in Maryland and died in battle during the engagement at the Severn. His descendants are still found in Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and other western states, and have filled many positions of public trust, including a cabinet office and places of high military rank, a representative of the family having been a brigadier general of volunteers.
Forsyth Hatton, the paternal grandfather of the Doctor, was a native of Virginia and by trade was a blacksmith. In 1836 he came to Illinois and forty years later died at his home in Marshall county, at the age of seventysix years. One of his brothers was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was in action at the battle of New Orleans, and another served in the Mexican war, enlisting in 1847. The grandfather of Forsyth Hatton was a captain in the British army and was serving under General Wolfe when he fell at the battle of Quebec. The father of the Doctor was Andrew Hatton, a native of Rockbridge county, Virginia. He married Artemisia Moulton, who was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, and a daughter of Levi Moulton, who was a native of Kentucky and representative pioneer of Tazewell county. Levi Moulton married Mary Burns, a daughter of Garrett Burns, who was born at Rising Sun, Kentucky, in 1801. Her father was born near Edinburg, Scotland, and was an own cousin of Robert Burns, the well-known Scottish bard. In 1786 Garrett Burns came to the United States with his parents, the family locating in eastern Maryland. He, however, started for the western frontier and crossing the Alleghany mountains he cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers in Kentucky, making his home on the Ohio river near Cincinnati. Those were dangerous and troublous times on the frontier and the pioneers were almost constantly warring with the Indians of the territory. During the fall that he arrived on the "dark and bloody ground" Mr. Burns joined the army and through the succeeding seven years was in almost constant service, taking part in many of the hardest-fought engagements with the Indians in the successive campaigns under Generals Harmar, St. Clair and Anthony Wayne. In a hand-to-hand fight with an Indian warrior at the time of St. Clair's defeat, his thumb was cut off by a tomahawk stroke which was aimed at his head, but which he parried with his rifle. Making good his escape he started with two wounded companions through the wild forests for the nearest pioneer settlements. They had no arms except hunting knives, no blankets and no means of making a fire. For three weeks they subsisted on acorns, black cherries and slippery-elm bark and traveled day after day through forests infested by wild animals and still wilder men till they safely arrived at a settlement on the Ohio river. In 1794 Mr. Burns was again under the command of General Wayne in battle near the Maumee river against the Indians under their famous war chief Little Turtle. This ended in the crushing defeat of the red men and delivered the territory from further depredations by the hostile tribes of Indians. Mr. Burns died in Tazewell county, Illinois, in 1859, at the advanced age of ninety years. Levi Moulton, the maternal grandfather of our subject, came to Tazewell county in 1824, at a time when that section of the state was little better than a veritable wilderness, infested by wolves and Indians. He was a farmer and a prominent man in his settlement and for many years served as justice of the peace. He burned the first brick laid at Fort Clark, now Peoria. Illinois. Being an Abolitionist, politically, he was active in the underground-railway scheme and did all in his power to promote anti-slavery principles. He had a personal acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln when he was an embryo attorney and unknown to fame, and with other prominent men of that day, and was himself regarded as one of the leading citizens in his section of the state. He reared a family of nine children and all four of his sons were soldiers in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion.
Andrew Hatton, the father of the Doctor, came to Illinois in 1836 and died here in 1852, when he was but twenty-five years of age, his death being the result of an accident. In 1849 he purchased a farm in Belle Plain township, Marshall county, of a man who had pre-empted the property from the government. Mrs. Hatton survived her husband some twenty-four years, her death occurring in the year 1876, aged forty-six years. They had but one son and one daughter: the latter, Mary Elizabeth, is now the wife of C. A, Reed, of Davenport, Iowa. The parents were consistent members of the Christian church and possessed the love and high regard of all who knew them.
Born on the old farm in Marshall county, June 4, 1851, Albert Henry Hatton was by death bereft of a father's guidance; but his mother did much to direct the footsteps of the boy as he grew up. His youth was spent on the homestead and his time was divided between the farm work and chores and attendance at the country district schools. In the latter he soon developed an aptitude for study and a great fondness for books. Subsequently he was a student in the Shattuck grammar school at Faribault, Minnesota, and later at Eureka College, at Eureka, Illinois. When he was just past seventeen he commenced teaching, and the following five years found him teaching and going to school alternately, at the end of which time he gave up pedagogy and took up medicine as a profession. After attending a course of lectures at the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati he returned to Marshall county and practiced at La Rose for about two years. Then he repaired to St. Louis, Missouri, for a final course of lectures, and on January 27, 1877, was graduated at the American Medical College, as valedictorian of his class. After graduation he resumed practice at La Rose.
A year later he removed to Peru, where he practiced for two years, and then moved to Henry county, this state, where he remained a year. Then he accepted a call to the professorship of anatomy and physiology at his alma mater in St. Louis, and filled the place with credit to himself and satisfaction of the faculty; but at the end of a year he resigned the chair and in August, 1882, returned to Peru and soon had a large business, which he has held to the present time.
After he had been practicing the traditional, empirical method of dealing with disease for about a decade he became convinced that homeopathy wasby far the most reasonable system in the field, and he gradually drifted into the same. In 1893 he was graduated at the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College, and has since engaged in practice as a homeopathist. He is now a member of the Fox River Institute of Homeopathy, the Illinois State Homeopathic Association and of the American Institute of Homeopathy. His accurate knowledge, his comprehensive reading and his close application to his duties have secured him a leading place among his professional brethren and gained him a reputation which is justly enviable.
On the 4th of March, 1874, Mr. Hatton married Miss Jennie Bangs, the youngest daughter of Samuel L. and Margaret (Howard) Bangs. Samuel L. Bangs was born in Massachusetts and is a lineal descendant of the Puritan Pilgrim Edward Bangs, who came to the Plymouth colony on the ship Anne in 1624. His father and his grandfather were soldiers in the war of the Revolution, on the colonial side. His wife Margret, nee Howard, wasborn in England and is of the family of Howards so noted in the history of England. Miss Jennie Bangs was born at Lamoille, Bureau county, Illinois, in July, 1851, and at the time of her marriage was a "school-ma'rm"^ of rare ability and a growing reputation. The Doctor and his wife have four children, named Edward Howard, Fred Hammond, Harry Loomis and Arthur Wilson.
Having taken all the degrees of the York rite, Dr. Hatton has advanced to a high station in Freemasonry. He was made a Mason in Varna Lodge, No. 720, at Varna, Illinois, on February 22, 1878. He is now a past master of St. John's Lodge, No. 13, A. F. & A. M.. at Peru; a past eminent commander of St. John's Commandery, No. 26, K. T., stationed also at Peru; is also a member of Marshall Lodge, No. 63, I. O. O. F., at Henry, this state, and of De Soto Lodge, No. 53, K. of P., at LaSalle.
In his political attitude the Doctor is an uncompromising Republican; and in religion he is a member of the Christian church. However, as there is no organization of this body at Peru he has always attended the Congregational church, of which his wife is a member. Both himself and wife have many friends in the community where they reside. He is a man of high intellectuality, broad human sympathies and tolerance, and imbued with fine sensibilities and clearly defined principles. Honor and integrity are synonymous with his name, and he deserves the respect, confidence and high regard of the community.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 385-389.