Bert Hatten

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Walter Bertram "Bert" Hatten
Mayor of West Monroe, Louisiana, USA
In office
July 1, 1966 – June 30, 1978
Preceded byJ. Allen Norris (not related to Dave Norris)
Succeeded byDave Norris
Personal details
Born (1927-03-09) March 9, 1927 (age 95)
Sikes, Winn Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocrat-turned-Independent
Spouse(s)Mary Ann Henderson Hatten (born 1933)
ChildrenBeth Hatten Hinton

Catherine Olivia Hatten

Sarah Jill Hatten Maxwell
ParentsWilliam Earl and Pina Head Hatten
ResidenceWest Monroe, Louisiana
Alma materOuachita Parish High School
University of Louisiana at Monroe
OccupationRetired newspaperman

Walter Bertram Hatten, known as Bert Hatten (born March 9, 1927 - d. 1 February 2005),[1][2] is a former newspaperman who served for three terms as the mayor of West Monroe in Ouachita Parish in North Louisiana, a position which he filled as a Democrat from 1966 to 1978. He is perhaps best known for his editorial column, "Inside Straight", in The Ouachita Citizen, a weekly in West Monroe.


Hatten was born in Sikes in Winn Parish, Louisiana, to William Earl Hatten and the former Pina Head. The Hattens moved to West Monroe in 1940, where he lived for the rest of his life with the exception of his hears in the military. At the age of seventeen, Hatten entered the United States Merchant Marine during World War II; he served for three years. When the war ended, he was aboard the USS Grove City Victory, which was anchored in Tokyo Bay when General Douglas MacArthur accepted the formal surrender of Japanese authorities. Upon his return from the war, Hatten continued his education at Northeast Junior College, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe.[3]

Journalism career[edit]

Hatten's career as a journalist began in 1948, when he was attending college. He joined the reporting staff at the former Monroe Morning World. He remained at the News-Star World for fifteen years. By the middle 1950s, before he was thirty, Hatten was the managing editor at the Morning World, since merged into the Monroe News-Star. In 1956, he hired Sam A. Hanna, Sr., subsequently an award-winning journalist and newspaper entrepreneur in his own right, as an outdoor writer for The Morning World. [3]

On January 1, 1965, Hatten purchased The Ouachita Citizen from the families of Lee Hawkins, Amos Hood, and Dewitt Henry.[3] He penned "Inside Straight", an editorial column focused on the people, places and events in Ouachita Parish. The Ouachita Citizen, a weekly newspaper, began in 1924 as the West Monroe Churchman. He published The Citizen for twenty-one years. Hatten's daughter Beth handled the operations of the business. In 1986, Hatten sold The Ouachita Citizen to Bob Barton, an employee of the Ruston Daily Leader in Ruston in Lincoln Parish. After a time in West Monroe, Barton later bought the Bossier Press-Tribune in Bossier City. In 1995, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana and served one term in the chamber.[4][3]

In 1996, Hatten resumed ownership of The Ouachita Citizen but quickly sold it to Sam Hanna, Sr., and Hanna's son, Sam Hanna, Jr. (born 1969) of Monroe, the current publisher of the newspaper.[5][6]

Political life[edit]

In 1963, Hatten was heavily involved in the campaign to return former Governor Robert F. Kennon to the state's highest office.[3]

On June 14, 1966, Hatten was handily elected mayor of West Monroe. He succeeded fellow Democrat J. Allen Norris, who served from 1952 to 1966. He defeated the Republican nominee, William Green "Billy" Haynes, Jr. (1912-1984),[7] also a West Monroe insurance agent, 2,490 votes (68 percent) to 1,171 (32 percent).[8] Five Democrats were elected with Hatten to serve on the city council. One of those aldermen, Charles Anding, a trade union official, was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1987 from District 15, which encompasses West Monroe. Another alderman, Truett Thorn,[9] was a coach at West Monroe High School[10] and the older brother of the Louisiana journalist Dale Thorn, another alumnus of the Monroe newspapers.[11] Altogether, Hatten served with twelve city council members, all men.[12]

Hatten often joked that his only experience in municipal government prior to his election as mayor had been in covering city council meetings for the Monroe newspapers. He hence relied on advice from seasoned mayors, W. L. "Jack" Howard of his sister city of Monroe and Clyde Fant of Shreveport, and other mayors from such smaller communities as Bastrop and Columbia. Hatten noted that Monroe and West Monroe, separated by the Ouachita River, never developed the animosity sometimes associated with other twin cities but instead took pride in the strength of each other.[12]

During his tenure as mayor, Hatten oversaw the rebuilding of every street in West Monroe and the upgrading of the water and sewer systems, including the installation of the first sewage treatment plant. He also worked to upgrade the West Monroe Fire and Police departments and to construct Downing Pines Industrial Park, He supported the establishment of the West Ouachita Industrial Park. Under his administration a modern City Hall, Corrections Center and Convention Center were built on the former site of the Ouachita Valley Fair Grounds located on North Seventh Street. The new city complex was completed during the last days of the Hatten administration. He never occupied the new facility, at which his successor, Dave Norris, was sworn in and began his ten terms as mayor.

