Thursday, December 19, 2013

More on the McGinnis Family

I looked further into the descendant of Oscar's sister Harriet and her husband Alexander McGinnis. They had one grandson, Walter Raymond, who we had lost track of after 1900 when he was living with Harriet on the family farm. Here is some more detail about Walter's life.

In 1918, Walter registered for the World War I Draft in Omaha, Nebraska. He listed his wife as "Nellie" and their address as 110 Golden. His occupation was Refrigeration Engineer for the Pilsbury-Becker Engineering Company with offices in the Central National Bank Building. He listed his height and weight as medium and said he had blue eyes and red hair.

In the 1919 Tulsa City Directory, Walter is now Manager of the same engineering company and his wife is "Nellie" again.

In the 1929 Houston City Directory, Walter is listed as Vice-President of Marine Service, Inc. living at 3812 Austin Street Apt 3. with his wife "Ellen".

In the 1930 Census, he is living with his wife now listed as "Helen" who is 40 years old and who was born in New Mexico. They also have two 23 year old roomers living with them, Nora Mae Clements and Alpha Barnes.

It also appears that Walter's 1952 death was big news big news back in Ohio. I discovered his death was on page 1 of the Coshocton Tribune. I suspect that his mother Bianca stayed in the Coshocton area and he visited regularly. I have sent away for a copy of the article. This should provide any information about his children, if any, and answer the question of his wife's correct name.

I obtained this article and can add this last note. The article described the death of a famous son of Coshocton. He was well known there because his wife's family continued to live in the area. His wife had died before him and it listed no children as surviving him. Apparently, this was the end of Harriet Langford's line.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oscar's sister, Harriet Langford McGinnis

Pictured above about 1870, is Harriet Langford McGinnis, sister to Oscar Langford. Harriet came west with her father, Charles, to Iowa, in the early 1840s. Likely, she was the one who ran the household as one of the last older daughters still at home when they moved. In the 1850 census she is listed as living with the Hann (or Hahn or Haun) family in Elk River Township, Clinton County, Iowa. There is a little patch of land there known as Hauntown, which I believe is the correct spelling. Her age is listed as 28 and she is likely working for them helping with the household. Living in his own house in the same township, with his family was her brother Charles, his wife Hannah and four of their children. Also living in this township, was her father Charles. His age is 50 and he is living with Ellen Collins, 33, and her four children. His occupation was wool carder. 

Harriet was married to Alexander Stuart McGinnis in Iowa in 1851. Her birth year was 1819, according to the script on the back of this picture. Alexander had been married before and had children to raise following the death of his first wife, Ellen Collins.

Let me reconstruct this as best I can. Alexander McGinnis married Ellen Collins on April 5, 1838, in Clark County, Ohio. They moved to Perry in Jackson County, Iowa. Jackson County is directly north of Clinton County. They had three children: Angeline L (1839-1862), Helen A. (1841-1867), and lastly William Wallace (1844-1920). According to the McGinnis genealogy, Ellen died the day after William was born from complications of childbirth.

The fact that a Collins family is living in Clinton County with Charles E. Langford while Alexander McKinnis is found in Jackson County, Iowa in the 1850 census,with only his 11 year old daughter, Angeline, may just indicate there were two farms to run.

The bigger mystery seems to me, that the McGinnis family lore is that Ellen Collins died in 1844, yet here she seems to be, living as Ellen Collins. This may be coincidence as the children in the two households vary, and the first names might be Ellen and Elizabeth. They could have been twins or sisters. I will have to work further on this.

From letters written by Oscar to others we know that Harriet moved to Coshocton, County, Ohio, where they farmed. They can be found there is the 1870 census. We also know that Alexander was appointed postmaster of Wakatomika, Ohio, from 1873 to 1891. We further know that Harriet and Alexander had two sons, both named Charles McGinnis. The first son, Charles S., only lived for a year or so. The second son, Charles E., lived to the age of 34, but did marry, to Bianca Wright, and had two children, Georgiana and Walter Raymond. Georgiana was born in late November 1880 and died the day after Christmas.

In the 1900 census Harriet can be found listed as a widow and still living on the family farm at age 77, along with her grandson, Walter, age 18.

I have not yet been able to locate a death record or burial site for Harriet. Neither have I found out what happened to her grandson, Walter. But there is a tantalizing clue provided in the picture, above. The picture is captioned "Redding" and a search for the photographer indicates he was in California. So, did Harriet retire to a nicer climate?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

William G. Langford in Vancouver, Washington

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we visited our son and his family in Vancouver, Washington. This Vancouver is just across the river from Portland, Oregon, and is always confused with the Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, to the north about 5 or 6 hours.
We had a few free moments and visited the Clark County Historical Museum there. We knew from Oscar Langford's writings that his brother, William G. Langford studied law in Vancouver, and practiced law there. We were hoping to find any information that we could about his time there.
Once we had reviewed the exhibits at the Museum, we went downstairs to their research library. And while we didn't find a lot, we were encouraged to learn that they are in the process of digitizing the entire collection of Vancouver Chronicle newspapers.
We also found a mention of William G. Langford. He was one of four attorneys who advertised in the very first issue of the Vancouver Chronicle, on June 30, 1860.
Another mention was found that he only stayed in Vancouver until 1862.
Here are pictures of William and his wife, Julia, taken in Walla Walla about 1880.

These photos and some others were generously shared with us this fall by Langford cousin, Pierce Eichelberger. Unfortunately, not all of them had identification. I will be posting the others soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Letter from Oscar

It seemed like I had found everything that there was to find about Oscar Langford, his parents and siblings. My next step in recording a family history, is to write the story. So, I set out a rough outline and began to write the first chapter "Finding Oscar Langford".

The key factor in finding Oscar was, a web site recommended to me on Twitter. It was here that I got the first inkling that Oscar had written a number of letters to a newspaper in Fredonia, New York, where he spent his youth. I tracked all these down and they led to me to many other discoveries until I finally had the whole story, or so I thought.

They say that the things that you really learn are the things you learn after you know it all and that was the case for me. In writing Chapter One, I tried to recreate the original search I did last November. And, this time, I found a new poem and a new letter. The poem was from the same time frame, the mid 1920s, as the letters I found last year. The new letter, however, was written much earlier, 1913. It is a rehash of some of Oscar's 1920s letters with a couple notable exceptions. He mentions meeting his brother Charles E. Langford and calls him "a wealthy farmer". He also mentions his sister Eliza and that she was living in Monroe, Wisconsin. Eliza is the one sibling that I have struck out on. Its almost like Oscar is feeding me information!

Here is the full letter:

Boyhood Reminiscenses

    I was born in Erie County in 1833, and reared in Chautauqua County. My mother died in Fredonia when I was about three years old, leaving a family of eleven children, of whom I was the youngest. My father, a mechanic, then went west, some of my older brothers and sisters being left to take care of the younger children. Afterward I was adopted by Benjamin Griswold, a farmer, living about half way between Fredonia and Laona. The rest of the family except my sister, Jeanette, were scattered to the four winds, several of them before my birth. Jeanette was adopted by a Fredonia merchant named A. H. Walker, with whom she lived until about 1845, when she married Peter Wise, a cabinet maker, at Laona. My brother, James, died at their home a few years after their marriage.

