The Story of George Mangen

George Mangen is my great grandfather who was born March 25, 1868 in Mensdorf, Luxembourg. His birth record shows his name as being Gregoire but in all subsequent documents that I have found in Luxembourg, he is shown as Georges. In all the documents in America, he is shown as George. He is the third of eleven children born to Nicolaus Mangen and Anne Weber. His siblings names and years of birth are: Jacques 1861, Pierre 1866, Catherine 1869, Marie 1871, Jean 1873, Elisabeth 1875, Catherine 1876, Anne 1878, Magdalena 1882, and Teresa 1884.

Birth record from Family Search

George can be found on the Luxembourg census in 1871, 1875, 1880, and 1887. There was a census taken in 1885 also, but neither he nor his brother Pierre are listed. This combined with his oldest brother Jacques not being on the 1880 census leads me to believe they all served in the military. I can offer no other explanation for their absence. This is something I will continue to look for to try to account for their whereabouts. Bonus finds on the census are the names Jacques Mangen born 1802 and Catherine Feigel born 1800. They are listed as grandparents on most of the above censuses.

1871 Luxembourg census from Family Search

On March 1, 1889, George, now 21 years old, and his sister Catherine (the first), arrived in New York aboard the ship Amsterdam. They left from the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From there, they moved on to Chicago, Illinois. It appears that they were the first from the family to emigrate. Their brother Peter and sister Marie came over in 1890 and their sister Elise came over in 1899. I believe the rest of the family stayed in Luxembourg with the exception of Catherine (the second) who moved to France.

Amsterdam manifest 1889 from Ancestry

On October 18, 1894, George became a naturalized American citizen. His witness was Mathias Zeimet who became his brother-in-law by marrying Catherine. Also, George was the witness for Mathias’s naturalization that same day.

Naturalization card from Family Search

On June 10, 1896, at the age of 28, George married Eva Guill. Eva was 24 years old and from Luxembourg. Eva’s brother Nicholas was a witness. The ceremony took place at St Alphonsus church on Wellington Ave in Chicago. This a church that served the German speaking people and to this day still says one Mass in German on the first Sunday of the month.

St Alphonsus marriage register from Family Search

George and Eva had four children: Catherine 1897, Nicholas 1899, Henry 1900 (my grandfather), and Peter 1902. Sadly, Peter died 2 months after he was born.

1900 US census from Family Search

There is one US census in 1900 that has George listed on it. The other family members listed on it are: Eva, Katie, Nicholas, and Eva’s mother- Katie, and her children- Nicholas, Henry and Susie. My grandfather Henry wasn’t born until October of the census year thus the reason he is not listed. For George, his occupation is a peddler.

George Mangen in beer delivery wagon

Unfortunately, George died May 7, 1903. This was amidst plenty of controversy. The morning of May 7th, George, who worked for Tosetti Brewing Company, was delivering bottled beer. At 9:25 am, he was found lying on the Calumet Street Car Company tracks at 95th st and S. Park Ave. He was taken by an electric car driver to a doctors office where a policeman happened to be in the vicinity who called an ambulance. George died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. His wagon (which was damaged) and horses were found several blocks away. My great grandmother, Eva, was persistent in trying to find out exactly what happened. Eva went so far as to have his body exhumed for a second autopsy which revealed a difference in opinion. The doctor from the second autopsy concluded that there was evidence of violence that the first coroner did not mention. I was able to find some newspaper clippings describing the incident and there were slight variations of the account. The police theory is that he died from heart disease. Another theory is that there was an accident with the electric car.  The third theory is that he was murdered.

Clipping my mom has. Paper unknown
Chicago Daily Tribune, May 9, 1903
Chicago Daily Tribune, May 16, 190


Chicago Daily Tribune, May 17, 1903
The Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL, May 17, 1903

There was a special inquest, number 26250, with 13 witnesses. The Jury concluded that they were not able to determine how the violence was received. As far as I know, there was no further investigation into his death and we do not know what really happened. Also contained on this document is the description of the property found.  George had $5.70 in cash, finger ring, 2 fr cuff buttons, 3 collar buttons, 1 pocket knife, 1 watch and chain, and 1 ___book ___papers.  I wasn’t able to make out 2 words.

Coroner’s Inquest Records, Cook County, IL May 8, 14,16, and 23, 1903
Continued from above

His mass card is in German and I was able to figure out some of the writing. At  the top are verses out of the the Bible.  In the middle is

Georg Mangen

Born the 25 March 1868 to Mensdorf, Luxemburg. Died the 7 May 1903 at the age of 32 years, 1 month and 12 days to Chicago, IL.

 After that is the word gebet which translates into prayer.  The first line is a bit rough but the rest of the prayer sounds like it translated fairly well. The prayer as best as I can figure out reads:

Beautiful is the year that flowed

There O dear you have left us

Now resting gently beloved husband, father

The Spirit comes for us the good

Merciful Jesus give him eternal peace.

Georg Mangen Mass card

George Mangen was laid to rest in St Boniface cemetery. He left behind his wife, Eva, and three young children, Katie age 6, Nicholas age 4, and Henry age 2.

Tombstone in St Boniface Cemetery, Chicago, IL from Find a Grave

2 thoughts on “The Story of George Mangen

  1. Dear Kathy, I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories pertaining to the Mangen family. I am married to Richard Thomas Mangen, Jr .or as we call him-Rick! His dad is Richard Thomas Mangen or Dick. So Eva and Henry would be his great-grandparents. Our son is Henry Richard or Hank Mangen.
    Thank you for all the effort you have put into making these stories come alive! I have just started the family research process and I am hooked! Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your work.
    Kathy Phelan-Mangen
    Tucson, Arizona


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