The Hatch Family has an extensive and intriguing South Texas history that goes back to the days of the Texas Revolution. There are many colorful stories and articles that have been published in the local paper throughout the generations as well as a resourceful immigrant memoir by Rosalie B. Hart Priour and a published book, “A Man from Corpus Christi” by Dr. A. C. Peirce, which is about Rosalie’s son John M. Priour.
But the story of the Hatch family property and business begins in 1871 when James C. Hatch and Frances Priour Hatch purchased 100 acres of land from E. H. Wheeler located west of the Holy Cross and Rose Hill Cemeteries at 3101 Shell Road, now called Up River Road. Frances Priour Hatch is the daughter of Rosalie Hart Prior and sister to John M. Priour. Her husband, James C. Hatch was the son of George Clifton Hatch, who came from Tennessee to fight in the Texas Revolution and became the first settler of Ingleside, Texas. George Hatch fought at the battle of San Jacinto and had a nephew, James Bowie, who was killed at the Alamo.
•KEITH GUTHRIE, “HATCH, GEORGE CLIFTON,” HANDBOOK OF TEXAS ONLINE
James and Frances Hatch raised twelve children and farmed the 100 acres to supply fresh vegetables for the Corpus Christi Trading Post. In 1902, their daughter-in-law, who was married to their son James Marion Hatch, was found murdered with a hatchet. John M. Priour, found her body in her home on the property with her infant daughter, Myrtle, still crying in her crib. A farm hand from a nearby farm was found guilty of the crime and sentenced by a jury to be hung, which became the last official hanging in Nueces County. The tragedy was headline news in the local newspaper and the talk of the town for many years.
The town of Corpus Christi was quickly transitioning into a modern City by 1926. Sometime during the first few decades of the twentieth century, Frances Hatch sold off over half of her 100 acre farm to various prospects and developers. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, part of the Saxet (Texas spelt backwards) neighborhood and country club were built on the property that was part of the Frances Hatch 100 acre homestead tract. Five large homes were built along Up River Road and set back on their properties about 200 feet. Frances Hatch’s remaining acres were divided up among her twelve children.
In 1933, Frances Hatch’s daughter, Rhoda Hatch, began the trailer park business on her portion of the property. Rhoda’s twin brother, Raymond Reginald Hatch and his son, Joseph Reginald (aka Reg) Hatch, began to buy out several of their siblings and relatives. Raymond turned over his properties to his son, Reg, who then simultaneously ran a second trailer park right alongside his Aunt Rhoda’s. Rhoda was responsible for having an old farmhouse torn down and built the Duplex in its place. When Rhoda passed away, Reg acquired her portion of the property and ran the trailer park business for 41 years. Reg lived in the trailer park with his wife, Nora May Foster Hatch where they began to raise their four children. Eventually Reg bought and lived in the old English Tutor Revival style farmhouse, one of the five houses and the oldest one, at 3209 Up River Road. Reg’s cousin, Myrtle Hatch Lynch, the baby who survived her mother’s hatchet murder, lived in another duplex on the property along with her Aunt Margie Hatch. This duplex building eventually became the current park office.
Reg’s eldest daughter, Bettye Hatch McLaughlin along with her husband John Allen McLaughlin, Jr. (alias Cactus Mac) bought the park from her parents in 1974. The trailer park was eventually converted from a mobile home park into an upgraded and modernized RV park. Mac and Bettye became very involved with TACO, Texas Association of Campground Owners, where they actively served in various executive positions including Mac holding the office of president for the state association. In 1982, Mac and Bettye bought another one of those five houses on Up River Road, located between the park and Bettye’s parents’ old farmhouse, where they raised their four children.
Today, Hatch RV Park continues to succeed in the RV park industry and maintain their status as a premium RV park in the Corpus Christi area and the Coastal Bend. With 127 lots and a duplex, the park sits on 9 ½ acres of the original 100 acre of the Frances Hatch homestead tract. Since their retirement, Mac and Bettye’s daughter, Cheryl McLaughlin, has taken over running and managing the business since 2011 and bought the park from her parents in 2014. She is the fourth generation to be running the park and the fifth generation to own the Frances Hatch property.
MORE MURPHY GIVENS ARTICLES ASSOCIATED WITH THE HATCH FAMILY