Peninsula Genealogical Society, Door Co. WI



Leon LONG-2009

updated 27 Mar 2010

 This LANGE/LONG Family History was contributed to the PGS Website by Lee LONG.  He has been researching his family for over 20 years and compiled this history with pictures and documents in 2009. It is about John LANGE (later known as LONG)'s birth in Germany, his immigration, his wives and children.  He was an early settler in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin.  There are some great pictures of the early city of Sturgeon Bay as well.


Also included is "A Story of Pioneer Days", a personal history of the trip from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, written by John's stepbrother Frank, editor of the Door Co. Advocate, in 1929 which gives us insight into the trials of traveling in the 1800's.


Our many thanks to Lee for sharing this family history with us.   


Above: Lee LONG in the Philippines-1946




John Joseph (Lange) Long


Maria Theresia Menne

1822 – 1853

Margaret Kappel

1835 – 1906


by Leon LONG - 2010

Joannes Josephus Lange (John Long, Sr.) was born in the Village of Entrup, Province of Westfalen, Administrative District of Hoxter, Prussia, 6 March 1821. He died in the town of Sevastopol, Door County, Wisconsin, 5 September 1906, at age 85.

John's birth and christening is recorded on LDS film No.1185207, Church Records for Sankt Josephus Katholish Kirche (St. Joseph Catholic Church), Bredenborn, Westphalia, Prussia. Godparents at his christening were Conrad Kuknik and Genlious Steiner.



John’s father, Franz Josephus Lange, was born in Entrup, 3 February 1787. John’s mother, Sophia Amelia Hengst, was born in Bredenborn, Westphalia, 16 July 1796.


Sophia’s birth certificate reads: “Sophia Amelia Hengst, legitimate daughter of Ferdinand Hengst and Antoinette Bohner, was born 16 July 1796 in the city of Alhausen and baptized 17 July 1796 in the Town of Ponsen”. Franz and Sophia were married in Bredenborn, 29 April 1817. They had 2 children, one being Joannes.


Following the tradition of his father, Joannes became a farmer and shoemaker. He married Maria Theresa Menne in Entrup, 4 June 1845. Maria was born 21 November 1822, in Bredenborn. She and Joannes had two children, son Johann Franz (Frank, later editor of the Door County Advocate) born 31 December 1847, and daughter Theresia born 13 August 1850.


In 1846, agricultural reforms, religious persecution, industrialization, an increase in birth rate, a disastrous potato blight, and crop failures, produced a large number of displaced farmers and craftsmen. The Langes received favorable letters from friends and neighbors who traveled to America and spoke highly of its opportunities. Joannes’ father died in 1852, after which the family decided to immigrate to the United States.

Prior to departure they had to obtain permission from the King of Württemberg to leave the country. Permission required that they relinquish all allegiance and fidelity to the king.

The Lange’s departed from the Port of Hamburg, August 1853, on the barq "Coreolan" and arrived at the Port of New York, 15 September 1853. The passengers included Joannes, 32, his wife “Minnie”, 28, son Johann Franz, 6, and daughter Theresia, 2. Joannes’ mother, Sofia Amelia, 57, and stepbrothers Henry, 13, and Anton, 18, accompanied the family.


The trip took 41 days. H. Wulf, ship’s master, reported thirteen deaths occurred enroute. The Lange’s and other passengers in steerage took their own foodstuffs including dried meat, zwieback, prunes, and vinegar to mix with the ill-smelling drinking water After processing at Ellis Island, Joannes and family moved west on the new railroad to Buffalo, New York, then by small lake steamer to Toledo, Ohio. From Toledo, the family traveled by barge on the Wabash and Erie Canal to Fort Wayne, Indiana, a distance of about 100 miles. Teams of from mules pulled each barge along the bank of the canal. Travel time was about six days. The fare was $3.25 per person.

Joannes declared his intention to become a citizen in Allen County, Indiana, 6 March 1854. His petition to become a citizen was approved in Door County Court, 23 February 1865. Joe Simon and J. P. Gillespie testified that he was a man of good moral character


Joannes’wife, Maria Theresia, and daughter, Theresa, died of Asiatic cholera, 30 Jul 1854, at Fort Wayne. They are buried at St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery,


John married Margaret Kappel, 10 May 1855, in Allen County, Indiana. The Allen County marriage records list John’s name as “Longga” and Margaret’s as “Couple”. Margaret was born 25 March 1835, in Meppen, Niedersachsen, Germany. She and father Herman immigrated from Prussia, to Fort Wayne 1854. John and Margaret had 12 children; John, a baby, and Bert, died at early ages. Margaret died 3 March 1906, at age 71. She is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.


