Contributed by Gigimo
Description: That Alleged Bigamy Case. Fred WANGELEIN Replies to the Very Queer Story of His Wife.Date: July 6 1889
Newspaper published in: St. Louis, Mo.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dierkes does not take much stock in the sensational charges preferred by Mrs. Fred WANGELEIN against her husband, and refuses to issue a warrant for the latter's arrest. The charge is of bigamy. According to the woman's statement her maiden name was Mathilda WUTKER, and she first met WANGELEIN in Berlin over four years ago, acting in the capacity of a house servant in that gentleman's family. "WANGELEIN was a married man with four children, but quarreled incessantly with his wife and finally deserted her, after an ineffectual attempt to secure a divorce. He took his three children by a former marriage with him, and embarked for America, taking me along to take care of his youngest boy. Although he was a man of almost 50 years, while I was but 28, He fell in love with me, and when but a few days out from Hamburg proposed that we be married upon our arrival in in the new country. I reproached him with his evil designs, but could not leave him, as I spoke no English and was a stranger in a strange land. When we reached Strasburg, Shelby County, Ill., WANGELEIN bought a little farm and we lived there very comfortably for some months. During all this time I had repelled his advances and sustained no domestic relations with the man. About two years ago he took me to Shelby, and, under the pretense of securing naturalization papers induced me to go through a legal form before a judge, and then sign my name to a paper. When we got home he told me I was his wife, and assured me that he had secured a divorce from his wife in Germany. I believed him and was true to the enforced trust. A year ago we came to St. Louis and lived at 1739 North Ninth street.
"Here WANGELEIN began his abuse, his oldest son at times attempting violence to my person. Soon I met friends from Berlin, who said my husband had never been divorced. Then I left him and have since been working in a restaurant at 206 Franklin avenue. Of late he has been sending me threatening letters and in many ways making my life unendurable."
Mr. Dierkes promised to consider the question, and the woman left. This was late last night. This morning WANGELEIN and his eldest son called at the Four Courts and made answer to the charges. WANGELEIN tells an entirely different story. He says that at the time stated he obtained a divorce from his wife in Berlin and took the WUTKER girl from a life of shame, making her his wife by her own consent, in the Courthouse at Shelby. To substantiate this statement he produces the papers, properly issued, and bearing the woman's signature.
The boy denies the story of assault and further complicated the matter by an application for a warrant against his step mother for slander. Mr. Dierkes refused to take action in the matter. "If Mrs. WANGELEIN wishes to bring action for bigamy," he said, "she must bring me better evidence than her own word. In criminal cases a deposition is not accepted, and the Berlin witnesses would have to be brought to St. Louis to testify. We cannot take the risk under the circumstances."