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 Charles Mallory Hatfield

Charles Mallory Hatfield

Birth
Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA
Death 12 Jan 1958 (aged 82)
Pearblossom, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section G, Lot 67, Interment Space 4
Memorial ID 8046797 · View Source
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Folk Figure. Charles Hatfield's path to San Diego started more than a decade earlier in nearby Bonsall. There, on his father’s ranch, he conducted his first rainmaking experiments from the top of a windmill tower. By 1904, he was able to convince some of California’s water-starved ranchers and farmers that he could milk the skies by releasing a secret 23-chemical cocktail into the air from tall wooden towers perched on stilts. In 1915, San Diego thirsted for water. Dangerously low reservoir levels threatened the region’s potential to grow. Promoters of the city’s Panama-California Exposition, entering its second year, worried about the drought’s impact on fair attendance. A civic organization, the San Diego Wide Awake Improvement Club, demanded action. During the drought in California, Charles was hired by the San Diego City Council to make it rain, a handshake in agreement that if it did in fact rain he would be paid $10,000. He was considered a rainmaker, though his original profession was a sewing machine salesman. Building a 20 foot tower in the area and burning the chemical mixture from the top of the structure. Though Charles preferred the name "moisture accelerator", he was known as the rainmaker. In January of 1916, the rain began to fall and it did not stop for an entire month, resulting in 30 inches of rain. This ensued flooding, which destroyed the dam, washed out roads, lifted railroad tracks, property damage across the region and killed an estimated 14 to 50 citizens. Charles never received his money, the city council claimed the floods were an act of God and not the act of Charles himself. In 1956 Charles inspired a film, "The Rainmaker" it starred Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. Charles would briefly returned to the public eye in 1956 to attend the premiere of The Rainmaker, two years later, he died, taking his secret chemical formula to the grave.

Bio by: Memorial Flower


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Theologianthespian
  • Added: 31 Oct 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8046797
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Mallory Hatfield (15 Jul 1875–12 Jan 1958), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8046797, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .