ThenHappy Birthday Frances Langford!
Today we celebrate the life of Frances Langford!
Frances Langford was the patron saint of Martin County. I live five houses down from Langford Park. My entire neighborhood was influenced by her. The entire county was only made better by her love for Martin County.
“Frances Langford married three times. Her first husband (1934–55) was actor Jon Hall. In 1948, they donated 20 acres of land near her estate in Jensen Beach, Florida. It is known today as Langford Park.
After leaving Hollywood life, she kept up her pastimes of boating and sport fishing. She married Outboard Marine Corporation President Ralph Evinrude. They lived on her estate in Jensen Beach. She built a Polynesian-themed restaurant and marina on the Indian River. They named it The Frances Langford Outrigger Resort. Langford frequently performed. Locals and celebrities flocked to the site.
Evinrude died in 1986. In 1994, she married Harold C. Stuart, who had served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Affairs of the United States Air Force (1949–51) under President Harry S. Truman. They spent the summers in Canada on Georgian Island and journeyed to the Island from their home in Florida aboard their 110-foot yacht “The Chanticleer”, which was a popular tourist attraction when moored at the Outrigger Resort. Stuart survived Langford (who had no children) and died in 2007 at the age of 94.
Supportive of her community
Langford was a supportive member of the Jensen Beach community. She constantly donated money to the community. Frances was a great philanthropist. She was very generous to the Florida Oceanographic Society. The site provides education and research of the ocean, reefs and environment in the Florida area. The visitor’s center bears her name and also houses some of her artifacts. Her collection of mounted tuna, marlin and other fish adorn the walls.
Health problems plagued her in the last years of her life with periodic hospital stays. She died at her Jensen Beach home at age 92 from congestive heart failure. In 2006, the Frances Langford Heart Center, made possible by a bequest from her estate, opened at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Florida.
Here is little video of her property. It was all green and filled with great plants and critters. It is now sadly desolate hunk of sand thanks to Meritage Home.