Drummer Boy

Theodore Mueller would have been 143 years old today.  He was born on December 23, 1874 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Theodore’s parents were Christian and Magdalena (Buenger) Mueller.  That made Theodore a grandson of Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger, the longtime doctor in Altenburg.  His father was the owner of the Altenburg Roller Mills, and Theodore would later work there.  He might even be one of the men in this photograph of that business.

Altenburg Roller Mills tif

There is actually a little debate about whether Theodore was born in 1874 or 1875.  This baptism record from Trinity certainly indicates his birth in 1874.

Theodore Mueller baptism record Trinity
Theodore Mueller baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg

However, other records you will see here will indicate that he was born in 1875.  I do not know why there was this confusion.

In 1901, Theodore married Sarah Boehme from Wittenberg.  Here is their marriage license.   Although this marriage is recorded in the Trinity, Altenburg books, this marriage is another one of those that may have taken place in the Wittenberg church/school building.

Theodore Mueller Sarah Boehme marriage license
Mueller/Boehme marriage license

Sarah was the daughter of Ludwig and Sarah (Hartung) Boehme.  She was a twin.  Her brother was Ludwig Boehme.  So you see these twins were given their parents’ names.  These two are also one of those rare sets of twins that have different birthdays.  Sarah was born on April 27, 1876, while her brother was born on April 28.  Here are baptism records for these two that indicate this.

Sarah Boehme baptism record Trinity

Ludwig Boehme baptism record Trinity

A previous story was written about these twins with more emphasis on Ludwig.  It was titled, Twin Twins.  This  photo was taken of these Boehme twins when they were quite young.


We also have this wedding photo of Theodore and Sarah.

Mueller Boehme wedding
Mueller/Boehme wedding

Even though Ludwig was married about two weeks before his twin sister, these two newlywed couples had their photo taken together wearing their wedding outfits.


When Theodore filled out his World War I draft registration, he is described as a self-employed machinist.  Note that this document says he was born in 1875.


In 1917, it is reported that George Schweitzer and Theodore Mueller brought electricity to Altenburg.  They operated a municipal plant that provided electric lights to Altenburg for the first time.  The 1930 census says that Theodore was a carpenter.  In 1940, Theodore died of a heart attack.  Here is his death certificate.  It says he was born in 1874.

Theodore Mueller death certificate
Theodore Mueller death certificate

Sarah died in 1951.  Here is her death certificate.

Sarah Mueller death certificate
Sarah Mueller death certificate

These two are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.  Here are their gravestones.  Theodore’s gravestone says he was born in 1875.

Now I must demonstrate why I titled this post as Drummer Boy.  I found some other photographs showing Theodore.  First, here is one showing the Altenburg Militia that was formed around the time of World War I when folks in Altenburg heard there was going to be some anti-German dissidents coming up from Cape Girardeau to cause havoc in this German community.  Theodore is shown on the right as being their drummer.

Altenburg Militia

Here is another photo of that militia taken outside the Lueders Photography Studio in Frohna.

Altenburg Militia guns raised

Then there is this photo which was probably taken in the 1930’s showing the Altenburg Band.  Once again we see Theodore on the far right as a drummer.

Altenburg Band 1

As the familiar Christmas song, Little Drummer Boy, states in its lyrics:

I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum

I like to think that Theodore did just that.

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