Branch 3


By Bonnie Peifer

   On our way to Chillicothe OH to do research on my Latta family, we saw the little sign "Lattaville" and down at the dip of the road we saw a two-storied brick house.  There was a woman outside gardening and we stopped to talk with her, asking if any Latta's still lived here.  She said not that she knew, but after telling her my lineage she invited us into the house to show it to us.  She was an architect and very proud of the house.

    She told us it was built by William Latta in 1835 and was an inn.  Entering the back door we went into a large kitchen with a long table and fireplace.  On the left-hand side of the fireplace was a small alcove with shelves with flowers on both sides.  We were told it was the post office at one time many years ago.  The kitchen table could have seated 12 people.  Opposite the fireplace wall the door entered into the front hall.  There was a door on the left-hand side that went into the parlor.  The walls were 14 inches thick, with large inside sills.  Again this room had a fireplace and a door leading into the front hall.  The front hall was very large with stairs going up to the two large rooms, one on either side, used as dormitories.  Men slept on one side, women on the other.

    The front door was over 45 inches wide so they could carry a casket into the hall for viewing.  We had never seen or heard of this before.  The door on the left side of the building was used for the post office.  She had partitioned the upstairs rooms to make individual rooms for her children.  Going into the kitchen again she said, "Now I will show you why I like the house so much."  She opened the kitchen cabinet door and lifted up the floor in front of it revealing old log steps down into the full basement where you could see the hand hewn timbers supporting the house.  Some were 10 by 12 inches and ran the length of the basement.  All the beams were hand hewn with full 2 by 10 joists and just as solid as the day it was built.

    The basement was full of old antiques.  We don't know if they all came from the original owners, but we were very impressed.

    The woman told us we were not the first ones who had stopped inquiring about the house.  We were given the winter photos of the house.  She wanted us to see what it looked like in winter as we were taking pictures of it in the summer.

    The small house just beyond the inn was built by the same brick mason with the same trim down under the eaves and the style of laying the bricks are the same.  She said it was where the family lived who ran the inn.

    While we were there she called the Historical Society of Chillicothe to find out when they would be open.  We also went to the church services at the Concord Presbyterian Church that Sunday and told them after the service why we were there. This church was founded in 1805, and is only about a half mile north of Lattaville.  Here in 1833 my great grandfather, Samuel Nichols Latta, as well as all his brothers and sisters were baptized together.  We looked at the adjacent cemetery but my direct ancestors weren't there because they moved on to Iowa in 1842.

    Samuel's father, James Latta, had a sawmill which was located across from the inn and down the road to the right.  The mill is still standing.

    While traveling throughout Ohio, Indiana and Iowa we saw many lighted candles in the windows of old homes.  This was a sign of welcome in the old days when people were traveling by horse or carriage. The lady who owned the inn had electrified candles in the windows the first time we saw the inn.

    The second time we went to Lattaville we stopped at the inn again and spoke to the same lady.  She was packing up to move away.  She had divorced and didn't need the large house anymore.  I asked her where I could buy some electrified candles such as I had seen there on our previous visit and she said she wouldn't be using them in her new home and offered to sell them to us.  So we bought them and they are in our windows in our little home in Yuma, Arizona.

The Lattas of Lattaville

14 Moses (5) Latta of Branch 3 is credited as the founder of Lattaville, Ross County, Ohio.  He marred Mary "Polly" Scott in what is now Franklin Co., PA in 1798.  Moses and Mary had two children: John, who died without issue, and Abraham Smith, a surgeon in the Mexican War, who married and had six daughters.  After Mary's death in 1836, Moses married Mrs. Porter of Chillicothe, OH, a widow with three children.  Moses' brothers, John and James, and several sisters and their families also lived in or near Lattaville.  Several other Latta families, including Bonnie's ancestors, spent time in the Lattaville vicinity before moving westward.