 1.     John                       Apr 1857 - 29 Apr 1959

 2.    Margaret            30 Jan 1862 - 04 Jun 1939

 3.    John (Jr.)            08 Apr 1863 - 07 Jul 1930

 4.    Henry                 06 Jul 1864 - 12 Feb 1920

 5.    Amelia               27 Nov1866 - 02 Oct 1944

 6.    Millie                 02 Nov1867 - 11 Jul 1872

 7.    Joseph               01 Mar 1870 - 01 Jul 1954

 8.    William              09 Mar 1872 - 29 Apr 1941

 9.    Baby                16 May 1873- 16 May 1873

10.   Anna                09 Mar 1876 - 02 Oct 1944

11    Mary                09 Mar 1876 - 02 Mar 1944

12.   Bert                 30 May 1879 - 28 Sep 1880


John and family moved from Fort Wayne to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the spring of 1856. He left his family in Green Bay and went to Sturgeon Bay where he found em­ployment with E. S. Yates, a shoemaker. The family left Green Bay, 22 October 1856, on the little sloop “Scud” landing in Sturgeon Bay at the middle mill wharf. John purchased the shoe shop from E.S.Yates in 1857. The boot and shoe factory was located on the corner of Main and Spruce streets, a location now occupied by the Holiday Motel on Second Avenue, one block east of the old bridge. The first issue of the Door County Advocate, 22 March 1862, contained John’s advertisement for boots and shoes. His message a year later was similar.






John and Anton walked from Sturgeon Bay to Two Rivers, 54 miles, to buy leather. They carried the leather on their backs to Sturgeon Bay through Indian trails and in winter, along the shore of Lake Michigan. John carried 116 pounds, Anton 96 pounds.




During John’s first year of operation he accepted “Orders” or “Due Bills” from the L Bradley lumber company as little money was paid out by the company during winter. Laura Bradley induced John to purchase 28 acres of com­pany for $28. The land included shoreline on the east side of lake Michigan. The land contract was sealed 20 April 1857. Pine timber was not included in the contract. Another stipula­tion was “No spirituous liquors shall be kept for sale or given away upon said land or premises”.

Later, John learned that Bradley mortgaged the property to Charles E. Hoyt, and that he lost everything, including his improvements. Hoyt then sued John for $431 dollars. On 20 February 1866, Door County Circuit Court ordered defendant John Long to pay for the land.



John purchased lots 9 and 10 in Lavassor’s addition, Town of Otumba, Sturgeon Bay, for $50, on 2 May 1859. The lots were sold to Henry Lange 18 December 1865. Also sold to Henry was Lot 4, Section 31, Township 28, Range 26 East, containing 59 acres. The total price was $75. A Quit Claim Deed, 29 December 1865, from George W. Rogers and wife to Margaretha Long, Reference Volume E, Page 105, Door County Register of Deeds, confirmed the sale of lots 9 and 10, Block 16, to Margaretha for $100.


Margaret could neither read nor write, but appears to have been an exceptional businesswoman as her name is on several tax deeds signed by an “X”. On 14 March 1865, she purchased 80 acres of land in the Town of Sevastopol for $4.80 at a tax sale. The land is de­scribed as the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter, and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter, Section 96, Township 28, North of Range 26 East. The US General Land Office granted the land to Alanzo Sackett in 1858 in appreciation for his service in the Civil War. This is land that eventually become the Lucas Long farm in the Town of Sevastopol and abounds the east side of Mathey Road. The farmhouse, modified three times, was originally built by Alonzo Sackett.

Above:  Land Grant to Alonzo SACKETT of Door County-22 Feb 1858-SW1/4 of Sec 26 in TWP 28 of Range 26 in District of lands subject to sale at Menasha WI containing 80 acres.

Margaret purchased another 160 acres at a tax sale, 1 February 1866, for $14.86. This land was in Section 19, Township 30, Range 28 East.

John and his brothers built a two-story house on the corner of Cottage and Main streets in Sturgeon Bay. A single-story addition was added later. John’s barn, left, burned in 1893. The house was later referred to as the “Dunlap” house. John lived here until following the death of Margaret, he moved to the farm in Sevastopol to live with his son, John Jr.




Early residents in 1851 lived in the village “Otumba”, a Winnebago name. The village was renamed Sturgeon Bay. John Lange purchased Lots 9 and 10 on Main Street, Lavassor’s Plat, Otumba. The warranty deed between Joseph Lavassor and wife, Grantors, and John Lange, Grantee, is recorded on Page 53, Volume 1, Door County General Index No. 1.


John and Margaret sold Lots 9 and 10 to Henry Lange, 18 December 1865. They also sold Henry Lot 4, Section 31, Township 28, Range 26 East, containing 59 acres. The price was $75.



