Warden Hanel

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June 1928

Warden Hanel graduates from Reardan High School.

17 October 1930 Spokane Chronicle

Warden Hanel initiated into national honorary Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity at Washington State College.

August 27, 1942 Davenport Times-Tribune

Warden Hanel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hanel, who had a law office in Spokane has enlisted in the army, He was inducted at Camp Lewis an last week was sent to a camp near Boston, Mass. He was in charge of the group of men while on the way there.

December 3, 1942 Davenport Times-Tribune

Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel have word that their son, Warden Hanel, moved from Massachusetts to Florida. He enlisted in the judge advocate division of the army. He is a graduate of Gonzaga university in Spokane.

January 28, 1943 Davenport Times-Tribune

Private Warden Hanel, who is with the judge advocate department in the headquarters division at Carrabelle, Fla., is spending a fifteen-day furlough with his wife in Spokane, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel. He is a graduate of Reardan high school and Gonzaga law school. He was conducting a law office at the time of his enlistment.

April 1, 1943 Davenport Times-Tribune

Warden Hanel, who is with the army at Carrabelle, Fla., informs his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, he has been promoted to sergeant. He is a graduate of Reardan high school and Gonzaga law school. At the time of his enlistment, he was conducting a law office in Spokane. He will soon enter an officer's training school.

July 29, 1943 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sergeant Warden Hanel writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, that he has been transferred from his camp in Florida to Nashville, Tenn. He is with the judge advocates division, and was an attorney in Spokane at the time of his entering the service. He is a graduate of the local high school and Gonzaga law school.

December 20, 1943 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. Warden Hanel, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, has been transferred from Salina, Kan., to Yuma, Ariz. Sgt. Hanel is a graduate of the local high school and of Gonzaga university. At the time of his enlistment, the was a Spokane Attorney. Mrs. Hanel is living in El Centro, Calif.

March 23 1944 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. Warden Hanel, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, has been transferred from Yuma, Ariz., to Fort Dix, N. J. He is with the judge advocate court and at the time of his entering the service, he was practicing law in Spokane. He is a graduate of Gonzaga law school.

May 4, 1944 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. and Mrs. Warden Hanel are visiting with Sgt. Hanel's parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel. Sgt. Hanel is with the judge advocates division of the army and is stationed at Fort Dix, N. J. He was a Spokane attorney at the time of his enlistment into the service.

July 20, 1944 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. Warden Hanel, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, has written his parents that he has left for overseas duty with the judge advocate division of the army. He is a graduate of the local high school and was a Spokane attorney at the time of his enrollment in the army.

August 3, 1944 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. Warden Hanel writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel, that he has arrived in England and is with the coding and decoding department of the judge advocate division of the army.

May 10, 1945 Davenport Times-Tribune

Stories of German atrocities are not exaggerated, according to a letter received by Mrs. L. Warden Hanel, Spokane, From her husband, Lt. [Warden] Hanel, writes April 11 "somewhere in Germany."

"Today we had the opportunity to visit a German concentration camp." Hanel's letter stated. "I have often thought some of the things we read and heard might be propaganda, but we saw just about everything to be true.

"On entering one saw a considerable amount of filth with people living in the most primitive surroundings. We walked up one street and discovered 30 or 40 bodies lying in a circle. All had been shot. Some were naked and other clothed only in rags. They appeared to be in the worst state of malnutrition, some had mere pipe stems for legs.

"We walked on and came to a long wooden shed with a lime pit down the center perhaps 50 feet long and a wooden platform on each side of the pit. Apparently bodies had been cut up and dumped into the lime for disposal. In the next house, built of stone, was a pile of about 30 naked bodies piled like cordwood. I suppose they were ready for disposal when the place was captured. Right behind was a building that had apparently been used for a salvage dump. One could see piles of shoes and clothing that had been stripped from the victims in the other building.

"In another building was a crematory--the odor was terrific. Nearby was equipment for extracting gold-filled teeth for salvage. A barn like, floorless barracks was equipped with the crudest of straw mattresses. At the end of the room was an open latrine partitioned off by a few strips of burlap."

Prior to his entry into the army, Lt. Hanel practiced law in Spokane. he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel of Reardan and was born here, graduating from the Reardan school.

[Based on the date, the camp that he visited could have been Ohrdruf, liberated on April 4, or Buchenwald, liberated on the 11th. It might have been Dora-Mittelbau (also known as Nordhausen) a forced labor underground V-2 missile factory and sub-camp of Buchenwald. General Eisenhower visited a camp on April 12 and urged Congressmen and reporters to witness what was happening. He further ordered that all soldiers in the vicinity of prison camps to visit and witness what happened there, so no one could charge that this was propaganda.

In the late 1970's or early 1980's Reardan had prayer breakfasts for the men. The local Catholic priest, Father Breznik, formerly from Yugoslavia and served in a concentration camp, knew about Eisenhower's order and asked that men who had witnessed the death camps to come forward and bear witness. I believe Keith Carlson was one of the witnesses of Dauchau, Adrian Bafus, an ag teacher at Reardan for the 1940-41 school year, and Stanley Swanson were another death camp witnesses. There were probably more from Reardan.]

