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Mangels, Christina Dora (died May 1898)


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 10/5/2020 at 21:24:45

The Cherokee Democrat Semi-Weekly
Tuesday, May 24, 1898

Points A Rifle At His Wife’s Side and It Is Discharged.

Before this issue of the Democrat reaches its readers it is more than probable that Mrs. John Mangle will have passed to the great beyond, her death occasioned by a bullet from a 22-calibre rifle held in the hands of her husband.

The shooting occurred shortly before noon on Sunday. As near as we can learn, the facts are these: Mangle had been out walking through his fields. He took the rifle along to shoot squirrels. When he returned, his wife asked him how many he got. He said, “I got three, and you’re the fourth.” He put the end of the rifle against her side and it was discharged, he having forgotten that there was a cartridge in it. The bullet, as near as physicians could learn, went clear through the spleen, inflicting a necessarily fatal wound.

Dr. Bellah, of Washta, was summoned and he sent for Dr. Sherman and Dr. Biller to assist him. It was soon discovered that they could do nothing to save the woman’s life. Dr. Sherman says he did not see Mr. Mangle, although he was there more than three hours. The women in the house said he left the house before the doctors arrived. The physicians waited to get his consent to an operation which they knew would be of no avail. When Dr. Sherman left, the woman was very low and he said she could live only a short time.

The Mangles lived on one of John Montague’s farms. They have lived there a number of years. Mrs. Mangle was about 32 or 33 years of age. They have seven children.

Just before going to press we learn that Mrs. Mangle is dead. Coroner Smyth and County Attorney McCulla went down to Washta on the noon train and from there will drive to the scene of the tragedy and make an investigation. Some vague rumors are in circulation, which give ground for the suspicion that it may have been something other than a case of “didn’t know it was loaded.” If reports are true, Mr. Mangle’s conduct is certainly not commendable. We hope the reports are not true and will defer comment until the exact facts can be learned.
[NOTE: Alt surname spelling of MANGELS]

Cherokee Daily Times, May 26, 1898

Man Accidently Shoots Wife.
John and Dora Mangels.

Drs. Sherman and Biller were summoned to the home of John Mangels, on the John Montagne farm in Tilden Township, Monday morning, to treat Mrs. Mangels who was suffering from a gunshot wound in the left side inflicted by her husband. Mrs. Mangels declares the shooting, which occurred Sunday morning at 10 o'clock, to be accidental but there were some peculiar circumstances attending the affair. The story as told is that Mr. Mangels had been out shooting ground squirrels during the morning; returning to the house at the hour mentioned, he was asked by his wife how many squirrels he had killed. "Three, and you make the fourth," was the reply, and suiting the action to the words he placed the gun, a 22 caliber target rifle, to his wife's side and fired it. The physicians were unable to remove the ball and pronounced the wound a fatal wound. The presumption is that Mangels thought the gun to be unloaded, though admitting this he would be open to a charge of gross, if not criminal carelessness.

Mrs. Mangels is the mother of seven children, the eldest twelve years old and the youngest but eighteen months. It is said that Mangels was at Pierson, Saturday and that while there he drank considerably, but there is nothing to show that he had been drinking Sunday.

Later Mrs. Mangels died Monday evening. Coroner Smyth went to the scene Tuesday and held and inquest. The jury returning the following verdict:
STATE OF IOWA: Cherokee County. An inquisition held at Tilden Township, in Cherokee County, on the 24th day of May 1898, before R. J. Smyth, Coroner of said County, upon the body of Dora C. Mangels there lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereto subscribed.

The said jurors upon their oaths do say that the deceased came to her death from a gunshot wound from a 22 caliber rifle discharged while in the hands of her husband, John Mangels. We further find that said shooting was purely accidental, and done without intent to inflict any bodily injury.
A. D. Robertson,
James M'Donald,
H.A. Pinckney, Jurors
J.H. Loft, Clerk.

A half dozen of the neighbors of the Mangels were called before the jury and the testimony of all was convincingly in favor of the accident theory. All testified that the couple lived happily together and that no domestic broils or differences had marred their wedded life. Mr. Mangels gave ample evidence of deep grief over the loss.
**Further Research:
[Engraved on her Tombstone]
Christina Dora Landers
Wife of John Mangels
Died: 24 May 1898
Aged 33
Buried: Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Marcus, Iowa


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