    I was brought up to believe my surname was Griswold and that Jeanette’s name was Walker, and did not know she was my own sister until her marriage, when I found out her real name and my relationship by reading the marriage notice in the Censor with the name of Langford. Finding it then useless for further concealment, my foster parents informed me of my forgotten but true name, by which I was afterward known. It would not probably interest many of the present generation in your region to be told of my humble boyhood spent on the farm, and at “the old red school house” on the hill at Laona, at intervals up to about the age of sixteen. Then the Griswold family broke up and I was left to get along the best I could.

    Then I became a boy wanderer or tramp for many years, often facing starvation where there was plenty, without any place I could call home in Chautauqua County or anywhere else. I remember becoming so hungry one day in autumn, near Fredonia that I went to a field, dug potatoes out of a hill and tried to eat them raw. Failing in this, I took a few of the vegetables, dug a hole in the sand and roasted them. Afterward I managed to get to Jamestown by riding on the seat with a stage-driver. There I had similar experience as a “hobo”  among strangers. To try to describe my varied experiences there might be interesting, but it would intrude too much on your space.

    I finally got to Erie, Pa., after enduring many tribulations. I there came across A. P. Durlin, one of the publishers of the Observer, and a relative of W. McKinstry, editor of the Fredonia Censor. Applying to Mr. Durlin to learn the printing trade, I found out the above facts and that he knew my brother, James, when working on the Censor. I served three years with Durlin and Sloan, the name of the firm, and then went to Iowa, where I had a brother, the oldest in the family, whom I had never seen. He was a wealthy farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Wise lived on his farm. At the latter’s home I was introduced to my own father, whom I then met for the first time since I was an infant.

    I worked on many different newspapers in that region, which was then a new country, and more thinly populated then Colorado is today. I saw many small towns in Iowa grow into big cities, among them Clinton, which was plotted in 1854 and now contains some 25,000 inhabitants. In that city I worked for Charles E. Leonard, publisher of the Herald, who in 1860 became the father of Lillian Russell, who is now the the reputable, much-married but retired actress. I there met another sister I had never met, and a brother whom I had never met but once, who lived with still another brother (William), at my sister, Jeanette’s home in Laona, in the late 40s. The last named many years afterward became a noted lawyer and a judge of court and died in Spokane, Washington, in 1893.

    Several years later I came upon a married sister, Eliza, at Monroe, Wis., and another one, Jane, with family at Two Rivers, on Lake Michigan. They both were total strangers to me until these first introductions and subsequent acquaintances.

    Among my school mates at Laona I recall the names of Floyd and David Ramsdell, Frances Graham, the mother of Postmaster Clark of Fredonia, Wm. Cook and sister; the Hall brothers, Fred Boynton and three brothers; Avis Sage (now Reed), Dorinda Thompson, nee Clough; (deceased) the Moore sisters, and Cooper sisters, Henry Skidmore, Tom Morian, Jule Miller, John Russell (afterwards a Fredonia lawyer). Theron Winship, and many others I might mention if your paper had room for them. I would be glad to correspond with any of those who are living and may read this letter.

    Well, I am getting old, near four score years. It seems but yesterday when I worked about the old Harrington farm and played “I spy” with the boys at the old school house at Laona. Strange that in my infirmity I can remember those youthful experiences so much better than recent events, of which my memory grows dim. God Bless old Laona!

    I give you this above condensed autobiography for what it is worth. I trust it may awake some pleasant memories among the surviving comrades who may read in in your grand old paper, whose appearance is as welcome as a visit from God’s angels.

Oscar Langford
Union Printers Home
Colorado Springs, Colo.
December 3, 1913

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nathaniel Pitt Langford and Yellowstone

On our recent trip to Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton National Park, we revisited several locations in search of more information about Nathaniel Pitt Langford. We had been to the park about two years ago, before we realized the familial connection. N P Langford was Oscar Langford's first cousin. He was known for being on the 1870 Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition that first surveyed the Yellowstone area. A follow up survey was done by the US Geological Survey the next year, on which he also served. There is a Mount Langford in Yellowstone. He was the first superintendent of the first National Park in the world.
We entered the Park from the West entrance since we were driving down from Butte, Montana. The first ranger station is located at Madison, Wyoming. It is a very small and off the road place. We found a small building manned by a few rangers. I identified our reason for being there to the young Ranger who was available, explaining Nancy's relation to N. P. Langford. He was excited to learn this and let us know that we were at the very location that the 1870 expedition camped on their last night. There was a plaque on the site commemorating this event.
For many years the National Park Service identified this spot as the place where the idea of a National Park was first suggested around that last campfire. More recently, readings of the personal journals of the men on the expedition has caused this theory to be questioned. Nevertheless, it is the location of that last campfire and this was just great to see in person.
Here are two pictures. The first is Nancy and I, albeit windblown, with the rivers in the background and the plaque to the left. The second is National Park Mountain, so named because of the 1870 expedition and lore.

This was our first day in either park and we were not done making some discoveries. 
Our next stop were the Upper Falls and Lower Falls. Nancy had read NP Langford's book about the expedition and loved his description of these falls. Here are a few pictures of the falls.

After seeing these awesome falls, we checked in at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we had easy access to both parks for the week. It turns out N P  Langford also had a controversial contact with Grand Teton. He was on a survey team again, that went to the Grand Teton area. He claimed to be the first white man to climb Grand Teton, the highest mountain in the Teton Range. Because of the description that he and his climbing partner provided, this has been questioned. Evidently, he had a long running disagreement with another pioneer who also claimed this climb, and this was written about in several newspapers.
Below is a picture of Grand Teton.
Our last day in Jackson, we drove back to Yellowstone to see the Visitor's Center at Mammoth Hot Springs near the north entrance, and to visit the Yellowstone Library located in Gardiner, Montana. At Mammoth Hot Springs, there is a large display about the early visitors to the Park. On display and related to N P Langford are two of his hand guns, his derringer and his saddle. 
The last stop of the day was the most fruitful. The Yellowstone Library, in Gardiner, has the personal journals of N P Langford. These he hand wrote immediately after the 1870 expedition. They are the notes that he used for making speeches about the expedition. They are almost 150 years old and we got to hold them and look through them. The Library also did a search of their holdings for us and found about thirty different documents and books associated with N P Langford. We did not have time to view them all but we have the list and we have found ways to access this material after the trip.
One other fascinating document that we looked at was a report from the 1983 Langford Expedition which recreated the 1870 survey. This survey was conducted by William P. Langford, a second great nephew of N P Langford. He, and a group of interested parties and presumably, some other cousins, rode on horseback to some of the uninhabited areas of Yellowstone only accessible this way. The also climbed Mount Coulter and reclaimed it as Mount Langford.
It was especially pleasant for us to revisit these national treasures now that we know what a strong Langford connection exists to their very discovery and founding.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mary Ann Angell Young

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Langford family had a connection to the Mormon trek from east to west which ended in Salt Lake City in 1847. This summer we visited two of the historic sites where they stopped along the way, Winter Quarters near Omaha, Nebraska and Nauvoo, Illinois.

In essence the Mormons faced a lot of persecution and violence along the way. In Kirtland Ohio, they were forced to leave. In Liberty, Missouri, they were forced to leave. In Nauvoo, Illinois, where they thought they would be safe, they constructed a town and a temple in six years. Only Chicago was a bigger city in Illinois in 1844, and only by a little. But, in the end, they were forced to leave Nauvoo also. History has told their story a lot of times and ways, but the reason for their persecution comes down to being different.

