The Black Angel: A Centennial History 1913-2013

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Timothy C. Parrott, Aug 8, 2013 - 74 pages
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In the fall of 1913, a statue of a crestfallen angel was erected in Iowa City's Oakland Cemetery. During the intervening century, this macabre memorial to the Feldwert family has spawned a number of sinister legends, primarily due to its atypical posture and coloration. But did these spine-chilling tales arise solely from the downcast aspect and blackness of the angel? Definitely not! Theresa Dolezal Feldwert was an enigmatic as the statue she commissioned. An elderly widow as well as a wheelchair-bound amputee almost certainly suffering from clinical depression, Feldwert inadvertently contributed to the legends herself. Her lifelong career as a midwife formed the basis of her public persona, and the historical association between midwifery and witchcraft would not have been lost on the Iowa City community. This professional stigma, coupled with Feldwert's often eccentric behavior, provided a feast of fodder for local storytellers. This true account of the mysterious Feldwert memorial and the even more mystifying woman behind it sheds much-needed light on the legends of the Black Angel - legends which continue to be told to the present day.

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