William LATTA II (1795 – 1846?) is Alex’s 5th Great Grandfather, one of 64 in this generation.
William Latta was born on 17 Oct 1795 in Donegal, Ireland. His parents were William L. LATTA and Elizabeth RANKIN. He was about five years old when his father William L Latta landed in New York on 31 Oct 1800. He married Jane McCONAHEY on 17 Jan 1822 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Most sources say William died on 16 Nov 1846 in Cincinnati, Ohio and Jane moved to Rock Bluff, Nebraska in the 1850’s as a widow. Indeed William is missing from the family’s 1850 census record. However, there are records for a William and Jane Latta with the correct birth dates in the 1860 Rock Bluff Federal Census.
Jane McConahey was born on 9 Oct 1799. She was the first white child born in South Shenango Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Robert McCONAHEY and Margaret STORY.. Her sister Mary was William’s brother John’s wife. Jane died 19 Nov 1869 in Rock Bluff, Nebraska where she was living with her son Robert.
Children of William and Jane:
|1.||Elizabeth Rankin Latta||27 Oct 1822
Crawford Co. PA
|William H. Royal
13 Mar 1845
South Shenango Twp, PA
|2 Feb 1873
Cass Co., NE
|2.||Robert McConahey LATTA||27 Mar 1824
Crawford Co., PA
|Letitia JOHNSTON (Johnson)
26 Jan 1849
Hamilton County OH?
|25 Mar 1872
Cass County, Nebraska
|3.||Dr. William Story Latta||3 May 1826
Jamestown, Crawford Co. PA
|Sarah A. Eikenbury
9 May 1861
|17 Oct 1903
|4.||John Allison Latta||25 Mar 1829
Crawford Co. PA
|Emma J. Lemon
6 Aug 1867
Cass Co., Neb.
|5.||Thomas F. Latta||17 Mar 1831
Crawford Co., PA
|Never Married||20 Mar 1848
|6.||Margaret S. Latta||19 Jul 1833
|4 Jul 1837|
|7.||Mary Jane Latta||18 Dec 1835
|19 Jul 1854
Cass County, Nebraska
|8.||Samuel Glenn Latta||2 Jul 1838
|Emily A. Patterson
24 Jul 1865
Cass Co., Neb.
|31 Dec 1928
Murray, Cass Co., Neb
When William was 18 years of age he served with Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Nine vessels of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of Great Britain’s Royal Navy. This ensured American control of the lake for the remainder of the war, which in turn allowed the Americans to recover Detroit and win the Battle of the Thames to break the Indian confederation of Tecumseh.
1885 Township Sketch of Crawford County History -
William Latta, also a native of the Emerald Isle, was a hatter, settled near Penn Line in Conneaut Township PA and after a few years removed from the township. His brothers, Samuel, John and Thomas, were also here, and made improvements, then departed.
William and his partner helped to build the Miami and Erie Canal, but was driven into bankruptcy by the venture. Construction on the Miami and Erie Canal began on July 21, 1825.The canal began by connecting Cincinnati to nearby Middletown in 1827 and, by 1845, the canal had reached Toledo and Lake Erie.
The canal commissioners estimated that the Ohio and Erie Canal would cost approximately 2.3 million dollars, while the Miami and Erie would cost 2.9 million. Once construction was completed, the canals combined actually cost 41 million dollars, 25 million dollars of which was interest on loans. The Ohio and Erie Canal cost approximately ten thousand dollars per mile to complete, and the Miami and Erie Canal cost roughly twelve thousand dollars per mile to finish. The canals nearly bankrupted the state government, but they allowed Ohioans to prosper beginning in the 1830s all the way to the Civil War.
Canal construction went quickly but not easily. At the peak of construction, more than four thousand workers were laboring on the canals. Private businesses bid on portions of the canals. The state usually accepted the least expensive bids. Once the trench for the canal was dug, workers usually lined it with sandstone. Canal locks also usually consisted of sandstone lined with wood, but sometimes workers made the locks exclusively from wood. The submerged wood would swell, making a waterproof barrier. Workers generally earned thirty cents per day plus room and board.
The canal consisted of 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, and 103 canal locks. Each lock measured 90 feet by 15 feet and they collectively raised the canal 395 feet above Lake Erie and 513 feet above the Ohio River. The system consisted of 300 miles ) of canal channel and was completed in 1845, at a cost of $8,063,000. Boats were towed along the canal using either donkeys or horses walking on a prepared towpath along the bank. The boats typically traveled at a rate of four to five miles per hour.