Mary Ann Angell struck out on her own from Vermont at the age of 25. She had been given a Book of Mormon by a missionary and decided to join them in Kirtland, Ohio. This is where she met Brigham Young. His first wife had died two years earlier, leaving him with two daughters. He and Mary Ann were married in Kirtland. They began their family there, adding children. It was the calm before the storm.

It was in Kirtland that violence was first brought to bear on the family. Brigham Young had his home ransacked in the middle of the night. He was thought to be a leader of the church, although Joseph Smith was clearly the visionary. The Mormon leaders fled Kirtland and found a home in Liberty, Missouri. The Governor of Missouri ordered them to leave the state or they would be exterminated. They were taken in by the people of Quincy, Illinois, for one winter. About 1500 residents of Quincy took in over 5000 Mormons, before they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois.

Brigham Young actually had a house in Montrose, Iowa, just across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo. Shortly after arriving in Nauvoo, he was sent on a mission and left Mary Ann and the children in their home in Montrose. She would have to row across the river, in winter, for any supplies or food she needed. When he returned Mary Ann had already arranged to buy land in Nauvoo for a home site.

While Brigham Young was on another mission, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyram were taken prisoner and locked up at the Carthage, Illinois jail, where a mob killed them both. It was left to Mary Ann to write Brigham and tell him what had happened. Her letter is on display at the Brigham Young home in Nauvoo. Also there were pottery she used. The house is original and was built by Brigham Young. It was in this house that the plans were made to move to the west. We saw the fireplace that Mary Ann would have cooked on, the outdoor root cellar built by Brigham Young and displays of her dishes and pottery.

Nancy would be Mary Ann's second cousin, three times removed. She is considered Brigham Young's "real" wife. She was known as "Mother Young" to friends and family. She was skilled at the healing arts and especially good with roots and herbs for those afflicted. When Brigham Young reached Utah and established the Mormon community there, he sent missionaries all over the Utah Territory. Brigham Young also took her mother, Phebe Angell, and her sister, Jemima Angell as his wives. Phebe was 59 and Jemima was 42 when they were sealed to Brigham Young. These were marriages of duty or obligation, as were most of his plural marriages. The Mormon Church no longer practices plural marriages.
Mary Ann also became the first lady of the Utah Territory following Brigham Young's appointment to be Governor of the Territory by President Millard Fillmore. A statue of Brigham Young is in the United States Capitol Building.
The scope of Mary Ann's life is amazing. And we got to see her life in Nauvoo depicted on stage at the "Nauvoo Pageant" as well as meet the actors that portrayed her and Brigham Young. Because of Nancy's kinship with her, we were provided front row seats by an eager missionary.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bannack, Montana

We just returned from an aggressive vacation to three national parks: Badlands National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. We also made stops in Bannack, Montana and Omaha Nebraska related to Langford genealogy. The first picture below is the Masonic Building in Bannack. Nathaniel Pitt Langford was involved in Masonry here and his picture still hangs on the Masonic meeting room wall on the second floor. You might wonder how one gets their picture on a wall in a ghost town. It turns out that the Montana Masons have a meeting here every fall since this is recognized as the first meeting of any Masons in the state. Langford was one of three at the first meeting. The Montana Highway Patrol wear the badge of 3-7-77 on their uniforms to this day. This was the number painted on cabins in Langford's era, by the Vigilance Committee, to let people know they had better get out of town. Our guide told us that the "3" stood for the three men at the first Masonic meeting.

The next two pictures are street scenes in Bannack. There are about 60 buildings remaining as well as a visitor's center which includes a gift shop. It is designated as a Montana State Park. Ranger John Phillips gave us a guided tour of Bannack and was fully aware of the importance of NP Langford to the Vigilance Committee, Masonry in Montana and Montana statehood. Ranger Phillips has even "acted" as Langford for the fall Mason meeting.

Lastly, the picture below is from the Masonic meeting room showing NP Langford's picture hanging there. I was also able to buy a copy of his book "Vigilant Days and Ways" at the gift shop.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Genealogy and Life

One of the truths that we learn from genealogy is that every family has its share of heartbreak and tragedy.  The Langford family is no exception. We have seen the loss of loved ones, the dissolution of families, the loss in war and the hardships of persecution. It is part of the human condition that takes its toll on all of us at different times and in different ways.
Life had to be especially tough for Temperance Palmer. Her first husband, David Mason, died in 1837 when Temperance was just 34, leaving her with a family to raise on her own. When Charles Langford entered her life, it must have seemed like a new life was beginning. When he left her to move to Iowa with children from his first marriage, she was left with two more small children to raise on her own.
It is a few years after this that the following newspaper article appeared in the Sandusky, Ohio, Daily Sanduskian:


Whereas Temperance Langford represented to me that she was a widow by the name of Mason, and under this impression I married her; and whereas I have since learned that such was not her name, but that she had a husband living, by the name of Langford; and whereas she has left my bed and board without any just cause or provocation, I do hereby forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting after this date.

Henry Thomas
January 31, 1850 

There is an old saying the desperate times require desperate measures. Temperance was certainly desperate. It is likely that this episode ended with her move to Ingham County, Michigan. Her sons would both serve the state of Michigan well, George as a doctor and Daniel as a soldier, both in their own way saving lives.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Charles Langford's Other Family

     What we know of Charles Langford, Oscar's father, has been limited by a number of factors. Chiefly, the dissolution of the family seemed to be caused by Fanny's death in 1840. Curiously, I did find Charles in the 1840 census living in North East, Erie County, Pennsylvania. There is a family unit of five total and the census at that time only listed the head of household by name. I reasoned that this was probably where they lived because I found the death notice in the Fredonia, New York, newspaper. Fredonia is only about 25 miles from North East. But some new information has come to light in the last week from another Langford descendant, Laura Bolander of Ohio.
Laura first contacted Susan Chambers, one of the other cousins I found an Susan forwarded her inquiry to me. Laura believed that she was a descendant of a second family that Charles had in the years 1840 to 1845 in North East. After we shared a lot of emails and one phone call, I began to research the facts for myself. I am now convinced that Laura is right.
     Here is the evidence. Dr. George Washington Langford was born in Erie County and went on to a successful career as a medical doctor, among other things, in Ingham County Michigan. When he died his death certificate said that his parents were Charles W. Langford and Temperance Palmer. A profile of Dr. Langford was written in 1891. Here is the exact source that convinced Laura, first, and then me.

PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF Ingham and Livingston Counties, MICHIGAN, Chicago, Chapman Bros. 1891, Pages 739-740:
For the past twenty-two years Dr. Langford has been known as one of the successful physicians of Ingham County and he is still prosecuting his practice at Williamston and vicinity. His father, Charles W. Langford, a miller by trade, was a resident of Pennsylvania, but spent his later years in Iowa, with his son Charles, and there died. While living in Erie County, Pa., he was married to Mrs. Temperance Mason, by whom he had two children, George W., and Daniel W., but he had several children by a previous marriage. The father of Mrs. Langford was a Mr. Palmer who was the father of three sons and two daughters.

