Secretary of State

George Glenn Hatcher

Term of OfficeJanuary 1, 1940 - January 1, 1944; January 1, 1948 - January 1, 1952
PartyDemocrat
Significant AccomplishmentsInstituted a "one-day service" policy for Secretary of State's Office. He recommended many revisions & amendments to Kentucky corporation laws. He sponsored voter-signature law to curb illegal voting. He instituted absentee-voting procedures for armed services personnel. Developed the state local records program in 1964. He was one of the first public officials to advocate & sponsor legislation giving 18-year-olds the right to vote.
Governor during his term of OfficeKeen Johnson; S. Willis*; E. Clements; L Wetherby*
EducationFloyd County rural schools; Berea Normal School (Madison County, Kentucky); Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College (Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky)
Spouse(s)Vada Ball; Lorraine Jarrell
ChildrenMary C., Elissa, Elizabeth, & Glenna Jo
ParentsGeorge M. & Mary (Fairchild) Hatcher
ResidenceKentucky (Franklin County)
OccupationTeacher; Career Politician; Sales
Birth Date1/25/1903
Birth PlaceKentucky (Bonanza, Floyd County)
Date of Death12/29/1983
Place of DeathKentucky (Lexington, Fayette County)
Place of BurialKentucky (Frankfort Cemetery, Franklin County)
Other State Offices HeldDeputy Clerk of Ky Court of Appeals
City Offices HeldCity Clerk of Ashland
Historical FirstsThe first in the 20th century to serve two complete terms (non-successive) as Secretary of State.
The first to use modern photo-recording devices & addressograph methods in a state office.
The first to create positive proofreading of original bills enacted by the Kentucky legislature preparatory to the printing of Kentucky Revised Statutes.

George Glenn Hatcher, Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1939-43 and 1947-51, was born at Bonanza, in Floyd County, Kentucky, on January 25, 1903. He was the son of George Marion and Mary Clarinda (Fairchild) Hatcher. He attended rural schools in Floyd County. He later attended Berea Normal School (now Berea College) from 1919 to 1921 and Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. He taught in the Floyd County schools and later was appointed Deputy County Court Clerk of Floyd County.

From 1925 to 1932, Hatcher served in management capacities at the American Rolling Mills Company (ARMCO) in Ashland, Kentucky. He became a Democratic political organizer in Boyd County while working at the steel mills. He was elected city clerk of Ashland and served in this capacity,1932-36. He was appointed to his first state office in 1936 when he became Deputy Clerk of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He served in this position for a four-year term, 1936-39.

Hatcher was elected Secretary of State in 1939 and served during the administration of Governor Keen Johnson. During this term, he initiated many office procedures that helped to expedite services to businesses, county and city governments, and the public. He instituted a “one day service” policy for the conduct of the business of his office. Modernizations to the office during his term included the installation of a photo-recording device and Addressograph methods to ensure accurate record keeping— the first used by a state office. He recommended many revisions and amendments to Kentucky corporation laws. He was one of the first public officials to advocate and sponsor the law giving 18-year-olds the right to vote. He also sponsored a voter-signature law to curb illegal voting. Under federal mandate and with the advice of the state attorney general, he created and instituted absentee-voting procedures for armed services personnel serving away from their Kentucky residence. After his term ended, he entered private business and sales.

In 1947, Hatcher was elected to a then-unprecedented second term as Secretary of State, serving in the administrations of Governor Earle Clements and Governor Lawrence Weatherby, 1947-51. This term proved to be another time of streamlining office procedures and modernizing services to benefit the public and corporate entities that were beginning to do business in the commonwealth following World War II. It was during this term that he created positive proofreading of original bills enacted by the Kentucky legislature in preparation for printing the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

He represented Kentucky on the national scene as a member of the National Secretary of States Association, serving on a four-state National Civil Defense committee during the Korean War. He also served as chairman of the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian Commission. He lost a bid for the office of State Auditor in 1951, a Democratic primary race for Clerk of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1955, and a primary race for U.S. Senator in 1950.

After his term in office, Hatcher again entered the business sector and sold courthouse record supplies throughout the state. He reentered state government in 1962, and served as an assistant to the commissioner of the state Department of Finance. In 1964, he assumed the duty to develop a state local records program. The program he developed preserved many historical Kentucky records and documents that were being destroyed or lost. Throughout the following years, Hatcher worked in several other capacities in state government until his retirement. Later, he accepted a position in the Franklin County Judge Executive’s office until his final retirement in late 1970s.

Much of his retirement was spent doing consultation and historical research. Known for his knowledge of eastern Kentucky and Kentucky history, he often spoke to groups about these topics as well as Kentucky lore and politics.

He was married twice. His first marriage was to Vada Ball of Ashland, Kentucky, on February 27, 1929. They had one daughter, Mary Carolyn, born on April 13, 1934. His second marriage was to Lorraine Jarrell of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, on October 15, 1948. She served as his administrative assistant during his second term as secretary of state. They had three daughters—twins, Elissa and Elizabeth, born July 14, 1953, and Glenna Jo, born February 5, 1968. Hatcher died in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 29, 1983, and is buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.

References:

"Lexington Herald-Leader", December 31, 1983.

Information supplied by the Hatcher family, July 2004.

Social Security Death Index.