and sadly, some of us were not too interested or never took the time
to learn about how we happened to be born, reared and schooled in
the Elliott area. To prepare a brief history of the LATHEN family
has been a most welcome exercise. While I cannot spice it with
anecdotes without making it too personal, I am grateful to those who
have made possible the publication of this history in commemoration
of the centennial celebration of the founding of Elliott, Iowa.
family that is a part of the history of the Elliott community begins
with Tilman H. Lathen, who was born in Albia, Iowa, in 1858 and came
to the Elliott area after his marriage to Laura Giltner in 1881.
They were the parents of four children, Jessie, Hoyt, Guy and
Geneva, and resided east of Elliott on the Woodling place until 1892
when they moved to a 225 acre farm two miles west and a mile north
of Elliott in Pottawattamie County, Waveland Twp., where they
resided until moving to Elliott in 1912. Tilman and Laura died in
Elliott in 1934 and 1935 respectively.
child, Jessie, died at the age of four.
Hoyt spent most
of his life in Madison, Nebraska, and his children were Theil, Hoyt
Jr., and Jean.
youngest of the children of Tilman and Laura, married Oliver Howard.
They made their home in Red Oak and were the parents of three
daughters, Lucile, who died while a young woman in her twenties,
Elizabeth Sapp of Red Oak, and Marjorie Dillon, who resides in
California. Geneva continues to reside in Red Oak as does Elizabeth,
who has two children, Dennis and Sharon.
After Tilman and
Laura moved to Elliott, the farm was occupied by son, Guy Martin,
and his wife, Grace Hobson, who had grown up on a farm several miles
north. They had five daughters:
Woodworth, who resides in Mesa, Arizona, and has two daughters, Ann
Peyton, and Muriel Petsch.
Clella Landis of
Sheridan, Wyoming, and her only daughter is Clella Sue Vittum.
Christenson lives in Sunnyvale, California and her children are Jim
who was often referred to as "Bette Elaine" by her mother, lives in
Anita. Her sons are Doug and Tom. A daughter, Nancy Gustafson of
Story City, died in 1976, leaving her husband, Neil, and three
children, Ann, Jennifer and Nicholas.
The last of the
five daughters of farmers, Guy and Grace, was Patricia, who was born
the year after the big farm house had been razed by fire March 6,
1926. The new house built in 1926 is still standing and was rather
unique in that it had inside plumbing, hot and cold running water,
and its own light generating plant. Pat Thompson now resides in West
Des Moines and is the mother of five children, Mary Sue, Jerry,
Michael, Mark and Paul.
In 1944 at the
age of 53, Guy died even as plans were pending to retire from
farming. With much help from neighbors, the farm sale was held as
planned on a snowy day in January, 1945. Also as planned, Hilton and
Mabel Cowley became the tenants, and Grace moved to Red Oak, where
she continued to reside until her death in a car accident in 1964.
The farm was sold the following year, ending the ties of the Lathen
family to that Iowa soil.
the memories of the third generation members of this pioneer family
are neighborhood get-togethers, riding the bobsled to the country
school for programs, the consolidation of schools in 1919, and the
very muddy ruts of the dirt roads after a rain and getting "stuck"
when "the bottom went out" of the roads. The isolation during the
winter of '36 when farm families were "snowed in" for days on end is
another vivid remembrance.