Completed just before most of the railroads in Ohio were built, the canal competed with railroads through much of its useful life. Ice in the winter, as well as the slowness of the boats, made it less efficient than railroads, especially for perishable goods and passenger traffic. The canal was a cheaper means for carrying bulk cargoes, such as grain and salted pork, though by 1906, the canal had largely ceased to operate.
In 1835 William Latta moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is considered to have been the first American boomtown in the heart of the country in the early nineteenth century to rival the larger coastal cities in size and wealth. As the first major inland city in the country, it is sometimes thought of as the first purely American city, lacking the heavy European influence that was present on the east coast.
Prior to 1846 the Latta family went to Madison, Indiana all but Robert and Cooper. Madison is on the Ohio River and Indiana’s first railroad, the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad, was built there between 1836 and 1847.
From a letter from William’s brother Thomas to another brother Moses telling of the death of their mother on 23 May 1846.
When I arrived in Shenango (Pa.) I found brother William had started with all his family (except [our ancestor] Robert) for the neighborhood of Madison, Ind. with a design of getting up the cooleage business there in the barrell line, expecting to make a fortune and pay off all his debts in a short time. He went from Shenango in very low circumstances, and left a number of his friends to suffer on his account. … Brother John has left his old station, and rented the old Allen farm. He gets along hardly enough. He is involved some on William’s account.
In 1845, the family returned to Cincinnati and William died there in 1846. Jane and children were listed in the 1850 census of Spencer Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. Elizabeth (25) had married William Royal and was living next door. William was a carpenter and they had two young children James (4) and Mark (1) . James was born in Pennsylvania and Mark was born in Ohio. Robert (26) had already married Letitia Johnston and was listed 3 pages away, also in Spencer Township. John (21) was listed as an Engineer. A William L. Jackson (63) lived with the family and was working as a clerk. Sometime after 1850, Jane and children went to Rock Bluffs, Cass County, NE for they are listed there in the 1860 census. Jane lived in Rock Bluffs until her death in 1869.
Even though genealogy sources show William’s death as 16 Nov 1846 in Cincinnati Ohio, he appears alive and well in the 1860 Census Rock Bluffs, Cass County, Nebraska Territory. He is listed as a Physician like his son William. He was relatively wealth with $3,000 real estate and $4,000 personal estate. His entire household were born in Pennsylvania. John E was John Erskine Latta, William’s nephew, son of his brother John.
W L Latta 64 Years of Age – Physician
Jane Latta 61
Alfred Hahn 24 – Student Medicine
John E Latta 18 – Student born about 1842 (Nephew)
S G Latta 22 – Engineer born about 1838
William’s brother John also lived in Rock Bluffs in the 1860 Census. Their wives Jane and Mary were McConahey sisters. All their children were born in Pennsylvania except the youngest, Isabella who was born in Ohio.
John Latta 59 Years of Age Value of Personal Estate – $500
Mary Latta 55
J M Latta 25 – Miller Value of Personal Estate – $4000
Wm Latta 20
Mary E Latta 15
John E Latta 18 (Appears in census twice)
Isabella F Latta 12
William’s second cousin (John3, Mungo2, Moses1 vs. William3, Samuel2, Moses1), Alexander Bonner Latta, invented the first steam fire engine. Alexander was born in Ross county, Ohio, 11 June, 1821; died in Ludlow, Kentucky, 28 April, 1865. At an early age he worked in a cotton-factory, and subsequently in the navy yard in Washington, D.C. After becoming an expert mechanic he settled in Cincinnati, where he operated the first iron planing-machine that ever was used in that city. He became foreman of a machine-shop, and constructed for the Little Miami railroad the first locomotive that was built west of the Alleghany mountains, he invented and patented a series of improvements in railway appliances, a few of which he succeeded in introducing. In 1852 he invented a steam fire-engine, which he constructed in nine months, and which was tried on 1 January, 1853. In October, 1853, he constructed a second, which contained several improvements and received a gold medal at the Ohio Mechanics’ institute fair in 1854. He continued to build steam fire-engines until 1862, when he retired from active business. The boiler of Mr. Latta’s engine was constructed of two square chambers, one within the other, the space between which chambers was the steam and water space of the boiler. The inner chamber, which was the fire-box, was filled by a series of horizontal layers of tubes arranged diagonally over each other, but forming one continuous coil. The water entered this coil at the lower end and passed upward into the annular space, where it was evaporated. Upon arriving at the scene of the fire, the rear of the engine was raised off the ground and supported by means of screws on the sides of the boiler, and the hind-wheels, thus clearing the ground, acted as fly-wheels. In 1863-‘5 Mr. Latta introduced the manufacture of aerated bread into Cincinnati. He also made improvements in oil-well machinery.
