A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
PERCY CHARLES LAPHAM, superintendent of schools at Charles City, has had a
career as an educator that can be profitably studied, and is a member of a
family whose influence has been an important element in the educational and
religious life of Iowa for many years.
Mr. Lapham was born at Osage, Iowa, December 17, 1890, son of Rev. Jay A.
and Ella R. (Ranche) Lapham. The Laphams were New England people of
Revolutionary stock. P. C. Lapham's sister is a member of the Daughters of the
American Revolution. From the East they came out to Wisconsin, where J. A. Lapham
was born, and he was a child when the family came to Iowa and settled at
Bradford. Ella R. Ranche was born at old Bradford in Chickasaw County, Iowa. Her
father, John Ranche, who came from Germany, was a carpenter and cabinet
maker by trade and he helped build the famous Little Brown Church in Chickasaw
County. Jay A. Lapham and Ella Ranche were students together in the old
Bradford Seminary, of which he subsequently became principal. He took some
advanced work in the University of Chicago. He was county superintendent of schools
of Chicasaw County from 1880 to 1886, and for fourteen years taught in the
Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage, served six years as county superintendent of
schools of Mitchell County, and for two years taught in Central College at
Pella. After retiring from school and college work he became director of
religious education for the American Baptist Publication Society, and only recently
retired from this work. He is now seventy-six and his wife seventy-three,
and they make their home at Des Moines. Rev. Jay A. Lapham for many years has
been an ordained Baptist minister, and he filled pulpit assignments nearly
every Sunday until he retired. His wife taught school at Ionia, Iowa. They had
four children, the oldest, Burnett, dying at the age of seventeen, and the
youngest, Judson, passing away at the age of four. The daughter, Joyce
Elinor, is an A. B. graduate of Des Moines College, also has advanced credits from
the University of Chicago and Columbia University, and is a teacher at
Percy Charles Lapham attended the Osage High School, also studied at the
Central Academy and then at Pella, Iowa, Central College, and took his A. B.
degree at Des Moines College, 1912. He holds the Master of Arts degree from the
University of Chicago, earning this in 1916, and majoring in education.
While in college he played on the football team. His university expenses were
defrayed chiefly from his earnings as a teacher. He was for one year
superintendent of schools at Gilman, two years at Cumberland, Iowa, and after that
went to Chicago for his Master's degree. He was for eleven years superintendent
of schools at New Hampton and in 1927 came to Charles City as school
superintendent and has made a notable record during the three years. He taught in
the Extension Summer Schools of the Iowa State Teachers College in Keokuk in
1924 and in Clinton in 1925. At the time of the World War he was chairman of
the four-minute men and chairman of the boys and girls war work organization
at New Hampton. He has been a deacon and member of the board of trustees of
the Baptist Church both at New Hampton and Charles City, and for many years
has taught a class in Sunday School. He is a member of the Iowa State Teachers
Association, the National Education Association, is president of the State
High School Music Association and served as President of the Iowa High School
Declamatory Association. Mr. Lapham is a Royal Arch and Knight Templar Mason
and Shriner, for four years was a prelate of the Eudora Commandery at New
Hampton, and is a Rotarian and a Republican. At New Hampton he was president
of the Chamber of Commerce five years.
Mr. Lapham on June 16, 1916, married Miss Altha Dygert, who had been a
teacher. Her father, Lewis Dyget, was a resident of Panora, Iowa. Mrs. Lapham
graduated from the Guthrie County High School, took her B. A. degree at Des
Moines College and for three years was a teacher at What Cheer. They have three
children, Lewis Jay, born October 5, 1920, Lowell Winship, born March 20,
1922, and Margaret Ruth, born June 30, 1924.
Posted at this site with Debbie's permission.
*Check your facts, do not know how accurate.