Elbert and Leslie Latham, Benjamin and Elizabeth Latham's sons, were skilled carpenters, and they built the Latham house in a prairie farmhouse style. Clara Latham, their sister, eventually established a trust to preserve her home as a community park for the enjoyment of Sioux City's residents. She passed away in 1937, but her legacy has remained as one of the city's beloved treasures. The upper floors of the Latham house now provide living quarters for the parks' resident caretakers, who are talented artisans and horticulturists, while the three main floor rooms are used for meetings and receptions. The grounds, whose traditional design has been faithfully maintained, are home to an endless variety of flowering plants, warbling songbirds, quiet sitting areas, and Sioux City's oldest fountain, which was restored in 2004.
The importance of Latham Park and the reasons for preservation are as numerous and significant as the memories that embrace the park. Life happens here! As the site of hundreds of weddings, anniversary parties, birthday celebrations, book club gatherings, church services, and family reunions, the memories abound. People recall picnics in the park as children while others remember reading here, stealing a kiss, taking their first steps, receiving a marriage proposal, getting caught smoking, or being asked to remove their pet from the park. Just as important, there are the memories of solace, of admiring the beauty of nature, a quiet walk with a loved one, or enjoying a cup of tea in the secret garden. Although Sioux City has a variety of parks, recreational, and playground areas, Latham Park is one of a kind. The integrity of purpose and design has been lovingly protected throughout the years. Improvements have reflected a respect of the traditional and classic beauty of the little park and as such, have strengthened its enduring charm. And the community's cultural enjoyment has flourished in the diversity of events showcased at Latham Park: old-fashioned ice cream socials, barbershop quartets, Victorian tea parties, horticultural therapy for children and adults, eclectic art festivals, and concerts. As you can see, Latham Park is rooted in the community and vice versa. It is small, charming, a magical little spot of peace and beauty right in the middle of a city! Therein lies the commitment and dedication to preserving Latham Park.