Old City Cemetery Committee, Inc. - City Cemetery History

Frederick Winslow Hatch, MD
By Irma West, MD and the Sacramento-El Dorado Medical Society Historical Committee

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s farm at Charlottesville, Virginia, was two miles down the road from Dr. Hatch's home. As a small child, he could wave to General Lafayette, James Madison and other revolutionary figures on their way to see the former President. Dr. Hatch's father was an Episcopalian minister and served as Chaplain for the US Senate for twelve years. Dr. Hatch was an outstanding scholar. At 19 years, he received a Masters degree in Classic Studies from Union College, at Schenectady, New York, and in 1844, at 23 years, an MD from New York University. He practiced medicine in Beloit, Wisconsin, but hoping to improve his tuberculosis, he moved with his family in 1853 to Sacramento. On the way, they were shipwrecked and rescued near Bolinas Bay, losing all their possessions. Undaunted, Dr. Hatch established his medical practice at 56 K Street.

Few Sacramento pioneers gave more time to public service than Dr. Hatch. He was elected Superintendent of Public Schools for the City and County of Sacramento and was a member of the Board of Education, serving from 1855 to well after 1860. He was the first President of the City Board of Health and served for 22 years. He was appointed by the Governor to the State Board of Health in 1876 and served as its Secretary until his death. Dr. Hatch was a founding member and the first President of the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement and served six terms. Three times since 1850 Sacramento physicians started local medical organizations only to have them fall by the wayside. This time, with Dr. Hatch at the helm, this Society survived and is today the oldest continuously operating local medical society in California. He was also a Professor at the Medical Department of the University of California at San Francisco from 1880 to 1884. He maintained a practice as long as his health permitted.

Dr. Hatch was active in the Episcopalian Church. He died of tuberculosis and is buried in Sacramento's Old City Cemetery. He left a wife and five children. Two of his sons became physicians.


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