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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891



~Page 464~

Nicholas S. Lang

"Nicholas S. Lang, a retired farmer and early settler on section 34, Putnam Township has been a resident of this county for more than a quarter of a century. He was born August 30, 1820, in the western part of Virginia, and is of Scotch descent. His great-grandfather came from Scotland to America before the Revolutionary War and spent his life as a farmer in New Hampshire, where the grandfather of our subject, also named Nicholas, was born and reared. He was a captain of the State Militia, and served six months with his command in the War of 1812. The remainder of his life he spent in agricultural pursuits. The father, William Lang, was born and reared on a farm in the old Granite State, and when a young man went to Pennsylvania where he engaged in teaching school. He had secured a good education, but gained his knowledge, not in the school room but from books which he read by the light of pine knots. He was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Abrilla Swearingen, a native of Pennsylvania, her family being originally from Maryland. The year 1823 witnessed their emigration to Ohio. They settled on the Western Reserve in Lorain County, when the city of Cleveland was but a small village. Mr. Lang secured land from the Government and in the midst of the forests developed a farm on which he made his home for many years. His wife died when our subject was a lad of fifteen. In 1855 he came to Iowa, locating in Putnam Township, Fayette County, and is now living with a son in Wasioja, Dodge County, Minn., at the age of ninety-four years. His main employment in active life was farming and he also followed the blacksmith's trade to a limited extent. He takes a very active part in church work, having been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from early life and has served as Class-Leader. In the family were eight children, five sons and three daughters, one of whom is now deceased. After Nicholas came William, now a farmer in Clayton Co., Iowa; John, who is engaged in farming in Dodge County, Minn.; David, , a resident of Minnesota; Charles, of Clayton County, Iowa; John, who is engaged in farming in Dodge County, Minn.; David, a resident of Minnesota; Charles, of Clayton County, Iowa; Mrs. Nancy Johnston, of Ohio; and Mrs. Sarah Chapman, who is living in Strawberry Point, Clayton County, Iowa.


Our subject was three years old when he went with his parents to Ohio, where in the midst of the scenes of pioneer life he was reared to manhood. Like a dutiful son he assisted his father in the cultivation of the home farm until he had attained his majority, when he left the parental roof and began life for himself. After a few years spent in work at the blacksmith's trade he was employed as a farm hand until 1855, when he came to Iowa, locating in Delaware County, near Colesburg, where he farmed until 1865. Since that year he has been a resident of Fayette County. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of good but unimproved land and at once began the development of the farm. Not a furrow had been turned, but with characteristic energy he began work and each week saw the extent of improved land increased, until now he has one of the best farms in the county. His comfortable and commodious home is surrounded by a fine grove of trees of his own planting and the entire surroundings indicate his thrift and enterprise. He is now living a retired life, his property being managed by his sons.


On the 22d of May, 1846, in Ohio, Mr. Lang was united in marriage with Miss Charlotte Squires, Rev. W. Langdon officiating. She was born in Essex County, N. Y., and came to Ohio when six months old. By their union have been born nine children - Annette H., who was born in Ohio and is now the wife of Warren Holburt of Strawberry Point; James A., also a native of Ohio, married Maggie Lowe, and resides in South Dakota; Emma A. B., born in Ohio is the wife of James Harkins, a resident farmer of Putnam Township; Edgar, born in Iowa, married Lou Chapman, and is a cattle dealer of Strawberry Point; Isadore E., a native of this State, wedded Betsy Ewing and follows farming in Putnam Township; William A., was married in Dakota to Miss Carrie Cross, and now resides in Greeley, Delaware County; Edith M. is the wife of John Gladwin, a resident farmer of Putnam Township; Leon L. and Charlie E. are at home. The children were all educated in this county and the daughters have all been teachers in the public schools.


Mr. Lang is a member of the Farmers' Alliance. He cast his first vote for Henry Clay and became a strong Abolitionist, voting for John P. Hale. On the organization of the Republican party he supported Fremont and the succeeding candidates until within the past eight years, since which time he has advocated the principles of the Union Labor party. He is well informed on all questions of general interest, whether political or otherwise, and is a leading and influential citizen of the community. He has filled the offices of Trustee and Assessor, and he and his wife hold a high position in the social world and are highly esteemed by a wide circle of acquaintances and many friends."



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