Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

A Convict’s Story


Sources – Susan Wesley, Wendy Bloomfield and independent research

By 1854 David had met Esther Harris. According to census records David and Esther were married, however no marriage record has been found and David did not divorce his first wife Phillis.

According to Susan Wesley, Esther had travelled from Australia to Monterey, California with her sister Miriam, Miriam’s husband Judah Davis and their children.

In 1855 Esther gave birth to a son, Louis Langley, and on the 13th March 1860 a daughter Amelia Langleynamed after David’s mother, both born in California. Why David named the baby Amelia when his oldest daughter with Phillis also named Amelia was still alive is a mystery, unless of course David had not told Esther about his ‘other family’.

David and his new family were now living at 112 First Street, San Francisco and on the 12th June 1866 another daughter Cecilia was born. By 1870 David was employed as a stonemason and his net worth was estimated at US$300.  Esther kept house, their son Louis was a store clerk and Amelia attended school.

At the age of 67, David’s unswerving work ethic and determination to succeed finally yielded results. David moved the family to 12 Louisa Street, San Francisco and established a business at 311 Commercial Road, in the Central City business area.

Kearny Street, Commercial Street corner 1870.

In 1880, the census shows David aged 68 and Esther aged 56, with their three children. In the same year, David is listed in the California General and Business Directory as a Merchant and General Dealer – but what type of shop he owned is unknown. Louis was still living at home and at 25 years of age had also done well for himself and established a business as a trunk maker – trading under the name ‘Behrandi & Co’.

Two years later on the 22nd July 1882 David passed away age 70 years. An obituary notice appeared in a San Francisco newspaper –

in this city, July 19 1882,
David Langley, a native of London, England, aged 70 years.
The funeral will take place TODAY [Friday] at 2 o’clock
from his late residence 12 Louisa Street.
No flowers.  

According to Susan Wesley, in the 1870 Monterey census, the Davis Family is living next door to Samuel Harris (brother of Miriam and Esther). Samuel Harris was born about 1832, in Liverpool, England, when his father, Lawrence was 24 and his mother Hannah, was 22. He married Jane Levy on December 14, 1853, in London, England. They had 10 children in 20 years. Jane Harris, died 23rd January 1903 and is buried in the Salem Memorial Park, Jewish Cemetry, Colma, San Mateo, California , this is her obituary notice in the San Francisco Call for 25th January 1903

Jane & Samuel Harris Headstone

Samuel died on 2nd March 1914, in San Francisco, California, having lived a long life of 82 years, and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Colma, California.

It was Samuel and Jane’s daughter Phoebe Harris who later married Louis Langley, her cousin.  

Interestingly, David and Esther Harris Langley’s third child was a daughter named Cecilia, Miriam Harris Davis had a daughter Cecilia and their brother Samuel Harris also had a daughter Cecilia.    They were all obviously named after Cecilia Harris the fourth sibling of Miriam, Esther and Samuel. David and Esther’s daughter later appears as Celia Langley.

In the 1880 census David and Esther had 3 children, Louis Lawrence named after Esther’s father, Amelia and Cecilia/Celia, all living at No. 12 Louisa Street, San Francisco. David’s occupation is listed as General Dealer and at that time their eldest, Lewis aged 25, was a Trunk Maker by trade. The girls aged 19 and 14 respectively had no occupation listed and were described as “At Home”

Extract from the 1880 Census Report

Esther’s sister Miriam with her husband Judah and heir large family left California for Canada and Judah became an extremely wealthy and influential business man in Vancouver.   There are very large Davis archives in the University there.

Esther Harris Langley, David’s widow passed away on 26th October 1905 and this is the Obituary notice published by her son Louis and daughters Amelia and Celia

Obituary Notice Esther Harris Langley
Esther was buried on 28th August 1905 at the Salem Memorial Park Jewish cemetery in Colma, San Mateo, California

David and Esther’s daughter Amelia born 13th March 1860, married James Eaton and they had two sons, Iriving and Joseph Eaton, In the 1930 US Federal Census she was living in Contra Costa, California. In 1939 she was living at 13, Nicol Avenue in Point Richmond Ca., and her son Joseph at 332 Washington Street in the same town. Amelia died in Marin County, California on 7th November 1945, nearly 85 years of age.  Her son Irving died in famously suspicious circumstances which are described later on.