The profile goes on:
Dr. Langford was born May 18, 1840, in Erie County, Pa., and being without a father's care since four years of age he grew up under his mother's training and she removed when he was twelve years old to Lenawee County, Mich., and here they resided until the breaking out of the war. The young man who had now just reached his majority enlisted in Company K., First regiment Michigan Infantry, and after three months' service and one year at home re-enlisted in Company I., Eighteenth Michigan Infantry and was in service during the remainder of the war. The last nine months he was held as a prisoner in Castle Morgan and three months of that time he was in the prison hospital at Cahaba, Ala.
The academic education of this gentleman was taken at Fairfield Village in his county and he afterward spent two years in college at Adrian, in which city he studied medicine with Drs. Rhynd and Allen and graduated from the medical department of the University of Ann Arbor in the spring of 1869. Besides taking the regular course he also carried on six extra "quizes." After graduation the young medical man settled in Belle Oak in May, 1869, and in September of the same year he was married on the 29th of that month to Arvilla R. Sparhawk, daughter of Noah Sparhawk a Vermonter, who removed to Ohio at an early day and finally settled in Adrian, Mich., where he resided at the time of his daughter's marriage. To the Doctor and his wife have come five bright and beautiful children, namely: Myrtie M., Theron S., Mabel E., Maud, and George W., all of whom are still under the parental roof. Theron and Myrtie are graduates of Williamston High School, Myrtie is instructor of the intermediate department at Webberville. Theron was elected president of his class before graduation and was awarded the highest scholarship of his class and on examination at the State Normal he was admitted to the junior class.
In 1872 Dr. Langford removed to Webberville where he practiced his profession until November, 1889, when he came to Williamston. He owns eighty acres of land in Ingham County and an equal number of acres in Livingston County, and has a drug store and residence at Webberville besides a home and real estate in Williamston. He is a member of the State Medical Association and is a Republican in his political views but never aspires to public office. For eleven years in succession he was Postmaster at Webberville and for the same length of time carried on a drug store there.
Dr. and Mrs. Langford are valued members of the Baptist Church and the Doctor is a Master Mason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic holding official position in the latter organization. At Webberville he was successively Surgeon, Commander and Chaplain of the Post, and he now holds the position of Surgeon in the Post at Williamston.

     Doctor Langford was alive when this profile was written and would have provided much of this detail himself. Knowing that Charles was in Clinton County with his son Charles could only have been possible if they were the same people, since these are the only Charles Langford father and son that I have ever found in Iowa.

     Dr. George Washington Langford's brother Daniel W. Langford sadly died of yellow fever while being held as a prisoner by the south in the Civil War. Here is more information on him:
Langford, Daniel W. (Veteran),. Lenawee County. Enlisted in Company B, Fourth Infantry, June 20, 1861, at Adrian, for 3 years, age 25. Height 5’8”. Complexion light. Eyes dark . Hair dark. Farmer by trade.  Mustered June 20, 1861.  Re-enlisted December 29, 1863. Mustered January 1, 1864.  Taken prisoner at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863.  Returned to company August 12, 1863.  On detached service with Company B, First Infantry, by order, July 2, 1864, at Petersburg, Virginia.  Married by Fourth Michigan's Chaplain John Seage on Saturday February 6, 1864, at Bealton Station, Virginia, at the residence of the bride Sarah Grove. February 10, 1865 Sarah was living in Fairfield, Lenawee County, Michigan and had a 3 month old daughter. Straggler on march and taken prisoner near Long Bridge, Virginia, June 14, 1864. Died of yellow fever at Charleston, South Carolina on October 14, 1864. Originally buried in the"Potter's Field" of the Charleston Race Course in Charleston, South Carolina. Reinterred in the National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina.

     There are some facts here that are troubling. George was born in May 1840, Fanny died in April 1840. Charles left this second family high and dry when he moved to Clinton County, Iowa. It is possible that the years could be off here and there, but regardless of the details, it does not improve the view of Charles as a family man.
I started this research to fill in the blanks caused by a family breakdown. I thought I had done that until last week when Laura shared her research with me and had the same goal that I did. It is only fitting that all of the Langford descendants from Charles be included in the telling of his story. As you can see above, they have stories to add.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Langford Family in Nauvoo, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah

Another day, another amazing discovery in the Langford family tree.
Yesterday evening, I decided to try to look for connections in a new place. The website is run by the Mormon Church and is free. I have used it many times in the past. Recently, they launched improvements to the site which make it easier to navigate. One of the areas that I had not been able to search before were family trees submitted by others. With the new navigation, I decided to take a peek. Was I ever surprised!

I have used family trees submitted by others as a derivative source. These trees are not factual, necessarily, but they are indicators that there may be facts available to support their conclusions. I use these as a signpost for directions while I pursue the primary sources that would provide necessary genealogical proof.

I found thousands of Langfords in family trees on familysearch, several that included Northrop Holderbee Langford, Oscar's great grandfather. With a name like that unusual mouthful, I was looking at a pretty good indication of a connection.

So I looked deeper and found that, on this tree, Phebe Langford, a sister to Oscar's grandfather had married Abraham Morton, a fact which I already had corroborated. What caught my eye was that Phebe Langford Morton had been buried in historic Nauvoo, Illinois, not far from where I live.

Phebe and Abraham Morton were converts to Mormonism. Historic Nauvoo, Illinois, was a stopping point for the followers of Joseph Smith as they fled persecution, before finally settling on Salt Lake City.

It turns out that the following people are related to the Langfords as descendants of Phebe Langford Morton and Abraham Morton:

Their daughter Phebe Morton, married James Angell and had at least eight children.

                 Phebe Morton Angell and two of her daughters, Mary Ann and Jemima, all became plural wives of Brigham Young. Mary Ann was his second wife, after his first wife died. It was Mary Ann who first approved of Brigham Young's addition of other wives and who was the mother of Brigham Young, Jr.. He had a total of 55 marriages, many of which were not conjugal. He married Phebe and Jemima on the same day in 1846 when Phebe was 59 and Jemima was 42.
                  Truman Osborn Angell was a son of Phebe Morton Angell, brother to Mary Ann and Jemima and brother-in-law to Brigham Young. He learned architecture while building temples in Nauvoo Illinois, Kirtland, Ohio, Logan, Utah and Manti, Utah. He refined these skills when sent by Brigham Young to study in Europe. He was instrumental within the Mormon Church as the Chief Architect. He was the moving force behind the building of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. His son Truman Osborn Angell, Jr., continued in his father's footsteps. He is credited with resolving the problem of the acoustics of that building.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

More from Savanna

Yesterday, April 8, 2013, I visited the public libraries in both Sabula, Iowa, and Savanna, Illinois. I also stopped at the store of Frank Fritz, from the TV show American Pickers. I also found the Mississippi Palisades State Park, the Pioneer Monument in Savanna, the location of the Indian wigwam used by the Pierce family the first night they arrived and the location of the first Pierce house which later was replaced by the Rhodes "Steamboat House."

