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Knox County Illinois
Genealogy and History


submitted by ©Foxie Hagerty, 2006

Elder Joseph Latimer (deceased).--Revolutionary War Soldier

This gentleman has the honor of being the founder of the Latimer Family in Knox County, Illinois. It is almost needless to add that a splendid line of stanch men and good citizens are numbered among the Latimer's. Elder Joseph was a native of Connecticut, and was born seven miles from New London, June 08, 1766. Previous to his death he often related his recollection of distinctly seeing the smoke at the burning of that town by the traitor Arnold. There many other events of moments connected with e Revolutionary War, of which this gentleman had a distinct remembrance, among them the casting overboard of tea in Boston Harbor, necessitating the use of Yankee tea. His father was a Colonel in the War of Independence, and his twelve sons in their turn served under their parents command--one of the most remarkable events of family history on record. The gentleman under consideration came with his father's family to Tennessee in 1790, and took an active part in several of the battles fought by the Indians in the vicinity of Nashville, as well as on the Cumberland River, east of that city. In one of these battles his drinking cup was hot from his shoulder, and in another his younger brother, Nathaniel, was killed by his side. Not long after the suspension of Indian hostilities, Nov. 10, 1796, he was married to Anna Dobbins, and settled in Robinson County.

In the very memorable revival of that year both he and his wife experienced religion, and when the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized they were among its earliest members. He was early ordained an Elder, and became an active supporter of that church. His sympathies there with remained undiminished to the date of his death. In company with his family he emigrated to Sangamon County, Ill., in 1826, and in 1831, with a part of his family, moved to Knox County and settled in Cherry Grove, where the remainder of his children soon followed him. This district was then almost entirely unsettled. The marriage of his daughter Susan to U. D. Coy, in 1833 was the first marriage in Cedar Township, and his son David, who died in 1836, was the second person buried in Cherry Grove Cemetery.

While still advanced in years he superintended the building of a very comfortable home, aside from acquiring valuable property. He lived to see seven of his ten children prosperously settled around him. In organizing the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Cherry Grove, which was the first church building in Knox county, the aid he rendered to the project was noticeable to everyone. The building of the structure had his constant attention. This was ten years prior to his death, which occurred at his home, August 18, 1846.

Personally, Elder Joseph Latimer was a man of ardent religious sentiment, and remarkable for his quiet, peaceable and patient disposition. He lived to enjoy the friendship of a large circle of admirers, and it has been said that he had not an enemy in the world. His descendants throughout Knox County are very numerous, and are very likely to impress their influence on the coming generations.

Excerpt from a grandson's bio:

FRANK W. LATIMER, a grocer of Abingdon, and one of the promising young men of this county, was born in Knox County, Feb. 21, 1868. He is the son of William M. and Mary E. (Humiston) Latimer, and the grandson of Jonathan and great-grandson of Elder Joseph Latimer; sketches of the lives of both of these men appear on other pages of this work. William M. Latimer was engaged the greater part of his life in mercantile pursuits, in Abingdon. He died in 1872, on the old homestead where his father settled in 1832.

Excerpt from a son of Elder Joseph Latimer and father of William M. Latimer and grandfather to Frank W. Latimer above.

LATIMER, JONATHAN, as consistency is ever a trait in the records of remarkable men, one can scarcely recall the name of the subject of this biography without at the same time being struck with the roundness and complete unity in character of the man immediately under our notice.

Mr. Latimer, now deceased, whose pen portrait is given here, was one among the earliest pioneers of Knox County. He settled in the year 1832, though arriving in Illinois as early as 1829.

At the home of his parents in Robinson Co, Tenn, the boy was born May 23, 1803, his father being Elder Joseph and his mother Anna (Dobbins) Latimer.

Descended from one of those old and sturdy New England families who played a most conspicuous part in the struggle for American Independence, Mr Latimer through a life devoted to duty and the good of his fellows, lost none of those strong traits which so distinguished his ancestors. During the Revolutionary War the grandfather of Jonathan held rank as Colonel, and contributed to the Colonial forces no less than twelve sons, each serving under his gallant fatherís command.

This Elder Joseph Latimer was the son of a Jonathan Latimer.

Submitted by Foxie Hagerty who says: "I am a member of the Lucrettia Leffingwell Chapter, NSDAR and have come across a few mistakes here in IL and we are working on correcting them among my other faithful duties to my web pages and my family. Just thought you might want to know as some places say the Elder Joseph's sons served in Rev War and they did not. They were not born until after the war was over it was the this Elder Joseph Latimer and his brothers who served with their father in the Revolutionary War."

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