1. Elizabeth Rankin Latta
Elizabeth’s husband William H. Royal was born in May 1822 in Pennsylvania. In the 1900 census, William was living with his son William Jr in Rock Bluff, Nebraska.
Moved to Hamilton Ohio in 1857 then Cass Co., Neb.
This couple was listed in the 1850 census of Hamilton County, OH, living nest door to Jane and William Latta (her parents) with their children, James (4) and Mark (1). In 1860 Elizabeth and William Royal are listed in the census of Rocks Bluff, NE however James and Mark are not. Two children are listed; Elizabeth (7) born in Ohio and Wm (2) born in NE. Unable to find them in the 1870 census however, Elizabeth died in 1873 and Wm continued on in Rock Bluffs being listed in the 1880 census with 3 children; Emma (16), Glenroy (19) and Wm (21) all born in Nebraska.
Children of Elizabeth and William
i. James Latta Royal, b. 1845 Pennsylvania; d. 2 Sep 1859 Rock Bluff Cemetery, Union, Cass County. Nebraska. Inscription: Age 14 yrs 6 mos 3 days. Son of W.H. & E.R. Royal..
ii. Mark W. Royal, b. 1849 Spencer, Hamilton, Ohio
iii. Elizabeth J. Royal, b. 1854 Ohio
iv. William Allison Royal, b. Jul 1858 Nebraska; m. 1885 to Harriett (Hattie) Ellington (b. Apr 1862 Nebraska – After 1930 census)
In the 1900 census, William and Harriett were farming in Rock Bluff, Nebraska
v. John (Glenroy, Glen) Royal, b. Dec 1861 Nebraska; m. 1887 to Ella [__?__] (b. May 1864 Nebraska – d. Aft 1900 census)
In the 1900 census, Glen was a carpenter in Plattsmouth Ward 5, Cass, Nebraska.
vi. Mary Emma L (Jennie)Royal, b. 1863; d. Aft 1881 census
2. Robert McConahey LATTA (See his page)
3. William Story Latta
William’s wife Sarah A. Eikenbury was born 21 Aug 1841 in Iowa City, Wright, Iowa. Her parents were Samuel E Eikenbary (1801 – 1868) and Martha Crawford (1808 – 1870). Sarah died 4 April 1923 or 4 Apr 1933 in Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska.
William was a Physician, Army surgeon, President National E. Medical Association, President State Medical Association, Dean of Medical Facility, Professor of Pathology and Microscopy at Nebraska Christian University and Dean of Medical Faculty at Cotner University at Lincoln, Neb. Editor Nebraska Medical Journal in 1891. He went to Stockton, Calif. October 7, 1904.
He was mayor of Rock Bluff Nebraska when Sidney and Calista MINER moved there. He came to Plattsmouth, Neb., April 17, 1857, locating at Rock Bluff, Cass County, where he resided sixteen years, excepting two that he served in the army.
He was also a member of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Nebraska, which met in Omaha in December of 1859.
When the Civil War broke out, Dr. Latta enlisted as a private in the 2nd Nebraska Cavalry, and was commissioned Assistant Surgeon for the Second Nebraska Cavalry Regiment . He was chief surgeon over all the territory from Brownville, Nebraska north through the Dakotas. In 1862 he established the first military hospital at Omaha, and in 1863 went into active field service. He was mustered out in 1864.
The unit was initially organized at Omaha, Nebraska on October 23, 1862 as a nine-month regiment, and served for over one year. They were attached to General Sully’s command, who was in a campaign against Indians in Western Nebraska and Dakota, who were forced to move south from Minnesota following the Dakota War of 1862.
