"James Latham was born, October 25, 1768, in Loudon County, Virgina, of English parents. He emigrated when a young man to Kentucky, and was there married, June 21, 1792, to Mary Briggs, who was born February 3, 1772 in Virginia, of Scotch parents.  They had nine children in Kentucky, and moved to Elkhart Grove, in what is now Logan County, but was formerly a part of Sangamon County, Illinois ariving in 1819.  Mr. Latham and his son Richard built a horse mill, at Elkhart, in 1823.   It was the first mill north of the Sangamon River.  When he settled at Elkhart, their nearest mill was at Edwardsville, more than one hundred miles south.   When Sangamon County was organized, James Latham was appointed Judge of the Probate Court, May 27, 1821.  He was also Justice of the Peace.  After Mr. Latham had served a year or two as Judge of the Probate Court of Sangamon County, he was appointed, on the part of the United States Government, to superintend the Indians around Fort Clark.   Soon after, he moved his family there, making that place his headquarters.   The town of Peoria was laid out, on land including the fort.  Judge Latham died there, December 23, 1826.  His widow returned with her family to Elkhart, where she died. (From History of Sangamon County, Illinois, 1881)


James LathamRichard Latham 1798 - 1868

"Son of James Latham.  Born Dec. 23, 1789 in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky.  Died June 5, 1868 in Springfield, Illinois.

"He came to Illinois in 1818 with his sister Elizabeth (Betsy) and her husband James W. Chapman.  The next year he moved with his father James Latham to Elkhart Hill and entered land in section 18 (later known as the Gillett Homestead).  Here he kept a post house known as the 'Old Kentucky House'.Old Kentucky House  This was a stopping place for earlier settlers in the twenties and later the lawyers who travelled their circuit: Treat, Logan, Stuart, Baker, Edwards, Matheny and the immortal Lincoln and others stopped on their way to and from Postville (Lincoln) and Bloomington.   He and his father established the horse mill referred to under his father's name.   There was then no mill nearer than Edwardsville, one hundred miles to the south.

"On September 16, 1824 he was married to Emily Hubbard, who was born  on Aug.19, 1798 and who came to Illinois in 1821 with her brother-in-law, Benjamin Briggs and his wife from Kentucky.  They had one child, James Thomas Briggs born Feb. 7, 1826 and died Apr. 17, 1826 at Elkhart.  Emily Hubbard Latham died in 1826.  He was married a second time, Mar. 27, 1829 to Mrs. Margaret Stephenson Broadwell.  She was the daughter of John Stephenson who came to Sangamon County in 1820 bringing her and her two brothers, John and James.  James was the first surveyor in Sangamon County.  She was first married to William Broadwell and their son William Broadwell laid out the present town of Broadwell.  Mr. William Broadwell was killed November 22, 1824 while assisting at the raising of a barn at the old town of Sangamo.   Mr. Latham lived at Elkhart until 1853 when they sold the farm at Elkhart for the highest price land was ever sold for in Logan County.  Mr. Latham then retired from business and moved with his family to Springfield where he lived until his death in his house at the S.W. corner of Sixth and Monroe Streets.  About 1870 that house was moved to the S.W. corner of Sixth and Allen Streets where Mrs. Latham lived with her son Henry C. Latham and daughter Lute and her husband's sister Nancy until her death.   She died Jan. 20, 1886 at the age of 85.  Richard Latham and his wife are buried at Oak Ridge Cemetary."

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