From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (African American Women Veterans in and from Kentucky)

Hughes, Esther Lee Langham

(born: November 30, 1920  -  died: September 19, 2005) 

Military Branch

Women's Army Corps

Active Duty Entered

December 12, 1942


Esther Lee Langham was born in Cumberland County, TN, the daughter of William L. Fayette Langham and Gertrude White Langham. Her parents were married on March 31, 1919. Esther L. Langham was living with her maternal grandparents in Claiborne County, TN, when she was enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census. Her grandparents were John and Elizabeth White. Their daughter, Esther's mother, had died on May 20, 1921, a few months after Esther was born.

By 1935, John, Elizabeth, their children, and some grandchildren were living in Middlesboro, KY. Esther is listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as John and Elizabeth's daughter. John White supported his family as a farm laborer. John and Elizabeth White owned their home. In 1942, Esther Lee Langham enlisted in the Army according to her record in the National Archives, Access to Archival Databases. She enlisted in Cincinnati, OH.

After her military service, Esther L. Langham returned to Kentucky. In her social security record, her name is given as Esther L. Hughes in 1946. Her daughter was born in Kenton County, KY, in 1947, according to the Kentucky Birth Index in Ancestry. Esther's grandmother died in Lexington, KY, in 1967. Esther is listed in the obituary by her maiden name Langham, and she and a sister were said to be living in Millersburg, KY.

In 1996, Esther's aunt died, her name was Mary Inez Simmons. Esther Langham is listed in the obituary as living in Cincinnati, OH. In 2002, Esther L. Hughes was living in Detroit, MI, according to the Phone and Address Directories in Ancestry. She died in Detroit in 2005.

Sources: Social Security Applications and Claims Index (Ancestry); see Gertrude "Gertie" White Langham's Tennessee Death Certificate file #57, registered #61 (Ancestry); "Colored News," Middlesboro Daily News, 08/15/1942, p.4; "Notes and Obituaries: Mrs. Elizabeth White," Sunday Herald-Leader, 04/23/1967, p.10; "Funeral Notices: Mary Inez Simmons," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/18/1996, p.14.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Middlesboro, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Millersburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: National Archives, Access to Archival Databases (online)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: Middlesboro daily news (newspapers)
NKAA Source: Sunday herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hughes, Esther Lee Langham,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 25, 2023,

Last modified: 2022-01-25 19:49:26