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The Infamous
"Blue-Eyed Six"
of Lebanon Co., Pa.



Some of this information was checked against the excellent book by Edna J. Carmean, published in 1974. The sketches below were also found in The Blue-Eyed Six. This book is for sale at the Lebanon County Historical Society, at the price of $12.50. I highly recommend reading/purchasing this volume.

Most of the dates and data is from my KINDT genealogy program. Four of the six accused men, as well as the victim, Joseph Raber, are included in my KINDT family program.

The Blue-Eyed Six was the story of six men, who took out life insurance policies on Joseph Raber, and then planned to kill him for the insurance money. He was reportedly pushed into the Indiantown Creek and was held under the water by two of the six on 7 December 1878. The name "The Blue-Eyed Six" was given to them by an un-named newspaper reporter. He noticed at the trial that all six of the accused had blue eyes. Five of the six were hanged in Lebanon, Pa., after they were convicted of conspiracy in the murder of Joseph Raber. They were incarcerated in the Lebanon County Prison.



The Victim: Joseph Raber

- b: 14 Jan 1819 - possibly in Lebanon Co., Pa.
- d: 7 Dec 1878 at Indiantown Gap, Leb. Co., Pa. Drowned by one or more of the Blue-Eyed Six.
- Buried: Moonshine Cemetery, Lebanon Co., Pa.
- Occupation: Harvest hand and/or Road worker and general laborer at various times.
- Common-Law Marriage: Polly Kreiser (sister of Sabina)
- Joseph and Polly resided in a previously deserted one room charcoal burner's shack in the mountain in the northern section of Lebanon County, Pa.




The Blue-Eyed Six



George Zechman*

-b: 15 Aug 1849 in Berks Co., Pa.
-d: 19 Mar 1887 in Union Twp., Leb.Co., Pa.
-Buried: Sattazahn's Luth. Cem., Leb.Co., Pa. -Occupation: Miner - Farmer - Teamster.
-Wife: Annie M. nee Ditzler
-Parents of 6 children (1880 Census Info).
-Residents of Fishing Creek Valley
-The only one of the six who was found not guilty.

Charles Drews*

-b: 9 Jul 1820 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
-d: 14 Nov 1879 - Hanged in Lebanon, Pa.
-Buried: Mt. Lebanon Cem., Lebanon, Pa.
-Military: Served a term in German Army. Also was a Civil War Vet: 93rd. Reg. - Pa Vols. 1861-1865
-Occupations: Served as a butcher, carpenter, mason, and iron worker.
-Wife: Sabina Talva Kreiser (sister of Polly) Parents of 12 children (1880 Census Info).
-Resided near St. Joseph's Spring, Leb.Co., Pa.

Israel Brandt

-b: 27 May 1834 in North Lebanon Twp., Leb.Co., Pa.
-d: 13 May 1880 - Hanged in Lebanon, Pa.
-Buried: Mt. Lebanon Cem., Lebanon, Pa.
-Occupations: Tailor, farmer, tavern mgr. - Cold Spring Hotel and Half-Way House Hotel, owner of hotel at St. Joseph Spring (all hotels were in Lebanon County).
-Lost left arm in threshing accident in Illinois.
-Marr: 1857 - first wife died 1867 of consumption. Remarried in 1868.
-Parent of 2 children from first marr., 4 children from second marr.

Franklin Stichler*

-b: 16 oct 1859 in Union Twp., Lebanon Co., Pa.
-d: 14 Nov 1879 - Hanged in Lebanon, Pa.
-Buried: Family plot a short distance from St.Joseph's Spring.
-Occupations: Miner/Laborer.

Josiah Hummel

-b: 18 Mar 1849 in Union Twp., Leb. Co., Pa.
-d: 13 May 1880 - Hanged in Lebanon, Pa.
-Buried: In the yard of his father's home.
-Occupation: Laborer.
-Resided: Fishing Creek Valley, near St. Joseph's Spring.

Henry F. Wise*

-b: 4 Jun 1845 in Monroe Valley
-d: 13 May 1880 - Hanged in Lebanon, Pa.
-Buried: Green Point Meeting House Cemetery, Leb.Co., Pa.
-Occupation; Miner in Schuylkill Co., Pa.
-Married - 7 children, and one born after his death.
-Resided: Fishing Creek Valley, near St. Joseph's Spring.


* - included in the KINDT family program



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