Hathaway was born in Norfolk, VA. on July 7, 1923. He moved to Danville, Va. in 1939 and
attended George Washington High School in Danville. In 1941 he attended Hargrave Military
Academy in Chatham, VA. He was graduated from Hargrave in June 1942. He joined the Marine
Corps as a four-year regular on June 17th of June 1942. After his four-year hitch in June
1946, he attended VPI Extension in Danville.
In February 1948, he again joined the Marines
for another four-year hitch. He received an honorable discharge in November 1951. He was
married in 1952. The family had two daughters.
He began teaching in Pittsylvania County
Schools in 1956. He taught English and General Science at Dan River High. Later he taught
Biology and Chemistry at Whitmell Farm Life School and then Tunstall High School. In 1965
he worked in the Chemistry Lab at the Danville Memorial Hospital.
A year or so later, he returned to Pittsylvania County as a helper in the Planetarium at
Chatham. He also helped build the Hiawatha Trail in the White Oak Mountain area of the
county. For several years he escorted hundreds of elementary school students over the
Hiawatha Trail. These students were brought by school buses to the trail. The
gas crunch finally brought a stop to this school-bus-trail program. Mr. Hathaway continued
to teach special programs for gifted students in the school system. He had also
taught in the Regional Governor's School every year since its beginning. Ever since his
classes started in 1956, he has taken many students on hikes along trails build near the
individual schools. His interest in natural history seemed to be a major part of his local
enthusiasm. He transported special students interested in "the great outdoors"
on weekends and holidays. The local naturalist, Johnny Westbrook, played an
important part in supporting Bill Hathaway in carrying on with nature studies. Bill now
has over 600 35mm color slides of various specimens photographed as early as 1965. A few
of these slides were included in Hathaway's Virtual Trail Project.
When asked about
teaching, Bill said "that a good sense of humor and enthusiasm for learning is all
Pictured (L to R): William
Taylor Hathaway, Naturalist Emeritus, and Rickey
W. Parker, Assistant Superintendent for Information
Named Naturalist Emeritus
The Pittsylvania County School Board honored the
work of William Taylor Hathaway at its Nov. 12
meeting. Mr. Hathaway was named "Naturalist