Latham/Kellenberger Family Papers

ca. 1859-1973 [bulk 1909-1959]. 3½ boxes (52 folders), ca. 160 items. MSS. COLL. #160

NOTE:  The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


The Latham/Kellenberger Family Papers consist primarily of items relating to these two families and Greensboro businesses and organizations. The Latham and Kellenberger families were important in the development of Latham Park and other Greensboro neighborhoods, as well as in the reconstruction of Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina. They were also involved in a variety of community organizations, including the YMCA and the Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church. Highlights of the collection include advertisements, certificates relating to various North Carolina community groups, records from the J.E. Latham Co., and photographs from several Greensboro and Pennsylvania studios. Researchers interested in Latham Park, Fisher Park, or the layout of Greensboro in the mid-20th century may find maps and a real estate ledger from the J.E. Latham Co. useful. The bulk of the photographs are unidentified portraits of Kellenberger family members in Pennsylvania, but images from Eutsler and Manning studios in Greensboro and Wootten-Moulton in New Bern are also included.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into six series and arranged within series by document type or subject. The series are: Correspondence, 1909-1952; J.E. Latham Co., 1911-1948; Maps, 1925-1946; Miscellaneous, 1922-1970; Photographs, ca. 1859-1959; and Printed Materials, 1900-1973.

Provenance: This collection was donated by George Winston Smith in December 2001 and assigned the accession number 2001.93.1. The donor was married to Ruth Latham, who was the granddaughter of Thomas R. Latham, James Edwin Latham’s brother. Upon her death, May Latham Kellenberger had left her estate to her cousin, Ruth Latham Smith.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by intern Rebecca Doss in August 2021.


James Edwin Latham (1866-1946) was born to Nancy Gardner and Norfleet Franklin Latham in Wayne County, North Carolina. He married Maude P. Moore (1871-1951) in her hometown of New Bern in 1892, and the couple had two children, May Gordon (1893-1978) and James Edward (1894-1918), who died of the Spanish flu at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, while in the army. In 1904, the family moved to Greensboro, where James Edwin Latham became a cotton merchant and real estate broker, starting the J.E. Latham Co. in 1910. The company shifted to focus on real estate in 1917, and it was responsible for the development of the Latham Park neighborhood and influential in other areas such as Fisher Park. J.E. Latham also financed the 13-story King Cotton Hotel in downtown Greensboro and donated the land for Latham Park. He served as a director and member of the Executive Committee of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., as well as president of the Greensboro Warehouse and Storage Co. and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. Both he and his son were Scottish Rite Masons.

Maude Moore Latham was heavily invested in historic preservation, with her most notable interest being Tryon Palace in New Bern. The palace was the seat of the British governors of North Carolina before the American Revolution and burned down in 1798. Due to her activism and financial investment in the site, a Tryon Palace Commission was appointed in 1945 with Maude as its chairwoman. Upon her death, she willed her estate to the commission, and her daughter and son-in-law, May Latham and John Abraham Kellenberger, took over as its chairwoman and treasurer, respectively. Under their leadership, the palace was reconstructed, and it opened to the public in 1959.

In addition to Maude’s efforts on behalf of Tryon Palace, she served on the Greensboro Planning and Zoning Board, the Commission for the Restoration of the Governor Charles B. Aycock Birthplace, and the Ways and Means Committee of the National Council for Historic Sites and Buildings (later the National Trust for Historic Preservation). She was an active member of organizations such as the Woman’s Club of Greensboro, the North Carolina Art Society, and the State Literary and Historical Association. She also helped finance Latham Memorial Hospital at the Masonic and Eastern Star Home in Greensboro in memory of her late husband and son.

Charles David Kellenberger Sr. (1877-1952) and John Abraham Kellenberger (1885-1973) were born to Eliza Zarfoss and Lewis Kellenberger in York, Pennsylvania. Charles David Sr. attended Patrick’s Business College in York before marrying Ella Jeanette Stover (1879-1962) in 1901, and soon afterwards the couple had daughter Ruth Stover (1902-1996). In 1907, the family moved to Greensboro, where Charles David Jr. (1911-1988) was born. C.D. Sr. started the Standard Table Co. in 1909 with Edward P. Wharton of Wharton, McAlister, and Vaughn, and his brother J.A. joined him in 1912. C.D. Sr. also served as a treasurer and elder at First Lutheran Church in Greensboro, where his daughter married Frank Joseph Shea, a credit manager for Armour Fertilizer, in 1923.

