AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Langston/Napier family info.
Carroll N.Langston, Jr. '38 was the fourth generation of a distinguished Oberlin family. His great-grandfather, John Mercer Langston, earned an Oberlin B.A. in 1849, an M.A. in 1852, and graduated from the Theological Seminary (later the Graduate School of Theology) in 1853. One of the Wellington Rescuers, he made a great speech at the trial in Cleveland. Later he was United States Minister to Haiti and a congressman from Virginia. Carroll's grandfather, Arthur D. Langston, earned his B.A. in 1877 and became a prominent educator in St. Louis. His father, Carroll Napier Langston '03, became a lawyer and banker in Chicago.
After he left Oberlin, Carroll Jr. earned a law degree at the University of Michigan and became a successful attorney in Chicago. He enlisted in the Air Corps in 1942 and trained at Tuskegee University with other black airmen. A fighter pilot on the Italian front, he carried out 50 combat missions before being forced to bail out of his disabled plane over the Adriatic Sea. His tent mate said that search parties were sent out but that his body was not recovered until Italian fishermen found it two weeks later. Carroll was still in his parachute harness. Since he died before having children, the long line of Langstons at Oberlin ended with his death.
A brilliant first baseman, Carroll played on the 1938 Oberlin team that won the Ohio Conference. A wartime letter from him to Coach Guy Throner turned up in a score book that had belonged to Throner and was found in Philips Gym in 1983.
"I flew over Oberlin once last fall in the month of November," wrote Carroll. "I was coming back from New York and could not resist the temptation to hit the deck! Wish I could have dropped a calling card. Over in Italy now living in mud and squalor and thinking murderous thoughts about the Four Freedoms and other shibboleths! It's not too bad, tho, and I imagine I'll survive. . . ."
So I guess Carroll N. Langston is the grandson of John Mercer Langston. That explains Carroll's brother being named exactly after the Congressman.