Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941)

Gold prospector in the Black Hills of North Dakota



Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) made his living selling fruits and vegetables on the Long Island Railroad. He then became a sod buster and gold prospector in the Black Hills of North Dakota. When he returned to Long Island he was the manager of Stern’s Pickle Works on Powell Place off of Melville Road in Farmingdale, New York. He was the Republican party, Deputy Sheriff of Glen Cove, New York. He became a farmer on the Isle of Pines in Cuba from 1909 to 1924. He then retired to Lake, Helen Florida where he died. (b. May 29, 1853, Farmingdale, Queens County, Long Island, New York, USA – d. February 21, 1941, Lake Helen, Volusia County, Florida, USA)

Jarvis on the
Isle of Pines, Cuba in 1911

Jarvis was the son of Henry K. Lattin (1806-1894) aka Henry K. Latting and Julia Wood (1813-1873).

He had the following siblings: Mary E. Lattin (1833-1874) who married Charles Powell; George Lattin (1837-?); Julietta Lattin (1839-aft1850); William H. Lattin (1842-1871) who married Ella T. X; Phebe Maria Lattin (1845-?); Susannah Lattin (1848-1868) who died post partum in a medical scandal; Smith Lattin (1849-?); Charles G. Lattin (1850-1869); and Deborah Jane Lattin (1858-1861).

Oyster Bay, Long Island:
The family appears in the 1850 US census living in Oyster Bay.

First marriage:
Jarvis followed the railroad out to Iowa and married Mary Jane Puckett (1854-1927) on October 15, 1874 in Jasper Township, Carroll County, Iowa. Mary was the daughter of Elijah Puckett (1815-1896) and Katherine Keever (1821-1904).

Together Jarvis and Mary had the following children: Mary Esther Lattin (1875-1895) who married Richard Arlington Brush (1874-1944); Catherine Lavinia Lattin (1878-1964) who married Richard Arlington Brush (1874-1944) as his second wife, after her sister died; Julia Ann Lattin (1880-1960) who married Alfred William Poole (1881-1959); William Henry Lattin (1882) who died as an infant; Myrtle Adelia Lattin (1884-1970) who married Charles Haley Williams (1884-1960) after they met in Cuba; Deluth Andrew Lattin (1886-1887) who died as an infant; Jennie Alice Lattin (1888-1958) who married Charles Henry Pilkington (1887-1956); Charles A. Lattin (1890-1891) who died as an infant; Eva Ariel Lattin (1892-1939) who married Anton Julius Winblad II (1886-1975) after they met in Cuba; Frederick E. Lattin (1894) who died as an infant; Effie Jeanette Lattin (1895-1989) who married Josiah Barnes Pomeroy (1882-1956) after they met in Cuba; Dewey Ernest Lattin I (1898-1985) who lived in Cuba from 1909 to 1915 and married Elizabeth Henry (1903-1987); Theodore Roosevelt Lattin (1901-1980) who lived in Cuba from 1909 to 1915 and married Bertha Christina Nelson (1905-1980).

Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York:
Jarvis appears in the 1860-1870 US Census under the name “Jarvis Latting” living in Oyster Bay. The family appears in the 1880 US Census living in Oyster Bay and Jarvis is listed as a “marketman”. Living with him was his widowed father, Henry K. Lattin.

Nebraska and Black Hills of Dakota:
Jarvis moved to Nebraska near the Niobrori River, which was about 20 miles from Atkinson. He had bought farm implements on credit, but he wasn’t succesful, so he could not pay for them, and they were repossesed. He next tried prospecting for gold in the Black Hills of Dakota. He returned to Farmingdale in 1888 during the week of the blizzard.

Pickle factory:
In 1888 he started a pickle and sauerkraut factory in Farmingdale. There were many companies already established in the area. He had a house built on the land next to the factory. The factory in 1894 was sold to Aaron Stern and it became the “Stern and Lattin Pickle Company” and later “Stern and Brauner”. It was also listed as “Stern Pickle Products, Inc.” and “Stern’s Pickle Works”. It was at 111 Powell Place off of Melville Road and the company lasted until 1985.

Deputy Sheriff of Farmingdale:
Harold Lawrence McPheeters (1923- ) writes: “Jarvis Lattin was for some time a Constable in Farmingdale. Someone accused him of charging too many trips to Jamaica [New York] on the Long Island Railroad, but his response was that his responsibilities included arresting ‘tramps’ and taking them to county headquarters in Jamaica for booking.” The Brooklyn Eagle, Wednesday, June 29, 1898 reports on the inquiry.

Isle of Pines, Cuba:

Isle of Pines, Cuba in 1911

In 1909 Jarvis moved his family near Santa Barbara on the Isle of Pines in Cuba. On Tuesday, March 23, 1909; Tuesday, August 30, 1910; and Monday, June 24, 1912, Jarvis returned to New York City from Havana, Cuba. In 1915 his two youngest children returned to New York and lived in the Bronx. In 1924 the island was formally ceded to Cuba and he returned to the US and lived in Florida.

Second marriage:
In 1928 Jarvis married Agnes M. Dimmock (1861-1937) in Hillsboro, Florida.

