FORD COUNTY, KANSAS
Submitted by Sue Roth
Albert, Fern, Homer and Bill Langley
"When I was researching the information of how my Grandpa got shot and killed, I was amazed that I would find such headlines, and stories. My daughter and I Rhiannon, first went to Spearville, then on to Dodge City where we found what we were looking for. Back in the 70's the convicted killler of my grandpa came to our house in Dodge. My mom let him in, and he said he just wanted her to know he was not the one that killed her dad. (go figure), My mom called my dad and my dad rushed home from work. Cecil Campbell said, he found religion and god in prison and that he went on to be a preacher. Mom got his address, and my dad sent him on his merry way." --Sue Roth
FORMER COUNTY MAN MURDERED
Albert Langley Shot By Hired Man On Kansas Ranch
Albert Langley came to his death at the hands of his hired man, Cecil Campbell on Langley's ranch near Spearville, Kansas, Monday, January 30th, 1928.
Shot Three Times and Able to Walk to the House.
The cause of the shooting is in doubt.
Mrs. Langley who accompanied the body of her husband here, stated to The Republican's representative, that he and his men were grinding cane. In the middle of the morning she looked out and saw her husband approaching the house staggering. She ran to meet him thinking he had gotten hurt.
She got him in the house and he said, "Cecil shot me." She questioned him if they had quarreled, and he answered her they had not, that he and Cecil were working together, Cecil throwing down the bundles of cane to him, while Langley fed it into the mill. He said he called to Campbell to throw down another bundle and when he turned to receive it, Campbell faced him with a revolver, and fired three shots into Langley's face. The shots took effect in the nose, the cheek and forehead. Langley died of hemorrhage, after making the above statement to his wife.
Campbell was later captured at Kingsdown and put in jail at Dodge City, Kansas. He stated that he and Langley quarreled over the ownership of the cane mill, Campbell claiming that Langley cheated him in the purchase deal. Mrs. Langley states that the cane mill was bought and paid for over a year ago, and that could not have been the cause.
Mrs. Langley returned to Spearville yesterday where Campbell's preliminary will be held on her return. She will return to Carthage to make her home. Her mother is Mrs. Jas. Burns, a daughter of Mrs. Nancy Boston of this city.
The deceased, Albert Lee Langley, was the son of Isaac and Emmaretta Langley, was born on the Langley farm near Middle Creek, Hancock county, Illinois, March 3, 1883, being on the day of his death, 44 years, 10 months and 28 days of age. His mother passed away seven months ago. He was left fatherless at the age of 13 years.
At the age of 15 years he united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Middle Creek.
On April 12, 1915, he was united in marriage to Miss Fern Bagley, of Carthage, Ill., to which union were born the following children: William Isaac, Homer Lee, Ernest Albert, Esther Fern, Joy Ruth and Joseph Bruce Langley.
Besides these children, deceased leaves to mourn his departure the following sisters, Mrs. Alice Wilson, of Plymouth, Ill.; Mrs. Mary Grove, Carthage, Ill.; Mrs. Mae Boston, Arbelia, Mo.1; and one brother, Alfred, of Quincy, and one half brother, Homer Langley, of Guyman, Okla. Besides these there remains many relatives and friends to mourn the untimely death of deceased, which occurred at Spearville, Kans., Jan. 31, 1928.
Card of Thanks
We wish to gratefully acknowledge your expressions of sympathy at this time of our great sorrow.
Mrs. Albert Langley and Children.
March 8, 1928 , Spearville and Hodgeman county kansas (Jetmore, and Dodge City)\
Spearville News. March 8, 1928.
Cecil Campbell, Farm Hand is found guilty of murdering A. L. Langley -- Starts Sentence.
Cecil Campbell, 24 year old farm hand was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary by Judge Roscoe Wilson. A motion for a new trial was overruled and Campbells counsel gave notice that the case would be appealed to the supreme court. Sheriff E. H. Hubbell took Campbell to the penitentiary the fore part of the week.
Campbell was found guilty of first degree murder by a jury last Thursday night. They returned their verdict about 8 Pm after being out only two hours. Campbell seemed dazed when the jurys verdict was read. He turned and stared silently at O. A. Wilson, Hodgeman county attorney, who prosecuted the case .
langley was fatally shot on his farm January 30 and died the next day in the Spearville hospital. Campbell atttempted to escape on horseback, but was captured two days later on a farm near Kingsdown.
Campbell declared on the stand that he shot Langley in self defence after the farmer had attacked him with a large knife and had drawn a revolver. He said he shot Langley twice and that a third bullet wound in Langleys face was inflicted by the farmer himself.
Judge Roscoe Wilson instructed the jurors before they retired that they should find Campbell guilty of first degree murder or acquit him as there had been no evidence to justify a verdict in any degree of manslaughter.
The trial began Tuesday morning. Every member of the jury was a farmer.
The Dodge City Daily Globe. Feb 3rd 1928.
