Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fielding Langford

  • Name: Fielding Langford
  • Born: October 24, 1804 Crab Orchard, Kentucky
  • Died: August 1882 Near Oakley, Idaho
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Heber Langford

Fielding Langford was born October 24, 1804. He was the first member of the Langford family to join the LDS Church. He and his wife, Sarah Bethurum , were both born and raised in Kentucky. They were married in 1830 and sometime in the next five years moved to Clay Co., Indiana, being among its first settlers. In July 1843 Fielding was baptized into the Mormon Church. He was one of two individuals in the entire county that joined this "peculiar sect". The missionaries had been teaching in the area, and of the 10 children of Walker Langford, only Fielding joined the church. It is not known whether Sarah joined the Mormon Church at this time. If she did not, she certainly did not deter him from "gathering" with the Saints, and she was by his side during the difficult pioneering years in Utah.

Exactly when Fielding left Indiana to join the Saints is not known for sure. It is assumed that it was in 1846 after he sold his land. This was just after the Saints had just left Nauvoo. There, he must have found a dismal scene- the temple desecrated, homes deserted or taken over by others. Saints had been driven out of Nauvoo and had gathered in Council Bluffs and Pisgah Camps. For whatever reason, Fielding did not stay on at Winter Quarters for long, nor did he immigrate the next spring. Sarah had Kincaid relatives living in Platte Co., Missouri and so this is where they headed. While living in Indiana two of his eight children died and then he lost two more between the time he left Indiana and the time he crossed the plains in 1852. One was a teenage boy who had wanted badly to go to Zion and "see The Gatepost", but didn't make it. Perhaps it was because of the care given to these children that they waited, or for financial reasons. (Not sure what “The Gatepost” was if anybody knows let me know).

Finally in 1852 the Langfords headed back to Council Bluffs and joined a Mormon emigrant train to Utah. They traveled with the James Bay Company leaving May 27 and arriving in Salt Lake Valley August 13. There were about 190 people in this company including a contingent under the direction of John S. Higbee with a number of British converts. Also in this same company traveled the Isacc Turnbaugh family whose father's people, like the Langfords, had come from Kentucky, before moving to Illinois. James Harvey, Sr. later married Mary Caroline Turnbaugh, Isaac's daughter.

There is no information on where the Langfords moved directly after they arrived in Salt Lake Valley. By the 1860 Utah census we find them in Willard, Box Elder County, Utah and suppose that they were there as early as 1856. Fielding and Sarah moved to Malta, Idaho and sometime after that Sarah died in 1863 from an insect bite (we believe she was bit by a black widow spider) while harvesting her garden.
Fielding Langford and Christena Bocher family
Two years after her death, Fielding married a Swedish immigrant named Caroline Christena Bocher, 40 years his junior. They had five children and then divorced sometime after 1875. During this time he lived in Panaca, Nevada, which was then Washington County, Utah. The last two years of his life were spent at his daughter's home on Warm Creek Ranch near Oakley, Idaho. He was buried there in August of 1882.

This article was compiled and edited by Norene Green and Sharlene Gardner, July 1997.


  1. The gravesite is still there

  2. I thought you might find it interesting that after a recent fire that burned over 90,000 acres the grave site for a Fielding Langford (although birth date is not the same- I cant imagine it not being him) still sits surrounded by black but protected inside the gates of the little cemetery. I worked on the fire and was able to take some pictures you can find them here.... http://www.nielsonramblings.blogspot.com/2012/08/you-cant-tell-me.html?m=1 I am also curious if you know who else is burried by him? The headstone seems to have been removed. Any more info would be very appreciated!! God protects that which is sacred!

  3. Very cool Thanks so much for sharing this! I am not sure who else is buried there but this is definitely our ancestor.

  4. i found the Warm Creek Cemetart listing on find a grave. it looks like most the people there are unknown. However there is record of a William Rivers. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2232799

  5. It is interesting that his wife Sarah Lankford has a headstone in the little pioneer cemetary in Willard Utah. It is near Parthena Turnbaugh and also Dan's 4th great grandmother on his mother's side. Elizabeth Briggs Welch. Of the 7 little stones there, Three of them are his 4th great grandmothers. It is wonderful to see the sweet miracle that preserved the little pioneer cemetary in Idaho after the fires. Thank you Amy for researching and sharing with us.

  6. We were so interested in the miracle of the small family cemetery being saved from the ravages of the range fire that we did some research and located the general area. Today we went and found for ourselfs the Warm Creek Ranch Cemetery. It was a wonderful experience to see the small area that was not burned and appeared to have been protected in the palm of our saviors hand! We brought flowers with us and put them on all 7 graves. During our time at this special location we read the short history of Fielding Langford.
    Thank you for letting us share in this miracle.
    The GPS coordinates of the Warm Creek Ranch Cemetery are N42 20'09.0" W114 02'08.8"

  7. I recently was on FindaGrave looking at the burials in Valley Vu Cemetery in Malta, ID and found the following Burial

    Sarah Lankford
    Wife of F. Lankford
    DIED Nov. 12, 1863

    Find A Grave Memorial# 74238369

    I'm finding it curious that seemingly Sarah Lankford/Lanford may have headstones in different locations.

    I was looking to find out why Abraham Caldwell, who married Fielding and Sarah Langford' daughter, Mary Margaret, was buring in Valley Vu Cemetery by himself. (I am a descendant of Abraham's sister Caroline Caldwell.)

    Paula Dean

  8. Sherlene Hall BartholomewApril 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Sherrie Pierce sent me a photo of this Malta Cemetery, Malta, Idaho marker for Sarah, Aug 2007, She wondered whether Sarah's daughter, by Fielding, Mary Margaret Langford Caldwell, "just put up the marker to commemorate her mother's death?" I think Sherrie, also a descendant of Sarah Bethurem Langford, has guessed correctly that the Malta marker is a memorial stone only. I, too, have visited and decorated actual Sarah's grave, as marked in the Willard Old Pioneer Cemetery (just down the street from the larger Willard Cemetery), marked by a gazebo and large sign, with only a few remaining gravestones, after a big flood. Looking carefully at the stone of
    SARAH WIFE OF/F. LANKFORD," I imagine that Fielding could have chiseled it, himself. Not far away from Sarah's grave is another miraculous preservation of a gravestone for my ancestor Parthena Davis Jones Turnbaugh, wife of Isaac Turnbaughk whose daughter, Mary Caroline Turnbaugh, married Sarah and Fielding's oldest son, James Harvey Langford, Sr. Sherlene Hall Bartholomew

  9. Fielding's gravestone inscription, near Warm Creek, in Cassia County, Idaho, is incorrect. It reads: "FIELDING/LANGFORD/BORN/APR 13, 1804/DIED/AUG. 1862" (space left there makes me think they intended to come back and inscribe the right day of August, when he died. The birth date is incorrect--Fielding was actually born on 24 Oct 1804, in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. He died, at age 78, at the home of his daughter (by my ancestor, his 1st wife, Sarah Bethurem Langford), Mary Margaret Langford, on Warm Creek Ranch, in Warm Creek, near Oakley, in Cassia County, in southern Idaho.

    Sherlene Hall Bartholomew