Monday, November 26, 2012

Nathaniel Pitt Langford

Nathaniel Pitt Langford is indeed related to Oscar Langford. I had hoped to find evidence of this at the urging of my sister-in-law Patricia Langford Lukens, as many of us have visited Yellowstone Park and noticed the name in the various displays.

Nathanial Pitt Langford was the son of George Langford II who was a brother to Charles Langford, Oscar's dad. Nathaniel and Oscar are then first cousins.

Nathaniel Pitt Langford was many things during his lifetime but the over reaching achievement of his life was being a major part of the Washburn-Langford-Doane party that surveyed the National Park that is now Yellowstone in 1870. He went on to become the first superintendent of the Park as well. He got the nickname "National Park Langford" which he adapted to and even included in one of his books, image above. Mount Langford, 10,623 feet (3,238 m) in the Absorka Range, 7.5 miles east of Yellowstone Lake, was scaled by Langford and Doane during the expedition and named after him.

He had a large collection of documents that are available for viewing at the Minnesota Historical Society in Saint Paul. There is a description of the collection located here.

I could find a lot more to say about Nathaniel Pitt Langford but suggest that you the reader discover these things yourself. There has even been a book written about him.

Images courtesy of

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