Valentine Spangler, a Pennsylvania-born Missouri gunsmith

Introduction: Valentine Spangler, a son of the Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunmaker Samuel Spangler and a brother to the Wisconsin gunsmith George W. Spangler, is known as a gunsmith from an 1870 Missouri census record (included below). If the 1829 birth year on his tombstone is correct, Valentine would have been about 15 years old when his father migrated west in 1844. Knowing a little about 19th century dynamics, I believe that Valentine would have been assisting his gunmaker father in some capacity before leaving Somerset County.

1829: According to a web page about him, Valentine Spangler was a son of Samuel and Catherine Spangler, was born on February 20, 1829 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, was a gunsmith, and his first and second wives were sisters.

1844: The following excerpt from the Monroe section of the 1884 book "History of Green County, Wisconsin" indicates that Samuel Spangler (Valentine's father) emigrated to Green County, Wisconsin in 1844. Valentine would have been about 15 years old at the time of the move.

Samuel Spangler moved west in 1844

1857: K.J. Fogge reports that 61-year-old Pennsylvania-born gunsmith Samuel Spangler appears in Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota in the 1857 Minnesota Territorial & State Census. Also living in the household are 50-year-old Pennsylvania-born Catherine, 24-year-old Pennsylvania-born Elizabeth, and 22-year-old Pennsylvania-born carpenter Valentine.

Circa 1859: The 1870 census suggests that Valentine Spangler has a daughter named Nevada Spangler who was born circa 1859 in Minnesota.

1860: K.J. Fogge reports that 28-year-old Pennsylvania-born carpenter V. Spangler appears in the 1860 Faribault, Rice County federal census with a personal estate valued at $100.00. Also living in the household were 20-year-old Pennsylvania-born Martha and 8-month-old Minnesota-born N.B. Appearing next to V. Spangler in the census is 69-year-old Pennsylvania-born gunsmith Samuel Spangler with real estate valued at $1,000.00 and personal property valued at $350.00. Also present in Samuel's household are 56-year-old Pennsylvania-born Cathe. and 26-year-old Pennsylvania-born Elizabeth.

1864: The 1870 census suggests that Valentine Spangler has a daughter named Mary Spangler who was born circa 1864 in Minnesota. Based on various web pages, I think this was Elizabeth May (Spangler) James, who was murdered by a suitor in October of 1908. According to her tombstone in Pueblo County, Colorado, she was born in 1864 and died in 1908. The following excerpt is from the October 27, 1908 issue of the "Aspen Daily News": "PUEBLO, Oct. 26, -- Mrs. Elizabeth May James, of 150 Mechame street, was shot through the heart and instantly killed in the front room of her home by Edward Hager, a discharged watchman at the Lannon foundry, yesterday morning at 10 o'clock. The shooting, which occurred in the very shadow of the city hall, was perpetrated but a few minutes after William James, the former husband had left the premises, and was witnessed by Miss May James, aged 19 years, whom Hager also attempted to kill. The murderer made his escape before officers, who were hurried from the city jail, reached the scene. It is said to have been another case of affinity. The direct cause of the shooting is thought to have been over the removal of the James children to Berwind by the father and the effect that his appearance had on the courtship that is said to have been in progress between Mrs. James and her slayer. Hager was a boarder at the James house and had been paying marked attention to Mrs. James for some time. A hole was burned entirely through Mrs. James' waist by the gun, which was pressed tightly against her breast when the fatal shot was fired. Only the cool head of the daughter saved her from a like fate. After he had killed the mother Hager turned the smoking weapon upon the daughter. She clutched at his arm and struggled with him for an instant during which time he apparently changed his mind..."

1865: K.J. Fogge reports that Valentine Spangler is listed in Faribault, Rice County, in the 1865 Minnesota Territorial & State Census. Also in Valentine's household are the females Martha A., Nevada B., Lizzie B., and Mary J. Next to Valentine in the census listing is the Samuel Spangler Household. Also in Samuel's household are Catharine and Elizabeth, along with Katie Pool.

1865: A tombstone in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Rice County, Minnesota is inscribed "Martha A. wife of V. Spangler died Oct. 11, 1865". A website about Valentine Spangler indicates that Martha was his first wife, and her maiden name was Carroll.

1868: The 1870 census suggests that Valentine Spangler has a daughter named Carrie Spangler who was born circa 1868 in Minnesota.

1870: The 1870 census suggests that Valentine Spangler has a daughter named Martha Spangler who was born circa 1869 in Missouri. The death certificate of Mattie Augusta Hedges indicates she was born January 31, 1870 in Stockton, Missouri, and was the daughter of V. Spangler and Elizabeth Carrol.

1870: Valentine Spangler appears in the 1870 census of Grand River Township, Henry County, Missouri, as a 38-year-old gunsmith living with his young Pennsylvania-born wife Elizabeth. His mother Catherine Spangler is also living in his household.

Samuel Spangler's son Valentine Spangler appears as a gunsmith in the 1870 census.

1872: The death certificate of Nettie Parmley indicates she was born November 2, 1872 in Clinton Missouri, and was the daughter of Valentine Spangler and Elizabeth Carol.

1885: A burial certificate indicates that Nevada B. Spangler died August 24, 1885 at the age of 25 years and eleven months and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, which is in Saint Louis, Missouri.

1894: Valentine Spangler died in 1894, and is buried at the Maysville Cemetery in Benton County, Arkansas, where he shares a tombstone with his second wife Elizabeth. His tombstone gives his lifespan as "1829-1894" and gives Elizabeth's lifespan as 1846-1939". A website about Valentine Spangler reports that he married his second wife in Henry County, Missouri.

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