Freck Latta

Robert Ray “Freck” Latta (1836 – 1925)  is Alex’s first cousin, six times removed in the Miner line.

“Freck” Latta was born 4 Mar 1836 in Jamestown, Crawford, Pennsylvania.  His parents were John A. Latta and Mary McConahey..  His paternal grandparents were William L. LATTA and Elizabeth RANKIN and his maternal grandparents were Robert McCONAHEY and Margaret STORY.  He married  7 Apr 1857 Weldon Grove, Missouri to Mary Anna Cain.   Freck died  18 Sep 1925 in Garrison, Christian, Missouri;

Robert Ray (Freck) Latta

Mary Anna Cain was born  18 May 1822 Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  Mary Anna first married Nelson Edson (1820 – 1857) and had seven children including George Chandler Edson (1845-1932) who married Freck’s cousin Margaret J McConahey (See Margaret’s grandfather Robert McCONAHEY’s page for his story) Mary Anna’s brother Pressley married Freck’s sister Margaret.  Her parents were James Cain (1787 Beaver County, Pennsylvania – 27 Aug 1850 Meigs County, Ohio) and Nancy “Agnes” McElhaney.  Mary Anna died 20 Jun 1909 Garrison, Christian County, Missouri)

Nelson and Mary’s children

i. James Edson b. 1844
ii. George “Chan” Edson 1845-1932
iii. Newell Wesley Edson 1847-1939
iv. Nancy Edson b. 1849
v. Sarah Lucinda Edson b. 1852
vi. Laura S Edson b. 1853
vii. Mary Nelva “Molly” Edson b. 1856

Children of Freck and Mary Anna:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Rose Isabelle Latta 6 Apr 1858 Walden’s Grove, MO Thomas Wilkens
Rosita, Colorado
Aft. 1920 census, Santa Cruz, California
2. Elizabeth Alice Latta 4 May 1860 Montgomery County, Iowa John A. James
Rosita, Colorado
23 Oct 1910 Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
3. William Ray Latta 26 Apr 1862
Rock Bluffs, Nebraska
Anna May Rupp
Daisy Bryant
26 Sep 1941 Fort Laramie, Goshen, Wyoming
4. Margaret Florence Latta  22 Jun 1864
Mills County, Iowa
Dr. Albert B. Wright
Jun 1889
William R. “Bob” Skehan
3 Aug 1897
Colorado Springs, CO
James Pressley Cain
27 Nov 1937
5. Robert “Robbie” Pressley Latta 7 Sep 1866
Mills County, Iowa
26 Dec 1894 
Fell down a shaft in the New Zealand mine, near Airman, Cripple Creek Mining District, Colorado

Mary and her husband, Nelson, her mother Agnes, and two brothers were traveling in Keokuk, Iowa on their way west when Nelson died from Cholera. Mary was pregnant with their youngest child at the time. She married Freck in April 1857 in Page Co., Iowa and they had five more children. They eventually settled in Christian County in south Missouri, and they are buried in Garrison.

In the 1880 census, Robert R. was a lumber dealer living in Rosita, Custer, Colorado with Mary A.  and five children ages 13 to 21.

Freck wrote a book entitled “Reminiscences of Pioneer Life” published in 1912 by Franklin Hudson, Kansas City, MO.(no longer in print) The following is an excerpt from the book, page 162:

“Freck, like thousands of others, surely lost his head over holes in the ground, which were called “mines.” In the process Mary and Freck’s babies all married, except their “baby boy” and Florence, the sweet little baby girl who was born in the dark, shady woods while the cannon down in the South-land belched forth fires of death and a loaded musket stood by the bedside. For twenty years Freck trailed over the ranges, and up and down the canyons and the gulches, at times working for a “grub-stake,” and again digging holes in the ground and panning dirt by the streams,, and living in cabins and tents and covered wagons. And Mary stayed with Freck through all these long and weary years, and shared his discouragements, his failures, his hopes, his cabins, his tents, and his covered wagon homes in the Rocky Mountains. And in the evenings, while the mountain wind sobbed and moaned in the pines or shivered through the aspen groves, with a miner’s glass they would examine the bits of rock and be almost persuaded that the hidden treasure was almost within their grasp. From the far north to the far south end of the Rocky Mountains, thousands of men were doing as Freck was doing, and meeting with the same disappointments; and many grew discouraged and reckless, and became dissolute gamblers and drunkards, and went to the dogs. But during all these years Freck never stood at the bar and drank a glass of whiskey, nor played a game of cards, nor crossed the threshold of a dance-hall; no, thank God! not once; because Mary stayed with him and was his guardian angel.

For three years Freck worked in a lumbering-camp in the Rocky Mountains and dug no holes in the ground, and had gotten together fifteen hundred dollars in gold and three teams; for Freck and Mary worked with their might and early, and late.

Then they, by a schemer, were induced to turn their faces to the south and take up land under the great Toas…..”

Freck and Mary eventually settled in southern Missouri, in Garrison, Christian County where it is believed, but not proven, that Freck had family. They are buried in the Garrison cemetery, their graves being one of the oldest..

In the 1880 census, Robert R was a lumber dealer in Rosita, Custer, Colorado.

Freck’s Boyhood Home from Reminiscences of Pioneer Life by R Latta – Google Books

Robert Ray “Freck” (on account of his freckles) got a job in 1852 at the age of 16,  carrying the United States mail by horseback between Washington and Bloomfield, Iowa, a distance of 80 miles.  The round trip had to be made in four days, a ride of 40 miles a day and the compensation was $480 a year.  He noted that he rode through prairie and gloomy woods 84 times and only met one horseman, one team and a band of Indians.  A few years later Freck and his family moved by wagon train across the  State to Page County, Iowa, where they built a log cabin and settled in.   In 1860 they went to Cass Co., Neb. and in 1861 to Mills Co., Iowa and in 1870 to Silver Cliff, Colo.  He was a miner.  In 1898 lived at Colorado Springs, Colo.  Wrote a book, “Reminiscences of Pioneer Life – Google Books“, published in 1912.  Click here for a review and excerpt.  It’s a fun read in a jaunty style as you can see from the preface.