In 1971, West Monroe streamlined its municipal charter and expanded the powers of the mayor. Under Hatten's tutelage, the city constructed a new City Hall, police department, jail, and convention center on the former Ouachita Valley Fairgrounds.[13]The West Monroe justice complex is modeled after a plan developed for the needs of smaller cities by the University of Illinois. West Monroe was the first municipality to follow this particular model.[12]

In 1998, in a series of articles written for The Ouachita Citizen, which reflect on his time as mayor, Hatten said that he had received invaluable support from the general public as well as volunteers who helped to make city programs succeed. Hatten said that he has often received credit that should have been shared with others.[12]In 1978, Hatten did not seek a fourth term as mayor and was succeeded by Dave Norris, a fellow Democrat and then a professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, who remains mayor and was unopposed in 2014 for a tenth four-year term.[14]

Memberships and awards[edit]

Hatten served as president of the West Monroe Chamber of Commerce and was the recipient in 1962 of the Jaycees "Young Man of the Year Award". In 1988, he received the A. O. Evans Award. He is a member of the West Monroe Masonic Lodge No. 419, 32nd degree Scottish Rite and York Rite Bodies and Barak Shrine Temple.

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Louisiana : Jim Mitchell (Louisiana judge), Howard Battle Gist Jr., Angelo Roppolo, Monty M. Wyche, Connell Fort, Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr., Eugene P. Campbell

Others articles of the Topics Louisiana AND Politics : Angelo Roppolo, Frederick Tidwell Preaus, Pete Heine, W. Matt Lowe, Thomas Hickman (Louisiana politician), Bill Robertson (Louisiana politician), John M. Robinson (Louisiana judge)

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Politics : Angelo Roppolo, Charles Fuselier, William Green Stewart,, Tuhin Sinha, [[:Bob Reese|Bobby Lynn "Bob" Reese]], Elton C. Pody, Monica Garcia

Others articles of the Topic Biography : Shahriza Hussein, Kseniya Shoygu, Pat M. Baskin, Floyd B. Parks, Hernando Williams, Ibrahim Adetola-Kazeem, Nicki Minaj

Others articles of the Topic Louisiana : Pattie Warren Van Hook, M.D., Captan Jack Wyly, Sr., Edwin G. Preis, Larry Clinton Brewer, Kent Harbison Courtney, April Nelson, Burgess McCranie

Others articles of the Topic Politics : Croatia–Philippines relations, Force theory, Burundi–Spain relations, Russo-Ukrainian War, Leon Gary, Spain–Tajikistan relations, 2018–2021 Arab protests


  1. Colvin, John (2 February 2005). "Former newspaperman Hatten dies". News-Star. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  2. "Click Walter Hatten, March 1927". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved May 22, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Cannon, Chuck (28 March 2004). "A newspaper man with natural instincts (profile article)". The News-Star. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  4. "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  5. "About the Ouachita Citizen". Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  6. The Hanna family also owns and operates the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday/Vidalia and the Franklin Sun in Winnsboro, Louisiana, the birthplace of Sam Hanna, Sr.
  7. "William Green Haynes, Jr". Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  8. On February 1, 1972, W. G. "Billy" Haynes, Jr., a pioneer of the Louisiana Republican Party, ran as the Republican nominee for Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance. He was handily defeated by the Democrat Sherman A. Bernard of Jefferson Parish.
  9. Lake Charles American Press, June 15, 1966, p. 10
  10. "West Monroe High School (Class of 1983)". Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  11. "Jesse Dale Thorn". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Bert Hatten: Neighborly relations remembered, 1998". The Ouachita Citizen. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  13. Gordon E. Harvey, Historic Ouachita Parish: An Illustrated History. HPN Books, 2007, p. 44. Retrieved October 29, 2013. Search this book on Logo.png
  14. "West Monroe Mayor Norris to deliver commencement at ULM, April 25, 2014". Monroe News-Star. Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
Preceded by
J. Allen Norris (not related to Dave Norris)
Mayor of West Monroe, Louisiana

Walter Bertram "Bert" Hatten

Succeeded by
Dave Norris

This article "Bert Hatten" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Bert Hatten. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.