Biography of George J. Hatfield
San Francisco, CA Biographies





GEORGE JUAN HATFIELD
Diversified and important are the interests which claim the attention of George Juan Hatfield, who is United States attorney for the northern district of California, with office in the post office building at San Francisco, an executive of two large corporations, a power in the state councils of the republican party and a leading spirit in many of the organizations to which he belongs. A native of Canada, he was born at Waterloo, in the province of Ontario, October 29, 1887, and is a son of William Melancthon and Harriet Juanita (Bingham) Hatfield. The Hatfields lived originally in England and later generations during the Revolutionary war were United Empire loyalists. Thomas Hatfield, the American progenitor of the family, was a Puritan and one of the English colonists who emigrated from Holland in the Mayflower in 1620, settling in Mamaroneck, New York. David Hatfield, the great grandfather of George J. Hatfield, left New York after the Revolutionary war and, together with his three brothers, was among the founders of St. John, New Brunswick. William Melancthon Hatfield, the father of G. J. Hatfield, was born in New York city, August 28, 1853. Early in the decade of the '60s he came to California with his mother, Katherine Mellick (Perrine) Hatfield, a member of an old Huguenot family that was founded in New York in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The first husband of Katherine M. (Perrine) Hatfield died in the Empire state and subsequently she was married to Captain George M. Staples, a seafaring man. They had a daughter, Georgia, who became the wife of George Sperry, of the Sperry Flour Company. W. M. Hatfield remained in California until his death on April 27, 1921, spending considerable time in San Francisco, and also lived in San Mateo and Alameda counties. He operated the first flax mill in California at Portola and was also the owner of a large ranch in San Mateo county. He was long engaged in the real estate business and prospered in all of his undertakings by reason of his enterprise and sagacity. He was chief clerk of George W. Gibbs & Sons, a pioneer hardware firm in San Francisco, and was manager of the properties of Captain Robert Johnson. Mr. Hatfield's widow, who still resides in San Francisco, was born in Ontario, Canada, a daughter of Dr. George W. Bingham, a prominent physician of Waterloo, Canada. He was of English lineage and his wife, Mary (Ward) Bingham, was of Irish descent.

George J. Hatfield was reared and educated in the Golden state, attending the Valley View school in Placer county; the Lafayette primary school and the Lincoln grammar school, both in Oakland; the Nevada City grammar school in 1901 and 1902; the Nevada City high school during 1902 and 1903; and the Oakland high school from 1903 until his graduation in December, 1906. From 1907 until 1913 inclusive he was a student at Stanford University, which awarded him the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1911, the degree of Master of Arts in Political Science in 1912, and that of Juris Doctor in 1913. His scholastic record won for him admission to the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity in 1911 and membership in the Order of the Coif at Stanford University in 1913. Before the completion of his course Mr. Hatfield had become a member of the faculty of that institution, acting as an assistant in the department of political economy during 1910 and 1911 and as an assistant in the Stanford Law School in 1912 and 1913. At that time he joined the staff of instructors of Golden Gate College (the Y. M. C. A. Law School in San Francisco), and was there engaged in educational work for a period of four years.

Admitted to the California bar in July, 1912, Mr. Hatfield began his career as an attorney in Palo Alto, where he practiced until May 15, 1913, when he located in San Francisco. Here he was associated with the law firm of Morrison, Dunne & Broebeck for four years and during 1917 and 1918 practiced alone, having an office in the Hobart building. From 1918 until 1921 he was a member of the law firm of McWilliams & Hatfield, afterward following his profession independently until 1923, when he became a member of the firm of Sapiro, Levy, Hatfield & Hayes. From 1924 to 1927 Mr. Hatfield was again alone, maintaining an office in the Chancery building in San Francisco, and has since been the senior member of the firm of Hatfield, Wood & Kilkenny, who enjoy a large and remunerative clientele. Mr. Hatfield's appointment by President Coolidge as United States attorney for the northern district of California was ratified by the senate October 1, 1925, and for six years he has capably discharged the duties of that important office, establishing a record which has won for him additional prestige in his profession. An untiring student of the law, he has constantly added to his store of legal learning and is the author of a "Comparative Study of Code Pleadings in California and England," issued by the Recorder Publishing Company. In the field of business he has also registered achievement and since 1918 has been president and manager of the East Side Canal & Irrigation Company and also general manager and a director of James J. Stevinson, prosperous corporations, which have benefited by his sagacity and keen powers of discernment.

