Civil War Widow’s Pension Application and Papers Emma Langford/Lankford wife of Silas James Langford/Lankford Civil War Soldier

by deb - September 7th, 2011.
Filed under: Genealogy. Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

In my last post Emma Langford admitted in a deposition on 19 Jan 1906 that, “yes I had heard that Silas James Langford had had a wife before the one, Zilpha Dunn, who died here”.    Emma continued:   “When Zilpha died there was a young man, Marion Langford, here.  I have heard that he was Silas J. Langford’s child by a wife that he had had before he married Zilpha Dunn.  Marion told me that he was Silas J. Langford’s brother.   I spoke to Silas about having had another wife, the mother of Marion and he told me that he married a girl before the war and that they had but the one child; that she was so jealous of him that he left her and joined the army and never saw her after that.   I do not know the girl’s name, nor whether she was dead or living when Silas J Langford and I married.  I have never heard that they were ever divorced.   I suppose that they married in Smith Co. Tenn”.

The next depositionin the case of Emma Langford, also dated 19 Jan 1906, was by Beddie Hunter of Daniel, Dickson Co., TN.    Beddie Hunter said:   “I am 48 years of age.  My post office address is Daniel, Tenn.   I am the wife of Burrell Hunter.  Emma Langford is my sister-in-law.   I knew Silas James Langford’s first wife Zilpha.  She died in this neighborhood.  I was at her burial.  I came to this neighborhood twenty-six years ago and Silas J. Langford’s wife died about a year after I came here.   She died before Silas J. Langford married to Emma.    I have heard that Silas J. Langford had been married before he married to the woman Zilpha.   One of the former wife’s sons was here when Zilpha died.    I have heard Emma Langford speak several times of that son that Silas had by the woman he had before the war.   I do not know what ever became of the first wife.   I understood that Silas Langford had her before the Civil War and that he left her.   I have not heard whether or not they were ever divorced.  I do not remember positively the name of that son but think that it was Marion”.

Next to give deposition on 19 Jan 1906 was Wesley Speight, who said:  “I am 68 years of age.   My post office address is Pardue, Tenn (Dickson Co).  I have lived in this vicinity all my life.   I have known Emma Langford all her life.   She was born here and has lived her all her life.  Her first husband was Thomas Brown.  I was personally acquainted with him.  The said Thomas Brown was drowned in the Harpeth River in the Spring of 1877.  He was lving on my farm that year.   There was a coroner’s inquest over the body and I was one of the coroner’s jury.   The next husband that the said Emma had was Jim Langford.   THe above named men are the only husbands that this claimant has ever had.   I never knw Langford as Silas.  I always called him Jim.   I saw Jim Langford’s first wife buried.   She died about 25 years ago.  Her death occurred before he marrie to the widow Emma Brown.  Those two wives are the only ones that Jim Langford ever hd that I had heard of. ”  Wesley Speight signed by X.

The next deposition in the file was given 7 Feb 1906 by Martha M. Hackett, who was my great-great-great grandmother.   She said:  “I am 43 years of age.  My post office and address is Monoville, TN (Smith Co).  I am the wife of Marshall Hackett, farmer.  My father was Jim Lankford; mother was Nancy Susan Lankford.  Her maiden name was McKinnis.  Father and mother married in this neighborhood before the Civil War.  I don’t know the year of their marriage.   I am the youngest child.  Amelia, the wife of Will Chambers now living in Franklin, KY, was two years older than I.   She is 44 this month.  Marion Jefferson is the next older than Amelia.  He is two years older than Amelia.  The oldest child Malissa died at the age of three months.   I do not know the difference in age of Malissa and Marion.  Father and mother had been married nearly two years before Malissa was born.  Mother died the first week in December, eighteen years ago, last December, at the house of my brother Marion.  He is somewhere in Texas now.   Mother and father were never divorced.  She had not been married before”.  Martha M. Hackett signed by X and Myrtle Hackett attested to her deposition.

Amelia F. Chambers gave the next deposition on 9 Feb 1906 and said:  I am 44 years of age.  My post office address is Franklin, KY.  I am the wife of Wm Chambers–a shoemaker.  My mother was Nancy Susan Lankford.  My father was Jim Lankford.   Mother died eighteen years ago last fall.   I am quite sure that she died in October.   If my sister says she died in December, she must be mistaken.   My child Jennie Sue, the wife of Geo. Link of Nashville, TN is twenty years old and mother was living when Jennie Sue was born.   Mother was married but once.  She was in her twentieth year when she married.   Mother and father were never divorced.  I was with mother nearly all the time from the time fathr left her till she died and I know taht is there ever had been any divorce I would have heard of it.  She lived in Simpson Co., KY and Smith Co., Tenn from the time father left her till she died”.   Amelia F. Chambers signed with an X and Clyde Chambers attested to her deposition.

Oby S. Lankford gave the next deposition on 8 Feb 1906.  He said:  “I am 58 years of age.  My post office address is Defeated, Tenn (Smith Co).  I am a farmer.   Silas James Langford was my brother.   Our father was Henry Lankford; our mother was Peggy.  Both are dead.   Both Jim and I stayed with our parents until we grew up. Silas James Lankford’s first wife was Susan McKinnis.  They married in Smith Co., Tenn.  I was not at the wedding.  I do not remember who performed the marriage ceremony.  They had four children born before the Civil War.  I reckon that they married about 1856.  I can’t state the date positively.  While Jim was in the army he came to see Susan occasionally but he never lived with her after he came out of the army.  I do not know why he deserted her.  He stayed about here only a few months, then disappeared and we heard nothing of him for many years.   Finally I overheard some men talking about him at a mill and learned that he had married a sister of one of the men, named Dunn, and were living in Dickson Co., Tenn.   Yes, I understood that he married the Dunn woman.  It was not in the county that they married.  I don’t know what county they married in, but I think that it was somewhere up Cumberland River.  I understood that she died in Dickson Co., Tenn.  After the Dunn woman’s death he married the woman Emma with whom he lived till his death.  I visited Jim and Emma in Dec. 1904.   They were then living together as husband and wife.   The three wives above named are the only wives that my said brother Silas James Lankford ever had, so far as I have heard.   I do not think that my said brother Jim ever got divorced from Susan, nor she from him.    If they were ever divorced I have never heard of  it.   Susan never married again.  Susan lived in this county and near Franklin, KY from the time brother Jim left her till she died.  She had not been married before.   From flying rumors that I heard it appears that brother Jim got entangled with the Dunn woman about the close of the Civil War and they left here together.  I can not state that as a fact but only as a rumon that I heard.  It seems that they met at Carthage and left together from there.   The only nick name that my said brother had was “Babe”.  The youngest of Susan’s children is named Martha.  She is the wife of Marshall Hackett.  It is supposed that Marion is in Texas.  The daughter Amelia, wife of Bill Chambers, lives near Franklin, KY.  I do not know whether or not the wife Emma knew of Jim’s first wife Susan.    She never talked with me about it”.   O.S. Lankford signed by X and Rome Hillard attested his deposition.

And so the depositions continue, now for the family of Silas James Lankford/Langford.    Even though the death dates vary of Silas James’ first wife, Susan, from 18 years ago (puttin it about 1888) to 20 years ago (1886), the fact remains that Silas James Langford and Emma Brown married in 1881 while Susan was still living.

2 Responses to Civil War Widow’s Pension Application and Papers Emma Langford/Lankford wife of Silas James Langford/Lankford Civil War Soldier

  1. Very interesting!

  2. What a character….. !

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