Rodolph Hatfield, who stands among the leaders of the bar of Alameda county, has lived a long and useful life,
during which he has been active and prominent in public affairs, and his abilities and high attainments have won
for him a well merited distinction among his fellowmen. He was born in London, Madison county, Ohio, on the 6th
of October, 1854, and is a son of Rensselaer and Eliza Ann (Coultas) Hatfield, the former of whom was a native
of Indiana and the latter of Ohio, where their marriage occurred. The family moved from Ohio to Logan county, Illinois,
where the father bought a tract of land and was there engaged in farming until the spring of 1878, when he moved
to Sedgwick county, Kansas. There he continued to follow agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred
in April, 1904, when he was seventy one years of age. He was survived a number of years by his widow, who passed
away in December, 1913, at the age of eighty one years. Mr. Hatfield was an active supporter of the republican
party, and served as a township supervisor in Illinois and Kansas.
Rodolph Hatfield spent his boyhood in Illinois, where he attended the public schools and then entered Lincoln University,
from which he was graduated in June, 1876. He took up the study of law and, after attending law school at Bloomington,
was admitted to the bar of Illinois in June, 1878. In that year he moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where he was engaged
in the practice of his profession for one and a half years, after which he located in Wichita, Kansas, where he
practiced from 1880 until 1914, building up a large practice and taking rank among the able and successful attorneys
of Kansas. His ability and public spirit gained for him distinctive public recognition and he was elected three
times to the state legislature and became one of the regents of the Kansas State Normal School, serving four years
as chairman of the board. He served from 1898 to 1908 as president of the Wichita board of education. He became
prominent in the political affairs of that state and in 1904 lacked but two votes of being elected United States
senator from Kansas.
In February, 1914, Mr. Hatfield moved to Sacramento, California, remaining there until May 1st of that year, when
he came to Oakland and in October opened an office in the Bacon building, which is now the Federal Telegraph building.
He has built up a large and remunerative clientele and has been connected as counsel with many important cases
in the courts of Alameda and adjacent counties, where he has shown himself a skillful, determined and successful
Mr. Hatfield has been married twice: first, in 1878, to Miss Hattie E. Harts, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter
of John and Rachel (Minsker) Harts, and to this union were born six children, five sons and one daughter: Rodolph
H., Merle E., Herbert H., Paul C., Rachel N. and Kenneth E., all of whom are living with exception of Paul C. The
mother of these children died in Wichita, Kansas, in January, 1906, at the age of fifty one years, and in 1910
Mr. Hatfield was married to Mrs. Allie M. Morehead, of Wichita, who had served several years as a principal in
the public schools of that city prior to her marriage.
Mr. Hatfield has always been affiliated with the republican party; has for over thirty years been a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a member of the Presbyterian church since twenty years of age. He has been
loyal to the highest demands of citizenship, has been true to the noblest ethics of his profession and has a host
of warm friends among those who have learned his worth and sterling qualities of character.
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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