John Abraham Kellenberger moved to Greensboro in 1911, marrying May Gordon Latham in 1920. The couple had no children and were both active in numerous local and state organizations. May received awards from the Greensboro Altrusa Club and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and she advocated for the creation of a park at the location of David Caldwell’s home on Hobbs Road. J.A. was involved with community groups such as the YMCA, the Masons, and First Presbyterian Church, at which he served as superintendent of the Sunday school for 25 years. After joining his brother C.D. at the Standard Table Co., he and M.W. Thompson founded Sterling Furniture Co. in 1913. He later left Sterling to become vice president of the J.E. Latham Co. In addition, J.A. was a director of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., Dixie Fire Insurance Co., and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, and he served as chairman of the board of trustees at the Glade Valley School from 1945-1962.

Biographical Sources: The sources of information about the Latham family and J.E. Latham Co. include a biography of James Edwin Latham in History of North Carolina, Vol. VI, by R.D.W. Connor (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919; p. 197); a biography of Maude Moore Latham in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 4 L-O, edited by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991); and “Latham rites set for today” (Greensboro Daily News, April 17, 1946). The biographical information about the Kellenbergers was obtained from materials in the collection and the following obituaries of family members: “Widely known local man succumbs” (Greensboro Daily News, October 18, 1952), “Kellenberger rites set Saturday” (Greensboro Daily News, November 2, 1962), “John A. Kellenberger dies; Rites Saturday” (Greensboro Daily News, August 10, 1973), and “Preservationist Mrs. Kellenberger dies” (Greensboro Daily News, May 2, 1978). Additional details were acquired from, the Greensboro city directories, and “Latham family treasures go on the auction block” (News & Record, October 25, 2001).


The types of materials in this collection include correspondence, maps, photographs, printed materials, a funeral register, sheet music, and a vinyl record. The bulk of the collection consists of records from the J.E. Latham Co., as well as a substantial number of photos from Greensboro and Pennsylvania studios, advertisements for local businesses, and certificates from North Carolina organizations. All of the correspondence and many of the photos pertain to the Kellenberger family.

Researchers interested in the Latham Park subdivision may find the maps and records from the J.E. Latham Co. useful, as they contain detailed information about lots, dwellings, and streets. For researchers interested in Greensboro more broadly, the maps may also be relevant for their depictions of building zones and the city layout. A highlight of the collection are the advertisements, which feature local businesses such as Joseph J. Stone and Co., Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., Meyer’s Department Store, the Art Shop, and Schiffman’s Jewelers. Calendars and record booklets also promote the Sterling Furniture Co., Dixie Fire Insurance Co., and the Textile and State Industrial banks. A few advertisements are formatted as calendars, and the one for the Art Shop is a matchbook.

Also included in this collection are certificates awarded to John Abraham Kellenberger by various North Carolina community organizations. They represent the local and state chapters of the YMCA, the Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church, and Glade Valley School. He also earned awards from the State Executive Committee, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Board. In addition, the collection contains documents regarding his involvement in early fundraising campaigns held by the Greensboro Community Chest, which later became the local United Way.


1. Correspondence.  7 folders (32 items).  1909-1952.

This correspondence was sent either to or from members of the Kellenberger family. A letter from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina to Ruth Kellenberger Shea informs her of her son’s removal from Curry Demonstration School, a small public school designed to educate future teachers (1:7). This series also includes holiday, visiting, and sympathy cards (1:1), as well as invitations to Ruth Kellenberger’s wedding to Frank Joseph Shea (1:2). The personal correspondence is primarily between Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Kellenberger Sr. and their friends, including those in Pennsylvania (1:4-5).