Louis Lawrence Langley married his cousin Phoebe nee Harris who was born in 1859, on 17th June 1888 in Multnomah County, Oregon a local beauty spot where Samuel Harris had a house. They had 3 children:

Henry (Harry) David Langley was born on 6th May 1889 and in San Francisco around 1928 married Ethel Marie Sloat (1889-1977) they had a son Kenneth Sloat Langley (1929-1987)

Herbert Samuel Langley (7th August 1894-1975) married Sarah Heymann born 1895 and they had a son, Norton (1923-2010)

Estelle Jane Langley was born in 1901 and married Gerald Cleatus Wells on 23rd October 1927 in San Francisco. They had a son David Langley Wells born in 1928. Estelle died in 1942

Phoebe died on 27th December 1924 and Louis died on 13th April 1929, they are buried next to each other at the Salem Memorial Park & Garden Jewish Cemetery, Colma, San Mateo County, California near Louis’s mother Esther.

Phoebe & Louis

Daughter Cecilia Frances or Celia, was born about 1865, graduated from Girls High School, San Francisco in May 1883.   In 1888 she is registered as teaching at Irving Primary School.   She married Louis R Isaacs and they had three children born in California, Raymond Francis Isaacs born 1907, Sidney Washington Isaacs born about 1906 and Irene Estelle Isaacs born 1903.    For reasons that we don’t know but can only speculate on, the siblings all changed their surname from Isaacs to their mother’s maiden name of Langley They lived and died using the Langley. Celia .lived in Alameda, Ca,  and died there in 1958.

The Irving Eaton Mystery

according to Susan Wesley, supplementary details and photos from contemporary press reports found on-line

Irving Eaton

Irving Eaton, David Langley’s grandson, was born to Amelia nee Langley and James Eaton. Around 1919, according to various newspaper reports, Irving had left the Oakland Metropolitan area and moved Denver Colorado where he worked with his uncle, a real estate agent and banker. Some years later he moved to New York working as a stock broker and was reputedly already millionaire businessman. Around 1935 Irving was said to have inherited half-a-million dollars and in 1937-8 he reportedly inherited another US$125,000 from his aunt Mrs. Harriet M. Meyers of Denver, Colorado. Irving lived at the Ritz Tower, a 42–story luxury residential building located at 465 Park Avenue on the corner of East 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

In the late 1930’s Irving was reportedly in a close friendship with a Mrs. Mimi Tuthill who was married to, but estranged from another New York broker, John L. Tuthill.

Mimi Tuthill

On 29th April 1938, Irving wrote a will on Ritz Tower stationery naming Mimi Tuthill as the sole beneficiary.

On 11th March 1939 Irving accompanied Mimi to a dinner party, after which she said that he left her at her apartment and he went home.  Early the following morning, 12th March 1939, Irving was found scalded to death in his apartment bath.

Amelia her other son Joseph as Irving’s next of kin, hired a New York attorney to contest the will.

The Newspaper Headlines

Irving’s death was the subject of an investigation headed by Jacob Rosenblum, assistant district attorney and head of the homicide division, who sub-poena-ed Harry A. Gordon, Mimi Tuthill’s attorney, to give evidence. Legal papers later showed that at the time of his death Irving’s estate was worth less than US$10,000.00 and even later estimates placed the figure closer to US$1,000 only. On 5th April 1939, New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey dropped the probe into the circumstances of Irving’s death as was presumably caused by falling into the bath tub which was filled with scalding hot water and hitting his head on the side.

The actual circumstances of Irving’s death remain a mystery, as does the fate of his supposed fortune. Mrs. Tuthill’s version of the events of their last evening together must have been challenged, although she was not named as a suspect.

To be continued…………………………

By bryanell2020

Occasional genealogist and full-time Ottolangui family historian. 8th generation descendant of the 17th century Ottolenghi family of Livorno, born in London, graduated in Birmingham, lived around the United Kingdom, Israel, and in Rome, Italy. For a short while in Buenos Aires, and currently residing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I have been since 2005.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s