The Sabula Public Library is very small which fits the town and is only open four hours a day. Yesterday the hours were from 9:00am to 1:00pm. I spent over two hours there and quickly learned that, although Jane Rennets Langford, Oscar's sister, can be found there in the 1860 federal census, there was no other information about her. Since Savanna is right across the river, the Sabula library has a small collection of books about its Illinois neighbor. It was here that I first saw pictures of Fidelia Langford's mother in law and father in law, Aaron Pierce and Harriet Bellows Pierce. I also learned the location of their home in Savanna, and that their daughter Mary Jane is considered the first white child born in western Illinois, and that Mary Jane married riverboat pilot Captain John Brown Rhodes. Further, that Mary Jane and Captain Rhodes built a "Steamboat House" just after the Civil War on the site of the original Pierce home, which still stands today, sort of.
Next stop was the Mississippi Palisades State Park. This was a Civilian Conservation Corps project of the New Deal era and it provides a really nice vantage point for some of the widest parts of the Mississippi River. 
My next stop was the Pioneer Monument pictured here:
The inscription reads :
"On this ground stood the Indian wigwam occupied by Aaron Pierce and his wife Harriet Bellows Pierce and their four children, November 4, 1828. The first white settlers of Savanna."
If you click on the picture and use the zoom tool you can be read it for yourself. One of their children was Lorenzo Dow Pierce, later Fidelia's husband.
Directly across the street sits the "Steamboat House", pictured below, built by Captain Rhodes on the site of the original Pierce house :

I also obtained a drawing of what this house looked like originally. Like many steamboat pilots' houses this one sat right on the river and had a cupola on the roof where family could watch for the approach of the boat. It also contained a two story extension on the right side that has since been removed.
I also went around the river side of the house to give you their views of the river.

Then I went to the Savanna Public Library where I was able to buy a copy of "The Story of Savanna Early Settlement 1828-1850" by Alice M. Bowen. Alice Bowen was also a descendant of the Pierce family and she clarifies some facts that have been confused in other accounts. She wrote this in 1928 as part of the 100th anniversary of Savanna. She provides charming details about the early settlers. One detail that I found exquisite was that a log was hollowed out and used as a cradle for the first Carroll County settler baby, Mary Jane Pierce.
Also at this library I was able to see some artifacts of Harriet Bellows Pierce, pictured here:

The top picture is a bonnet worn by Harriet and the bottom is a embroidery that she wore, perhaps as a shawl.
And lastly I stopped briefly at the antique mall belonging to American Pickers co-star Frank Fritz. Frank was not in but I was able to see a lot of old stuff and a lot seemed familiar from the TV show.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Savanna, Illinois Pioneers

I learned a while back that Oscar's sister, Fidelia Emily Langford had married Lorenzo Dow Pierce and that they lived most of their lives in Savanna, Illinois. 
Lorenzo Dow Pierce was the son of Aaron Pierce and Harriett Bellows Pierce. Aaron Pierce is considered the founder of Savanna Illinois because he was the first white settler in western Illinois.
Below is from the City of Savanna:
Settled in 1828, and receiving its city charter from the State of Illinois in 1875, Savanna began as a river town. Savanna was originally a stopping point for steamboats during regular runs between Galena, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. The evolving transportation lines also added to Savanna's success as a growing city. Settled by true pioneers, this land offered its citizens an opportunity to begin a new life, acquire land, and a chance to accumulate wealth from the river's steamboat and barge traffic. The story of these pioneers is the same story of the thousand lured to the far west with rumors of opportunity and fortune. It was for this reason that a young pioneer from Boston, Aaron Pierce, and his wife began their long journey west. For years these unsettled pioneers searched to find a haven of peace and plenty. They enlisted the services of Vance Davidson, a kind of soldier of fortune, who told them of a beautiful valley on the bank of the Mississippi. He had discovered this area on a recent journey from Rock Island to Galena. The Pierce family, led by Mr. Davidson, traveled an old Indian trail through the deep woods in an ox-drawn covered wagon. Upon arrival they found themselves atop a lofty pinnacle of land overlooking the Mississippi (this is currently the site of the former city hospital). Below was a valley lush with burnished-gold savannas and natural beauty that would later become Savanna's downtown. Aaron housed his family in an Indian hut for temporary shelter near what is now 1018 Main Street (near the Savanna Sabula Bridge). This area had river front access, plenty of trees and was full of wildlife. Aaron took advantage of the area's natural resources and began to sell cord wood to steamboats as fuel - - a cash industry for the early settlers. 
Also from the Find A Grave website we learn that Harriet Bellows Pierce was trained at a music academy in Boston and taught music lessons on the prairie.
Aaron and Harriet Pierce are buried in Savanna.The beautiful view that is described above is available from the Palisades State Park located on the bluffs of the river.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

William Rainey Marshall

The Langford family continues to provide amazing bits of American history. Today, as I worked to develop the family tree further, I came across William Rainey Marshall. He married into the Langford family with his 1854 marriage to Abigail Elliot Langford. Abigail was named after her grandmother, Abigail Elliot, and was the daughter of George Langford II and Chloe Sweeting. She would have been a niece to Charles Langford and a first cousin to Oscar Langford. Her brother was Nathanial Pitt Langford.
William Rainey Marshall was the fifth Governor of the State of Minnesota serving two terms from 1866 to 1870. He was born near Columbia Missouri, and worked his way north being caught up in the "lead rush" that brought a lot of miners to Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was at various times a lawyer, miner, surveyor, dairy farmer, banker, newspaper publisher, bank commissioner and stock raiser. He also served in the Wisconsin State Assembly before coming to Minnesota.
William volunteered to fight in the Civil War and the Dakota War and was quickly promoted to officer duties in both. He served in the Minnesota territorial legislature prior to statehood.
As Governor he repeatedly supported a black suffrage amendment which was ultimately passed. The state of Minnesota had a population surge during his time as Governor doubling to over 350,000 people. The railroad mileage quadrupled.
His politics were Republican and he organized the first convention of the Republican Party in Minnesota. His religion was Swedenborgian.
Abby Langford Marshall was the fifth First Lady of Minnesota. Marshall County Minnesota was named in his honor. He and Abby had one son, George Langford Marshall, who only lived to be 29 years old. Like many Langfords,  William moved to the Pasadena, California area where he died in 1894. More information about him can be found on

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Judge William G. Langford and the Nez Perce Indians

I had already posted information about Judge Langford and his brief participation in the Indian wars. He interrupted his legal training to fight as a young man. I think we tend to forget the level of hostility that existed at times. I did some more research and found two more times when his professional career involved American Indians.

In April of 1879, while he was practicing law in San Francisco, he wrote the following letter from the Presidio to Brigadier General O. O. Howard, who was located at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory. Since Vancouver was a place of his previous residence, it may be that he knew the General.

"William G. Langford writes in the interest of Timothy and his band of Indians who are settled on the Alpewa (sic) and requests in their behalf that they be protected in the treaty rights to land upon which they are settled."

The General forwarded this message with his message:

"Respectfully forward to the Adjutant General of the Army, Headquarters Military Division of the Pacific with request that this paper be referred to the Indian Bureau.
I am personally cognizant of the facts within stated and believe that prompt measures should be taken for the protection of these Indians, for any new injustice makes weight for a future war."

Apparently Timothy and his band had cooperated with the Army in some way that deserved consideration.