The 2nd Nebraska participated in the Battle of Whitestone Hill, which began on September 3, 1863 when General Sully’s troops engaged upwards of 2,000 warriors under Chief Two Bears of the Yanktonai Sioux. Of the 20 US troops killed in the battle, seven were from the Second Nebraska. Fourteen from the unit were also wounded in the action. The regiment was mustered out December 23, 1863. A number of its veterans were re-enlisted in the 1st Battalion Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry, which served until 1865 when it was merged with the 1st Nebraska Cavalry Regiment.
The Battle of Whitestone Hill was the culmination of operations against the Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory in 1863. Brigadier General Alfred Sully attacked a village September 3–5, 1863. The Indians in the village included Yanktonai, Santee, and Teton (Lakota) Sioux. Sully killed, wounded, or captured 300 to 400 Sioux, including women and children, at a cost of about 60 casualties
Sully arrived about 6 p.m. on the ridge overlooking the large, much dispersed Indian encampment. He estimated that only 600 to 700 of his men were present. He saw the Sioux packing up their tipis and departing and concluded that the Indians were more inclined to flee than fight. Sully’s objective was to “corral” the Indians and he deployed his force to cut off their escape routes and to advance on the village. He sent Colonel Wilson and the 6th Iowa to his right flank and Colonel Furnas and the 2nd Nebraska to his left to occupy several ravines which offered the Sioux an opportunity to conceal themselves from the soldiers and escape. Covered on both flanks, Sully with three companies and artillery advanced into the encampment without serious opposition. Two chiefs, Little Head and Big Head, and about 150 of their followers surrendered. Because of the close quarters and chaotic nature of the battlefield, Sully was unable to use his artillery.
Many of the Sioux were caught between the Sixth Iowa and the Second Nebraska, with the Iowa soldiers advancing on foot and pushing the Sioux into the arms of the Nebraskans who exchanged fire with the Indians at a range of only 60 yards. With darkness approaching, however, Colonel Wilson of the Sixth Iowa ordered an ill-advised mounted charge with one battalion. However, in his haste he failed to order some of his men to load their weapons and heavy fire from the Sioux caused the cavalry horses to bolt and the charge to break down. The battalion fell back and took up defensive positions on foot.
On the left, Colonel Furnas also withdrew his Nebraskans to a defensive position, fearing friendly fire and losing control of his soldiers in the increasing darkness. The soldiers spent a harrowing night, “the Indians pillaged the battlefield and scalped the dead soldiers; squaws were screaming and wailing” and a wounded soldier screamed for help but the soldiers thought he was a decoy to lure them out of their defenses. They found him next morning, still alive but dying from lacerations inflicted by the Indians. The Sioux escaped in the darkness.
The next morning the camp was empty of Indians except for the dead and a few lost children and women. Sully sent out patrols to attempt to locate the fleeing Sioux but they found few Indians. Sully ordered all the Indian property abandoned in the camp to be burned. This included 300 tipis and 400,000 to 500,000 pounds of dried buffalo meat, the winter supplies of the Indians and the product of 1,000 butchered buffalo
Union casualties were approximately 22 killed and 38 wounded. Some probably resulted from friendly fire. No reliable estimates of Sioux killed and wounded are available, with estimates ranging from 100 to 300, including women and children. Captured Sioux totaled 156, including 32 adult males. Indian sources often call Whitestone Hill a “massacre” with Sully attacking a “peaceful camp” and killing a large number of women and children. One of Sully’s interpreters, Samuel J. Brown, a mixed-blood Sioux, said “it was a perfect massacre” and “lamentable to hear how those women and children was massacred.” The contrary view is that Sully had a “long demonstrated concern for the Indians and a spotless record of honor and integrity.” The substantial casualties of the soldiers demonstrate, in the opinion of some historians, that Whitestone Hill was a battle, not a massacre.
Due to the poor condition of his horses and mules and his lack of supplies, Sully was unable to pursue the Sioux. About 600 Sioux, mostly Santee, took refuge in Canada after the battle. They were followed by 3,000 more in 1864. Minnesota expelled all Sioux, including those who had not participated in the Dakota War of 1862 and, also, expelled the friendly Winnebago. The State confiscated and sold all Sioux land in the state. Soon, only 25 Santee, steadfast friends of the whites, were allowed to live in the state.
After mustering out with the 2nd Nebraska in December 1864, he returned to his practice at Rock Bluff, where he remained for sixteen years. There he acquired an excellent reputation, and performed many major operations..
