The Valley of Heart's Delight

Sheriff of Santa Clara County
Early Jamestown Colony Settlers- 1668
Early Settlers of Santa Clara Valley- 1853


More than any other state in the Union, California traces its vigorous growth and prosperity directly to the sturdy character and untiring perseverance of its pioneers, and fortunate among those of the present generation who have inherited from their ancestors these same noble qualities is Arthur Burr Langford, ex-sheriff of Santa Clara County. He was born at Concow, a stage station in Butte County, Cal., on May 4, 1878, the son of Robert Jackson and Frances Helen (Freeman) Langford, the former of old Welsh stock and the latter of Scotch descent.

The Langfords are numbered among the settlers of the Jamestown Colony in the earliest days of our country-their names are found in Virginia as early as 1668, and during the Colonial and Revelutionary wars their names are also found enrolled in the army of patriots. The grandfather of our subject, Pleasant Shields Langford, was born in Albemarle County, Va., but following the trend of migration westward with hundreds of others in when the pioneer spirit was strong, he lived in Indiana and Ohio, then settled in Washington County, Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1853. Setting out for California, he arrived in the Golden State on Septemeber 15 of that year and for a time settled at Santa Clara, later taking up a Government claim in the vicinity of Bainter's Gulch, near Los Gatos, where he erected the family home, which is still standing.

Pleasant Shields Langford was the father of eleven children, only one of whom is now living, H. Clarence Langford of San Jose. Of the other sons, Robert Jackson Langford, the father of our subject, was born in Iowa in 1852, so was but one year old when his parents came to California and the remainder of his life was spent in Santa Clara County. He was prominent in the business life of the community and for twenty-two years a dealer in wholesale and retail meat. In 1898 he was elected sheriff of Santa Clara County, taking office in January, 1899, and had served two years of his second term when he passed away on February 20, 1905, honored as an efficient public service. Mrs. Robert Langford was born in Illinois and came across the plains in an ox-team train in 1865, the family settling in San Jose. She is the mother of three children; Arthur Burr Langford of this sketch; Claude Pleasant Langford, who died in childhood, and Leo Morse Langford, an employe of the Standard Oil Company at San Jose, where Mrs. Langford still resides.

After finishing the grammar school, Arthur B. Langford pursued the usual courses of study in the high school, graduating with the class of "97; and when he ventured into the world for himself, he tried the butcher trade, mining in British Columbia, and ranching, riding the range for Miller & Lux. In 1901 he was deputy sheriff under his father and in 1906 he was elected sheriff, following the demise of Robert J. Langford. He was elected twice thereafter and in all served as sheriff for twelve consecutive years, the longest period this office has ever been held, a tribute to the efficiency and capability with which he discharged the duties of this responsible post.

On March 30, 1904, Mr. Langford was married at Santa Clara to Miss Alice Lovell, the accomplished representative of an old pioneer family. Her parents were John A. and Eda (Jackson) Lovell, and her paternal grandfather came to California as early as 1849, returning East and bringing his family here in 1853. Grandfather Jackson was also numbered among California's early settlers and was provostmarshal of San Francisco during the Civil War.

Mr. Langford is a Mason, a member and past patron Fraternity Chapter No. 288, O. E. S. He also is a member of Garden City Lodge No. 142, I. O. O. F.; San Jose Lodge No. 522, B. P. O., Elks; Obser-vatory Parlor No. 177, N. S. G. W., serving as president for two terms; Society of California Pioneers of Santa Clara County; San Jose Lodge No. 47, K. of P.; Alamo Camp No. 80. W. O. W.; the National Union, and San Jose Tent No. 27, K. O. T. M., of which he is past commander. Mr. Langford is a Republican, but his sympathies and interests extend far beyond the confines of his party, so that he may always be found supporting every progressive measure for the community's welfare.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 559


SANTA CLARA COUNTY- The Valley of Heart's Delight