Judge Langford's biggest case involved the Nez Perce Indians in Idaho. It went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and ended in an Act of Congress, which did not occur until after his death in 1893.
On June 9, 1863 the United States entered a treaty with the Nez Perce Indians determining the land "reserved" for the use of the Indians within the state of Idaho. It was very specific however no surveyors were enlisted and, later, when lands went unsettled, claims were made by Langford and others that the Indians had abandoned various tracts and he attached a claim. His claim was made in the 1870s.This became a huge case for everyone involved as it was all new law.
After a series of legal skirmishes, the Indians agreed to give up the land to the government of the United States for settlement. Langford's heirs were paid $20,000 for their interest. The US also agreed to purchase two sawmills for use by the Nez Perce at a cost of $10,000 each. Surveyors were hired to determine specific boundaries of all the land in question. The Nez Perce Indians were given one million dollars to be placed to the credit of "the Nez Perce Indians of Idaho" in the Treasury of the United States, and were paid interest at five percent per annum. The total cost of this transaction was $1,668,622. And perhaps more important than anything achieved by money was the definition to the Indian land rights which no doubt was a model for future interactions with other tribes.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Langford-Herwick Family

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had sent off for various PERSI articles made available by the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. One of those articles was written by Jeri (Sligh) Hamilton about her grandfather's family and it appeared in the August, 1983 issue of the Prospector, published in Lancaster, California. Her grandfather was Charles Herwick.
First, I should recap. Oscar's brother Charles E. Langford was a lumber baron in Clinton, Iowa, and Fulton, Illinois. Mary Jane was the fourth of seven children born to Charles and Hannah Shadduck. Mary Jane married John Steck Herwick on October 21, 1862 in Clinton, Iowa.
John Herwick was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He started working as a farm laborer for Charles E. Langford in 1857. When the Civil War call came, John Herwick also mustered in with the Second Iowa Infantry, the same as Orange Langford and one of Charles Langford's sons, Edwin O. Langford. John was wounded by a musket ball at the Battle of Shiloh, Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, on April 6, 1862. He spent two months in a military hospital at Corinth, Mississippi. He was granted a medical discharge on July 4, 1862, with a monthly pension of $8.00. By the time he died in 1912, it had grown to $40.00 per month.
The article goes on to recount some oral family history about the Battle of Shiloh. "He lay on the battlefield after his injury for three days, was taken prisoner of war by the South, later being used as an exchange of war prisoner."
John and Mary had nine children: Charles, Harry, Ida Bell, twins Edgar and Edward, Frank, Clarence, John and Genevieve. The two oldest boys were born in Fulton, Illinois. Frank was born in Kansas and all the other children were born in various towns in Iowa as the family moved west. By the time the youngest turned three years old in 1888, the family had moved to Los Angeles, California. 
John established a Transfer Company, moving people and merchandise with a horse and wagon. The family home was located at 2920 Baldwin Avenue. John and Mary and many of their children are buried at Evergreen Cemetery.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

George Langford in the Revolutionary War

I thought I should take a minute to complete some details about George Langford's service in the Revolutionary War. I have a membership in Fold3 which provides access to most American military records online. I quickly had George's files.
George Langford was the grandfather of Oscar Langford. He was born in 1755 and signed up on October 16, 1779. He joined Captain Joseph Clap's Company of the Third Regiment of Massachusetts Bay Militia commanded by Colonel Israel Chapin. Their unit contained a drummer and fifer and a surgeon, four sergeants, four corporals, 39 privates and a few other staff.
 From Wikipedia:
The 3rd Massachusetts Regiment also known as the 24th Continental Regiment, Heath's Regiment, and Greaton's Regiment, was raised on April 23, 1775, under Colonel William Heath outside of Boston, Massachusetts. When Heath was promoted to brigadier general in June 1775 the regiment came under the command of Colonel John Greaton. The regiment would see action at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Trois-Rivieres, Battle of Valcour Island and the Battle of Saratoga.The regiment was disbanded, on November 3, 1783, at West Point, New York. Lineage carried on by the U. S. 104th Infantry Regiment.
From family history we understand that he would tell his grandchildren about the difficulties he encountered at Valley Forge. There is no doubt that he was at Bunker Hill as his rifle was shot out of his hand, for which he made a claim.

Fidelia Emily Langford Pierce, Oscar's sister

Red Bank Baptist Church Cemetery
Marionville, Virginia

Fidelia Emily Langford married Lorenzo Dow Pierce when she was 15 years old and he was 23. They lived in Savanna, Illinois, until Lorenzo died. Fidelia then moved near or with her daughter, Anna Woodruff Pierce Godwin in Virginia. Fidelia only had two children but Anna had nine, the descendants of whom have kept the Langford tree growing.
A little geography lesson is in order here. The Mississippi River runs between Carroll County Illinois and Jackson County, Iowa. As it heads south from there, it runs between Whiteside County, Illinois and Clinton County, Iowa. These four counties are where the many related Langfords resided, were married, had children, joined armies and began their lives.
Nancy and I plan to make another road trip to the other cities where they lived. The primary cities that they lived in were Clinton, Iowa, Fulton, Illinois, but they also spilled into Sabula, Iowa, an island in the river, and Savanna, Illinois. A bridge connects Sabula and Savanna.
Thanks again are in order to Susan Chambers who provided this information and who is a descendant of Fidelia.

A Peek Inside Orange Langford's Civil War Tent

As I have previously posted, Orange Langford had a long enlistment in the Second Iowa Infantry. This regiment served in a number of  Civil War battles beginning in Missouri shortly after their enlistment.
Fort Donelson was notable because of a bayonet charge that the Second Iowa Infantry led which was critical to penetrate Confederate lines and capture the fort. They were recognized for their bravery in this battle. They were also recognized at Shiloh where there is a monument to the Second Iowa and another for their leader, General Tuttle.

One of the other leaders of the Second Iowa was Captain Harry H. Green. Capt. Green, also from Lyons, Iowa, was mustered in and out on the same days as Orange Langford. Like Orange Langford, he enrolled as a soldier and was promoted to Captain. Orange was his Second Lieutenant for more than a year. Captain Green went on to a successful career as a Methodist Minister in Iowa, becoming a Presiding Elder. He was also elected to the Iowa State House for a term. He had such a distinguished life, that his family implored him to write it down and he did. The result was "The Simple Life of A Commoner", an autobiography by H. H. Green.
I found links to this book when I did a google book search for Orange Langford, who is mentioned in it three times. I ordered it and read it last week.
Green relates an incident when the soldiers were on a supply train bringing needed goods and food to Iuka, Mississippi. On one of these trains the following occurred:
"On one of the trains which carried the troops there had been loaded a few barrels of whiskey belonging to the commissary and medical departments. Some of the members of my company which, for the time being was under the command of Lieutenant Langford, discovered the liquor and at once determined to appropriate it to their own use. So they managed to get possession of a small gimlet, and boring a hole in one of the barrels, inserted a goose quill or pipe stem and drew off enough to fill their canteens, then carefully plugging the hole they proceeded to imbibe the  stuff which, by the time Iuka was reached, began to get in its work. As a matter of fact several of the boys were soon riotously drunk and some of them in a very ugly humor. I had no sooner reached my tent than the Colonel sent for me. "
Green goes on to explain that he poured out the remaining liquor and the following day all of his boys "manfully apologized".
The next time he mentions Orange Langford follows:
"Now I think if you could look inside my tent you would have a good laugh at my expense. The tent is about six feet square and about five feet high. For the want of a bedstead our blankets are spread on the ground and for want of a table Lieutenant Langford and myself are writing on our trunks. On one side of the tent is lying in rich profusion coats, candles, a chair, our swords, a knapsack, two or three pairs of boots, a canteen, two pair of gloves, a table cloth, a looking glass, a broom, two old hats and a variety of things which I need not name."
"Just behind my tent are a couple of young unbleached Americans, singing and telling each other stories as happy as they can be. "Billy", my boy, has just joined them. He is Major General of all of the young darkies in the camp. They congregate around my tent and generally stay there, serenading me, until I have to go out and drive them off."
Captain Green's last mention of Orange is general in nature. Captain Green was able to rely on letters he had written home during the war to recall such vivid details. 

