On September 19, 1954, students at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Indianapolis, Indiana lost one of their teachers. Teacher Arnold Mueller died of a heart attack at the age of 59. He is notable to us here in Perry County because he was born in Wittenberg on December 21, 1894.
I find quite a few similarities between Arnold Mueller and myself. We both have connections to Wittenberg, Missouri. We both married for the first time in our late 30’s, Arnold when he was 38 years old, and I when I was 39 years old. We both married women who had previously been married.
Arnold Mueller was the son of Joseph and Mathilda (Buenger) Mueller. They were the subject of the blog post, Yet Another Mueller Question. Arnold’s brother, Arthur, was a character in the story, An Infamous Day in Wittenberg. At the age of 25, Arnold was living in Detroit, Michigan, and the census records that he was working as a public school teacher. In 1923, Arnold was installed as a teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ten years later, he married Gladys Hemphill. As far as I know, they had no children.
Now we find another interesting connection to Perry County. Here is what we find in the 1940 census.
Living with the Muellers was C.R. Nennert, who happened to be another teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Indianapolis. Charles Richard Nennert was born in Jacob, Illinois, right across the Mississippi River from Wittenberg. In 1899, both his father, and then his mother, died. That left Charles Richard as an orphan. The 1900 census shows this fact, with him living in Wittenberg.
This really amazes me. Look at who these two orphans were living with……three single men in their early 20’s. Go figure.
C.R. Nennert was a teacher at St. Paul’s for forty years. He retired in 1960 and moved to Wittenberg. In 1967, he died there, but he is buried in Indianapolis. As far as I can tell, he never married. Here is a picture of Teacher Nennert in the Log Cabin College in Altenburg. He is shown with Mary Mueller, now Mary Dillon, who is related to Teacher Arnold Mueller.
There are so many amazing connections in this story, including the fact that I did my student teaching at Calvary Lutheran School in Indianapolis in 1971, four years after Teacher Nennert was buried there. Calvary can call St. Paul’s their mother church.
We also see yet another example of how Wittenberg seemed to be a magnet for orphans.