Immigrant #1: Chicago Police Officer Alexander Bold

Alexander Bold was a younger brother of Great Great Grandmother Emilia Bold Leies.  He was born in 1848 in Nuenschweiler, Germany and was a musician and a hard-working Chicago Police Sergeant and Lieutenant with a colorful family life that made the Chicago papers.  He became a naturalized American citizen one year before his future brother-in-law Johann Leies in 1866 in the same county in Ohio – Wayne County.

Alexander Bold married a German-American lady named Magdalena Bucholz in Ohio in 1869.  Her father was born in Baden, while her German-American mother was born in Pittsburgh.  They had 5 children: John, Richard, Otto, Rose Mary, and Joseph Frederick.  By 1876 the had moved to Chicago.  Alexander and Magdalena lived down the street from Emilia and Johann Leies on Larabee Street.

 

alexanderbold
Officer Alexander Bold brought down the “fiend”

 

Both of Emilia’s brothers were members of the Chicago  Police Department.  In fact, Lieutenant Alexander Bold was one of three immigrants in my tree that were members of the Chicago Police Department.  While looking at men in the force in Chicago in the 1800s, researchers always mention whether or not someone was an officer during the Labor Riots of 1877.  The first reference I can find to Alexander working for the department is 1879 because in 1878, Alexander was listed in the city directory as a musician.  So I looked in the Chicago paper.  In 1879, Alexander was already a Police Sergeant getting transferred to the Third Precinct.

Here are some of the career highlights I found in the papers:

-the recovery of a drowned man;

-raising an alarm to a fire;

-a chase and struggle with a “crazy fiend” who had just shot 5 people.  Officer Bold was nearly shot but he shot him first;

-capturing burglars red-handed;

-shooting and killing a run-away thief;

-promotion to Lieutenant at Desplaines Street Station on September 10, 1887;

alexboldpromotion.PNG

-and arresting a gang of rough necks in February 1888.

 

In May 1888, a William A. Haerting publicly accused Lieutenant Bold of adultery with his wife.  Mrs. Haerting was estranged from her husband and was boarding with the Bolds and their children.  So he was let go from the force.  After a hearing before the Police Board in which both Mrs. Haerting and Mrs. Bold testified on Alexander’s behalf, it was revealed the only evidence against Alexander came from the statements of his two sons.  Alexander had submitted signed affidavits from them re-canting their previous statements saying they were due to being under the influence of alcohol.

AlexanderBoldVindicated.PNG

Alexander was re-instated in September of 1888 but his sons didn’t stay out of the papers.  One month later, they were in the paper for their legal problems like fraud and embezzlement and Alexander was again in the paper when he had to escort them to hearings for scamming little old ladies.

In  May 1889 the libel suits Alexander Bold and Mrs. Haerting had commenced against the Chicago Herald were dismissed.  The same month, Mrs. Magdalena Bold filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty which means she suffered physical abuse.  By 1900 Alexander was living in a boarding house and was employed in private security as a watchman according to that year’s census.

Alexander died on September 2, 1910, outliving his sister Emilia and was buried in St. Boniface where she also rests.

I traced the children of Alexander a little bit.  At least two of Alexander’s grandchildren served in World War II in the Army and the United States Coast Guard.  Some descendants of Alexander live in Western Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and still live in Chicago today working in Leitelt Brother’s Casting Foundry, a company founded by Alexander’s daughter Rose’s husband Charles Leitelt.

I couldn’t find a photo of Alexander Bold but cannot help but think he had to be a big and fit individual to be able to provide chase and possess the ability to subdue some of the roughnecks he arrested during his time as a police officer in the Chicago Police Department.  I also can’t help but think that Emilia and Johann Leies named their oldest son, my great grandfather, Alexander Leies, after Emillia’s brother because I could find no other Alexanders in the Bold or Leies ancestry.

Sources:

Newspapers.com

United States Censuses

Chicago City Directories

Wayne County, Ohio Naturalization Records

Nuenschweiler, RP Church Records

United States Social Security Death Indexes

Cook County Birth, Marriages, and Deaths

Find-a-Grave

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Immigrant #1: Chicago Police Officer Alexander Bold

  1. Gabriel Marcella January 29, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Fascinating, thanks.

    Dad

    Like

  2. Anonymous January 29, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    Great story, and very evocative of the times. Enjoyed it very much.
    Mom

    Like

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