Bertha Magdalena Mueller was born on June 7, 1878. Bertha is the one responsible for bringing together the Loebs and Schmidt families. Bertha was my grandmother; She was Gerard Fiehler’s great-grandmother.
First, let me say a little bit about Bertha’s pedigree. Bertha was the daughter of Ferdinand and Amalia (Theiss) Mueller. There were eight children born into this Mueller family. Bertha was the second child. It wasn’t until the eighth child was born in 1898 that a son was born. His name was Edward. One of the daughters died as a child, and one never married. By the time the other daughters had married, they added the following surnames to this branch of the Mueller family: Two Schmidts from two different Schmidt clans, Loebs, Burroughs, Schuessler, and Preusser.
Bertha was married twice, and in doing so, she caused the connection between the Loebs and Schmidt families. Her first marriage was to Henry Loebs. Henry was part of the beer-making family that was documented in the story titled, Cherokee Uprising. Henry’s father, George Loebs was really the first one to bring a Schmidt into the family by marrying my great-grandfather’s sister, Marie Schmidt. Another previous post told the story of that wedding, So Close, Yet So Far.
Henry Loebs and Bertha Mueller were married on October 27, 1901. They were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Rev. William Zschoche is shown as the pastor on their marriage license. He was the pastor at Concordia, Frohna, but must have been filling a vacancy at Trinity.
Henry and Bertha had two children, Clara and George. Then in 1905, Henry died. This led to Bertha’s second marriage to Emanuel Schmidt. They were married on May 30, 1907. This marriage is a record in the St. Paul’s, Wittenberg church books. Here is that marriage license.
Emanuel and Bertha would have six more children, Lorna, Arnold, Richard, Hildegard, Rudolf, and Herbert. Richard was my father. Clara Loebs was Gerard’s grandmother. Here is a photo which was taken while Emanuel was still alive (He died in 1928).
George and Clara Loebs are standing in the back. The Schmidt children are in front. Left to right: Arnold, Rudolf, Herbert, Richard, Hildegard (with her hand in front of her face), and Lorna. The three girls would add the surnames Schilling, Schlimpert, and Voss to the family.
Another photo of this family was taken after Emanuel’s death in 1928.
Bertha died in 1954 when I was four years old. I only have a vague memory of her. I really did not know my Schmidt grandparents. However, over the years when we gathered for family events, both the Loebs and Schmidt sides of this family were there. Even though the Loebs side of the family would be technically half-relatives, I always called them aunts, uncles, and cousins and they do the same with the Schmidts.
I have saved Bertha’s wedding photos for the end of this post. The two photos lend themselves to plenty of comparisons.
- Bertha is wearing the white wedding dress in her first marriage; she is wearing a dark dress in her second.
- Bertha is standing in the first; sitting in the second.
- The chairs are notably different styles.
- Bertha seems to have a different demeanor in each photo. In the first, I would describe her as looking very submissive. She appears much more assertive in the second photo.
Emanuel seems to be the less assertive husband. I guess I would put myself in that category. My approach to marriage has always been more of a “Yes, dear” approach. Maybe that is a trait inherent in my Schmidt genes.