November 1, 1945 Davenport Times-Tribune

Sgt. Warden Hanel was discharged from the army October 20, at Ft. Lewis. He served more than a year in England, France, Germany, and Austria in the 80th division of General Patton's army. He participated in 18 skirmishes including the battles for Bastogne, Metz, Saarbrucken, and Frankfort. At the time of surrender, he was in Litz, Austria. He has five battle stars and a Purple Heart. He attended school in Paris for a few weeks for some special work. Before entering the service, he was practicing law in Spokane. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hanel. He and his wife spent a few days last week with his parents.

November 8, 1945, Spokesman-Review


Attorney Warden Hanel and Attorney Gordon Lower, who gave up their law practice in the summer of 1942 to enter the army, have reformed their partnership of Hanel & Lower and will open offices Monday in the Empire State building.

Mr. Lower was discharged November 1 and Mr. Hanel in October. In the army T/Sgt. Hanel served 17 months overseas and took part in the battle of the bulge, with the 318th infantry. He was wounded on the Moselle river in Germany.

Attorney Lower was overseas for more than a year with the A. A. C. S. in China and India. He was stationed at Chingkung, 500 miles from Chunaking, and later was transferred to Dum Dum, near Calcutta, India.

March 29, 1959 Spokesman-Review


August 21, 1973 Spokane Chronicle

Kerley is Retiring; Successor Named


Michael J. Kerley is retiring from a job he took more than 30 years ago as a part-time adjunct to the law practice he had established in the Old National Bank Building.

L. Warden Hanel (Spokane Chronicle)

And the U.S. District Court Judges for eastern Washington today announced they have nominated Spokane attorney L. Warden Hanel, 62, to succeed Kerley as the court's referee in bankruptcy, a robed position which has been a full-time--and ever growing -- job for two decades.

Hanel is expected to get the official appointment from the chief judge of the district, William N. Goodwin, about Sept 1.

On Job 30 Years

Kerley, at 69, has been the referee for more than 30 years since he was heard to exclaim, in 1942, at the length of service of his predecessor, Sidney Wentworth. Wentworth had been the referee for 33 years.

Kerley has accounted "a hundred times" for the vast increases in the Bankruptcy Court's case load during his tenure: "There's more money around; people are granted so much credit."

But another major change has come in the complexity of his work. The "chapter cases," in which firms and individuals work out plans for corporate reorganization or paying their own debts, weren't used much until the early 1950s, They're among the most complex of the petitions filed in Kerley's court on the eighth floor of the federal building.

Law Discussed

Stopped between hearings this morning, Kerley talked about the current state of the law: "Chapter cases and the larger straight bankruptcy or liquidation cases have become a highly specialized field of law practice. Only a few lawyers handle that kind of case because it requires a combination of legal and business knowledge."

It's a long career Kerley is ending. He taught at Gonzaga High School from 1927 to 1929 and was professor of torts at Gonzaga Law School for 33 years. Kerley also is a former U.S. Commissioner here, acting as magistrate in early stages of criminal proceedings.

Kerley will leave his office as soon as Hanel can complete legal work he needs to finish before taking the post. Kerley said today he "isn't going to do anything for a while."

Hanel, a practicing attorney In Spokane since 1939, today called the referee's job "a challenge I am looking forward to."

Hanel was graduated from Gonzaga Law School after doing undergraduate work at Washington State University and has done primarily civil work in his career. He lives at E1603 Pinecrest Road.

June 4, 1981 Spokesman-Review

Economy blamed for bankruptcies

By LARRY YOUNG Spokesman Review

Hard times, not a new law, is behind the soaring bankruptcy rate, said Federal Bankruptcy Judge L. Warden Hanel.

Hanel was reflecting on the rising rate Wednesday when he announced plans to retire. He's 70.

Some think the recent liberalization of the law, making it easier to declare bankruptcy, is responsible for the increase, Hanel said. "But I think the main reason is our depressed economy. I expect the rate to drop when conditions improve."

In the Eastern Washington area covered by Hanel's court, bankruptcies increased nearly 50 percent during the past year. They rose from 1,489 in 1979 to 2,203 last year.

Hanel's court travels to different Eastern Washington cities. Wednesday, he was interviewed by telephone in Yakima.

"I didn't set a date for retirement because of the press of business right now in bankruptcy court. I don't feel I should leave until my replacement is chosen. I've set a tentative target date of early fall," he said.

The new bankruptcy judge will be named by U.S. District Judges Robert J. McNichols and Justin L. Quackenbush .

McNichols said Wednesday he has named W. Fremming Nielsen, an attorney who has handled many bankruptcy cases, as head of a committee to select a new judge.

Hanel was an attorney in private practice in Spokane when named to the bankruptcy court bench in 1973.

He served in the infantry during World War II, in the 80th Division, Third Army, in Europe. He fought from Normandy to Austria and was wounded once. He won the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry badge.

Born in Reardan, Wash., he graduated from Reardan High School and studied at Washington State University before obtaining his law degree at Gonzaga University.

He said the new bankruptcy code, effective in late 1979, resulted in tremendous increases in the workload of his court.

"In addition to more filings, bankruptcies are more contested now. Adversary work has expanded immensely. The number of hearings has increased tremendously.

"This has created huge pressure on all personnel in the district and Washington's decision to hold the line on inflation spending has prevented hiring more employees. That inflames the condition," he said