Ninety-seven years ago today, on August 28, 1919, Heinrich Joseph Mueller died. It was where he died that attracted my attention. He died and is buried in Monte Vista, Colorado. As I pursued this story, it kept leading me to more interesting places. In fact, this story just may lead me to write more about this family in the future.
Heinrich was born during the Civil War on January 24, 1863 in Altenburg and was baptized by Rev. Beyer at Trinity Lutheran Church.
In the 1880 census, when Heinrich would have been about seventeen years old, he was not to be found living with his family. My guess is that he had already gone away to attend school. He became a Lutheran pastor, so in 1880, he may have already begun his studies for the ministry in St. Louis.
In 1886, Heinrich married Hedwig Blucher in Mascoutah, Illinois which is located not far from St. Louis. This marriage must have taken place right before Heinrich was to take his first call as pastor to Hope German Lutheran Church in Westcliffe, Colorado. This Lutheran church was already established in 1872, so it must have been one of the first Lutheran churches in Colorado. This church was built in the 1870’s.
While in Colorado, Heinrich and Hedwig had three children, two boys and a girl. Then in 1896, Rev. Mueller became the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mexico, Missouri. While there, he also served St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vandalia, Missouri. Here is a photo of a portion of the Mueller family which was probably taken while they lived in Missouri. It includes Heinrich, Hedwig, and their daughter, Erna. The photo on the back wall appears to be from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
As was said earlier, Heinrich died in 1919 and is buried in Monte Vista, Colorado. He was only 56 years old at the time of his death. I do not know why he moved to Colorado before 1919, but I do know that his son, Martin Ludwig Gustav Mueller was the pastor there at St. Peter Lutheran Church. That church was founded in 1907, and it is located not that far from Westcliffe. I also know that Heinrich’s widow, Hedwig, was living with her daughter, Erna, and her family according to the 1920 census.
The Mueller family has a plot in the Monte Vista Cemetery where several members of that family are buried. This monument marks that plot.
Here is the gravestone for Rev. Heinrich Mueller.
There are other aspects to this story that I still need to explore. One is that two of the Mueller children married what appears to be two Quiram siblings from Waterville, Minnesota. I cannot imagine how two siblings from Colorado would meet two siblings from Minnesota. Also, I happen to know a Mrs. Quiram who teaches at the Lutheran school in Janesville, Minnesota, just down the road from Waterville. I have a sneaking suspicion that her husband is related to these Waterville siblings.