Margaret purchased another 160 acres at a tax sale, 1 February 1866, for $14.86. This land was in Section 19, Township 30, Range 28 East. John purchased 40 acres of land at a public auction land sale on 18 May 1872.

This tract, on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter, Section 10, Township 28, Range 26 east, was purchased for $4.82, or twelve cents per acre. Two years later, Margaret purchased 40 acres from Frank and Mary Michaels for $200. This land consisted of the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, Section 35, Township 28, Range 26 east.




John purchased 40 acres of land at public auction on 18 May 1872. The tract, on the northeast quarter, Section 10, Township 28, Range 26 east,, was purchased for $4.82, twelve cents an acre. Two years later, Margaret purchased 40 acres from Frank and Mary Michaels for $200. This land was on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, Section 35, Township 28, Range 26 east. The plat shows John and Margaret owe 160 acres.


John Sr. and son, John Jr. helped clear land for the Sturgeon Bay Canal in1883 - 84. John Jr., 10, drove a team of horses at the site.


Before John moved to the farm, his shoe shop was the location of an attempted robbery. The robber was caught and charged with attempted murder.

Above: View of Sturgeon Bay 1885 - Below: Bef. 1928-Sawyer (West Side of City of Sturgeon Bay today-2010) looking towards railroad bridge and City of Sturgeon Bay



Margaret was a religious person who spent considerable time and effort supporting St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay. On 18 September 1889, the board of directors, including Fr. Broens, gave her 15 acres of land on the Bay Shore for the sum of one dollar in appreciation of her work at the church.





The U.S. Census for 1860 lists John Lange, 36, Margaret Lange, 25, Frank Lange, 12, John Lange (John Long, Jr.), 1, Teresa Lange, 67, Anthony (Anton) Lange, 23, and Henry Lange, 20, living in the same household in Sturgeon Bay.



The U.S. 1870 Census for the town of Sturgeon Bay lists John’s surname as “Long” as he Americanized his name. John was 49, Margaret 36, Margaret 8, John 7, Henry 4, Amelia 2, and Joseph, three months. . William Goluke 19, a shoemaker from Prussia, also lived in the Long dwelling. Millie Anna was not listed in the census. Her certificate of death lists the name as Nellie Anna. John’s brother, Anton and family, lived two farms away. An unnamed male baby was born and died 15/16 May 1873. The baby is buried in a field north of the barn on the Lucas Long farm.



The 1880 US Census lists John, Margaret, Frank, and John Lange living in one dwelling. The census taker next visited the home of Teresa, Anthony, and Henry Lange.


Margaret Kappel Long’s photo includes four generations. Seated is Margaret, directly behind her is daughter Margaret Minor, Left is Margaret Minor’s daughter Mercy May. Margaret Long is holding Mercy’s daughter, Margaret May.



Margaret died of chronic interstitial nephritis and pulmonary tuberculosis. She is buried at SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Institute, Door County Wisconsin. Her death is recorded in Door County Registration of Deaths, Vol. 7, Page 227.





John retired from the boot and shoe business in 1871, at age 50. He and Margaret were living in their house on the corner of Main and Cottage Street. John died 5 September 1906, four months after moving to the farm, at age 85. His obituary is in the 8 September 1906, Door County Democrat. His death is recorded in the Door County, Certificate of Deaths, Volume 7, Page 306. John is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.



John’s stepbrother, Frank, was editor of the Door County Advocate in Sturgeon Bay. In 1929, he published this personal account of their trip from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Sturgeon Bay.


A Story of Pioneer Days


A little over fifty years ago, a young man with his small family was living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With $2700 of good German gold and a willingness to work, he hoped soon to establish himself in a comfortable home in his adopted land. Fever and ague was very prevalent and some member of his family was afflicted with this malady nearly all the time. In 1852, Asiatic cholera swept over the country like the besom of destruction. This dreaded scourge robbed him of his wife and a little daughter, and he only escaped by a narrow margin. Despite his best efforts, he found his means growing less every year, not only from sickness but from losses incident to converting his German gold into American “wild cat” money through the advise of sup­posed friends.


Disheartened, but not discouraged, in April 1856, he again determined to remove to a better land. Having heard that Green Bay was the healthiest spot on earth, he made that far distant place his objective point. Having married again, he took his family aboard a canal boat and made the journey to Toledo, Ohio. This trip of 94 miles consumed six days. Here was a wait of thirty hours, as there was but a single train a day over the railroad to Chicago. At this city, another wait of a week was required before the sailing of the “Huron” of the Goodrich line for Green Bay.


His family consisted of seven persons, including two younger brothers and as board cost $1 a day for each person, the stay in Chicago proved very expensive. This made rigid economy desirable and a steerage passage was taken upon the boat. Since no meals were furnished on the boat to that class of passengers, the head of each family found it necessary to provide their own food.


