Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Langins – 2015 Reunion - Part II

My Langins – 2015 Reunion
Joe Leeak – jbleeak@hotmail.com
January 12, 2016

I grew up being VERY lucky in the grand parent department. From the time I was born until their various deaths I knew and spent a lot of time with all four of my grandparents. I only came to really understand how unusual that is in the past few years.

My grandpa Langin, Linwood Earl, was born[1897-1963] in Riverdale, MI and lived there intermittently after his mother's[Margaret Leona Miner] divorce from his father and between his mother's various marriages. The Langins were an enormous black hole to me though until I met Lois Langin through a genealogy web sight several years ago.

Then three years ago I started the process of moving from Seattle to San Diego. All along I'd been learning more about the Langins, my grandfather's estranged family, and came upon records of my grandfather's uncle... Jarvis Langin[1877 - 1968]. Jarvis lived in Duluth, Minnesota working as a janitor at the I.O.O.F. Hall for many years until his late 70's. Then he retired and moved to San Diego to be near his daughter. I found and later visited his marker in the I.O.O.F. section at San Diego's Mt. Hope Cemetery. Later I moved into an apartment near San Diego's Point Loma neighborhood... it turns out I live just blocks from Jarvis' house. My “Jarvis” connection gets even deeper...

I knew very little about my great grandfather Charles Edwin Langin. He and my great grandmother divorced when my grandfather was a toddler and it's very likely they never saw each other again. According to my mother her dad slammed the door on any Langin who came knocking during her childhood. I knew he'd died in Louisville, KY... but that's about it.

Then last summer as I was making plans to come to the Langin reunion in Riverdale Sonja Langin Rumminger, knowing that my great grandfather had died in Louisville, KY, asked me if my great grandfather, Charles Edwin Langin[1875 - 1953], had ever owned a candy business in Louisville, KY. She said there were relatives who remembered getting packages of candy from a relation living in Louisville who ran a candy store. Upon searching the Louisville city directories there it was! Starting sometime in the mid-1930's... Langin's Candies!
The candy shop and Charles Edwin's occupation continued to be listed as “confectioner” until his death in the early '50's. Here comes the Jarvis connection...

2015 picture of Charles Edwin Langin's 1939 residence.
At the 2015 Langin Riverdale Reunion I met Patrick Langin and his sons. Patrick related the story to me that some time in the late 1940's Jarvis made a train trip from Duluth to visit his brother, Charles Edwin, in Louisville, KY. Jarvis stopped in Fort Wayne to visit his son and grandson Patrick Langin, who was about 10 years old at the time. Patrick continued the trip on the train with his grandfather, Jarvis, and they visited Jarvis' brother Charles, my great grandfather, in Louisville.

2015 Downtown Louisville location of Langin's Candies.
Patrick has memories of staying at his uncle's house and seeing a television for the first time. As well as visiting Charles Edwin's downtown candy store and watching the taffy-pulling machine in action.

Upon further research I was able to locate three houses still standing in Louisville where my great grandfather had lived and at least two locations where his candy store had been. He had apparently never owned a house and seemed to move pretty regularly. I decided to extend my reunion trip for a detour to Louisville and connect with more long-lost cousins on my dad's side who live in Louisville and look at the houses and candy store locations. It was a TERRIFIC trip!!