2. J.E. Latham Co.  6 folders (28 items).  1911-1948.

Documents from the J.E. Latham Co. primarily concern its real estate business. A real estate ledger (2:5) contains: an index of properties in Greensboro and Alamance County; maps of the Fisher Park and Latham Park neighborhoods, as well as other city properties; payment receipts; and descriptions of properties arranged by street. Some featured properties include the Latham home in Fisher Park and Lake Latham Farm in Alamance County. Another record book (2:6) contains copies of the company charter, certificate of incorporation, and by-laws, as well as minutes dating back to the first shareholders meeting, correspondence, and financial records. Loose memoranda and minutes were removed from this record book and filed in separate folders (2:3-4). A 1925 charter amendment shows that J.E. Latham was president, his brother John L. Latham was secretary, and J.A. Kellenberger was vice president (2:1).

3. Maps.  3 folders (4 items).  1925-1946.

This series contains two copies of a map of the Latham Park neighborhood lots and structures (3:3); a 1943 map of Greensboro including Hamilton Lakes, Pomona, and Bessemer (3:1); and a map of Greensboro building zones and streets last revised in 1946 (3:2).

4. Miscellaneous.  4 folders (10 items).  1922-1970.

Items in this series include: a guest register from C.D. Kellenberger Sr.’s funeral at Forbis and Murray Funeral Home (4:1); documents relating to J.A. Kellenberger’s role in fundraising during the first years of the Greensboro Community Chest (later United Way; 4:2); and sheet music that includes “Enter the Gate City” by Kay Kimbrough with a postcard view of Elm Street on the cover (4:3). Also of interest is a vinyl record promoting First Presbyterian Church’s 1971 stewardship campaign with the goal of 100% participation; the recording includes hymns, a prayer by Rev. William M. Currie, and a message from Dr. John A. Redhead Jr. (4:4).

5. Photographs.  13 folders (36 items).  ca. 1859-1959.

The majority of these photographs are unidentified, so most are contained in folders naming the studios by which they were taken, primarily in Greensboro and Pennsylvania. The Greensboro studios include Eutsler’s Studio and Manning Studio (5:7, 5:9). An interior of Greensboro’s First Lutheran Church decorated for Ruth Kellenberger Shea’s wedding was taken by the New Bern studio of Wootten-Moulton (5:1). A panorama shows attendees of the 1916 North Carolina Convention of the Laymen’s Missionary Movement outside West Market Street Methodist Church (5:2). Another large photo features a banquet held by the New York Cotton Exchange (5:3). Several photos taken at Manning Studio show C.D. Kellenberger Sr. and his wife Ella (5:7), while a photo from York, Pennsylvania, features Charles Stover (1875-1923), Ella Stover Kellenberger’s brother, with a note stating that he died when C.D. Kellenberger Jr. was young (5:8).

6. Printed Materials.  19 folders (ca. 50 items).  1900-1973.

This series contains advertisements, books, broadsides, calendars, certificates, a draft card, a diploma, a library card, record booklets, and items relating to the Greensboro YMCA and YWCA. Many advertisements represent Greensboro businesses, including printer Joseph J. Stone and Co., Schiffman’s Jewelers, Meyer’s Department Store, Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., Wilkerson-McFalls Drug Co., and Southside Hardware Company (6:1). The calendars were published by the Sterling Furniture Co., First Presbyterian Church, and the Kiwanis Club (6:10). Blank record booklets from the Textile Bank and State Industrial Bank are included alongside a blank household inventory from Dixie Fire Insurance Co. (6:17). The magazines are The Cotton Trade Journal and Life (6:16).

A number of certificates issued to John Abraham Kellenberger are of note for their relation to North Carolina organizations, including the Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, Glade Valley School, the North Carolina Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Board, the Freemasons, and the state Executive Department (6:11). Items pertaining to the YMCA include a centennial pamphlet, conference roster, membership awards from the Greensboro branch, and a service award from the Carolinas’ Council of YMCA’s (6:19). Of local interest are a Greensboro Public Library card belonging to May Latham Kellenberger (6:15), a stock certificate for the Woman’s Club of Greensboro (6:18), and a 1942 Victuals and Vitamins cookbook published by the Junior League of Greensboro (6:3). Some items relating to the Kellenberger and Latham families include: a French “In Memoriam” broadside for James Edward Latham, who died in military service in Kentucky during World War I (6:7); a World War II draft card for J.A. Kellenberger (6:13); and a Latin Freemason certificate for J.A. Kellenberger’s role in education (6:11).


