Butter, Bank, and Band

Our birthday boy for March 19th is Edmund Reinhard Mueller.  At our museum, Gerard Fiehler has come up with some classification names to describe the four major Mueller clans that have lived in Perry County over the years.  It helps us comprehend the Mueller maze that makes researching the Muellers such a challenge.  Edmund was part of what we call the “Frohna Muellers”.

Mueller binder

Edmund was the firstborn child in the family of Stephan and Clara (Popp) Mueller of Frohna.  Edmund was born on March 19, 1904 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  In the first census in which we find Edmund (the 1910 census), we see that Stephan was the “boss” of the creamery located in that village.

Edmund Mueller 1910 census Frohna
1910 census – Frohna, MO

The Frohna Creamery was built by Stephan’s father, William Mueller, also Edmund’s grandfather, in 1895 and was originally called the William Mueller and Son Creamery.  This 1915 map shows where the creamery was located in Frohna.  You can see that it was north of both the Lutheran church and the Weinhold Mill.

Frohna map Creamery

In this photo of the creamery building, we see Stephan Mueller standing in front, with his mother, Maria(Noennig), on the right.

Frohna creamery
Frohna Creamery

In a previous post, Those Gemeinhardt-Fiehler Connections, it was speculated that the man on the left was perhaps Robert Gemeinhardt, who had at one time been an employee at the creamery.

When William died in 1920, and Stephan died in 1926, the creamery business suddenly became Edmund’s business.  He was only 22 years old at the time.  On July 14, 1929, Edmund married Norma Fischer.  Norma was the daughter of Martin and Sarah (Palisch) Fischer.  Her father was a farmer in Frohna, and her mother was a niece of Dr. G.A. Palisch, the longtime doctor in Frohna.  Here is their marriage license.

Mueller Fischer marriage record
Mueller/Fischer marriage license

Edmund and Norma would have three children that lived to adulthood.  One of them is Evelyn (Mueller) Meyr, who is a past docent at our museum.  She is also the source for some of the photos that are in this post.

This photo was taken about the time when Edmund took over the creamery.

Frohna Creamery
Frohna Creamery

I find it interesting to see that the protected tree in the first creamery photo above has grown considerably by the time this second photo was taken.

Another photo we have is this one showing the Mueller home.  It was probably used by several generations of Muellers.

William Mueller home Frohna

There were two other notable endeavors in which Edmund was involved.  First, we find Edmund in this photograph which shows the groundbreaking for the new Altenburg bank in 1950.

bank ground breaking 8 men M

Edmund is standing on the far right.  It is said that he was part of this group because he was a director at the Frohna Bank.  That bank was located at the intersection of Highway A and Highway C in Frohna.  Here is what the Frohna Bank building looks like today.


Edmund also participated in the East Perry Band.  We see him in this photograph (which was also taken in 1950) where he is identified by the red arrow.  He played the trombone.

East Perry Band 1950 Edmund Mueller
East Perry Band

I have learned by looking at photos of these bands from that era, that they consisted of just brass instruments and percussion.  There were no wind instruments.

Edmund died in 1977.  After his death, his three children, Evelyn (Mueller) Meyr, Elaine (Mueller) Ruehling, and Donald Mueller, took over the creamery.  Edmund’s wife, Norma, would not die until 1995.  Both Edmund and Norma are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.  Here are their grave markers.

Edmund could be said to be the man of the three B’s.  He made butter at the creamery; he helped people manage their money at the bank; and he made music in the band.


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