Ohio Biographies

Owen Hatfield

Owen Hatfield, deceased, son of Thomas and Sarah (Allen) Hatfield, was born in Washington Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, September 12, 1807; received a liberal education; was a farmer by occupation; married July 31, 1834 to Miss Phebe Stephens (daughter of Richard and Betsey Stephens). From this union were five sons and five daughters. Two sons and one daughter are deceased. Mr. Hatfield joined the New-School Baptist Church in Centerville, May 7, 1848, and died a member of the same January 4, 1881. He was buried in the old cemetery, one-half mile north of Centerville; funeral sermon was preached by Elder Joseph H. Wilson. His every-day life was in accord with his religious profession, in which, as in his political views, he was very candid. In his death his family lost a worthy counselor, the church a valued member, and the community at large an estimable citizen. His father was a native of Delaware and his mother Virginia. Both in early life moved to Kentucky, where they were married and emigrated to this township in 1802. Mrs. Hatfield's parents were natives of Redstone, Penn.; were married in Kentucky, and emigrated to what is now Washington Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, about the year 1800. Mrs. Hatfield and husband were members of the same church. Among the living ones she has the oldest membership to-day. This sketch was contributed by his son, Richard Hatfield.

The following is the funeral sermon of Owen hatfield, by his pastor, J.H. Wilson, from the test-John, vi, 34 and 35, "The Bread of Life:"

The discourses from our Savior were always plain and practical. He often selected some of the most common things of every-day life with which to illistrate and enforce the most sublime truths. He came to this earth as the Savior of lost, perishing souls. He delighted to save sinners. To illistrate His mission and work on earth He compares himself in one place to a hen gathering her brood under her wings. In another place to a road leading to heaven-"I am the way." In another to a door-"I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." Again to a shepherd-"I am the good shepherd; the good shephered giveth his life for his sheep." In our text he compares us to bread-"I am the bread of life." This is peculiarly fitting and forcible of its universal use; Bread is the staff of life. It is used everywhere and by all classes. Hence whenever a family sit down to their daily meal, whether in mansion or cottoge there is before them this emblem of the Savior of the world. We have first in our text a confession on man's part of the soul's deep hunger, "Lord, evermore five us this bread." Some one has said, "This world of ours is a rude picture of heaven." Whether that be true or not, these bodies of ours in which our spirits dwell, are coarse copies of the mind. To almost every experience of the body there is a corresponding experience of the soul. As there is bodily weariness, so there is soul Weariness. As there is bodily hunger, so there is soul hunger. One does not need to live in this world long to learn the meaning of soul hunger. Every true heart yearns for human love and sympathy.  You may be surrounded with a multitude of strangers, and yet have a feeling of loneliness, a longing for some intimate friend with whom to converse and share your love and sympathy. Could the heart experiences of the human race be written before us, there would be revealed the fact that this unsatisfied hunger of the heart for human love and sympathy has fallen like a withering blight upon many a life, and has buried many a lovely flower in an early tomb. With growing intelligence and virtue there is a growing hunger of the soul. In civilized lands there is more real soul-suffering than in uncivilized lands. Ruth leaves the hills of Moab and follows Naomi to Judea. The little child finds a companion in almost every one; but as he grows in years the number whith whomhe associates freely grow gradually less. When we reach a Moses, an Isaiah or an Elijah, they are almost alone. They can find but few who can sympathize with them deeply. When we reach the perfect man Christ Jesus, He stands alone. He finds companionship only with God. There is a hunger of the soul for something higher than human love and sympathy. You may be surrounded with all that companionship can give you, and yet your soul remains unsatisfied. Human love, however, pure and ardent, fails to meet the deep longings of the soul This will sometimes be the means of awakening a deeper desire for something higher and nobler and even divine. Could human love satisfy us the object of that love may soon fallpale and pulseless into the tomb. We have second in our text the fact that an abundance of soul food has been provided and that food is Jesus Christ. "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst." Just as Jesus fed the five thousand in the desert place, with five barley loaves and two fishes, and had twelve baskets of fragments remaining, so now He comes to every hungry car-worn soul saying, "I am the bread of life." Men have died of starvation, unable to procure that which would sustain physical life. But no soul need ever perish eternally for lack of immortal food. Nothing short of a personal living, loving Savior can satisfy or save the soul. The soul calls for more than a mere philosophy, more than a liturgy, more than a historic Savior. It requires a personal friend upon shose loving bosom it can lean as did the beloved disciple of old. That personal, loving friend and Savior is found in Jesus Christ, "Who is the same yesterday, to-day and forever." He is the friend above all other friends, "That sticketh closer than a brother." Let us be careful how we treat these hungry hearts of ours. Let us not neglect nor refuse them the food without which they will forever die. How foolish to reject his soul-food because you cannot understand it. It is not necessary for you to make any analysis of food before eating it, when you see hundreds whose bodies are sustained by the use of the same food. So it is not neccessary for you to understand Christ to perfection when you know he saves others who --st him. Just as you feed your bodies daily with suitable food so you need Christ --h you continually that your souls may be constantly satisfied with food. As the body grows weaker with age, and the appetite for material food becomes poorer, the spirit seems to grow stronger, and the desire for spiritual foood is increased more and more until at last when the aged pilgrim nears the spirit land, the hunger for the things of that land is so deep that death itself is not unwelcome, but seems only the messenger that opens the door of heaven. Thus did death come to this departed husband, father, brother and friend. During his lingering illness, he gave abundant evidence of feeding his soul upon Christ. No place did the pastor receive a more cordial welcome than at the house of the deceased. No one seemed to more highly appreciate a word about Jesus or a prayer. He often expressed his joy and gratitude for the recent conversion of three of his grandchildren. He greatest desire seemed to be that all of his own dear children might receive Christ, the bread of life. In conclusion let me say to these mourning ones, weep not for this departed one. He is asleep in Jesus. See that your own souls are fed with this same immortal food. "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life."


From The History of Montgomery County, Ohio, W.H. Beers & Co., 1882