At Sheboygan, being told that the boat would stay half an hour, he went ashore as soon as the gangplank was laid down and ran to a store to buy food. In about fifteen minutes he returned with his arms full of bundles of bread, etc., only to find the boat just leaving the wharf. Imagine, if you can, the agony with which he faced as his family was taken away despite his own urgent pleading, and the frantic cries of his wife and children! Left upon the shore by the heart­less officers of the boat, in a strange land surely he might despair.


His family, on board ship without supplies, was in a desperate plight as the ship had to go around the peninsula through the Door and then down the whole length of the bay to arrive at Green Bay. The good Samaritan, however, proved to be the Negro cook. Three times a day, he supplied the members with food from his little galley or cook-room. Blessings upon his head for his generous deeds.


It was nearly dark when the boat at last arrived in Green Bay. For some time, the family wandered the streets greatly bewildered, and not knowing which way to turn. Their forlorn appearance attracted the attention of a gentleman who could speak German and he was soon informed of their troubles. He took the wayfarers to a boarding house, and after an animated conversation with the proprietor the family was given lodging for the night. In the morning their benefactor again appeared and busied himself in finding a habitation for the family in a garret in the southern part of the city. From somewhere came an old stove, two chairs, and a table. The boys got jobs in herding cows, working in gardens, etc., so that they managed to exist.


Where were the husband and father that were left at Sheboygan? Believing his family would be taken to Green Bay, he made inquiry about its location and distance, and learning that there was an Indian trail leading through the woods he bravely set out to walk the 60 or 70 miles of wilderness between the two places. In a few days, he joined his family there. The kind benefactor of the family at Green Bay was Mr. John Andre, who died in Kewaunee County less than two years ago. Mr. Andre was a faithful soldier of the civil war, and was regarded by those who know him as the “salt of the earth.”


A few weeks after the family had been reunited at Green Bay, our pioneer was prevailed upon by one E. S. Yates to come to Sturgeon Bay to work at his trade of boot making. Up to that time, the place had not been heard of. After two months here, he was so favorably impressed with the little village that he purchased two lots, paying $100 for them. The lots are now owned by John Henkel and occupied by his hotel.


The following winter, he built a log house on the lots and went into business for himself. Times were lively, as lumbering was then carried on by three mill companies, each employing many men. It was difficult, however, to secure leather for his use. The nearest tannery was located at Two Rivers, 50 to 60 miles to the south. During the winter, he made two trips with his brother Anton, bringing the leather on their backs. On each of these trips, he brought 116 pounds, and his brother 96 pounds. There were no roads then, only Indian trails. At times they made their way along the lake shore, through the snow and over the ice banks with which the beach was liberally fringed. Most of the work was done for the Island Mill Company. There was little money paid out by the lumber companies during the winter months, “orders,” or “due bills” being substituted. In the spring of 1857, he was induced to buy 28 acres of land from the lumber company for $280. He turned in his “orders” as payment and had about squared his ac­count, when the financial panic came and the company failed. Later on, he learned that the property he had purchased in good faith and paid for with so much hardship had been mortgaged by the company, and the outcome was that he had lost it all together with the improvements.

At this time there were no wagon roads to Green Bay. It was usual for the lumber­men to get in their winter supplies of food, etc. by boat before the closing of navigation. There was also some teaming of the ice during the winter, but this was more of less perilous. It seems that in the fall of 1857, the last boat to bring supplies was the “Michigan” from Chicago. She got as far as the mouth of Sturgeon bay and found it frozen over, so she could not come in. A crowd had collected at the wharf and was anxiously awaiting the coming of supplies. When they saw the Michigan give up her hopeless task and steam away to the north, they were filled with despair. However, the Bradley Mill Company took several horse teams and hitched them to the mill trucks used in lumbering operations, and sent them off to Egg Harbor, the goods supposed to be left by the boat. As they had to cut their way from Bassford’s place in Sevastopol, it took four days for the trip. These supplies, however, were only for the mill operatives and it was very difficult for outsiders to get any, even for cash. With so many bankrupt businesses and currency in such miserable condition, many families were in desperate straits, indeed. Sometimes families would club together and buy a sack of flour. In one case, the club of purchasers had bought 25 pounds, and this was divided by platefuls so each might have a little for soup, pancakes, etc. At one time our pioneer found his larder so depleted that for six weeks the fare was nothing but fish and potatoes.


Such, briefly, is an account of some of the life and times of Mr. John Long, who passed away in 1906, at the ripe age of 85. This sturdy old pioneer left among us many relatives who are still carrying forward the torch of progress where he so faithfully toiled. All honor to the sturdy old pioneers.






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