Meltiar Hatch, Sr.
Meltiar Hatch was born in Farmerville, New York, July 15, 1825, a son of Ira S. Hatch and Wealtha Bradford. He became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842 and was ordained an Elder by President Brigham Young about 1852. Later he was ordained a High Priest. His baptism took place at Job’s Creek, Hancock, Illinois, where a branch of the Church had been organized. His family had moved to this place in 1842. The following year, 1843, an epidemic of fever broke out. Many saints died: among them was his mother, Wealtha Bradford Hatch. This brought deep grief to the family.
Elder Hatch was intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and heard him deliver his last speech before going to Carthage where his life ended. Brother Hatch carried messages to and from Carthage Jail while the Prophet and his brethren were confined there. During these trying times, Meltiar served as a Lieutenant in the Nauvoo Legion. He attended the funeral of the martyrs and was present at the notable gathering in Nauvoo when Brigham Young was acknowledged to be the right man to stand at the head of the Church.
In January, 1846, he married Permelia Snyder. In the early spring they started for the Rocky Mountains in the company of President Brigham Young. They traveled quite peacefully until they reached Council Bluffs, Iowa. While preparing to continue their journey to the West, Captain J. Allen of the U.S. Army came with orders to recruit 500 young, able-bodied men to form a battalion to cross the continent to California to take part in the war raging between the United States and Mexico. Although the Saints had been cruelly persecuted before leaving for the west and had been refused government aid, President Young told Mr. Allen he should have his men.
Within three days, the army of men was organized. They started on their march on July 20, 1846. Meltiar, belonging to Company C, was one of them. He was advised to take Orrin, his youngest brother, with him. His wife remained at Winter Quarters with her parents.
The winter was one of much sickness. Many of the Saints died. When Meltiar and Orrin were discharged after the long and perilous march to San Diego, California, without engaging in any military encounters, they returned to Winter Quarters. Meltiar found a son had been born to him during his absence.
On July 4, 1849, the company crossed the Missouri River and once again journeyed toward the valley of the mountains. For three months they traveled, meeting with many hardships and trials, yet all remained true and faithful, ever trusting in the goodness and blessings of the Lord. Just before October Conference, 1849, they arrived in Salt Lake Valley.
Meltiar took up a farm in the settlement of Bountiful, Utah, where he made his home for a few years until a call was made for him to go to Carson Valley in 1856. He was then called to Lehi, Utah, at the time of Johnson’s Army. Here he spent the winter with his family. He then moved to Snyderville, the ranch of Grandfather Snyder near Parley’s Park, where he lived a few years. Then came the call in 1862 to go to the Dixie Mission to help settle that country. He moved from place to place there, finally settling in Santa Clara for three years. By this time, he had married his second wife, Mary Ann Ellis, which gave him two families.
The call to go to the Western Valley came at the semi-annual Conference of the Church, Monday, October 7, 1867.
In Western Valley, or Eagle Valley, which was in Nevada, they opened settlements until 1872. They were advised, when released from this mission by President Brigham Young, to move to an area on the Sevier River near the forks of Mammoth and Asay Creeks, as there would be good range for their sheep, cattle, and horses which they had acquired while living in Dixie.
He located his ranch at a site which later became Hatch Town, about one mile south of the present town of Hatch, Garfield, Utah. He also had a home in Panguitch where the first wife, Permelia, lived. However, he spent most of his time at first--and later all of his time--at the ranch where he had comfortable homes for both of his families. He died at his ranch July 8, 1895, following a series of strokes which finally proved fatal.
At the time of his death, he was a member of the High Council of the Panguitch Stake, active in the performance of his every duty, faithful always in teaching the gospel to his family. Having had two wives, he left a large posterity: nineteen children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As promised in his Patriarchal Blessing, all are inclined to believe in the principles of the gospel.
The following inscriptions are found on the stones marking the graves of this noble pioneer and his two noble wives:
Meltiar Hatch.............Permelia Hatch...............Mary Ann Hatch
Born July 15, 1825.......Born Oct. 7, 1827...........Born Dec. 30, 1840
Died July 8, 1895.......Died Sept. 21, 1917.........Died Aug. 26, 1914
They are laid to rest in the little cemetery that bears his name. It is south and west of the town of Hatch, Garfield, Utah. ©© 2001 Vickie L Nielsen and family