In San Francisco, on the 12th of December, 1917, Mr. Hatfield was married to Miss Judith Barlow Hogan, who was born in San Leandro, California, July 22, 1888, a daughter of Howard Henry and Fannie Belle (Stevinson) Hogan, members of pioneer families that were established in California in 1849. Mrs. Hatfield's maternal grandfather, Colonel James J. Stevinson, fought in the Mexican war and was numbered among the early settlers of Merced county, in which he was widely known. His widow, one of California's honored women, has attained the venerable age of ninety two years. Mr. and Mrs. Hatfield have three children: Janine, Mary Elizabeth and Georgette Judith, who reside at 2701 Broderick street, San Francisco, California. All are unmarried.

In religious belief Mr. Hatfield is an Episcopalian, and in politics he has ever been a stalwart republican, unfaltering in his allegiance to the party. He has been very active in its behalf, serving on the state central committee from 1922 until 1931, or for five terms of two years each, and on the republican San Francisco county central committee for two terms, beginning in 1924 and ending in 1928.

In 1918 Mr. Hatfield enlisted for service in the World war, becoming a private in the Field Artillery Replacement Troops, and since 1929 has held the rank of lieutenant commander in the United States Naval Reserve. He has been very active in the affairs of the American Legion, serving on the national executive committee from 1924 to 1926; on the board of directors of the American Legion Publishing Company from 1924 to 1927; on the France convention committee from 1924 to 1928; the national distinguished guests' committee in 1926 and 1927; and as chairman of the state legislative committee of the Legion in 1921 and 1927. In 1921, while acting in the last named capacity, he was the author of practically all of the beneficial legislation adopted by the state of California for the benefit of its ex service men, especially the veterans' educational act, under which fifteen hundred veterans were given the opportunity to complete war interrupted education, and the veterans' farm and home purchase act, under which fifty million dollars' worth of bonds were voted by the people of the state to purchase homes for veterans. In 1923 he was appointed a member of the California veterans welfare board, with which he was connected until 1927. Mr. Hatfield belongs to Stevinson Post, No. 91, of the American Legion; San Francisco Voiture, No. 27, La Societe de 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux; the Reserve Officers Association of the United States; the Republic War Veterans, Inc., of which he is secretary general; and is chairman of the executive committee of the Associated War Veterans. He is a member of the California joint immigration committee; the Stevinson Farm Center at Merced, California; the Western Athenaeum; the California Academy of Science, in which he has a life membership; the Sons of the American Revolution; the San Francisco County and California State Bar Associations. He occupies the presidency of the Central Business District Association of Oakland; is serving on the advisory board of the Girls' Recreation Club of San Francisco; and his name appears on the membership rolls of the Athens Athletic Club of Oakland, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, the Bohemian Club and the Olympic Club.

Mr. Hatfield is one of the most prominent Masons in California and an exemplary representative of the craft. He belongs to Argonne Lodge, No. 514, F. & A. M.; Mission Chapter, No. 79, R. A. M.; California Council, No. 2, R. & S. M.; San Francisco Commandery, No 41, K. T.; San Francisco Consistory, No. 1, A. A. S. R., southern jurisdiction; Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of which he is assistant rabban; San Francisco Court, No. 4, Royal Order of Jesters; and San Francisco Pyramid, No. 1, Egyptian Order of Sciots. He is chairman of the advisory committee of Islam Temple Chapter of the Order of DeMolay; past dictator of San Francisco Lodge, No. 26, of the Loyal Order of Moose; and is likewise affiliated with San Francisco Lodge, No. 23, of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and San Francisco Aerie, No. 5, Fraternal Order of Eagles. Those knowing of Mr. Hatfield's labors in a particular field and the results obtained might well feel that his efforts were directed along only one line, but those who know aught of his career realize how much he has accomplished in many fields. He is a man of wide outlook and substantial worth, honor and integrity being the keynote of his character.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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