Reminiscences of pioneer life – Preface.

In the late fall of 1856, another prairie schooner arrived with Pressley Martin Cain (Press), his widowed mother Nancy Agnes Cain and his sister, Mary Anna Cain Edson. His father, James Cain, had been a Scotch seceder and a soldier who fought under General Harrison in the War of 1812. With winter approaching, Freck’s mother invited the Cains to move into their cabin until they could build their own home in the spring.

According to information, Mary was eleven years older than Freck and had four children by her first husband, named Edson, who had died of cholera. m. Mrs. Mary A. Edson, nee Cain, sister to his sister Margaret’s husband, April 7, 1857, in Page Co., Iowa. She died on a farm on Ozark Mts. June 20, 1909. They were the first couple married in Valley Township., Iowa. In 1860 they went to Cass Co., Neb. and in 1861 to Mills Co., Iowa and in 1870 to Silver Cliff, Colo. Miner. In 1898 lived at Colorado Springs, Colo. Wrote a book, Robert and Mary are buried in the Garrison Cemetery, Christian County, Missouri. Their tombstones read: Mary Latta, 1824-1909, and Robert R. Latta, March 4, 1836 – Sept. 1925. In the 1920 Census, Robert was listed as living in Garrison, Christian County, MO. He was 83 years old. He was living with his daughter, Florence M. Cain, age 56, and his grandson, James R. Cain, age 14…

Reminiscences of pioneer life – By Freck Latta

Jim was Freck’s brother James McConahey Latta,  Will was Freck’s brother William McCobb Latta who died 6 Oct 1863 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Press was Freck’s brother-in-law Pressley Martin Cain  Eck was Freck’s brother John Erskine Latta


1. Rose Isabelle Latta

Rose Isabelle Latta Portrait

Rose’s husband Thomas Wilkens was born in Jul 1852 in England. He immigrated in 1873.

In 1904 lived at Tacoma, Wash. Three children: Fern, Irene and Leola.

In the 1920 census, Thomas was a building contractor, living in Santa Cruz, California with Rose, Irene and Leola who was now a Latham.

2. Elizabeth Alice Latta

Elizabeth’s husband John A. James was born Jun 1854 in Connarwell, Cornwall, England. His parents were William James and Christiana Andre Wartha. John died 13 Feb 1936 in Cook County, IL

Children: Raleigh, Grace, and Geneva.

3. William Ray Latta

William’s first wife Anna M Rupp was born Jan 1866 in Iowa.  William and Anna had three children: William Ray Jr (b. 1887), Harry Eldridge S (b. 1892) and Thomas Clifford (b. 1895).  Anna died in 1945 and is buried Fort Laramie Cemetery, Fort Laramie, Goshen, Wyoming

William’s second wife Pearl “Daisy” Briant was born in 2 Sep 1883 in Missouri. William and Pearl had three children: William Alexander (b. 1902), Robert H D Latta (b. 1905) and Jackson Joaquin (b. 1907).    Pearl died 23 Apr 1946 in Wyoming

William Ray Latta Gravestone -  Fort Laramie Cemetery,  Fort Laramie Goshen, Wyoming, Find A Grave Memorial# 20477490

William Ray Latta Gravestone – Fort Laramie Cemetery,
Fort Laramie
Goshen, Wyoming,, Find A Grave Memorial# 20477490

4. Margaret Florence Latta

Margaret Florence Latta Portrait

Florence’s first husband Dr. Albert B. Wright was born 15 July 1853 in Colorado.  His parents were Robert H. Wright (1824 – ) and Sophronia Meade (1830 – 1909).    Florence and Albert had two children: Florita Latta Wright and Alice Carrie Wright.   Dr. Wright was the primary doctor in Antonita, Colorado, and he owned drugstores there and in Alamosa, Colorado.   Dr. Wright died of a heart attack 14 Feb 1893 in Colorado.

Albert B. Wright Portrait

Florence’s second husband William R. “Bob” Skehan was born in 1864 in Brooklyn, New York.  Bob died in 1897.

Florence’s third husband James Pressley Cain died about 1931.

After Albert died, Margaret  moved to Colorado Springs with her two young daughters where she met and married William Skehan on August 3, 1897.   They had one son, William R. “Bob” Skehan, but William, Sr. also died shortly thereafter.

Florence then married James Pressley Cain, and they had two daughters and a son, Marguerite (who never married), born in Colorado Springs, Jean Cain Gauthier and Richard Cain, both born in Denver.  Florence died November 27, 1937, at the age of 73.

5. Robert “Robbie” Pressley Latta

Robbie fell down a shaft in the New Zealand mine, near Airman, Cripple Creek Mining District, Teller County, Colorado  26 Dec 1894 and was killed. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Robert Pressly Latta Gravestone - Evergreen Cemetery  Colorado Springs El Paso County Colorado,  Find A Grave Memorial# 15680842

Robert Pressly Latta Gravestone – Evergreen Cemetery
Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado,
Find A Grave Memorial# 15680842


This entry was posted in Artistic Representation, Line - Miner. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Freck Latta

  1. Pingback: William L Latta | Miner Descent

  2. Peter Pett says:

    Robert Ray Latta was my Great Great Grandfather. I have a copy of his book. Thank you for publishing some excerpts of same.

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