In 1873 William Story Latta came to Lincoln and resided there for many years. He moved from Crawford, PA to Cincinnati, Ohio when he was 18 years old. He graduated, 25 Feb 1854, from the Eclectic Medical College, at Cincinnati, where he practiced for three years. The Doctor was president of the National Eclectic Medical Association. Eclectic medicine was a branch of American medicine which made use of botanical remedies along with other substances and physical therapy practices, popular in the latter half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Regular medicine at the time made extensive use of purges with calomel and other mercury-based remedies, as well as extensive bloodletting. Eclectic medicine was a direct reaction to those barbaric practices as well as the desire to exclusivize Thomsonian medicine innovations to “professionals.”
The movement peaked in the 1880s and 1890s. The schools were not approved by the Flexner Report (1910), which was purposed to capture accreditation of medical schools to drive out non-allopathic medicine in favor of the allopathic cult. Allopathic medicine is an pejorative term commonly used by homeopaths and proponents of other forms of alternative medicine to refer to mainstream medical use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions.
The practice of medicine in both Europe and North America during the early 19th century is sometimes referred to as heroic medicine because of the extreme measures (such as bloodletting) sometimes employed in an effort to treat diseases , The term allopath was used by Hahnemann and other early homeopaths to highlight the difference they perceived between homeopathy and the medicine of that time.
With the term allopathy (meaning “other than the disease”), Hahnemann intended to point out how physicians with conventional training employed therapeutic approaches that, in his view, merely treated symptoms and failed to address the disharmony produced by the underlying disease.
By World War I, states and provinces were adopting curriculum requirements that followed those articulated by the AMA quest to drive out alternative schools in favor of schools promoting allopathic medicine vitalist model. This effectively forced the Eclectic Medical Schools to either adopt the new model or fold. The last Eclectic Medical school closed in Cincinnati in 1939
For biography of William S. Latta see: http://www.kancoll.org/books/andreas_ne/lancaster/lancaster-p17.html
He is a member of the Nebraska State Medical Association, of which he was for many years president. In 1862 the Doctor organized the military hospital at Omaha. He was twice a member of the Territorial Legislature, and was Mayor of Rock Bluffs when it was a flourishing town. Afterwards abandoned politics from choice to devote his time to his profession.. .
Dr. Latta was among the first in the state to perform abdominal surgery. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Latta built and operated a flour mill, and raised breeding stock. In 1873 he moved his family to Lincoln, Nebraska where the doctor, a presbyterian and temperance advocate, was active in community life. In 1876 he was elected coroner, and in the following year became the county physician. A member of the Eclectic Medical Association, in 1879 he delivered a paper on malarial poisons – “Miasma Virus” to the National Eclectic School of Medicine at the University of Nebraska. In 1890 the Eclectic School of Medicine, which had withdrawn from the University, incorporated with Cotner College. Dr. Latta remained as dean of the college until his death in October of 1901.
Children of William and Sarah
i. Samuel Latta, b. 11 May 1862, Rock Bluffs, NE; d. 13 Jun 1936; Burial Woodbridge Cemetery, Woodbridge, San Joaquin, California; m. Anna E. Hyde Mar 1886 in Chicago, IL.
Physician. Graduated from Rush Medical College, Chicago in 1884. In 1923 Supt. Hospital at Almshouse, Stockton, Calif.
ii. William (Willie) C. Latta, b. 24 Nov 1864 in Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska; d. 17 Oct 1865 in Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska Age 10 mos 22 days Son of W.S. & S.A. Latta .
iii. Minnie Bell Latta b. 12 Nov 1866 in Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska; m. C F Ladd 1893 in Lincoln, NE; d. 17 Feb 1957 in Lincoln, Lancater, Nebraska; m. 28 Oct 1891 Lincoln, Nebraska to Charles Franklin Ladd (1867 – 1942) Minnie took trips to Havana, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro
iv. Mary Olive Latta, b. 28 Jan 1870 in Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska; d. 15 Aug 1969 in Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska; m. c. 1898 to Edward Garland Watson (1858 – 1901) In Peking in May 1911 she requested an emergency passport to allow her into Siberia Russia and Continenal Europe
4. John Allison Latta
John’s wife Emma (Emily) Jane Lemon was born 3 Oct 1849 in My Division, Marshall, Indiana. She was twenty years younger than John. Her parents were Lemuel Davis Lemon (1828 – 1896) and Rebecca Dyer (1828 – 1891). Emma died 11 Dec 1907 in Micas, San Luis Potisi, Mexico. Buried in Mexico on a Plantation of kidney disease.
