Herman Mangels’ Inquest

My 2nd great-grandfather attempted to take his own life January 7, 1912. Three days later Herman Mangels died in Dunning Hospital after succumbing to lobar pneumonia, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Below is a transcription of the inquest record created after his death.


Inquest upon the body of Herman Mangels. Held Jan 11th 1912 at Dunning Hospital.

Names of Witnesses Address Occupation
Frank Mangels 4632 Warwick Ave Salesman
Olaf Nyvold 4845 Irving Park Blvd Bartender
Olaf A Carlson 1822 Warren Ave Police Off 36 Prect
Joseph Cooperstein Dunning Hospital Phys & Surg

Roll-Call of Jurors:

Name Address
C E Taylor 3755 N 64th Ave
L Heap 4041 N 52 Ave
Axel Gustafson Norwood Park (Route 1)
Leo Mc Carr 3918 Irving Park Blvd
D D Mee 3920 ”     ”  “
C E Mee 4024 N Springfield Ave

[signed] Julian, Deputy Coroner

EFFECTS AND ESTATE in case of Jan 10th, 1912 Herman Mangels deceased:

EVIDENCE Revolver Make Thames Arms Co Number 32 Caliber

Bullets 4, Empty Shells x, Cartridges 4, Knives 1

REMARKS No estate, revolver in drawer # 251, [signed] Julian, Deputy Coroner


At an inquest upon the body of Herman Mangels held Jan 11th 1912 at Dunning Hospital County of Cook, State of Illinois, personally appeared _________ who being sworn according to law, deposes and says; My name is Frank Mangels. I reside at 4632 Warwick Ave and am by occupation Salesman.

The above named deceased was my Step Father. Born in Germany. Age 56. Married. Occupation Glass Polisher. The last time I saw the deceased alive before he shot himself was on Friday January 5th 1911 [sic] at about 8:30 p.m. at my home and I left on the following morning before he got up. When I saw him Friday night he appeared all right except that he was despondent as the wife of the deceased had filed a bill for a divorce also an injunction from entering his home. I have heard the deceased say that he would take his life several times and he thought everybody was against him. I did not think he would take his life. The deceased used intoxicating liquor to excess. Small insurance. Identify the body now lying dead at the Morgue in Dunning Hospital as the above named deceased. No estate to pay inquest fee. [signed] F Mangels

At an inquest upon the body of Herman Mangels held Jan 11th 1912 at Dunning Hospital County of Cook, State of Illinois, personally appeared _________ who being sworn according to law, deposes and says; My name is Olaf Nyvold. I reside at 4845 Irving Park Blvd and am by occupation Bar Tender.

The above named deceased is no relative of mine. I have known the deceased for about 1 year. On Sunday Jan 7th at about 1:10 a.m. I got home. I heard some one lying on the front porch. I heard some one say there is help coming I can hear it. I went over where the deceased was lying and asked who he was and he said this is Herman Mangels. I then asked him what the matter was with him and he said he tried to shoot himself and missed as I wanted to die in my own home. I then saw that he had shot himself in the left breast. I then went and called the Police who came over and asked him where the gun was and he answered if I knew where the gun was I would be dead long ago. This is all I heard the deceased say and all I know about the case. [signed] Olaf Nyvold

At an inquest upon the body of Herman Mangels held Jan 11th 1912 at Dunning Hospital County of Cook, State of Illinois, personally appeared _________ who being sworn according to law, deposes and says; My name is Olaf A Carlson. I reside at 1822 Warren Ave and am by occupation Police Off 36th Prect.

On Sunday morning January 7th 1912 at about 1:20 a.m. I got a call to go to 4845 Irving Park Blvd. I was told that a man had tried to commit suicide. I went to the place and found the deceased lying on the front porch on his back in the center of the porch. I could see the black powder mark on his shirt on the left breast about 1 inch above the Heart. The deceased asked me where the gun was as he said that if he had it he would finish the job right as he had missed fire. We put the deceased on the stretcher and I found the gun, a 32c revolver lying near the handle of [the] stretcher. The gun was loaded with one chamber empty. We then put the deceased in the wagon and brought him to the Dunning Hospital. The deceased told me that every body was against him including his wife and that was the reason he done it. Although he said his son Frank and wife were the best people in the world. This is all I know about the case. [signed] Olaf A Carlson

At an inquest upon the body of Herman Mangels held Jan 11th 1912 at Dunning Hospital County of Cook, State of Illinois, personally appeared _________ who being sworn according to law, deposes and says; My name is Joseph Cooperstein. I reside at Cook County Institution Dunning and am by occupation a physician.

