Back at the end of the 20th Century, right around the time when I started using Google (before this I was an AltaVista man), I wondered how many other Arthur Hattons there were on the Earth. Thus, like many others in this crazy age of information, I Googled my own name out of curiosity.
My name is pretty rare. I have met perhaps two or three Arthurs in my entire life, which is actually fine by me, because I rather like my name and if I’m the only one with it, people can usually identify me without the need for a last initial. I don’t need to be like “Joey P.” and “Joey M.” in my 2nd grade class. The other thing about the name Arthur is that it was far more popular in previous decades and centuries, which is probably why I have been on AARP mailing lists since I was 24 years old (I assure you, I didn’t sign up for these myself). The same goes for my last name, though I have met quite a few Hattons in my life because I have a very large Mormon family in Kentucky that goes back about five generations in the state. However, the relative rarity of my first and last names have ensured that I don’t really expect to meet another Arthur Hatton in my life unless I decide to give that name to one of my own offspring.
And so I was completely shocked when, after a little Google search, I not only found the obituaries of a few Arthur Hattons (one who died in World War I actually), I also found an Arthur Hatton Elementary School in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Who is this Arthur Hatton who did something so amazing that he had an elementary school named after him? I couldn’t find out from their website. I couldn’t find out with Google. So I sent the school an email. They haven’t responded for a decade, so I was feeling pretty safe in thinking that they weren’t going to.
Until today, when I sent them another email.
Hello,My name is Arthur Hatton. I’m a musician, writer, and psychology student in the United States. For years I have wondered about the origin of the name Arthur Hatton Elementary School, and a few years ago I even sent you guys an email asking about it, but never heard back. I’m wondering what Arthur Hatton your school is named after, and what he did that was being honored with a school? Was he a businessman, philanthropist, artist, or something else? Thanks for the information. Take care.
This time, they wrote back immediately!
Mail Delivery System MAILER-DAEMON@sd73.bc.ca
6:09 PM (32 minutes ago)
This is the mail system at host zimbra.sd73.bc.ca.
I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.
For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
delete your own text from the attached returned message.
The mail system
I am starting to feel like this is a mystery that will never be solved. Actually, in the absence of any other information, I am going to assume that Arthur Hatton Elementary School was named after me.