John was a Machinist. Like Sidney and Calista, he was also married in Cass County Nebraska. He lived at Lincoln, Neb and was a soldier in Civil War. (“JOHN A. has been on the wing, like myself, for the most of his life. He crossed the plains in 1859. Spent several years in Colorado. Returned, made several trips across the plains. Find John A. where you will, you will find one of the best hearted men in the world.” Robert R. Latta. ) Record in Adj. Gen. Office, Denver, Colo. Book P. 6/2. Latta, John A. 1st. Lieut. Co. 1, of Denver Home Guards. Colorado Vols. U.S. Army. Joined for service September 13, 1861 at Denver, Colo. by William Gilpin, Governor. Record incomplete. Absent on furlough from March 16, 1862 for several days on private business.
In the 1870 census, John was a miller in Rock Bluffs, Cass, Nebraska.
In the 1900 census, Emily was boarding with the Barbara Scheuble family in Los Angeles California. Barbara was a widow from Germany. Emilyis still shown as married, with four children, two still living. Her occupation was listed as physician. I wonder what her story was and why she later went to San Luis Potisi Mexico.
Children of John and Emma:
i. Ora Iona Latta b. 18 Nov 1868 Rock Bluffs, Neb.; d. 22 Oct 1915 Nebraska
In 1889, Ora lived at 835 7th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska
Physician in 1894.
ii. Lemuel A. Latta b. Jul 1873 Rock Bluffs, Neb.; d. Sep 1874.
iii. Jennie R Latta b. 2 Nov 1875 in Butler Co., Neb.
In the 1885 census, Jennie was living with her parents in Reading Township, Butler, Nebraska.
iv. Frank (John) Glenn Latta b. 3 Oct 1882 Butler Co., Neb.; d,. Aft 1885 Nebraska Census; m. Ethel [__?___]?
8. Samuel Glenn Latta
Samuel’s wife Emily Ann Patterson was born Oct 1841 in Cross Creek, Washington Co., Pennsylvania. Her parents were James Patterson (1798 – 1861) and Elizabeth Walker (1802 – 1886). Emily died 01 Mar 1917 in Cass County, Nebraska.
Emily’s grandfather Thomas Patterson was a Major General and member of Congress. Taken from “History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men” by Boyd Crumrin..
Thomas Patterson was born Oct 1, 1764 [Little Britain, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania]. In 1794 he purchased land of his father, upon which he built a grist- and flouring-mill, the mill being situated upon the north branch of Cross Creek. At the same time he bought the property of the widow Mary Patterson and not long after enlarged his estate by purchases from the Wells tracts. Oct. 6, 1795, he married Elizabeth Findley, a daughter of Hon. William Findley, of Westmoreland County, Pa. He had built a log house upon his land, in a part of which he kept a general store, but after his marriage the stock was removed to his mill, which was then in operation. In this log house Thomas and Elizabeth Patterson lived, and here their eleven children – eight sons and three daughters – were born. Mr. Patterson was very active in all church affairs, being an elder in one of the Cross Creek churches for many years. He also held all the commissions of militia rank to that of major-general, and during the last war with Great Britain organized and led a force into Ohio to repel a supposed British invasion.
He was a member of Congress from 1817 to 1825, being elected during the administration of James Monroe, and was a member of the Electoral College in 1816. Gen. Patterson died of apoplexy Nov. 17, 1841 [Cross Creek, Washington County, Pennsylvania], aged seventy-seven years. His sons were William, James, [Emily’s father] Samuel, John, Thomas, Findley, Moses, and David Patterson. The daughters were Mary, Elizabeth, and Rosanna Patterson.
Samuel was a farmer and tradesman and also was married and lived most of his life in Cass County Nebraska. Samuel G. Latta, who made a profession of his faith and was received into membership in the Murray Presbyterian Church on Feb. 3, 1866. Some time before Nov. 23, 1888, he was elected as an elder, and his name first appears then as Clerk of Session. He served as an elder until his death. For many years the building on lot #1, block #13 in Murray, was used for the parsonage. October 24, 1917 “Samuel G. Latta gave the church a quick-claim deed to this property. In 1923 a larger parsonage was needed and this property was traded in as part payment on the W.H. Puls property lots #4, 5, 6 and 7, block #17 in the Latta’s second addition.
