The Roller Mills of Rudy, Reinhold, and Martin

It’s another birthday for twins.  This time, we will begin our story with the birth of Rudolph and Reinhold Schirmer on December 5, 1908.  Their parents were Martin Manuel and Emma (Holt) Schirmer of Altenburg.  Martin and Emma had been married in New Wells, Missouri in 1906.

Martin and Emma (Holt) Schirmer

Over the years, Martin was involved in several types of enterprises.  First of all, it is reported that he was taught the skills of a carpenter from his father who had that occupation.  In 1910, the census said that he had a thrashing and saw milling operation.  Then around 1920, he became the boss of a flour mill in Altenburg.

Prior to 1920, there was a flour mill in the same location that was run by Christian Mueller.  Christian was one of the personalities in the post titled The Mueller Outlaws.  Their business was called the Altenburg Roller Mills.

Altenburg Roller Mills

That building was struck by lightning in 1919 and burned to the ground.  The Mueller family chose to rent the property to Martin Schirmer in 1920.  A different building was used for the milling operations.  It is said that Martin had a part in the building of this mill.


When the twin boys were old enough, they also worked at this mill.  However, Reinhold did not remain in the business for very long.  He chose to purchased a farm before 1930 and became a farmer.  Rudy continued to be a part of the milling business, often driving a truck which delivered their products elsewhere.


Rudy’s son, Clarence, is shown sitting in the truck.  Clarence is the father of one of our museum’s treasured researchers, Carolyn Schirmer.  In addition to working at the mill, Rudy Schirmer did some poultry farming.

Here is a family photo taken at the marriage of the twins’ younger sister, Eugenia to Gilbert Dreyer in 1937.


Seated:  Emma Schirmer, Clarence Schirmer, Martin Schirmer  Standing (left to right): Reinhold Schirmer, Alma Schirmer (Rudy’s wife), Rudy Schirmer, Eugenia (Schirmer) Dreyer, Gilbert Dreyer.

This portion of a 1915 atlas shows where the flour mills were located.


Here is a photo of that location as it appears today.  The brick house was the home of Christian Mueller back in the days when their mill was in operation.






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