Strange Mementos from Dead Relatives

What’s the strangest memento  you would keep from a dead relative?

Meet Hans Nilson Langseth, a Norwegian-American who farmed in Elkton Township, Minnesota. Hans held the record for the world’s longest beard.

He was born in Eidsvoll, Norway in 1846 and came to the United States in 1867, where he settled down to farm in Clay County, Minnesota.

At age 19, he begin growing a beard as part of a contest. He kept the beard his entire life and even traveled around the U.S. as part of a freak show.

He died aged 81 in 1927 in Wyndmere, North Dakota, but he is buried in Kensett, Iowa.

Hans Langseth’s grave, Kensett, Iowa. Elk Creek Lutheran Cemetery

When he died, his beard measured 17.5 feet long.


That’s as long as an adult giraffe is tall!

That’s twice as long as Andre the Giant was tall!

Now Here’s Where It Gets Beard…Errrr…Weird

The Langseth family donated Langseth’s world-record-breakingly-long beard to the Smithsonian Institution in 1967, forty years after his death. That means someone in the family kept his beard in a drawer for 40 years before they donated it!!! 🙃🙃🙃🙃


Have you checked your drawers lately?


Norwegian-Americans are the stars of my latest novel, Grave of Songs, set in Annandale, Minnesota in 1888. If you enjoy historical fiction and coming-of-age stories, you’ll really enjoy Grave of Songs.

Grave of Songs, by Chaunce Stanton. Coming of Age Historical Family Suspense Novel

3 thoughts on “Strange Mementos from Dead Relatives

  1. Fabulous. Love the clarification of what 17.5 feet is in other terms. Would love to also read an excerpt from your novel. Is there something in Grave of Songs that runs along the same lines equally interesting? The shed? The Troll mounds?


  2. Fabulous. Love the clarification of what 17.5 feet is in other terms. Certainly grabs your attention. Would love to read a short excerpt from your novel: Grave of Songs. Something along these same lines, perhaps. The shed? The troll mounds?


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