Franklin co. IAGenWeb Franklin County & Communities History



Named for J. F. Latimer. He laid out and platted the town in November 1882, about the time the Iowa Central Railroad began operations. A station was made on the line, and a post office was established in September 1882. H A. Clock was postmaster. In that year the firm of Clock and Clock began a general mercantile business.

In 1883 St. Peter's Danish Lutheran Church was organized with Te Reverend N. Peterson as pastor. The first house of worship was built in 1893 about four miles from town. It was destroyed by a strike of lightning and burned to the ground. A new building was erected in 1903.  The Latimer Methodist Episcopal Church was organized April 7, 1893. The Reverend A. S. Flanigan dedicated the church building November 11, 1893. St. Paul's Lutheran Church was organized March 3, 1895. The Reverend C. A. Dietrich presided at the first meeting held in the Latimer schoolhouse. The group's own building was built the following year. July 7, 1935, this church celebrated its fortieth anniversary. The small group that had organized in 18u95 had grown to nearly 500 persons. A weel-long observance was arranged by the pastor, the Reverend E. H. Grummer, and included several former pastors, church notables and former members of the congregation. Among these were Reverend Theodor Hannsen of Chicago, The Reverend Otto Beer of Springfield, Illinois. The Reverend Mr. Beer who had grown up in the Latimemr congregation was ordained a minister and spent 10 years in the missionary field in Brazil before locating in Illinois. An organizations brief history compiled for the occasion acknowledged the former church at Millpond (Beed's Lake) as the mother church. The difficulties of attending early services were described as: "Roads that at certain times of the year were almost impassible had to be negotiated with horses and lumber wagon. Forced to cross creeks and marshes, the horses at times mired down, single trees broke, and traces snapped in an attempt to get an empty wagon through low places."

When it was found that enough Lutheran families resided in and near Latier to justify the holding of additional services in the community, in 1894, the Reverend Dietrich, pastor at Millpond was asked to preach in the schoolhouse in Marion Township, three miles north of Latimer.The services were so well attended that plans were made for a permanent organization.

The Farmers' Cooperative Creamery was founded in 1895. During the early 1900's the annual Harvest Home Festival was celebrated.  Neighborhood gatherings were arranged with races, baseball games, glee club and band music during the day. In the evening dances and dramatic entertainments.

Latimer was incorporated in 1901.  In 1902 a city waterworks was voted and installed at a cost of $6,000. The Latimer Gymnasium was built by the district in 1935, without issuance of a bond and without Government aid. The total cosst was $14,000. 500 seats were installed for court fans. Serving as an auditorium for plays, the gymnasium could accomodate about 800 people. The basketball court was built 40 by 72 feet and the stage 35 by 18 feet with a dressing room at each side. The boys' and girls' shower and locker rooms were located in the basement. The building was heated by a forced-draft furnace. An annex contained a large home-economics room which could also be used for dinners and banquets. The building was contructed for face tile, zinc flash in color, with a hard maple floor.

The Latimer Star, a four column quarto newspaper, ran from 1901 to 1918, when publication ceased and all news was transferred to the Latimer column in the Hampton Chronicle.



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