November 23, 1909
While trying to grasp the revolver of one of two robbers who "stuck up" his saloon at the northeast corner of Twentieth street and Grand avenue at 12:45 this morning, M. A. Spangler was shot across the bar and instantly killed.
In a pistol duel with his father's murderer, Sam Spangler was shot through both arms.
He believes he shot the robber. The latter and his companion escaped.
The murder and holdup occurred in Spangler's saloon at the northeast corner of Twentieth street and Grand avenue about 12:45.
The Spanglers were getting ready to close the saloon for the night. Sam Spangler had removed the cash from the register and was reading the totals from the detail adder, while the father was writing them on a card.
There were two men in the saloon, Al Ackerman, a friend of the Spangler family, and an old man whose identity is not known. Both were seated at tables in front of the bar.
At this juncture two men, one short and heavy set and the other tall and thin, entered the saloon. They were roughly dressed, and sauntered up about the middle of the room. The tall man walked as far as the big cannon stove at the rear of the bar, but the short man walked up to a point in front of Spangler.
Whipping out a revolver, the short man flourished it and commanded Ackerman and the old man, "Hands up and line up alongside the bar every one of you."
Ackerman and the old man and young Spangler lifted their hands in a hurry to obey the order. Not so old man Spangler. He had been in the street lunch stand business for years and he was not to be bluffed by the sight of a gun.
"Throw up your hands quick," was the second command, this time directed to Mr. Spangler. The latter evidently had been gauging the distance across the bar. Instead of throwing up his hands he lunged forward, grasping for the revolver. He missed the gun and that instant the robber pulled the trigger.
"Oh!" Spangler cried, and collapsed.
Another shot was fired at him, but it missed. The first one had passed through his heart.
Sam Spangler at the first shot pulled open a drawer in the back bar and grabbed a huge navy revolver. Turning around he faced the robber, and began firing. Both emptied their revolvers, the robber retreating toward the front door as he fired his last shot. Meanwhile the tall, thin robber, who had gotten half way behind the bar, turned and fled toward the rear, when young Spangler started shooting. He escaped through a rear door.
Ackerman, who had been standing near the front of the saloon, ran out of the door at the first shot. When the shooting inside ceased he started back but was met by the robber with the revolver who pressed it against his abdomen.
"Get out of my way before I kill you," cried the robber.
Ackerman got out of the way, and returning to the saloon asked for the big revolver.
Young Spangler put a shell in it by this time and Ackerman started after the robber. He chased him to McGee street and half way down to Twenty-first street pulling the trigger several times on the shell, which proved defective and failed to explode.
When he returned to the saloon, he found Sam Spangler bending over the body of his father. He had been shot in both arms and his blood was mingling with that of his father's.
It could not be positively ascertained this morning whether the robber got the money which Spangler had taken from the cash register and placed in a glass. During the excitement it is believed that the money was replaced in the register. This was locked and the keys were taken in charge by the police. The sum is said to have been in the neighborhood of $50.
A riot call was sent to No. 4 police station and a squad of police under Sergeant H. L. Goode drove to the saloon. Young Spangler was taken to the general hospital, where his injuries were dressed.
The body of Mr. Spangler was taken to the Stewart undertaking establishment.
M. A. Spangler was about 50 years old. He lived with his family at No. 1322 1/2 Wyandotte street. He leaves a widow and two sons, Sam and William, both grown. The widow and some relatives are in Glasgow, Mo. A telegram was sent to them immediately after the shooting.