Ella D. Latham was awarded a divorce from Walter A. Latham, the base ball player. Mrs. Latham testified that she married her husband June 14, 1886; that shortly afterward, at Baltimore, Md., he knocked her down without provocation. Subsequently, in St. Louis, because she refused to submit to the gratification of unnatural desires he beat her so that she was confined to her room for several days. On another occasion, after she had retired to bed, he brought a man into her room, thereby subjecting her to indignity. On February 26 last, at Lynn, Mass., he struck and beat her and attempted to choke her, and on May 12 last he knocked her down on the street; and that he wholly failed to contribute anything toward her support. She was restored to her maiden name of Garvin.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 29, 1887
I know that I posted some stuff about Latham's domestic troubles before but this article goes into much more detail than anything I've read on the subject. This kind of stuff makes Latham rather unlikable but it's interesting how the historical image of Latham overwhelms the fact that he beat his wife. I knew this stuff and other negative information about him but I just think of Latham as a mouthy, scrappy ballplayer because that's the image that's been conveyed over the years. I tend to think of him as a loud version of David Eckstein. But he was much better ballplayer than Eckstein and a much worse person.