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LATHAM, Orvel R. (1890-1940)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/2/2020 at 13:40:14

Orvel R. Latham
(April 13, 1890 – July 8, 1940)

Ida County Pioneer Record, Ida Grove, IA, Thurs., July 11, 1940, p.1, col.1
Dr. Orvel R. Latham Former School Superintendent Here Dies
Noted Educator President of I.S.T.C.; Passed Away Monday of Pneumonia At Iowa U. Hospital
Dr. Orvel R. Latham, president of Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Ia., and former superintendent of schools here, died in the University of Iowa hospital at Iowa City Tuesday of pneumonia, which had developed following an abdominal operation more than a week ago. Physicians said his condition never had been good at the hospital and that he suffered a marked relapse last week from which he never recovered. Mrs. Latham, the former Helen Fern Waldron of Iowa City, and his son, Raymond, about 25, a student at Harvard, and daughter, Shirley Laurene, Chicago, were with him at the hospital in Iowa City.
Funeral Today
Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. today (Thursday) in the chapel on the Cedar Falls campus. Dr. Latham served as superintendent of schools in Ida Grove from 1917 to 1921. He was born at Boone, Ia., on April 13, 1890, the son of David Harrison and Mary Frances (Wane) Latham. He was graduated from Boone High School in 1907 and received his B. A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1911. He also attended the University of Iowa for his graduate work, receiving his M. A. degree in 1919 and his Ph. D. degree in 1928 from that institution. He married Miss Waldron of Iowa City, Ia., on June 5, 1913, who received her B. A. degree from the University of Iowa.
Various Iowa Posts
Dr. Latham served as superintendent of schools in the following Iowa towns at various periods in his life: Coggon (1911-1912), Pomeroy (1912-1917), Ida Grove (1917-1921); and LeMars (1921-1922). He worked as assistant superintendent of schools and director of the Bureau of Research in Duluth, Minn., from 1922 to 1924; and as professor of education at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio from 1926-1926. In 1926 he became Director of Teacher Training in Ohio University and held that position until he was appointed president of Iowa State Teachers College in 1928.
He is a member of the following organization: American Educational Research Association; Phi Delta Kappa; National Society for Study of Education; National Society of College Teachers of Education; Department of Superintendence of the National Educational Association; and Kappa Delta Pi. He is a Mason and Rotarian. Latham’s doctorate dissertation in 1928 was entitled “Children’s Concepts Concerning Trespass as Affected by Training and Environment.” He was a member of the Carnegie Foundation Commission of seven for the survey of tax supported higher education in California in 1932. Since Dr. Latham went to Iowa State Teachers college the following bureaus have been added to the administrative department at the school; the research bureau; the bureau of religious activities; the bureau of Alumni affairs; and the bureau of publications. Several buildings have been added to the campus during his administration.
Higher Teaching
Dr. Latham was regarded as responsible for higher teaching and scholarship standards which have been inaugurated at Iowa State Teachers college during the last few years. Dr. Latham created the office of dean of the faculty; unified the department of music; separated the commercial education and mathematics departments, organized the faculty senate, teaching governing body; and instituted numerous improvements and changes in the college curriculum during his administration. His death is a loss to the entire state – he was an outstanding educator.


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