I have already posted several stories about Lutheran teachers who served the school in Wittenberg, Missouri or who had been born and raised in Wittenberg and later became Lutheran teachers. You guessed it. Today is another one of those stories. In fact, today’s story is of both varieties. It’s about a young man born and raised in Wittenberg who came back home to be a teacher there. There is one big difference though. This teacher came back to teach in the Wittenberg Public School.
That teacher is also today’s birthday boy. Newton Mueller was born on October 4, 1914. He was the first son and second child of Arthur and Ella (Nitschwitz) Mueller of Wittenberg. Arthur was one of the Perry County residents that happened to be on the train that was robbed in Wittenberg in 1922. His story was included in the post, An Infamous Day in Wittenberg. Here are photos of Newton’s parents.
Arthur also had a brother, Arnold Mueller, who was a Lutheran teacher who spent most of his career in Indianapolis. His story was told in the post, Indy Educators. He would have been known as Uncle Arnold to Newton.
I have also previously written the story of Newton’s older sister, Audrey, who was one of the main characters of the story, An Unexpected Luigi.
Before I tell you about Newton’s wedding, let me tell you about his bride. Her name was Evelyn Dippold. Her grandfather was John F. Dippold, who was a Civil War veteran. Here are two records I found of his service.
He was a farmer in the area east of Perryville between Sereno and McBride. Here is a map of the land that he owned from the 1915 atlas.
One of John’s son’s, Leopold Fredrich, became a Lutheran minister who served two churches in this area. First, from 1918-1926, he was pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Then from 1926-1950, he was at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is a photo of Rev. Dippold.
Before coming back to this area, he must have served a congregation in Kress, Texas, because that is where his daughter, Evelyn, was born in 1915. Here is a Texas birth certificate for her (even though it does not contain her name for some reason).
This photo was probably taken in Texas before the Dippolds moved back to Perry County. Evelyn is the baby in her mother’s arms.
So Evelyn was a pastor’s daughter with ties to Perry County, and she would marry a teacher from Wittenberg. Here is a photo of Evelyn when she was a student, quite likely in New Wells.
The wedding of Newton Mueller and Evelyn Dippold must have been quite unique. They certainly would not forget the date of their anniversary. They were married on Christmas Day, December 25, 1938, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, where Evelyn’s father was the pastor. Here is their marriage record in the Immanuel church books.
That year, Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, so Rev. Dippold must have also conducted a worship service that morning. Although this photo does not appear to be of that wedding, Newton and Evelyn look like a young married couple.
One of our great friends here at the museum, also a member of the Wittenberg Cousins, Ted Harnagel, was a student of Teacher Mueller at the public school in Wittenberg. Here is an award that Ted received for punctual and regular attendance when he was in that class in 1941.
The public school was located on a hill just west of the town of Wittenberg along Highway A. The building is still standing to this day, but this is a photo of that building taken a long time ago.
I did not find any evidence that Newton and Evelyn had any children. I did find some evidence that they spent some time in both St. Louis and Hamel, Illinois after they left Perry County.
Newton died in 1975; Evelyn died in 2001. I could not locate where they were buried.
This story coincides with an event that is taking place today. The Wittenberg Cousins are in Altenburg for one of their regular visits. Here is a photo of three members of this group that are very closely tied to this story.
Ted Harnagel is the same Ted that is shown on the attendance award shown in this article. Ted had Herr Mueller as his teacher. Tom Mueller and Alice Rau both called Teacher Mueller, Uncle Newton and his wife was Aunt Evelyn. Tom’s father and Alice’s mother were siblings of Newton.
I will close off this post by explaining why it is so late in the day that this is being published. It has been quite a day at the museum. Not only did the Wittenberg Cousins grace us with their presence, but we had several other special visitors that kept us busy.
First, we had a school group here from St. John’s Lutheran School in Arnold, Missouri.
Then we had a group of firefighters here all the way from Niederfrohna, Germany. Our town of Frohna is named after their community in Germany.
It certainly has been an interesting day, but I think I need a nap.