Reinhold John Imanuel Mueller was born on April 26, 1879. Now if you are familiar with this area, you know that Muelller (spelled this way) is definitely a Perry County name. In fact, there are days when I am muttering to myself that there are too many Muellers in our German Family Tree. However, Reinhold Mueller has absolutely no connection to Perry County that I could find. He was born in Alma City, Minnesota where his father was a farmer. He was the son of Carl and Wilhelmine Mueller. Reinhold’s grandmother’s maiden name was Krause, another name found in Perry County. Proof of Reinhold’s birth in Alma City can be found in his passport application in 1902.
To give you an idea of the size of Alma City, here is a map which shows this town and the Lutheran church which is found there.
In 1900, we find Reinhold as a student at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. In this census, we see that Reinhold was a classmate of Adolph Vogel, who not only was from Perry County, but also later became the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
The passport application shown above was used by Rev. Reinhold Mueller to travel to Brazil where he apparently was a missionary. Amazingly, one year after this, Rev. Adolph Vogel also went to Brazil as a missionary.
Rev. Mueller must have gotten married before heading to Brazil because three of their children were born in Brazil. Reinhold’s bride was Natalia Wilhelmine Julia Boettcher. Boettcher is another familiar Perry County name. Natalia was the daughter of Rev. Christoph Boettcher, who was the pastor at that Lutheran Church in Alma City, Minnesota. Here is a Boettcher family photo which was taken at nearby Mankato, Minnesota.
Natalia is standing behind her mother. If you trace the Boettcher family back a generation or two, you run into a few other names, Eggers and Lueders, which are Perry County names.
By 1917, Rev. Mueller must have returned to the States because his World War I draft registration form says he was living in St. Clair, Minnesota where he was the pastor of a congregation not far from the place of his birth.
Finally, in 1926, Rev. Mueller became a citizen of Perry County when he took a call to become pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. It is actually the case that it is because Natalia (Boettcher) was in Uniontown that other Boettchers moved to Perry County.
Here is a photo that includes Rev. Mueller when he was at Uniontown.
Rev. Mueller died while in office at Grace Lutheran in 1944 and is buried in their cemetery.
Now it gets even more interesting. After Rev. Boettcher’s wife, another Natalie, died in 1917, apparently Rev. Boettcher was getting up there in years and had retired from the ministry. He must have moved to New Albany, Indiana where one of his daughters lived. She was married to Herman Kohlmeier who was a pastor there. It was there that Rev. Christoph Boettcher died in 1919.
A while back, in the post, Mueller Millers, we learned that Henry Mueller, a miller from Altenburg, moved to New Albany, Indiana after the family’s flour mill burned down in 1919. So about the time that Rev. Boettcher was dying there, the Mueller family from Perry County was arriving with several children. Their pastor was likely Rev. Kohlmeier.
One of those Mueller children was named Reinhold. Not only Reinhold, but Reinhold John Mueller, a name almost identical to the pastor who was going to serve in Uniontown starting in 1926. The similarity doesn’t stop with their names. The New Albany Reinhold Mueller went on to become a pastor. And not only a pastor, he went on to become a missionary who spent quite a bit of time in China. I believe Reinhold is the taller boy standing on the right in this photograph.
So here’s what we have: A Rev. Reinhold Mueller is buried in Perry County who had no Perry County roots. A Rev. Reinhold Mueller who was born in Perry County is not buried in Perry County (he is buried in Texas). Both Rev. Reinhold Muellers were missionaries in foreign lands. And they both end up having connections to New Albany, Indiana. You just can’t make this stuff up.