Tradition tells us that S. G. Latta, Anderson Root, William Morrow, James Walker, Lee Oldham and others circulated a petition to establish the Murray post office. It was establsihed in 1884 when the Three Groves office, which was in the John Allison home four miles southeast of Murray, was discontinued. The first office was in the blacksmith shop of William Loughridge.
When the post office was established the village of Murray consisted of the school house, the united Presbyterian church, the Lee Oldham and S. G. Latta homes, and the blacksmith shop. Therefore it can he assumed that the first postmaster’s compensation was not very large. The first mail into Murray consisted of one letter. Mr. Loughridge served as postmaster until January 1886 when he moved the office to the S. G. Latta store. As Mr. Loughridge moved the office without proper notification from the Post Office Department, he was fined the sum of $40.00
The second postoffice was housed in the general merchandise store newly erected, on the southwest corner of block 15, by S. G. Latta. This was across the street north of the school house.
Samuel G. Latta was one of the earliest Murray settlers. The village of Murray was platted in 1890 by Mr. Latta, the survey being made by R. M. Lewis and the plat filed for record May 5, 1891. Mr. Latta was appointed postmaster January 29, 1886.
April 26, 1887, Samuel F. Latta, a nephew of “Uncle Sam,” was appointed postmaster. As these two men were in business together the office remained in the corner of the store building. Samuel F. Latta was born at Rock Bluffs, living there until the death of his mother five years later. He then lived with relatives until, at the age of 16, he was sent to Valparaiso, Ind., to school.
Dr. Benjamin F. Brendel was the next postmaster and the post office was moved to his office, one block east on the south side of the street on lot 13. Dr. Brendel was appointed postmaster May 15, 1888.
Dr. Brendel was born at Big Springs in Boone county, Ind., December 14, 1854, He attended Physio-Medical College in Indianapolis, Ind. After practicing in his native state for three years he moved to Murray on September 3, 1885. He engaged in the medical profession until his death December 26, 1922.
John W. Edmunds was appointed postmaster December 16, 1889, and as he had purchased the Latta store, the office was again moved to the corner store building. Mr. Edmunds had, as his assistant, Charlie Root, who brot (sic) the mail from Rock Bluffs to Murray, using a horse and a two-wheeled cart.
Mr. Edmunds was born at Schoolcraft, Mich., November 29, 1849. While operating the store and post office he and his three daughters lived in the rear of the building,
While Mr. Edmunds was postmaster the Missouri Pacific rail road was constructed. The lines between Union and Plattsmouth being completed on September 9, 1891. The first train carrying a Railway Post Office car to exchange mails at Murray was train No. 8 out of Omaha, passing at 2.20 p. m. October 16, 1892.
December 29, 1893, Mrs. Sarah Oldham was appointed postmaster. She erected a small building in the southeast corner of her yard, section 15, which served as her office.
Mrs. Oldham was born in Jimtown. Pa . April 11, 1848. With her parents, the David Storey’s, [grandson of our ancestor Robert STOREY] she came to the Territory of Nebraska in 1857, settling on a claim in Cass county about one mile southeast of Murray. After her marriage to Lee Oldham, November 9, 1871, she lived in Fairview, later renamed Murray,
Fred W. Crosser was appointed post master March 14, 1898. He purchased the Oldham office building and equipment and maintained the office in that location for about sixty days. Thinking to serve the patrons of the office to better advantage, Mr. Crosser purchased the third lot west of the present bank building and moved the Oldham office to this location. At this time Murray was receiving mail twice a day. Mr. Crosser added confectionery, stationery and a soda fountain.
Children of Samuel and Emily
i. James Patterson Latta b. 2 Nov 1868 Rock Bluffs, Neb.; d. 1952 Burial Youngs Cemetery Murray, Cass , Nebraska, USA.
In 1906 lived at Murray, Neb. James lived with his parents in Rock Bluff in the 1900 and 1910 census and with his father in Murray, Cass, Nebraska in the 1920 census.
In the 1920 census, Neva Irene Latta, daughter of James T Latta and grand daughter of Robert McConahey LATTA had moved back to Murray, Cass, Nebraska and was living with her great uncle Samuel Glenn Latta and his son James P Latta. Samuel and James were working as plumbers.