Jetmore Feb 3 Cecil Campbell farmhand confessed to killing employer . Langley farmer living south of Jetmore he was being held in the Hodgeman County jail today in default of bond of $7500. fixed at his arraignment and preliminary hearing held here late yesterday . Cambpell was bound over for trial in the terms of district court here beginning Feb 28, he didnt enter an plea The youth will be tried on a charge of 1st degree murder according to O. A. Wilson Hodgman County attorney is expected that he will claim he was drunk at the time of the shooting and should he prove this he may be convicted of 1st degree manslaughter Mr. Wilson said.
In his confession made to officers of Ford and Hodgeman counties Wed afternoon following his arrest Campbell declared that he and Langley had been drinking before the shooting Monday morning. He shot Langley 3 times in the head after a quarrel.
Killer taken to Jetmore this afternoon.
2/2/1928, Dodge City Kansas, Jetmore
Cecil Campbell faces Trial for Murder.
Dodge City Daily Globe 2/2/1928
Cecil Campbell 24 farm hand and confessed slayer of his employer A. L. Langley Hodgman county farmer was taken to Jetmore this afternoon from the Ford county jail for arraignment on a charge of 1st degree murder Campbell had been held in the Ford county jail since his capture Campbell was arrested yesrterday after a 2 day search on a farm near Kingsdown where he had stayed Tues. night the owner of the farm recognized Campbell from descriptions sent out buy officers and notified authoriteis of his prexence. Campbell at first denied the slaying on the family farm near Jetmore Monday.
Later in the city jail here he confessed to officers of Ford and Hodgeman county. Saying he shot the farmer after a quarrel in which Langley accused him on cheating in the sell of a feed grinder. Both had been drinking and an astonished Campbell said, " solemnly answering questions, put to him by O. A. Wilson Hodgman county attorney. R. E. Bisby deputy sheriff Cambpbell said, " he and Langley had gone to the barn to work and Langley had brought out a quart of liquor, he took 2 drinks and Campbell also drank the youth said soon afterward they started quarreling. Campbell suddenly drew a revolver and shot Langley 3 times in the head the farmer ran toward his house exclaiming Cecil shot me 3 times. Poor Cecil poor Cecil.
Mrs. Langley met her husband and helped into the house after the shooting Campbell continued, he cut the phone wire leading from the house but Langley though bleeding profusely went out and repaired the line Campbell stayed out on the farm all day he said Hiding in the corn field after Langley had been taken to the hospital by Mrs. Langley, he entered the house took some food then left the farm. Riding a horse while officers where searching for him on the farm. He said he was hiding within a stone throw of him.
Posse Captures Alleged Slayer of Farmer.
1928, Around Ford county Kansas.
DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE FEB 1, 1928
Youth denies he is slayer of employer.
Is overtaken by by officers while fleeing south of Kingsdown, is jailed in dodge. Awaits arraignment on a Charge of First Degree Murder.
Cecil Campbell 24 Year old farm hand who was named by A. L. Langley, Hodgeman county farmer while dying as his assailant was captured shortly before noon today south of Kingsdown by Sheriff E. H. Hubbell of Hodgeman county and Sheriff H. W. King of Ford county Campbell was returned to the Ford county jail this afternoon to await trial on a first degree murder charge.
Not withstanding the fact that he was named by langley in his dying statement Campbell denies that he fired the shot which killed him He made no statement however that satisfatorily explained his flight
A man hunt reminisces of Dodge cities early history was taken place South of here today as officers of several counties persued Campbell who alleged had shot and fatally wounded farmer living sout of jetmore.
Campbell fleeing on horse back as he allutted authorites said the shooter has been seen in Ford and Bucklin today was believed to be near capture as officers scoured the county south of here in a motor car. The alleged slayer made his final apperance when he was seen on the Ark river bank this side of ford Tuesday. He ate at Patterson cafe south of Ford where he told employees he handt ate since Monday. Officers reached the river 40 minutes bbehind Campbell but lost tract of him and did not pick up trail till 6 o'clock. He had been seen four miles east and 1 and a half S. of Bucklin the officers are working cautiously and it is believed Cecil Campbell is armed and will shoot it out with them if captured.
Langley died in Spearville hospital Tusday morning Mrs. Langley said that her husband told her that Campbell had suddently drawn a revolver and shot him while they were working together in the barn The reason for the shooting was unexplained. Mrs Langely declared that Campbell always had seemed content and never been any trouble between the two men.
It was 1st planned to hold a coroners inquest into the shooting but the authorities decided later it would not be necessary a revolver was found yesterday in a suitcase in the bunk house on the Langley farm and now it is in pocession of E. H. Hubbell of Jetmore. Blood stains were found on the gun.
Merle Campbell brother of Cecil who has been at the Langley farm for the past 2 weeks at first declared that no amo had been purchased for the revolver for more than a year but later recanted and said his brother had taken it 2 weeks ago to use in the killing of a calf. One fo the bullets that was removed from Langleys body is to be compared with the caliper of the gun.
Dodge City, Kas, - March 7 - Mrs. Perry Cummings and her three year old daughter Kathlyn of Kingsdown, Kas., were killed north of Ford last night when Mr. Cummings, a stockman fell asleep at the wheel and their car overturned.
Although suffering from an injury to one knee and a severe scalp wound, Cummings walked a quarter of a mile to get help when he returned with aid however, he found both his wife and child dead. (Atchison Daily Globe, March 7, 1930, page 11)