- Name: James Harvey Langford Jr.
- Born: May 27, 1861 Willard, Utah
- Died: April 14, 1922 American Fork, Utah
- Related through: Dan's grandfather Heber Otto Langford
Rose Ellen Jackson, was born December 1,1865. Her parents moved from Lehi to Toquerville, Utah, after Brigham Young called them to settle there, in what came to be known as "the wine mission." Some legends suggest that our practical prophet thought profit made from wine should not go to the Gentiles.
|James and Rose Ellen on their wedding day|
The family moved around a lot. First they lived in Junction, Utah, then Toquerville, Utah and Panaca, Nevada and then back to Junction. One this last move it was so cold the family almost froze to death. While living in Junction, James Harvey was a counselor in the bishopric. He also conducted a choir and sang solos.
In 1888, James Harvey moved Mary Lydia into Grass Valley, Utah. The law was beginning to make angry noises again polygamists in the area. Shortly after the birth of Rose Ellen’s third child federal officers came to get Rose Ellen to get her to act as a witness against her husband as a polygamist. Her mid-wife mother-in-law, Mary C. Turnbaugh Langford, aimed a gun and dared the men to take her. They left but returned three weeks later and took her to court to testify against James Harvey. Rose Ellen only answered, “I don’t know.” To all the questions asked.
|James Harvey Langford is second from left.|
James Harvey eventually built a newer brick home. He burned his own brick and slacked his lime. Then he built a store and several other houses for other people. He owned a city block of ground. He raised pears, apples and grapes. His father James Harvey Sr. came to Oaxaca in 1898 and farmed a piece of this ground. He raised watermelons, English walnuts and almonds. He lived in a one room house. The grandchildren took turns cleaning it and taking meals to him. He died there in 1908.
There was a cloud burst up the Bivespie River on November 5, 1905. The river started to rise that morning and by evening the town was destroyed and there were about 30 families left homeless. They moved into the schoolhouse and soon after most of the families moved out of town ruining James Harvey’s business in the store. Fortunately the flood did no damage to the Langford family home but they did lose some goods and furniture to water damage.
The family kept increasing and soon there were a total of 18 living children. James Harvey couldn’t make a living, so by 1908 he traded his home and store for a farm of 500 acres that was about 30 miles closer to the U.S. border in San Jose. The ground was very fertile there and the family lived there for almost four years. These turned out to be the four most prosperous years the family had in Mexico.
|James Harvey Langford Jr. family in Mexico|
The U.S. Government offered to furnish free transportation to all refugees to any place in the United States. Some of the family went to Provo where their grandmother Mary Caroline Langford lived and some went to Toquerville, Utah. James Harvey and the younger children went to Tuscon, Arizona. They stayed there for two years but the crops were poor so they moved to Price, Utah. They lived there for two years where they rented a farm. After that they moved to a farm in Wellington, Utah where James Harvey got a job building roads near Schofield. He was made foreman and five of his boys drove teams. They lived in tents and Rose Ellen and Mary Lydia did the cooking and took in boarders.
On November 19, 1919 they moved to Caldwell, Idaho. A married son and an aunt lived there. They rented a nice home near Nampa, Idaho and it was the nicest place they had ever lived. While there he decided to buy a car. He went to town and bought a 1915 Ford. He decided he would drive it back home, but it wouldn’t guide like a horse so he had his son take it over and he didn’t try to drive it again.
After an unsuccessful venture into the dairy business he decided to move again. The family went to American Fork, Utah where one of his married sons was living. While there he got pneumonia and died on April 14, 1922. He was buried in the American Fork Cemetery.
It had been a hard life. If the Mexican Revolution hadn’t occurred their life in Mexico would have been far different. If they could have stayed in San Jose they might have become very prosperous, as it was just opening up as another Mormon settlement. James Harvey Langford Jr. was an honest, hard working man. His intelligence and deep religious faith is evidenced in his writings which have been kept by the family. Both families feel he gave them the finest heritage he could.
This article was written by Blenda Jackson Langford Bulter, daughter. It is included in the book “The Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford.” By Ida-Rose Langford Hall. His history was rather long so for more information about his life find this book. There is a copy in the Family History Library.