Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Burial Location of Oscar’s Father Found

We had done a lot of looking and we were prepared to do a lot more research when the answer was handed to us.

We knew that Charles Langford brought many of his children to Lyons, Iowa, about 1840 after his wife Fannie died in New York. We knew that he showed up in the Federal Census of 1850, 1860 and 1870, living in Elk River Township,  Clinton County, Iowa. We surmised that he passed away between 1870 and the next census in 1880.

Susan Chambers provided us with several letters that had gone back and forth to Oscar while at the Printer’s Home. One of them from Delia Wilcox gave an account of her attending Charles funeral in tiny Almont in Elk River Township and said “he was buried at that place.” More importantly it provided a time frame of 1878. This allowed me the clue to find newspaper accounts of Charles death on January 23, 1879.

We tried to find a record of his burial on Ancestry, Family Search, Archives, Heritage Quest, Find a Grave, GenWeb and every other site we could think to search with no results. I found an interesting site, the Iowa Gravestones Project, that had a bigger collection than anywhere else for Clinton County cemeteries. I looked through the listings and found two old cemeteries where the burial could have taken place. One of them, the Smith Cemetery had only 53 burials but three stones were too worn to make out a name. Nancy and I planned to visit this cemetery in better weather to  see if we could find Charles among these unknowns. They were our last avenue to pursue.

Then, last week, we made a trip to Fulton to meet with two folks from the Fulton Historical Society. Barb and Harvey had information on the “other” Charles Langford, Charles Eliot Langford, Oscar’s brother. Harvey had done some great research as had Barb. But Harvey had done the cemetery searching.and mentioned that there was a Langford buried in Fulton, Illinois. Sure enough, it was Oscar’s father, Charles.

Evidently, the Charles E. Langford in Fulton had his father Charles buried in the Fulton Township Cemetery after his funeral across the river in Clinton County, Iowa.. He is buried in Sect Q, lot 101, row 3. There is no marker.

In the greatest of ironies, Nancy’s great great grandfather was buried near where we have lived for the last 36+ years, but we were completely unaware of him ever being in Iowa. The lost is now found and we are going to Fulton soon to see his “place”.

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