Peter J. Tang

Peter J. Tang was a member of a pioneer family who came to the United States in 1886.  He was born October 1, 1875 in Hafslo, Sogn, Norway (near the innermost tip of Sognfjord) and came to the United States at the age of eleven.  His parents settled near Lake Cormorant, Minnesota.  He worked on farms in the Cormorant area.

In the spring of 1899 he started out with his team of horses - destination his homestead to which he had acquired rights a year before.  The homestead was about 1½ miles from what is now McHenry, North Dakota.  It took five days to come from Cormorant to Cooperstown.  and after a week there to secure provisions, he finally reached his homestead.  Thereafter when he needed provisions, he came to Cooperstown as that was as far as the railroad had been built.  He lived in his homestead for about three years, and at that time also worked for farmers in the Binford and McHenry areas, and also had a job hauling ties for the railroad that was being built to McHenry.  He encountered many hardships, especially in winter, as the buildings on his homestead were very inadequate.

In 1903 he entered business in Cooperstown with P. K. Moe and operated a restaurant and billiard parlor (then known as pool hall) that he called "Klondike."  He also mentioned he had part interest in the Exchange Hotel, which was operated by P. K. Moe.  In a few years each sold his interest to the other, and he owned the Pool Hall alone.  Later he discontinued the restaurant and served only lunches.  His juicy, delicious hamburgers became well-known.  His "Klondike" was a gathering place for the farmers in the area, especially on Saturday nights.  He was a friendly, genial man who loved to visit with them, but he often talked about returning to the farm.  Later he also had pan interest in the Strand Theatre.

In February 1904 he married Elizabeth Loge, who came from Bryne, near Stavanger, Norway.  She came to the Cooperstown area in 1902 through the help of her uncle, Sven Loge.  She worked in the Sverdrup area, and at the Exchange Hotel in Cooperstown.  She was a strong, quiet, reserved woman who cared for her family well.

They purchased nine lots in the eastern part of Cooperstown and built a home there.  At that time Cooperstown was in a building boom, as it was expected that the Great Northern Railroad would also go through Cooperstown, and that Section would soon be in the very heart of the town.  A sturdy fence was built around the front of the property to keep runaway horses from harming the children at play.  The runaway horses were a frequent occurrence, especially at the advent of the horseless carriage.

At least once a year they would hire a surrey from the livery stable and take trips to visit friends and relatives, especially in the Sverdrup area.  What a delight to the children when the surrey had a cover with a fringe on top!  If it was an open surrey, the girls had been given colorful parasols to use.  On those little "big" trips he would always bring a bag of candy for the children they visited.

He was an early member of Trinity Lutheran Church, other organizations, and business activities of the growing town.  He was especially delighted when the businessmen were instrumental in getting a playground for the children.  This was located on the block on which the Johnson store now stands.

He died in August 1935, and his wife Elizabeth, in December 1955.  Children: 

1.     Jeanette (died in 1923) - Senior in High School. 

Josephine, a Schoolteacher for 11 years, married Walter Rothert (died in 1954) Children: 

1.     Arlen, Joanne (Mrs. Larry White), Jolene (Mrs. Loren Bell). 

Selma - Deputy Company Superintendent of Schools - 39 years, Deputy Company Treasurer approximately 5 years 

Arthur - (died in 1971) - In business in Cooperstown many years, also in Parks and Recreation Department, Eugene, Oregon for approximately 15 years, Served as Park Maintenance Foreman at the time of his death, married - Wally Bork, Children: 

1.     Donald, Dolores (Mrs. Doran), Gail (Mrs. Dean Warner) died 1959. 

Ernest (died in 1966) in Army.  He was ill for many years before his death. 

Oscar - In Navy - In business partnership with Arthur in Cooperstown a number of years, at present Postmaster in Cooperstown - a position he has held for 23 years, Married - Mercedes Qualey, Children: 

1.     Larry, Susan (Mrs. Lyle Best). 

Palmer - in Army Certified Public Accountant, at present partner in accounting firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, - a position he has held for 20 years.  He married Sophie Waller, Children: 

1.     Warren, Lucinda (Mrs. Michael Gibbs), Vicki.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976  Page 83

 
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