11Correspondence-- Cards (ca. 1920-1940s)
2-- Invitations (Ruth Kellenberger wedding, 1923)
3-- Kellenberger, Charles David Jr. (1942)
4Correspondence-- Kellenberger, Charles David Sr. and Ella (1923-1952)
5-- Kellenberger, Charles David Sr. and Ella -- Postcards (1909-1919)
6-- Kellenberger, John Abraham (1932)
7-- Shea, Ruth Kellenberger (1940)
21J.E. Latham Co.-- Charter amendments (1922-1925)
2-- Letterhead, etc. (blank, 1910s)
3-- Memoranda (1931-1940)
4J.E. Latham Co.-- Minutes (1928-1938)
5-- Real estate ledger (1913-1917)
6-- Record book (1911-1948)
31Maps-- Greensboro (1943)
2-- Greensboro -- Building zone (1946)
3-- Latham Park (1925)
41Miscellaneous-- Funeral register -- Kellenberger, Charles David Sr. (1952)
2-- Greensboro Community Chest (1922-1923)
3-- Sheet music (1936-1950s)
4-- Vinyl record -- First Presbyterian Church (1970)
51Photographs-- First Lutheran Church -- Interior (Ruth Kellenberger wedding, 1923)
2-- Groups -- Laymen's Missionary Movement (1916)
3-- Groups -- New York Cotton Exchange (1940)
4Photographs-- Groups -- Unidentified (Hanover, PA, ca. 1890s-1920s)
5-- Groups -- Unidentified (ca. 1890s-1910s)
6-- Portraits -- Kellenberger, Charles David Jr. (Myrtle Beach, SC, 1959)
7Photographs-- Portraits -- Kellenberger, Charles David Sr. and Ella (Greensboro, ca. 1912-1949)
8-- Portraits -- Stover, Charles (York, PA, ca. 1895-1920)
9-- Portraits -- Unidentified (Greensboro, ca. 1912-1957)
10Photographs-- Portraits -- Unidentified (Hanover, PA, ca. 1890s-1920s)
11-- Portraits -- Unidentified (Norristown, PA, ca. 1859-1912)
12-- Portraits -- Unidentified (York, PA, ca. 1880s-1920s)
13-- Portraits -- Unidentified (n.d.)
61Printed Materials-- Advertisements -- Greensboro (ca. 1936-1971)
2-- Advertisements -- Miscellaneous (ca. 1940s)
3-- Books -- Cookbooks (1900, 1942)
4Printed Materials-- Books -- Home owners' catalogs: A guide to the selection of building materials equipment and furnishings (F.W. Dodge Corp., 1936)
5-- Books -- New York Cotton Exchange, 1871-1923 (1923)
6-- Broadsides -- "A message calling for war..." (President Woodrow Wilson, 1917)
7Printed Materials-- Broadsides -- In memoriam (James Edward Latham, 1918)
8-- Broadsides -- Rotary Club (n.d.)
9-- Bulletin -- The parish messenger (The Seven Valleys Evangelical Lutheran Parish, 1948)
10Printed Materials-- Calendars (1921-1929)
11-- Certificates -- Kellenberger, John Abraham (1947-1971)
12-- Diploma -- International Correspondence Schools (William Basley Paschal, 1915)
13Printed Materials-- Draft card -- Kellenberger, John Abraham (1942)
14-- Garage building specifications (J.A. Kellenberger, 1928)
15-- Library card -- Greensboro Public Library (May Latham Kellenberger, n.d.)
16Printed Materials-- Magazines (1941, 1945)
17-- Record booklets (Greensboro, n.d.)
18-- Stock certificate -- Woman's Club of Greensboro (blank, n.d.)
19-- YMCA/YWCA (1918-1973)