Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday–Bickel and Spangenberg Murder


Bickel Spangenberg marker

Marker of
John Bickel, Cathrine Bickel, H. Spangenberg and Baby Spangenberg  1867
John Bickel 1917
Boerne Cemetery – Boerne, Kendall County,Texas

This marker is a curiosity.  The H. Spangenberg is possibly a member of my family but I’ve not been able to locate any records besides the two newspaper clippings below.  Unfortunately, they ask as many questions as they answer.


Both these clippings refer to an original article in the San Antonio Express newspaper.  I have yet to find this original article.

Image 9a

“Texas Items – Horrible”, The Galveston (Texas) Daily News, 9 September 1868, p. 2, col. 6; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 22 March 2011), Historical Newspaper Collection.


This paper gives a little more detail but still not enough to link Mr. Spangenberg to any particular family.

Image 8a

“Details of Eastern News – Human butchery”, The Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, California), 29 September 1868, p. 1, col. 3; digital images, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com: 22 March 2011), Historical Newspaper Collection.

The marker has the date of 1867 on it.  It is clear from the newspaper articles that the event took place about the 20th of August 1868.  Also the baby, who is three years old, is not given a name in these two articles so we have no way of knowing if  the child was indeed a Spangenberg or a Bickel.  The name of the Bickel family has been changed to “Pickel” in the newspaper articles but I know it is Bickel because I found the death certificate for Henry who died in 1917.

I will keep looking for more information on this tragedy.  Rest In Peace all who are buried here.

Copyright © 2011 Regina De León. All rights reserved.


newspaper article sources have been provided under each article.

The photo is courtesy of Find A Grave member, M. Dahl.  Thank you, Marilyn!

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