1851–1937

Introduction

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 5, 1851, Brom­berg, Pruss­ia (now Byd­goszcz, Po­land).

Died: March 13, 1937, Har­ris­burg, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Buried: Har­ris­burg Ce­me­te­ry, Har­ris­burg, Penn­syl­van­ia.

portrait

Biography

Bruno was the son of Ju­li­us Spang­en­berg, a Lu­ther­an pas­tor and rec­tor of a Lu­ther­an school, and hus­band of Sar­ah Fred­er­i­ka Blank­en­horn (mar­ried 1891).

Bruno’s fa­mi­ly em­i­grat­ed to Am­er­i­ca in 1864. He lived in Mis­sou­ri and Ohio as a young man.

He at­tend­ed East­ern Lu­ther­an Teach­ers’ Sem­ina­ry (now Con­cor­dia Un­i­ver­si­ty) in Ad­dison, Il­li­nois.

He lat­er se­cured a teach­ing po­si­tion in Har­ris­burg, Penn­syl­van­ia, where he met his wife Sar­ah.

It was dur­ing these years he com­posed his hymn tunes. The 1887 bu­si­ness di­rect­o­ry of Har­ris­burg lists him as sec­re­ta­ry of St. Mi­chael’s Ge­rman Lu­ther­an Ben­e­fi­cial So­ci­e­ty.

The Spang­en­bergs lived in Rond­out, New York, 1893–98. There Bru­no taught school and played the or­gan at the Ger­man Ev­an­ge­li­cal Lu­ther­an Tri­ni­ty Church.

Bruno and Sar­ah had two sons in New York: John Al­bert, who died in in­fan­cy, and Gil­bert Ri­chard.

In 1898, the fa­mi­ly moved back to Har­ris­burg, where Sarah’s par­ents and fa­mi­ly lived.

At this point Bru­no made a ca­reer change, be­com­ing pro­pri­e­tor of Spang­en­bergs’ Ice Cream and Snow Balls, an ice and ice cream bu­si­ness serv­ing the heart of the ci­ty of Har­ris­burg.

He seems to have flour­ished as a bu­si­ness­man. The fa­mi­ly bought a large lot in Camp Hill, across the Sus­que­han­na Ri­ver from Har­ris­burg, and built a spa­cious home where they lived their re­main­ing years.

Sources

Music