C'est tout-à-fait fortuitement, au cours d'une recherche sur un autre sujet, que nous avons découvert à la fois l'existence de ce compositeur et son appartenance maçonnique.
Il semble totalement oublié (il ne figure d'ailleurs dans aucune liste de compositeurs maçons que nous connaissions) et les seules traces que nous en ayons trouvées sont :
l'avis de son décès dans le Lafayette Weekly Journal du 26 mars 1880, que nous reproduisons ci-dessous et qui nous apprend - outre son appartenance - que, né en Allemagne en 1835 ou 1836, il arriva aux Etats-Unis à 18 ans, qu'en 1860 il s'installa à Lafayette (il s'y maria la même année), et qu'il fut pianiste et organiste ainsi que compositeur et arrangeur.
DEATH OF PROFESSOR FERD. LANGGUTH
Ferdinand Langguth, who was dear as a brother to every musician in Lafayette, died at a quarter before 5 o'clock last evening. For more than a year he has been failing visibly, but so gradually, that those who knew him most intimately noted it least, and only those who but occasionally saw him, saw how clearly death had marked him for his own. For months, however, it has been patent to even the most casual observer that the flickering lamp of life would soon go out. He filled his accustomed place at the organ for a long time after one hand and arm had become almost powerless and useless; and his soul never spoke forth in sweeter music than then, with the very presence of death before him, and its dark shadow on his heart. His was a sweet and cheerful spirit. No word of complaint ever escaped his lips. The petty jealousy which men are so ready to attribute to musicians and artists found no place in his generous heart. His heart overflowed with kindness and charity for all humanity. No charity ever asked his gratuitous services and was denied. Modest, unassuming, self-forgetful, he was loved by all as a dear friend.
He was a native of Germany, and was forty-four years of age. We are privileged to give in his own words, penned only a little while before his death, his life history: At the age of eighteen I arrived from Germany in New York, and went as far West as Tiflin, Ohio, pursuing music there for two years, being organist at St. Mary's Church. I came to the conclusion going further West might be a little change, and so I came to Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1855, at which place I remained five years, during which time making a very wide acquaintance. My dear friend George Stockton was attending Wabash College then. Making about twelve visits to Lafayette, in 1860 I concluded to make this my home, moving here on November 21, 1860, and remaining ever since, pursuing music generally. I played the pipe organ at Second Presbyterian Church one year, at Episcopal Church six years (1866-1872), Synagogue twelve years (1867-1879), at First Baptist seven years and three months (Oct, 1872-1880). Music was in its infancy when I came here in 1860. F. LANGGUTH.
As a pianist and organist Mr. Langguth was so well known we need say nothing under that head. He was a composer of considerable merit, and as an arranger of orchestra music was particularly felicitous. In the musical community of our city he was acknowledged to stand at the head in his particular branch of the art. As a citizen and in all the relations of private life he was a man above reproach.
The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, from the Baptist Church. He will be buried by Lafayette Lodge No. 123, of Masons, of which he has been a member ever since he came to Lafayette.
la partition de sa Concert Waltz
La Loge mentionnée ci-dessus avait été fondée en 1852, et elle existe toujours. Elle fait partie de la Grande Loge de l'Etat d'Indiana. C'est une des très nombreuses Loges américaines qui portent ce nom prestigieux - mais ici c'est aussi parce qu'elle se trouve dans la ville du même nom.