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The Musical Langs


Julie Burton


You always hear about the most natural couples meetingfor the first time at a party or dance. Having your eye on one of the bankmembers or someone in the audience. Sharing a couple of shy smiles witheach glance. It may bring back sweet memories from your courting years. Then, after settling down, you raise a large family on a nice farm withchildren ready for hard work at all times. At a dance at the Stockport Schoolnear Emerson, Manitoba, Joseph Lang and Margaret Armstrong first met.

Margaret was teaching there. The school was located onlya few miles east of Emerson, Manitoba. She moved from her birthplace inBond Head, Ontario, to Manitoba at the age of sixteen. Margaret was theyoungest child of thirteen; she was born on August fifth, 1867.

Joseph was born in either Pennsylvania or Ontario on June28th, 1864. He came with his family to Kittson County in 1880.

Joseph was 36 years of age and Margaret was 33 when theywere united in Holy Matrimony on February 12th, 1890. They settled downin the village of St. Vincent, Minnesota, where they lived for two years. Stanley, the oldest son, was born in St. Vincent on November 25, 1890. They moved to Joseph's grandfather's farm in Clow Township. Besides farmingand raising livestock, he operated an elevator at Grampin, Minnesota, twomiles east of the North Star Church near the Soo Line Railroad. On thisfarm, James was born August 19, 1892, then Austin, April 29, 1894, the firstgirl, Della, September 17, 1895 and Lawrence, June 22, 1897. But this wasnot the end.

The already good sized family moved to the southeast quarterof section six. Four more children were born: Reta, November 17, 1899;Earl, December 5, 1901; Manford, January 17, 1905, and Harold, November25, 1906. With nine children, there were lots of helpers on the farm.

In 1907, the family moved to the Al Turner farm near St.Vincent, Minnesota, which Joseph and Margaret bought. Here, Rubena, thethird oldest girl, was born on September 26, 1908. Also, Laurienne; May25, 1910; and Dorothy, August 29, 1912.

Joseph still ran the Grampin Elevator riding in a wagonevery day until 1915 or 1916 when the elevator burned down. So, he operatedan elevator at Sultan, a few miles east of Noyes. Then, from there, hemoved to Pembina where he ran a grain elevator for a few years until heretired.

The children grew up and left the farm gradually.

Stanley, the oldest, helped his father farm. He then wasemployed at the Soo Line Railroad as a section foreman. He moved to Fordville,North Dakota and married Margaret Turner, raising two children. He diedin 1960 at Anamoose, North Dakota.

James, the second son, farmed with his father also. Hethen went to fight in the First World War. After returning, he farmed until1955; then he retired. He moved to Humboldt and never married. James diedin 1970 in Humboldt.

Austin didn't help his father farm but after serving inEurope during the First World War, he married Roberta Van Patten and farmedin South Dakota after he ran the post office at Winner, South Dakota. Therethey raised two children. Austin died of a heart attack in 1964 at Winner.

Della, the oldest girl, worked at home until 1914 and wasmarried to Ernest Turner. They raised cattle, horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens,and twelve children. Della died in 1972 at Humboldt.

Lawrence worked on the farm for a while then decided tohave his own business and opened up a beer parlor in St. Vincent which isnow in Pembina - "The Spot". He married Edith Feldman and theyhad no children. Lawrence died in Pembina in 1961.

Reta married Vernon Lucas, a radio operator from St. Vincent. They moved to Illinois, then to Fargo, working at WDAY. He was killedin an airplane crash at Washington, D.C. Reta remarried to August Fordof Hallock and raised five children. She still remains in Hallock.

By this time, Joseph had passed away. He left the largefamily and farm to his wife, Margaret. Later, she died in 1952.

Earl, the third to the last boy, married Rose Feldman. The couple lived on a farm with Earl's mother and younger brothers andsisters until their only child was born. He farmed with his brother andworked at the same Pembina elevator as his father did. Earl and Rose stillreside in Pembina.

Manford farmed until he married Grace Empey and raisedthree children. They moved to Noyes where he was employed at the Soo Line Railroad for twenty years. He then worked for his brother, Lawrence, atthe "Spot" in Pembina. Manford died in 1973 in Pembina.

Harold farmed with James and worked for Lawrence, thenhe married Aileen Gass, raising two children. He worked at the Farmer'sStore in Hallock where he still lives.

Rubena worked and then married Lawrence Burton. They livedin North Dakota for a year then moved to a farm where Lawrence helped Jamesfarm. Raising three children, they then moved to Humboldt. Rubena stilllives in Humboldt today.

Laurienne first married Eddie Turner and was divorced andremarried to Bill Pearson in Minneapolis. They then moved to Hallock andraised four children. She still lives in Hallock.

Dorothy, the baby of the family, married George Finney. They raised three children. Dorothy and George still live in Humboldt.

When they were younger, the girls recall of the times whentheir father and brothers, Stan, James, Austin, and Lawrence would playthe violins and their mother would chord along on the piano. The girlswould sometimes play along with the boys.

This large family is a good example of hard work with lotsof laughter and enjoyment mixed in. You can always tell a Lang is nearbybecause of their enthusiastic laughter.



Burton, Ruben, Humboldt, Minnesota, Interview, January3, 1974

Finney, Dorothy, Humboldt, Minnesota, Interview, January3, 1974

Hord, Rita, Hallock, Minnesota, Interview, January 3, 1974

Lang, Earl, Hallock, Minnesota, Interview, January 3, 1974

ota, Interview, January 3, 1974

Lang, Earl, Hallock, Minnesota, Interview, January 3, 1974