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David R. and Mary Latham

Rev. David Randall Latham

Rev. D.R. Latham departed this life October 31, 1911, at Abilene, Kan. The deceased was born at Springfield, Vt., October 13, 1831, being the son of Harvey and Betsey Randall Latham. He was educated in Springfield Wesleyan Seminary, Lima Seminary at Lima, and at Ft. Covington Academy, N.Y. In 1855 he was licensed to exhort by Rev. J.L. Humphrey, and to preach by Rev. P.D. Garrie.

In 1856 he married Miss Lucy L. Dewey, and next year, with his young wife, went to the Grand Traverse region in Michigan as a pioneer missionary of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was the founder of the Methodist churches at Old Mission and Traverse City. He united with the Michigan Conference in 1858, and subsequently served the following charges within its bounds, Allegan, Grand Rapids (Division Street), Coldwater, Cooper and Oshtemo.

Mrs. Latham and their baby daughter died during their earlier years in Michigan.

In 1867 Mr. Latham married Mrs. Mary E. Blowers, widow of Rev. W.I. Blowers, of the Michigan Conference.

In 1870 Mr. Latham was transferred to the Des Moines Conference, and after serving at Humboldt and Moingena, Iowa, returned to the Michigan Conference and was stationed successively at Frankfort, Inland, Old Mission, Sparta, Byron and Bowne. In 1882 he took a supernumerary relation and superannuated in 1883. Thereafter instead of retiring from active ministry he rendered fifteen years heroic missionary service in the mountains of Arkansas and on the frontiers of Southwestern Kansas, serving as supply under the presiding elders.

In 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Latham made their home at Abilene, Kan.

In 1889 their only son, Elwin H., was drowned in the Potomac at Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Latham alone remains of this good man's household.

Mr. Latham's life was one of essential heroism. His long ministry was chiefly in frontier mission fields, in forest, mountain and prairie, among Indians, lumbermen and cowboys. Many thrilling adventures were his, adrift all night on Lake Michigan with his wife and babe in an open boat, adrift on broken ice fields, amputating a man's arm with improvised implements in the forest, among perils of land and sea, enduring hardships extreme and all but heart-breaking, surely he fought a good fight and earned the heavenly crown.

The funeral was held at the M.E. church, Abilene, Kansas, November 3, 1911, Rev. W.M. Balch, pastor, officiating, assisted by Revs. E.R. Brown and F.E. Allman, of the Kansas Conference, and the pastors of several local churches.


- Michigan Annual Conference minutes of 1912, p. 101

Mrs. D.R. Latham

Fully prepared, and homesick for heaven, as she told her pastor, this beautiful Christian character, on the morning of December 8, 1914, passed from her home in Abilene, Kansas, to the home prepared for her above.

Mrs. Latham's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Tomlinson, and she was born on Feb. 1, 1838, in Sherwood, Michigan. In her very young childhood she was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal church. To the Master and the church, from that time until her death, she was greatly devoted. Her life was one of many sorrows, but in Christ she always found joy and peace. Those who knew her best say she was one of the sweetest Christian characters they ever knew. She loved God with all her heart and trusted him with unquestioning faith.

She was married to Rev. W.I. Blowers, a member of the Michigan Conference, on June 28, 1858. After seven years of happiness her husband gave his life for his country in the civil war, leaving her a widow with two children. October 13, 1867, she was married at Decatur, Mich., to Rev. D.R. Latham, also a member of the Michigan Conference. She served with him until his superannuation in 1882, when they went west. For fifteen years she followed him in his labors as a supply pastor in Arkansas and Kansas. Fifteen years ago they settled at Abilene, Kansas, where Brother Latham died in 1911. Mrs. Latham was the mother of four children, one of whom survives her, Mrs. C.W. Anderson of Pierre, South Dakota.

The funeral services were held at Abilene, in charge of her pastor, Rev. Willard J. DeYoe; and burial took place in the cemetery there beside her husband.

- Michigan Annual Conference minutes of 1915, pp. 605-606