About Thomas A. Hatcher
Capt. Thomas A. Hatcher, CSA (1834-1891)"Arkansas and Its People: A History" complied and published 1930. Still available in print. Pages 350-351:
Shortly after the close of the Civil War, in which he served with distinction, there came to Forrest City from Virginia young Captain Thomas Hatcher. Scion of an aristocratic race of pioneers of the Old Dominion, men and women who were representatives of that progressive and industrious element that laid the foundations upon which has been erected the commercial structure of today, he inherited their ambition, their industry, their intellectual qualities and their devotion to God and country. He was a worthy successor of those ancestors and upheld in every way the traditions that had been handed down to him. His abilities were utilized in mercantile industries and in realty development and he became one of the leaders in those occupations in this State, recognized here as such and holding the respect and esteem of the entire community. Operating upon the principles of the Golden Rule, he made a host of friends, accumulated a large property and did a vast amount of valuable work in promoting popular civic enterprises that advanced the happiness of the people. For approximately a quarter of a century he lived and worked among the people of Forrest City and its surrounding district and his death came as a severe blow to an army of devoted friends and a great loss to the community. Captain Hatcher had a stainless record of business and public activities which will remain permanently as a tribute to the man and his work for the people.
Born in 1837 in Virginia, he was a son of David and Mary Hatcher and received his education in private institutions which the sons of prosperous planters of the day attended. He also was a student at the historic Virginia Military Academy. David Hatcher was one of the most prominent men of his day in Virginia, was a large landowner and at the time of his death bequeathed much property to his heirs.
It was not until he was thirty years of age that his son Thomas removed from his native State and came to Arkansas. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Confederate Army in Virginia and was soon commissioned a captain in the forces operating directly under General Robert E Lee. During an action he was taken prisoner and was held by the Federal Government for several months, being exchanged shortly before the battle of Gettysburg, in which sanguinary engagement he took an active part. At the conclusion of hostilities he returned to his home and engaged in agricultural pursuits for two years, then coming to Arkansas, he located in Forrest City, where he established a general mercantile business. He was very successful in the conduct of this enterprise, as he was in his investments in urban and suburban real estate, eventually becoming the owner of very much valuable property throughout the district. He was a Democrat in politics but did not indulge in office seeking, caring only for such activities as might assist in promoting worthy civic causes, for he was a loyal friend of the people and was ready at all times to devote himself to their welfare. He attended the Protestant Episcopal church. Captain Hatcher died in Forrest City, Arkansas, December 21, 1891.
Thomas Hatcher married in Forrest City, April 23, 1886, Margaret E (Gorman) Barrow, daughter of Paris and Eliza (Malary) Gorman, and widow of William H Barrow (q. v.)
Summarizing the qualities that made Captain Hatcher a valuable unit of the industrial and commercial machinery of Arkansas, it is found that he added greatly to the general prosperity through his unceasing activities and by the honorable methods he used in his business operations. Underhanded thoughts were impossible to a nature such as his, and no man ever asked his bond when he had given his word. He had a nobility that was ingrained and from the tenets of which he could not depart, for he was, first of all, a man and a gentleman of the old school, to whom honor was the uppermost consideration. Such citizens are a priceless heritage to a people, and Captain Hatcher held a high place in the regard of all who knew him.