GEORGE HANGAARD

   Branch: U. S. Army

   Rank:  Private

   Status: Died of disease

   Date of Service: WWI

   Home Town: Hangaard                 Township

George Hangaard

George Hangaard was born February 27, 1891 in Renville, Minnesota to parents Gunder and Emilie Hangaard. Gunder and Emilie were Norwegian immigrants who married in Renville in 1889, then settled in the Winger area before coming to Hangaard Township in what was then Beltrami County in 1897. They were the first homesteaders in Hangaard Township and the township is named after them. George had 11 siblings: Evelyn, Ida, Pauline, Clara, Alice, Carl, George, Alfred, Jerry, Melvin, Arthur and Irvin. They were long-time members of the Oak Grove Lutheran Church.

George attended country school then went to work. He wanted his own farm so he homesteaded 44.65 acres of land in section 6 of northwestern Hangaard and proved it up in October of 1917. A young man of medium height with blue eyes and brown hair, he was working as a teamster for D B Smiley in Wanke, Minnesota (a post office north of Gully) on June 5, 1917 when he registered for the draft.

Soon he was drafted and sent to Camp Grant, Illinois for infantry training. When he shipped out aboard the USS Lapland on September 15, 1918 from the port of New York, George was a private in Battery B, 331st Field Artillery, 86th Division.

On the latter half of the trip the Lapland suffered an epidemic of Spanish Influenza which spread rapidly, aided by the crowded living conditions. George was one of its victims. His nephew, Bill Beamer, said that more than 200 soldiers from the same ship died and were removed to Liverpool.  George’s body was sent home August 7, 1920 aboard the USS Antigone and buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Hangaard Township. He was 27 years old.