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Bob Lind, Published July 08 2012

Lind: Polka band carries on proud musical heritage of Lankin, ND

Neighbors recently carried a note from a reader telling of the musical heritage of Lankin, N.D., because it once had several fine polka bands.

Well, Matt Hodek, who lives in that Walsh County town, writes, “Just thought I would let you know that the musical heritage still lives on in Lankin.

“I operate a seven-piece polka band from Lankin called ‘Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen,’ ” he says.

Matt says there is “some great talent in our group playing multiple instruments by ear.”

One of those instrumentalists, Laddie Pecka, even plays two trumpets at the same time.

Matt’s band has a CD out, and information about the group is on the Web at www.dakotadutchmen.com.

Keep the music rolling out of Lankin, Matt.

Union Army soldier

Another Neighbors story told of the six Civil War Union Army soldiers who are buried in Fargo’s Riverside Cemetery.

Some information was available on five of them. But little was known about James M. Allister.

That got Forum’s copy editor Dan Haglund going. He hit the Web and learned a bit more about James.

Dan found that James fought in the 71st Regiment of Company A of the 26th New York Infantry.

He apparently came from either Ireland or Scotland, or at least was a descendant of someone from one of those countries, and his last name probably was changed to Allister from something else: probably McCallister.

So there’s a bit more about a link to the nation’s past resting in Fargo.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com