The last week also brought in the mail the pension file of Orange Langford and his wife, Anna Eliza (Howard) Langford. On his original application Orange listed his commanding officer as Captain H. H. Green. Orange Langford died on September 10, 1892. Anne followed him in 1896. It is a sad story of war and its lasting effects. The last major battle that Orange Langford fought was at Corinth Mississippi. Around the time of that battle, he contracted dysentery from poor nutrition and poor hygienic living conditions. He never recovered from that condition and was left unable to perform any strenuous work, dying at age 57. He left Anne destitute and unable to pay for his funeral. I believe from reading the file that they both are buried near Alexander or Collegeville, Arkansas, in either Pulaski County or Saline County.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jane Rennetts Langford Hamilton Allen Daily

Thanks are in order to two more Langford cousins, Julie Ramirez and her father, John Allen, who shared their research over the last weekend. It was in their family tree on that I first found Charles and Fannie listed as Oscar’s parents. I contacted John and we have shared emails since about the Langford line. This weekend Julie sent me a few links about Jane Langford and a summary of their research.
They advise that Jane was married three times. Previously, I had only known of one marriage, making it difficult to find Jane in census records.
Her first marriage was to Merritt Hamilton in 1847, in Mount Carroll, Illinois. They had two children during the brief marriage. Sadly, her first husband died in 1851 and her children both died very young.
Shortly after this, Jane’s sister Mary died near Two Rivers, Wisconsin, leaving her husband, Merritt Allen with children to raise. It must have seemed like it was meant to be when Jane and Merritt Allen fell in love and married on May 24, 1854 at Two Rivers. And the family did grow adding children to the household. But it may have been a marriage of convenience. It does not seem to have lasted and Jane can be found living with her children Mary, 5, and Thomas, 2, in Sabula, Iowa, in the 1860 census.
And Jane married for a third time on April 1, 1864, this time to George Daily, in Jackson County, Iowa.
Jane and her children can all be found buried together in South Mineral Cemetery, near Wyoming, in Jones County, Iowa. Many of the Langford family landed in the three neighboring Iowa counties of Clinton, Jackson and Jones. Jane lived in all three.
In addition to Jane, the following are buried in the South Mineral cemetery:
Jane’s son Thomas Franklin Allen and his wife, Angie Ward Allen

Jane’s daughter Mary Allen Alden is also buried here, but Mary’s year of birth is listed as 1853, which would make her the daughter of Jane’s sister, Mary. This will require some further investigation.

Jane’s grandson and his wife are also resting there, Leo George Allen and Ora May Howard Allen. Leo was one of three children of Thomas Allen. The other two being Otto Allen and Millie Allen. Millie Allen, age 4, was also buried there in 1883.


And here is Jane’s obituary including a recount of a tragic accident.

From The Wyoming Journal Newspaper
Wyoming, Jones County, Iowa
February 27, 1896

In Memoriam

    Jane R. Allen, after having been confined to her bed for nearly five years from injuries she received in falling into a cistern, departed this life February 1, 1896 at the home of her son, T. F. Allen of Wyoming Township. Her maiden name was Langford. She was born in Fredonia, New York, April 20, 1818. She came to Iowa in 1836, was married to Merritt Hamilton in 1847, who died in 1851 leaving her with two small children who died while young. In 1853, she was married to Merritt Allen to whom three children were born who survive her: T. F. and G. E. Allen and Mrs. Mary Alden.
    The funeral services were held at South Mineral Church, conducted by Rev. A. W. Smith, February 2, and her body laid to rest in the South Mineral Cemetery.
    Mrs. Allen, though a great sufferer, bore her affliction with patience and a sublime trust in Jesus. Her cheerfulness and sweet temper on her bed of sickness were a beautiful lesson to all who visited her.

    ‘Who are these arrayed in white,
    Brighter than the noon day sun,
    Foremost of the sons of light,
    Nearest the eternal throne?
    These are they, that bore the cross,
    Nobly for thy Master stood,
    Sufferers in his righteous cause,
    Followers of the dying Lord.”


Here is the obituary of Thomas F. Allen as posted by the Jones County Historical Society:

Thomas Franklin Allen was born at Savana, Ill., Oct. 12, 1857. He passed away at the farm home near Spencerville, Iowa, February 28, 1919, aged 61 years, 4 months and 16 days. He was united in matrimony to Miss Angie Ward at Maquoketa, Sept. 9, 1880. To them three children were born. The eldest, Millie dying while a baby in 1883, and the sons Otto M. and Leo G. who reside on the home farm. Mr. Allen leaves a sister, Mrs. Mary Alden of Cedar Rapids and a brother George who lives in Portland, Ore. There are also two grandsons, Millard and Lyle, left to morn with and to comfort the bereft widow who will continue to reside on the farm that had been the pleasant home of this happy family for many years.
Frank Allen, as he was affectionately known, was one of the progressive farmers of Wyoming Township. He stood for the best things in community and state. For 18 years he was a trustee of the Township and also served in that capacity for Mineral Church and Cemetery. He was a man whom his neighbors could trust and who never spared himself when he could serve anyone in need. It was only when his last illness compiled that he resigned his posts of public trust.
He was converted in 1876 and has since lived the Christian life. For years he was superintendent of the Sunday school and was a faithful attendant at Church, even going when almost too ill. He will be greatly missed by his fellow worshipers.
For three months he has been confined to his home where he has been a great but patient sufferer. All that medical skill and loving hands could do was done to alleviate his distress but death came to his release on the above date. His sister Mrs. Alden was permitted to be with him and Mrs. Allen for the last five weeks which was a great comfort to all concerned. Here in the home of his mature years, which he had ever labored to make a bright place for the family the last special effort being a family dinner last Christmas day, planned by himself. Here his spirit took its flight back to the God who gave it. The home, the Church, and the community, will greatly mourn and miss him. Peace be unto his soul.
The funeral was held at the South Mineral Church, March 2, 1919. The services were conducted by the Pastor Rev. Jesse Smith. Music by Mrs. Samuel Hutton and daughter, and Mr. Burkey with Mrs. Chatterton at the organ. Interment was then made to the beautiful cemetery by the church.


And, lastly, here is the obituary of Jane's grandson, Leo George Allen:

A native of the Onslow, Iowa area who had lived for several years in Lockwood died in a Monticello, Iowa hospital last Friday, June 11 (1965), after an illness of four days. He was Leo George Allen, for whom death came at the age of 78.
Mr. Allen had made his home in Lockwood with his son Lyle and his family since 1957. The elder Mr. Allen operated the scales at his son's rock quarry east of town. He was stricken by his final illness while visiting friends and relatives in Iowa. He had been in Iowa since shortly before Memorial Day before falling victim to the illness which claimed his life.
Mr. Leo George Allen was born on a farm near Onslow, Iowa on January 2nd, 1887. He was the son of T. F. Allen and Mrs. Angie Ward Allen. He was married to Miss Ora Howard on February 9th, 1916, in Wyoming, Iowa. To their union was born one son, Lyle.
Mr. Allen united with the Onslow Presbyterian Church at an early age. He farmed land in the Onslow area homesteaded by his grandfather until his retirement following the death of his wife in 1946. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, his wife, and one grandson.
Survivors include a brother, Otto of Wyoming, Iowa; and a son Lyle and a grandson Larry, both of Lockwood.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Orange M. Langford in the Civil War

