OBITUARY NOTICE - JULY 5, 1912
W.W. LATTA ANSWERS SUMMONS
One of Burt County's Grand Old Men Passed to Great Beyond
[Branch 18 - William Wallace Latta]
The death of W. W. Latta Tuesday morning,
July 2  was a profound shock to this community. To his
intimate friends, it was known that he was not as well this past
week and that he was again confined to his room, but they hoped
that he would soon be seen on the street again as was his usual
custom. Mr. Latta's ailment dates back to last September, when
he showed the first symptoms of a break in his robust health
that he enjoyed from childhood. He was confined to his bed for
several weeks and from that acute attack later he gained
strength sufficient to come up town and visit with old friends
and attend to his duties at the First National Bank, of which he
was president, since his cousin Congressman J. P. Latta passed
away last September, but with best of care he could not regain
his former vitality. He knew that his work was about finished
and was quietly waiting for the curtain that divides time from
eternity, to be drawn aside, and so, in his own home, in the
midst of the friends and neighbors of many years, in the tender
care of his wife and son, who were nearest and dearest to him,
God's finger touched him and he slept the sleep that knows no
W. W. Latta was born in Ashland County,
Ohio, Sept. 6, 1832. When a mere lad he began life as a stage
driver for the Western Stage Company on a route out of Richmond,
Indiana; was transferred to a route between Dayton and Xenia,
Ohio, where he drove a four horse coach, and later drove a four
horse coach between Niagara Falls and Lewiston. In the meantime,
his father moved his family to Jackson County, Iowa, and in the
fall of 1852 Mr. Latta was married to Miss Mary C. Mason and
immediately started for Nebraska. There was no railroad at that
time, so they came in a covered wagon with all their belongings,
which consisted of four yoke of oxen, a cow, a mare, and colt.
They crossed the Missouri River at Sioux City, but there was no
city then, just a steamboat landing and a few log shanties. They
came down through the Indian reservation and located east of
Tekamah, near the river, where he carved out a home. He arrived
here in July just 55 years ago. On the 10th of last May they
celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
Mr. Latta was a notable man and his
career is a remarkable one. Here and unaided he began the
struggle of live, and here by thrift, economy and self-denial he
acquired wealth and rose to a position of commanding influence
in the community. In financial and business affairs he possessed
the confidence of the people to an unusual degree. In municipal
affairs he took great interest, serving on the counsel for over
25 years with zeal and fidelity. He always constituted the
people's interests, just as he consulted his own interests. He
was a cautious, vigilant public officer and much of the
permanent improvements in the city owe their foundations to his
wise judgment. The cemetery especially, is today just what Mr.
Latta made it, which was always under his care and supervision.
Common sense, practical ideas and
conservative opinions were strong features in his character.
Ripe in judgment, and in possession of confidence and esteem of
everyone who knew his sphere of usefulness, it was cut short, he
died too soon. During the last few months the lines on his manly
brow grew deeper, their voiceless eloquence pleading against
separation from her who had been his confidant, his true friend
and inseparable companion through these 55 years. From her he
was loath to part, he had no thought of death; it was nature's
premonition of the advancing fate which he obeyed but did not
understand. Fortunate in life, so was he happy in the time and
manner of his going. While within a few months of the fourscore
milestone he was in full possession of the vigor of his
faculties with not one ray of his intelligence obscured or
dimmed. Honored among men in his own city, county and state, he
passed without a pang from this world; he was weary and fell
The funeral was held at his late home at
10 a.m. Friday July 5th. Rev. Dr. Taylor of the Presbyterian
church conducted the service, and the attendance was very large.
A select quartette sang: "Softly Fades the Light of Day," "In
the Hour of Trial" and "Abide With Me." The pallbearers were:
Messrs. E. C. and Chas. Houston, E. I. Ellis, F. A. Cameron, T.
A. Minier, C. A. Metzler, E. Va. Morgan, E. C. Carscaden.
Mr. Latta would have been 80 years old
next September, he was the eldest of a family of eight, five
daughters and three sons, two sisters and three brothers
preceded him, also three of his own children, two of them in
childhood, and his son Will after he had arrived at manhood. He
is survived by his devoted wife and son Bud R., also two
grandchildren Will and Edith Latta, three sisters, Mrs. O. B.
Prior of Miles, Ia., Mrs. Mary Snead of Seymour, Mo., and Mrs.
Lou White of Tekamah.
Relatives from a distance were: Mrs. H.
C. Bechtel, Tama, Iowa; Miss Nellie Snead, Seymour, Mo.; W. W.
Mason, Lubbock, Texas; Lou Latta and wife, Blair; J. R. Latta
and wife, Decatur. Others in attendance from abroad were: Miss
Kathryn Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Max G.
Gladstone, N. C. Houston, Frank Houston, Alva Smith of Omaha; N.
J. Ronin, Scott Wall, E. Hileker of Fremont; E. Va. Morgan and
wife, Gene Bordick and wife of Herman; T. A. Minier, M. S.
Wilcox, F. Minier, T. T. Plummer of Craig; Geo. Minier of
Oakland; Dr. J. B. Whittier of Decatur; Ed Stapleton and wife of
Thurston; M. M. Warner of Lyons. All places of business were
closed in respect of Mr. Latta during the funeral hour.