For more than three decades, up to 1924, Albert Perkins Langtry, president of the Union Publishing Company, of Springfield, was the editor and publisher of the “Springfield Union” of that city. He made his paper one of the foremost of its kind in Central and Western Massachusetts, and has also rendered valuable service in public affairs, serving for ten years as secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and holding numerous other responsible official positions. He is also the author of the direct primary law in Massachusetts.
(I) Richard Langtry, grandfather of Albert Perkins Langtry. was born in Belfast, Ireland, and died in St. John’s, New Brunswick, prior to 1860. He was an important factor there, and in Ireland was a man of affairs and possessed considerable property. He came to New Brunswick while he was still a comparatively young man. His children were: William, Richard, who married Sarah Holmes; Joseph, of further mention; George, who was killed in the Civil War; he was in the Second New Hampshire Regiment and took part in the battle of Bull Run; his children were: Sarah. who married John Jones; Charlotte, who married George Carsie, and Harriet M., who married George Dodds.
(II) Joseph Langtry, son of Richard Langtry, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in. 1825, and died in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1880, aged fifty-five years. He came to St. John’s, New Brunswick, with his parents when he was but a child, and learned the trade of harnessmaker in that city. When he was twenty-one years of age he came to Boston, Massachusetts, and engaged in business for himself. In the early fifties he went to the Pacific Coast, but later returned East, built a house at Newton Center, Massachusetts, where he continued to reside until the time of his death. He married Sarah Lakin, of East Boston, Massachusetts, and she died in 1875. Their children were: 1. Joseph H., born in 1854, died in 1903; was engaged in the saddlery and hardware business in Boston, and left a son, Chester. 2. Albert Perkins, of further mention.
(III) Albert Perkins Langtry, son of Joseph and Sarah (Lakin) Langtry, was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts. July 27, 1860. He received his education in the public schools of his native city and of Newton, Massachusetts, and when his school training was completed began his active career as a commercial traveler, representing the firm of E. L. Jones & Company, of Boston, soap manufacturers. He maintained that connection for a period of six years, and at the end of that time, while on a visit to friends in New York City, was induced to enter the newspaper business. He accepted a position as reporter on the “Brooklyn Union-Argus” and afterwards became a reporter on the “Brooklyn Union.” Finding the work congenial, and meeting with a marked degree of success, he decided to continue in the newspaper business. He left the “Union” to become a reporter on the staff of the “Brooklyn Times.” and three years later became the manager and Long Island editor of the “Times.” Five years later he again made a change, this time removing to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he accepted a position as business manager of the “Springfield Union.” A few years later he came into control of the “Union” and during the period of time which elapsed from the time he took over the management of the publication until he disposed of his interest in 1923, he has made of the “Union” a valuable property. Under his management the newspaper was enlarged from time to time and the plant greatly improved. Few newspapers outside of the metropolitan districts have so large a plant. About 1910 a Goss sextuple perfecting press and a battery of ten linotype machines were installed and other improvements were made. In a field in which competition is exceedingly strong, Mr. Langtry built up the circulation and standing of the “Union” until it ranked second to none in Western and Central Massachusetts.
Mr. Langtry is a prominent and influential Republican and his newspaper has been one of the bulwarks of the Republican party for the past fifteen years. In addition to the service rendered his party through his paper he has rendered active service in other ways. He has been a member of the Republican State Committee for a number of years, serving. as secretary for two years; has been delegate to various nominating conventions of his party; was elected to represent his district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1909-1910. He was chairman of the committee to build an extension to the State House, 1913; president of the National Association of Secretaries of State; and he has the honor of being the author of the Direct Primary Law in Massachusetts. Mr. Langtry is a member of the Roswell Lee Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Nayasset Club, Winthrop Club, and Realty Club.
On August 3, 1886, Albert Perkins Langtry married Sarah C. Spear, who was born January 19, 1862, daughter of George A. and Anetta (Harper) Spear, of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, where she was born. Mr. and Mrs. Langtry are the parents of one adopted daughter, Ruth Langtry, who married Alexander Thomas Skakle, April 6, 1918. Their children are: Janet, who died in infancy, and John Albert, born February 14, 1922.