Oscar's brother, Orange Mansfield Langford, joined the 2nd Iowa Infantry in 1861. The newly elected President Abraham Lincoln, put out a request for Iowa to establish a regiment of volunteers for the Union Army. In Clinton County, there were fewer than 5000 total men of the correct age for military service. About 800 were given exemptions for various reasons. Of the remaining 4000+, over 1500 signed up to join when the call went out. This was more than they needed for one regiment and during a subsequent call, Iowa produced two more regiments.
According to "Roster and Record of Iowa Troops In the Rebellion, Vol. 1" By Guy E. Logan,
Governor Kirkwood sent the following message to Lincoln's Secretary of War:
"Your telegraphic dispatch informing me that two more regiments of volunteers were required of this State, reached me on the 17th inst. I immediately ordered the ten companies selected as the Second Regiment to rendezvous at Keokuk by the 25th inst., there to be mustered into the service of the United States. I have also selected the companies to form the Third Regiment, and I have sent orders to them to rendezvous at the same place by the 3d of June proximo at furthest. I hope both regiments will be promptly at Keokuk by the time named. The want of telegraphs and railroads in the interior of our State causes delay in the transmission of orders and the movement of troops, or these regiments would be at the place of rendezvous much sooner.
 Col. Samuel R. Curtis, a member of Congress from the First district of Iowa, resigned that office to accept a commission as Colonel of the Second Iowa Infantry. He was a graduate from the Military Academy at West Point, but had many years before resigned from the army to engage in civil engineering. Upon taking command of his regiment, he at once proceeded to instruct the officers and men in the details of their duty as soldiers. So promptly and well was this instruction given, and received, that the Second Regiment was the first to take the field, the First following but one day later, and the Third but a few days thereafter. On the 13th day of June, 1861, Colonel Curtis received a telegram from General Nathaniel Lyon ordering him to at once move the troops under his command into the State of Missouri, with specific instructions to take military control of the lines of the Hannibal and St. Joseph and North Missouri Railroads."

Within 56 hours, the 2nd Iowa Infantry had taken control of the Missouri railroads stretching from Hannibal to Saint Joseph, Missouri, an incredible military accomplishment by Colonel Curtis who was later promoted to Brigadier General and Major General and would defeat the Confederate Army at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas as Commander of the southwest Army.

"The Second Iowa Infantry thus began its military career under an able leader whose influence and example was an inspiration to the splendid officers who subsequently became its commanders succeeding each other in vacancies caused by promotion, by death on the battlefield, and by disabling wounds. The regiment rendered important service during the campaign in the summer of 1861 and most of the winter of 1862. The principal points from which it operated were as follows: St. Joseph Mo.; United States Arsenal, St. Louis, Mo.; Bird's Point, Mo.; Ironton, Mo. Pilot Knob, Mo.; Jackson, Mo.; Fort Jefferson, Ky.; Benton Barracks, St. Louis; Military Prison, McDowell's College, St. Louis. Leaving the last named station on the 10th day of February, 1862, the regiment was transferred by boat to Fort Donelson, Tenn., where it participated in the siege and capture of that stronghold and opened the way for the passage of the Union troops up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers."

Fort Donelson was the first full-fledged battle that the Second Iowa Infantry would see.

"The compiler of this history has before him the original telegram from Major General H. W.
Halleck, addressed to Adjutant General N. B. Baker of Iowa, dated at Department Headquarters, St. Louis, February 19, 1862, which reads as follows:
The Second Iowa Infantry proved themselves the bravest of the brave. They had the honor of leading the column which entered Fort Donelson.
Colonel Tuttle then goes on to mention by name those who especially distinguished
themselves by coolness and bravery in the assault upon the fort. Of those in the most responsible positions, he mentions Lieutenant Colonel Baker, Major Chipman and Adjutant Tuttle, and says of them:
They were gallant to perfection. Lieutenant Colonel Baker had a ball pass through his cap
and come out near his temple, Major Chipman was among the first to fall severely wounded,
while cheering on the men of the left wing, and refused to be carried from the field, but waved his sword and exhorted the men to press forward. Captains Slaymaker and Cloutman fell dead at the head of their companies before they reached the entrenchments. Near them fell Lieutenant Harper. His death was that of a true and brave soldier. Captains Cox, Mills, Moore and Wilkins were at the head of their companies, marked examples of gallantry and efficiency. Lieutenants Scofield, Ensign, Davis, Holmes, Huntington, Weaver Mastic, Snowden and Godfrey—in fact nearly all of my officers, commissioned and non-commissioned— deported themselves nobly throughout the engagement, Sergeant Major Brawner deserves very honorable mention for his gallant conduct. Surgeons Marsh and Nassau also deserve the highest praise for their skill and untiring devotion to the welfare of the wounded. Dr. Nassau was particularly noticed for his bravery on the field, taking off the wounded during a heavy fire from the enemy. I cannot omit in this report an account of the Color Guard. Color Sergeant Doolittle fell early in the engagement pierced by four balls, and dangerously wounded. The colors were then taken by Corporal Page of Company B who soon fell, dead. They were again raised by Corporal Churcher of company I who had his arm broken just as he entered the entrenchments, when they were taken by Corporal Twombly of company F, who was almost instantly knocked down by a spent ball, but he immediately rose and bore them gallantly to the end of the fight. Not a single man of the Color Guard, but himself, was on his feet at the close of the engagement.

Thus, in its first great battle, so important in its results, the Second Iowa Infantry bore such a
conspicuous part as to be accorded the post of honor by being placed in the vanguard of the troops who took possession of the stronghold they had fought so bravely to subdue. The news of the splendid manner in which they had sustained the flag of their country was heard with glad acclaim, mingled with mourning for the gallant dead, throughout the State of Iowa, and served as an inspiration to those who were rallying to the defense of their country, and eagerly waiting for the opportunity to take the places of their fallen comrades."

In April, the Second Iowa Infantry would be present at the Battle of Shiloh.

"The two regiments of Tuttle's command—the Second and Seventh Iowa— which had
escaped capture, reinforced by fragments of other regiments, constituted an important part of the line of last resistance at Shiloh on the 6th of April, and again the regiment occupied a post of honor. On Monday, the 7th, the Second Iowa was placed under the orders of General Nelson and made a bayonet charge in a most gallant manner, the enemy giving way before them. It will thus be seen that the regiment well sustained at Shiloh the record it had made at Donelson."

Next they were sent to Corinth Mississippi where 108 of the 320 who fought, were killed.

"After the battle of Corinth, the regiment, now decimated in number by its heavy losses in
battle, continued in active service in the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, during the fall, winter, spring and early summer of 1862 and 1863, and contributed its full share to the success of the operations against the enemy, up to, and culminating in, the fall of Atlanta and the march to the sea, and on to Washington. During this period of its service, it participated in the following engagements: Little Bear Creek, Alabama, November 28, 1862. Town Creek, Ala., April, 1863. Resaca, Ga., May 14 and 15, 1864. Rome Cross Roads May 16, 1864."

Between July 7, 1862, and December 16, 1862, Orange Mansfield would be promoted to Corporal (July 7) Sergeant ( September 4) and Second Lieutenant (December 16). 
Orange mustered out of service after completing his three year enlistment in May of 1864. The Second Iowa would March to the sea and then to Washington DC, before returning to Davenport, Iowa, where it was disbanded on July 20, 1865.

Last week, I found two books that mentioned the Second Iowa Infantry and ordered them both. Hopefully they will provide more detail on the service of this brave group.