Stetson (born in Austin, Texas to Steven
Carson Hatt and Marion Fedora) is descended from a paternal uncle of the first Sir Topham Hatt, who moved with his family
to America in 1886 in hope of finding work. Thanks to the industrious Hatt genes, the familiy prospered, and one wing of it
gradually migrated south until they arrived in Texas where Stetson’s grandfather, Walter Gatsby Hatt, took out a claim
on a piece of land and struck oil. As such, Stetson is a third-generation Oil Driller and regarded as an expert in the field.
Links with his famous British relations were uncovered in the 1960s, when by chance, Stetson’s father happened
upon the Railway Series books and was struck by the use of the name. Making contact with the Rev. Awdry and his brother George
during their visit to the United States in the early 1970s, it made for a reunion of the clans on Sodor, which Stetson refers
to as the point in his life when he became a ‘Rail Fan’. He recalled in a recent interview about his move to Sodor,
“Before then, railroads had never enthralled me much. But then, I found myself mesmerised by the sight of these beautiful
machines that surrounded me. I wager it might have been the colours... but there was something truly magical about it all,
and I don’t think I’ve shaken that since.” Business and personal links were retained between Sudrian
and American soil from there on in, and in the mid 1980s, the Hatt Steam Trust assisted Stetson in his investment into Kaiser
the Fireless Engine.
Stetson’s continued interest in the island saw him make investments in Sudrian businesses,
and in the mid 1990s, he was returned unanimously as the ideal candidate to take the position of Chief Executive Office of
the newly established Sodoil Company. Affable and energetic, he has traveled the world acting as a consultant on projects
as far afield as Australia, Alaska and the Middle East, and memerobilia from these trips decorate his home and offices. He
likewise collected a wide range of nicknames two of his favourites being ‘The Texan Tea-Drinker’ and ‘Akubra’
(an Aboriginal word that roughly translates as ‘Hat’).
Prior to his move to Sodor, Stetson married
his long-term partner, Patti, and shortly after became father to son Michael in 1996. Still youthful, he works hard to maintain
an active lifestyle, fighting off the family’s tedancy towards ‘robustness’, years spent wrestling in university
giving him a stocky physique.
As CEO of Sodoil, he maintains overall control of the company’s operations and
oversees the Brendam Refinery. His trusted assistant, Australian-born Mr Selby Belgrave, is responsible for Sodoil’s
offshore drilling platforms. In spite of his busy schedule here, Stetson still finds time for entrepreneurial pursuits, and
continues to invest in attractive business pursuits, the most recent being the acquisition of Sodor Island Logistics, for
which he overseen the merging with North Western Freight.
Until this point, Sodor Island Logistics was on the verge
of a road transport monopoly, which would force smaller firms out of business. Upon their buyout, Stetson and Sir Topham Hatt
III proposed a different strategy, which has gone on to provide one of Sodor’s largest employers, and now works hand
in hand with smaller road-delivery businesses on the island of Sodor. “In tough economic times, when businesses are
failing, it would be wrong of us ‘big boys’ not to provide a helping hand to the ‘little guys’.”