LATSHA, John, J. Miller and farmer, was born in Jackson township, Northumberland county, Pa., May 12, 1856.
Henry Latsha, his great-grandfather, was a native of Berks county, Pa., and afterwards removed to Northumberland county. On his way to that county to pay for his land he was lost and spent the night in the mountains. It was in the dead of winter, and his feet became frozen, and had to be amputated. He owned a large tract of land in Northumberland county, all in its native forest.
Henry Latsha (2), grandfather of John J. Latsha, was born in Berks county, Pa. He was a farmer, and owned four farms in Northumberland county, in Jackson township. He married Miss Emerich; they had four children: Henry, Jacob, Michael, and Elizabeth, wife of Henry Rogers, all of whom are deceased. The grandfather died in Jackson township, Northumberland county, as also did his wife. Owing to an accident which happened to the pastor on his way to the funeral, Mr. Latsha was buried without clergical ministrations. He was a member of the Lutheran church. His politics were Democratic. He was a prominent citizen.
Henry Latsha (3), father of John J., was born in Jackson township, northumberland county, Pa., in 1802. He was a farmer, and cultivated a farm of one hundred acres uup to the time of his death. He was also engaged in stock raising. Mr. Latsha was married, in Jackson township, to Mrs. Elizabeth Blosser of the same township. They had six children: David deceased; Mary, deceased, wife of William DeWitt; Henry, farmer of Northumberland county; Michael and Peter, deceased, and one child died in infancy. Mrs. Elizabeth Latsha died on the homestead. Mr. Latsha was married again, to Margaret Lees, a native of Northumberland county, by whom he had four children: Sarah, wife of Henry Deppen, of Northumberland county; Harriet,, wife of David Bohner, of Northumberland county; Samuel, farmer, Lower Mahanoy township, Northumberland county, and John J. The father died in January, 1856. He was a member of the lutheran church, and Democratic in politics. His widow was again married, her second husband being Peter Reitz, farmer, Northumberland county. They had no children. Mrs Reitz died in 1870.
John J. Latsha was born five months after his fathers death, and having but slender educational advantages was compelled to make up the deficiency as far as possible by his own efforts. At twelve years of age he came to Mifflin township, Dauphin county, and worked on the farm of John Lark for one year for his board and clothing. He next spent four years with his stepfather on the homestead, after which he worked in the cotton factory at Uniontown, Dauphin county, for eight months, and then again at farm labor for three years. He was next at milling for a year and a half, then at farming in Ogle county, Ill., for two years; then at home for a short time; then farming one season in Nebraska; then home again, and ran a threshing machine for two years; then having sold out this business, he tried trading in Lykens Valley for three years, and found it very profitable. After this Mr. Latsha rented the farm of John Snyder, near Berrysburg, and settled down to farming for eleven years. In 1895 he returned to Uniontown and operated a grist mill and a saw mill with fair success.
John J. Latsha was married, at Elizabethville, January 2, 1881, to Emma Meekley, born in Jackson township, Dauphin county, September 6, 1857, died December 31, 1881. They had one child which died. He married again, at Berrysburg, April 27, 1882, his second wife being Susan Snyder, born October 9, 1849, at Uniontown; daughter of John Snyder, and granddaughter of that John Snyder who laid out Uniontown. Their children are: John Snyder, born February 15, 1883, and Annie E., born April 13, 1887. Mr. Latsha bought his present home in 1884, paying for it $1,850; he has substantially improved it. He lost his mill by the flood of 1892, and rebuilt it at a cost of $800.
He is a Republican, is a member of the Uniontown council, is a member of the Reformed church, has been deacon, and is elder, and secretary of the Sunday-school. He is a prominent man, and is regarded as one of the solid and square members of the business community, and a worthy and honorable citizen.
Historical Review of Dauphin County