Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


WILLIAM DELANGE. Although William DeLange, now engaged in farming in Wilson township, Greene county, has lived but thirty-two years, he has crowded into that brief span more than the average man experiences in the full Biblical allotment of three score and ten, and it would require a good-sized volume to set forth his life record in detail. Mr. DeLange was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1882. He is a son of Eugene and Rose DeLange. The father was a native of Germany, from which country he emigrated to America when young, but he had previously traveled all over Europe as valet to a wealthy Frenchman, with whom he also visited the Far East and the Mediterranean countries, and while in Russia had difficulty with a party of Nihilists, one of whom fired a shot that wounded Mr. DeLange, the bullet entering his leg, and our subject is now the possessor of this leaden pellet, which was successfully extracted from the wound. Upon reaching the New World the elder DeLange settled in Philadelphia, and was in the employ of the immigration bureau in that city for the government for a number of years. He was a highly educated man, was able to speak, read and write several languages, and could speak seven different tongues and read and write four of them, and at the time of his death in 1908 he was manager of the Continental Hotel in New York City. He was married after coming to Philadelphia, and to this union nine children were born, eight of whom survive at this writing, namely: Charles; Joseph; Mrs. Laura Freedman, who lives in Pennsylvania; Archibald is deceased; Anthony, Theresa, William, Harry and John, who lives in New York City.

William DeLange spent his early days in the City of Brotherly Love, up to his eighth year, and he attended the public schools there two years. When but a small boy he was left an orphan, and was taken care of by his Maternal grandmother, who found a home for him in Kent county, Delaware, on a farm, where he remained until he was fifteen years of age, and while there he attended the district schools two months out of each year. At the age of fifteen he ran away, returning to Philadelphia, but remained there only a few months, then went to New York City and began working as a messenger boy and at other similar work, such as a boy his age could find in a great city, remaining there about two years. He then went to work on a truck farm at ten dollars per month and board and spent two years in this manner. Later he enlisted in the Eleventh United States Cavalry, in Troop M, for three years' service, during which time his regiment sailed from New York for the Philippine Islands, by way of the Suez canal, and was on the water sixty-eight days, and the regiment, after its service in the antipodes had expired, returned to the United States by way of Nakisaki, Japan, and the Sandwich Islands, stopping at Hawaii, landing at San Francisco after a long voyage across the Pacific Ocean. From the city by the Golden Gate the regiment was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and after the expiration of his term of service in the army Mr. DeLange went to New York City, thus completing the circuit of the globe. In 1905 he came to St. Louis and took a business course in the Jones & Henderson Business College, completing the course as stenographer, and he worked at that vocation in various positions in St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago. In June, 1910, he was appointed to a position in the civil service under the Isthmian Canal Commission, and was accordingly sent to the Panama canal, where he spent two and one-half years resigning his position there in January, 1913, and returning to Missouri. Desiring to lead a quieter and simpler life, he purchased a farm in Wilson township, Greene county, ten miles southwest of Springfield, near the historic battlegrounds, and now owns the old Thomas Phillips homestead, located on the old "wire road," and which place consists of fifty-nine acres, and here he is engaged in general farming and has a well located and productive place.

Mr. DeLange was married January 20, 1913, to Bertha E. Moody, a daughter, of Nathan E. and Martha Jane (Cooke) Moody, who formerly lived at Viroqua, Wisconsin, later coming to Missouri and locating at Jerico Springs, Cedar county, Mr. Moody coming to the Ozark Mountains for his health. He was a successful farmer in the North and accumulated considerable wealth

To Mr. and Mrs. Moody were born four children, namely: Bertha E., wife of Mr. DeLange, of this sketch; Mrs. Jessie Whitsitt, Mrs. Helen Graff, and Mrs. Ethel McKenney.

Politically, Mr. DeLange has leaned toward the Republican party in national affairs. His wife, who is an exceptionally well educated woman, is a member of the Methodist church.

[1886-1887]


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