Lake Helen, Florida:
In 1930 Jarvis was living in Lake Helen, Florida with his second wife, Agnes M. Dimmock. Harold Lawrence McPheeters (1923- ) writes: “I do know that Grandpa Lattin regularly drank whiskey. He wanted an inch of whiskey a day, and much preferred that it be in a milk bottle rather than in a regular shot glass. Uncle Dewey told me that they lived near his parents in Lake Helen at that time, and they often found Jarvis quite well lubricated with a bottle of whiskey in which he had placed [a] considerable [amount of] sugar. They felt that Jarvis treated Agnes badly in that he would not buy her new clothes or shoes and expected her to shoo away the flies attracted by the spilled sugar and whiskey. Elizabeth, Dewey’s wife, told me how she once embarrassed Jarvis into buying Agnes a new pair of shoes. Dewey had … told me, ‘My father was as close to the Devil as there was, and my mother as close to an angel.’ “


Tombstone in
Powell Cemetery

Jarvis died in Lake Helen, Florida in 1941 and his body was transported back to Long Island by train and he was buried in Powell Cemetery in Hempstead, Long Island.

Memories about Jarvis Lattin:
Julia Ann Lattin (1880-1960) wrote in her death-bed memoir the following:

“My father was born in Farmingdale on May 29th, 1853. As a young man of 20 years he worked for a short time on the Long Island Railroad selling foodstuffs on the train. He was the youngest of eleven children and had a roaming disposition and left home to see the world. He got as far as Lake City, Iowa and a short time later met his future wife to be, a Mary Jane Puckett, who was a young school teacher at the time. After about six months, [on October 15, 1874] they were married and lived in Iowa for about one year when my oldest sister was born. Then they came back to Long Island for about three or four years where my next older sister and I was born. But my dad still had that longing for the Old West where things were rugged, so he left again and settled in Nebraska near the Niobrori River, which was 20 miles from from the nearest town called Atkinson. This was a very lonely place. Dad had bought quite a number of farm implements on time, but things were bad, so he could not pay for them, and they were taken from him. My mother had a cow and a feather bed given to her from her parents, so they could not take them for payment, and dad decided to try his luck in mining gold in the Black Hills of Dakota. That left my mother alone with the children right across the river from the Indians, but they were friendly and traded many things which were allowed them from the government. I remember especially some blankets from them. They were rather dark blue with a black border. My mother used to leave the baby [in] bed [in the] morning when she had to cross a stream on a foot-log to milk her cow. One day starting back with her milk, she saw the child starting to creep across the foot-log to meet her, and just in the middle of the stream the child fell overboard in the water. Mother sat her milk pail down and ran and jumped in after her, catching hold of her night dress. It was a puzzle to know how she got herself and the child on the foot log again, as the water was deep in places. Finally she managed to get her skirt off in the water and fastened the child with that until she climbed up herself. We only had a cook stove for heat, and when I was a little more than a year old, I was sitting in a high chair near the stove to keep warm and my mother was combing her hair with her head bent over when she heard a terrible scream. I had fallen on the stove. My sister [Catherine Lavinia Lattin], 1 1/2 years older had pushed the chair. My left eye had hit one of the galvanized balls on the stove leaving the skin on it, causing me to lose sight in that eye. The eye was almost closed. The doctor operated on it three times, but it did not improve the sight. I was seven years old the last operation, and they laid me right on the floor. We used to sleep in the trundle beds. When not in use the one is pushed under the other. … I have two baby brothers buried out there. When my oldest sister, [Mary Esther Lattin], was seven years old [in 1882], she was bitten by a rattlesnake. It had thirteen rattles. She had a little dog with her and it killed the snake. They could not wait so long for a Dr. to come from town and my dad cut the fang out and sucked the poison till the Dr. arrived. Mother had her on a pillow for weeks with bread and milk poultices, but she carried the mark to her grave. It was a hollow spot about the size of a quarter just below the knee. When I was 8 years old we moved back to Long Island. This was just about 10 days before the blizzard in 1888 [which started March 11, 1888 and ended March 14, 1888]. I can remember my father carrying bags of coal home on his back as no trucks could get through. During the blizzard, we children were in a dark room in bed with the measles we had caught on the train coming East. In [the] year (1909) my parents moved to the Isle of Pines, just south of Cuba, which was populated at that time by 90% Americans. They had expected that the United States would take it over, but several years later it was turned over to Cuba. My parents (Jarvis Andrew Lattin and Mary Jane Puckett) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (on October 15, 1924) there, and my sister Eva, and I made them a surprise visit. They were so happy to see us. The boat made only two trips a week between Cuba and the island. We had our luggage inspected in Havana and spent one night there. It took about two hours to cross Cuba by train, and the boat was waiting for us. It was just an overnight trip to the Isle of Pines, and it was so calm there was hardly a ripple on the water. But we did experience a very bad hurricane while there. every one boards up their windows when they see the storm approaching. After Cuba took over the island, many of the Americans left and went back to the States as my parents did. They settled in a little town in Florida, and a few years later my mother passed away, and was brought back north to our home town for burial. Father spent most of his remaining years in Florida, but things were not the same. He also passed away at 88 years of age and was laid beside my mother [in the Powell Cemetery].”

Jarvis Andrew Lattin (1853-1941) circa 1911-1912 near Santa Barbara on the Isle of Pines, Cuba. Cropped from a larger image. Image from the collection of Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987). Image of tombstone by Richard Arthur Norton, taken on October 15, 2002.