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.
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.