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Frank N. Lathrop
Born November 12, 1861


Frank N. Lathrop, one of the independent and enterprising agriculturists of Greenfield township, who today is in possession of a most gratifying competency which has come to him as the result of industry and well directed effort, was born in Oxford Mills, Jones county, Iowa, on the 12th of November, 1861, a son of Hon. George W. and Millie (Noble) Lathrop. The former was a son of George Lathrop, who came to Iowa from Ohio in 1836 on horseback, and later, in 1848, made an overland trip to California. Our subject has in his possession a unique piece of pottery fashioned in the shape of a book which his grandfather carried with him on that journey. George W. Lathrop came with his father from Ohio and crossed the Mississippi river at Davenport on the 29th of June, 1840. Settlement was first made in Clinton county, whence they removed to Allens Grove, in Scott county. Later, in connection with his half-brother, he engaged in the mercantile business in Toronto, Clinton county, being thus engaged until 1858, in which year he went to Oxford Mills, where he established what is known as the Courtright & Lathrop mills. He became very popular in local political affairs and was called upon at two different times by his fellow citizens to represent his district in the lower house, becoming a member of the sixteenth and twenty-second general assemblies. He was also appointed by the governor of the state to take the vote of the soldiers in the United States army in 1864, and later was an important factor in securing what is known as the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad. He passed away on the 3d of December, 1907, and the county thereby lost one of its representative and valued citizens. He had married Miss Millie Noble in 1859, and unto this union were born six children, namely: Frank N., of Martelle; J. H., residing in Okobojo, South Dakota; Nathan B., of Oxford; and Mrs. Gladys Stuhr, of Oxford Junction; while one son and one daughter passed away in infancy.
No event of especial importance came to vary the routine of life for Frank N. Lathrop in his boyhood and youth, which were passed in his parents' home in Oxford Mills, where he attended the district schools in the acquirement of an education, his time being divided between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the duties assigned to him by parental authority. Under the direction of his father he early learned the value of industry and energy, qualities which proved salient elements in his entire business career.
He remained under the parental roof until attaining his majority, when he entered the business world as an agriculturist, taking up the occupation of farming as his life work. He continued to engage in this line of activity in Jones county until 1904, in which year he removed to Washington county, Iowa, where he remained for about three years. In 1907 he went to Linn county, where he resided for two years, and then, in 1909, he returned to Jones county, purchasing a farm in Greenfield township, where he has since made his borne. The farm consists of one hundred and forty-one acres of rich and productive land, all under a high state of cultivation. He has introduced many modern improvements upon the place, and the care and thought which he has bestowed upon it are visible in its well kept appearance, the farm being one of the highly improved and valuable properties of the township.
Mr. Lathrop was united in marriage on the 10th of November, 1886, to Miss Kittie Phillips, of Albany, Illinois, a daughter of E. V. and Harriet (Ellingham) Phillips, natives of New York and Quebec respectively, the former born in 1834 and the latter in 1835. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips were the following, Mary, Ida, Frank, Elmer, John, Robert and two daughters who passed away in infancy. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lathrop were born three children, as follows: Jennie F., aged twenty-one years; Boyd, nineteen years of age: and Nellie D., who died in infancy. The two surviving children are still under the parental roof.
Mr. and Mrs. Lathrop, and their daughter are members of the Pythian Sisters and also of the Eastern Star, while in politics the father is an ardent republican, giving stalwart support to that party, whose principles he deems best adapted to conserve the public welfare. He does not seek nor desire office, however, preferring to concentrate his energies entirely upon his private business affairs, which, carefully and wisely managed, are proving a source of most gratifying remuneration to him. His success has been by no means the result of fortunate circumstances, however. It has come to him through energy, labor and perseverance, directed by an evenly balanced mind and by honest business principles, and today he stands among the substantial and representative agriculturist of Greenfield township.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 293.

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