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 Wikipedia.com.