Isabel Helm Lang


Photos and Story submitted by Gerry Lang

More pictures below.



Isabel was a very special Lady!  Soft spoken always having that "little laugh" that made Life so Wonderful.  She was small in stature (4' 11") but had the "Biggest Heart and Soul"!  Isabel was a Deeply Devout person who also provided Love and Care for her husband and three children.


Isabel was born in October 1883.  She grew up in a log cabin, on Prairie du Long, in Monroe County, Illinois.  Monroe County was formed from Randolph and St. Clair counties in 1816.  Waterloo became Monroe Counties seat in 1825.  Because her family was not prosperous she worked as a servant for other families.  She is shown working as a servant on both the 1890 and 1900 census.  As a servant she worked for room and board. 


She later worked for Jacob Meister who was both a carpenter and builder.  His store's address, 314 Church Street, was found hand written on the back of a photograph.  However, the town, in which the store was located, was not shown.  Elizabeth (Meister) Lang, Jacob's sister, would soon become a part of Isabel's life.  After working in a restaurant in 1904, which was located a crossed the street from the St. Louis World's Fair, Isabel would marry Michael Lang, one of Elizabeth's sons.


Isabel and Michael were married on 08 September 1906.  Their first child, Elizabeth (Elsie), was born in August 1907.  Michael worked twelve-hour shifts, as a furnace stoker, in a foundry.  After working his normal scheduled shift, Michael continued working the next shift when his replacement did not "show up" for work.  When leaving work the next morning, to catch the trolley home, he passed out from heat exhaustion.  His doctor told him he could no longer work in that profession.


Family members in Smithton (Illinois), where Michael grew up as a boy, asked him to return and assist farmers with their agricultural needs.  Their second child, Oliver, was born in September 1910.  Michael continued working for local farmers.


Michael and Isabel next moved to East St. Louis, Illinois.  He began working for the railroad as a carpenter.  He first worked on Box Cars and progressed into Pullmans.  Their third child, Earl, was born in October of 1912. 


Using benefits from the railroad, Michael and Isabel moved their family to Pueblo, Colorado (circa 1918).  They stayed in Pueblo for less than a year.  While there a worldwide influenza epidemic struck.  When helping others, Michael contacted influenza himself.  He became "extremely" sick and recovered (only) after several months of bed rest.


Michael and Isabel then moved from Pueblo, to Los Angeles, California.  They were shown on the 1920 Census living on Carson St. in Torrance.  Torrance is a suburb of Los Angeles, California.  Michael later built a house on Normandie Ave.  He went onto build a successful plumbing business in which he worked until retirement.


Michael died in February 1962 and Isabel followed him in April 1976.


Gerry Lang


The information for this story was obtained over a 10 year period. Many people added "their input" as time went along. Those people were the Waterloo Library (Genealogy Section) / people from Clerks Office / Land and Records and Archives in the Court House in Waterloo - the Catholic Church Archives in Hecker - a Catholic Nun who taught 7th and 8th graders in St Louis (her genealogy line was the Millmans') and family members.

Pictures of Isabel and her family below.

Click for larger view.

Isabel Helm Lang

Michael and Isabel Lang wedding. Married 08 Sep 1906. Michael and Isabel Helm Lang marriage certificate.

Isabel Helm is the lady with no hat. She worked for Jacob Meister. Lang children, Oliver, Elsie, Earl. Isabel Helm Baptism.

Isabel (front row second from right) Woking at restaurant in St. Louis, across the street from the 1904 Worlds Fair. Left to right: Adeline Helm, Elsie Lang, Mike Lang, Isabel (holding child), Oliver Lang and Catherine Helm.  

Isabel and sister Dora Helm   St. Augustine Church, Isabel is third from left.


Henry Helm

William Helm