On Sunday Jan 7 1912 about 2 a.m. Mr Herman Mangels 4845 Irving Park boulvard [sic] was brought to the hospital ward of the Cook County insane asylum at Dunning Ill. With a gunshot wound over the region of his heart. After an examination the bullet was found under the skin of his back about the 8th rib on the left side. The bullet was removed and patient attended to in the ordinary manner. Within the next several hours patient developed symptoms pointing to a pneumonia probably lobar in type. Wednesday Jan 10 1912 about 7:15 p.m. Mr Herman Mangels died, probably as a result of Lobar pneumonia following gunshot wound. [signed] J. Cooperstein M.D.

An Inquisition was taken for the People of the State of Illinois, at Dunning Hospital in the Town of Norwood in said County of Cook, on the 11th day of January A.D. 1912 before me, PETER M. HOFFMAN, Coroner, in and for said County, upon view of the body of Herman Mangels then and there lying dead, upon the oath of six good and lawful men of the said County, who, being duly sworn to inquire on the part of the People of the State of Illinois into all circumstances attending the death of said Herman Mangels and by whom the same was produced, and in what manner and when and where the said Herman Mangels came to his death, do say, upon their oaths, as aforesaid that the said Herman Mangels now lying dead at Dunning Hospital in said Town of Norwood County of Cook, State of Illinois, came to his death on the 10th day of January A.D. 1912, in the Dunning Hospital Located in the Town of Norwood From Lobar Pneumonia following Gunshot wound Self inflicted while despondent on January 7th AD, 1912.

In TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said Coroner, and the jury of this inquest have hereunto set their hands the day and year aforesaid. [signed] C E Taylor , foreman, L Heap, Axel Gustafson, Leo Mc Carr, D D Mee, C E Mee. Peter M. Hoffman, Coroner”

Notes on the back are hard to read. It looks like Ctf to Und’t, No Estate, No Fees, Complete, Julian. L, N105, P204

4 thoughts on “Herman Mangels’ Inquest

  1. Thank you for posting your experience with inquest records, Laura.

    I recently contacted IRAD for a 1905 inquest report, and received ONLY the “Verdict” page, listing deceased’s name, address, dod, cause of death, jurors names, 2 witnesses, witnesses’ addresses & occupations.

    It would seem there should be more to this report–specifically, I would love to have statements from the 2 witnesses (as you did for your 2nd Great-Grandfather.)

    Do you have a suggestion on where the rest of this report might be (if, indeed, there is more,) and how to go about getting the entire report?

    Thank you again for this helpful post.


    • Hi Linda,

      Agreed, it seems like there should be more in the report. If witnesses existed, testimony must have been taken and recorded. It’s possible the additional pages were overlooked by the person at IRAD who retrieved the report. I would be inclined to resubmit my request, mentioning the witnesses’ testimony.

      It’s also possible the additional pages were lost or damaged. Unfortunately old documents aren’t always stored in ideal settings.

      I hope you’ll let me know the outcome of your search.


  2. Thank you for sharing this document and the story of how you acquired it from the Chicago medical examiner’s office. Ten years ago, I also attempted to obtain a copy of a coroner’s inquest into the death of my great grandfather. Despite numerous follow-up requests, I never obtained a response of any sort. Fortunately, it sounds as if the situation has changed at the office with new leadership, and I will try again.

    Similar to your ancestor, mine died a death that was markedly different from what had been handed down through family lore. As a child, I was told that a striking worker had thrown a rock and hit my great grandfather on the head as he rode home from work on a trolley. In reality, he and two other men were shot to death in a Black Hand killing. It’s my hope that the coroner’s inquest will yield more information about why the killing happened.

    The discrepancy between the truth and family lore no doubt arose in part because of the shame and stigma attached to the criminal nature of his death.

    Again, thank you for the wealth of information you have provided!


    • Thank you for letting me know the information was helpful. As you can imagine, I was hesitant to share it because of the circumstances surrounding Herman’s death.

      I requested this document several times over a five year period. What made this time different (at least I’d like to think) was my persistence. I marked the calendar with follow up dates, determined not to let this important piece of family history slip away.

      Your ancestor’s story is very intriguing! I hope you’ll share updates – I’d love to hear what you learn when you acquire the coroner’s report.

      A reminder to other “listeners”, the Medical Examiner’s office maintains records from 1912 to the present. CooK County Inquest records from 1872 to 1911 are held at NEIU IRAD. Visit their website for more information here: http://library.neiu.edu/whereinthelibrary/irad.html


Share your thoughts below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s