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Born near Le Roy, New York, Lathrop attended the public schools and an academy at Brockport, New York. He studied law in Attica, New York. He moved to Knoxville, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar in 1850. He settled in Rockford, Illinois, in 1851 and practiced his profession. City clerk and city attorney of Rockford in 1852. He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1856 and 1857.
Lathrop was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1879). He resumed the practice of law in Rockford, Illinois, where he died November 19, 1907. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.