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

March 13, 1937, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Spangenberg’s family emigrated to America in 1864. His father Julius was a Lutheran pastor and rector of a Lutheran school during Bruno’s early years.

Bruno lived in Missouri and Ohio as a young man. He attended Eastern Lutheran Teachers’ Seminary (now Concordia University) in Addison, Illinois. He secured a teaching position in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he met and married Sarah Frederika Blankenhorn in 1891. It was during these years he composed his hymn tunes. The 1887 business directory of Harrisburg lists Bruno as secretary of St. Michael’s German Lutheran Beneficial Society.

The Spangenbergs lived in Rondout, New York, 1893–98. There Bruno taught school and served as organist of 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.

  1. Fear Not
  2. Saved