Branch 1


By Virginia Latchford

The newspaper article and Last Will are about Samuel (4) Latta, Branch 1, born July 21, 1823; died Feb. 14, 1899; buried Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, single.

An exert from the Mt. Pleasant Star of March 23, 1899:

The children of the Johnston family, who have been afflicted with diphtheria are said to be convalescent.

The public sale at the Latta farm on Wednesday was largely attended; as such sales generally are. Livestock and grain brought fair prices. Articles of the house and farm were old and worn; and some very ancient. Upon the premises articles were to be seen that were nothing less than relics of Colonial days. Among them were the open fireplace, the crane and fire dogs. The giant clock, the flax break and hackles, also rude instruments for spinning flax and wool, which in turn were converted by hand into textile fabrics which made up the garments worn by these peculiar people. Two brothers and two sisters of this family who were never married spent long lives on this farm. Their needs were the most simple, hence their expenses were reduced to the minimum. They economized almost to a fault. By this, linked with hard work, they amassed considerable wealth. Samuel, the last surviving member, died a few weeks ago. By will, D. H. Pershing was appointed administrator.

Last Will and Testament of Samuel and Robert Latta Son of William (Transcribed as recorded)

In the name of God. Amen. We Samuel and Robert Latta of Bullskin Township. Fayette County. State of Pennsylvania, being in ordinary good health of body, and of sound and disposing mind and memory, and being desirous to settle our worldly affairs. While we have strength and capacity to do so, do make and publish this our last will and testament. To wit; And as to such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to entrust us, we dispose of them as follows viz;

First. We will and bequeath to our Sister Elizabeth our homestead where we now live including the Robertson tract during her natural life, and after her death our will is that our executors herein after mentioned have our homestead including said Robertson tract appraised and sold according to law, and out of the proceeds thereof we will and bequeath to our niece Eliza Johnston Four Hundred Dollars. And further we hereby require and our executors to purchase and erect a tombstone at each one of our graves as well and the grave of our Sister Elizabeth, at a cost, for each stone so erected fifty dollars, making a cost of one hundred and fifty dollars for the three. And further our will is that after all our just debts and funeral expenses are first paid the remainder of our estate be disposed of as follows. vis; The one half of all the clothing, beding, vc.. To Eliza Johnston, and the other half to Elizabeth Perkey and Thomas Newell, which they can divide, as best suits them, and whatsoever is left of our estate after such divide. That is the Real Estate in Fayette County, Penna. Is to be appraised and sold by our executors, after the death of us both, and also after the death of our Sister Elizabeth, and the residue and remainder thereof if there be any is to be divided as follows one fourth to Thomas Newell and one half the heirs of William Latta.

And further as to all our right title and interest to a certain tract of land situate and lying in Mt. Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County Penna. Adjoining lands of Joshua Newell, James Newell, Joshua Griffith, John Eicher, and others. We give and bequeath to our Niece Eliza Johnston, clear of all incumbrances, and if it should so happen that she die before this will be probated, our will is that all our interest in said tract of land in Westmoreland County Pa. be divided between the above mentioned Thomas Newell, one third; Eliza Perkey, one third; and the other one third to the heirs of William Latta.

And further we make and ordain Milton Eshleman and Daniel W. Pershing executors of this our last will and testament. Revoking all former wills vc. By us made.

N.B. It is further to be distinctly understood that nothing whatever is to be done in the settling of this will until after the death of each one of us. In witness whereof we Samuel Latta and Robert have to this our last will and testament set our hand, and seal this Fifth day of January A.D. Eighteen hundred and ninety two (1892).

Samuel Latta

Robert Latta

Sealed signed and delivered in presence of us and in each others presence. We have signed our names as witnesses to the same.

Henry O Freed

A. F. Hoke