The Other R.E. Mueller

Last October, I wrote a post about R.E. Mueller, who operated a hardware store in Altenburg, Missouri.  It was titled, Hardware Rudy’s.  In that post, it was said that there were two R.E. Muellers, and both of them were born in 1894.  Today’s post will focus on the other R.E. Mueller because today would have been his 124th birthday.

In our previous post two days ago, which was also about a Mueller, we pointed out our system of dividing the Mueller surnames into four groups.

Mueller binder

Today’s Mueller comes from the folder titled “Mueller, Zacharias”.  The Zacharias Muellers originated in Uniontown and then Zacharias ended up in Altenburg.  Zacharias had lots of descendants in the Altenburg area, but several of his brothers remained in the Uniontown vicinity.  Today’s R.E. Mueller descends from one of those Uniontown brothers.  In fact, both of the R.E. Muellers were from what we call the “Zacharias Muellers”.  The grandfathers of these two men were brothers, so if I have this figured out correctly, that would make the two R.E. Muellers second cousins.

Today we focus on Rudolph Eugene Mueller.  The other one was Rudolph Ernst Mueller.  The records we find for these two men indicate that both of them went by the name Rudolph (or Rudy).  As you can figure out from what I have already written, Rudolph Eugene Mueller was born on March 21, 1894.  He was the son of Adolph and Martha (Koenig) Mueller and his baptism record can be found in the Grace Lutheran Church records in Uniontown.  He was the fourth of seven children in that family.  Here is photo of Rudoph’s parents.

Adolph and Martha Mueller wedding
Adolph and Martha Mueller

Two of Rudolph’s older siblings died when they were quite young.  When Rudolph was just one year old, his sister, Agnes, died at the age of six.  Church records indicate that she died of burns.  When Rudolph was eleven years old, his brother, Theodore, died at the age of fourteen.  It is recorded that he died of typhoid.

We have this delightful childhood photo of Rudolph along with two other brothers, Oscar and Ernst.

Rudolph Oscar Ernst Mueller
Left to right:  Ernst, Oscar, and Rudolph Mueller

If this photo was taken in 1898, then Ernst would have been 6 years old, Rudolph would have been 4 years old, and Oscar would have been 1 year old.  That seems about right to me.  However, it begs the question, “Why is Theodore not in the photo?”  He was still alive until 1905 and would have been 7 years old in 1898.  I do not have an answer to this question.

I do have a few comments about the photograph, however.  First of all, I showed this photo to my wife, and she said, “I wish I knew what colors these outfits were.”  So much fascinates me about this image.  The stripes, the cuffs, the collars, the hairstyles, the shoes, the ties.  Even what appears to be a stump that the little one is sitting on.  The “dress” that the little one is wearing is more evidence of an old time practice of dressing up little boys in skirts or dresses until they were potty trained.  In those days, that meant using the outhouse or a chamber pot.  For me, it brings back memories of taking my class to visit an old-time pioneer village and having a docent tell the story about how little boys had to wear dresses until they learned how to use the thunder mug.  I’ll let you imagine why someone would call a chamber pot a thunder mug.

Chamber pot with lid
Thunder Mug

At any rate, when Rudolph became 21 years of age, he married Emma Kassel.  They were married at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.  Their wedding date was October 10, 1915.  Here is their marriage license.

Mueller Kassel marriage license
Mueller/Kassel marriage license

Emma was the daughter of Frank and Louise (Bangert) Kassel.  Emma was also born in 1894, on August 29th, and she was baptized at Salem, Farrar.

Rudolph was a wagon maker, and this couple became residents of Longtown, Missouri.  We see evidence of this on Rudolph’s World War I draft registration which was filled out two years after they were married.

Rudolph Eugene Mueller – WWI draft registration

This couple would have 7 children, 5 girls and two boys.  Included in that list was a pair of twins, a boy and a girl.  The 1930 census showed that 6 of them were born by then.  A seventh child was born in 1932.  In this 1940 census, we see just Rudolph and Emma along with one daughter, but the two boys are still living with them and were shown on the next page of the census (which I am not showing).

Rudolph Eugene Mueller 1940 census Longtown MO
1940 census – Longtown, MO

Here Rudolph is described as a carpenter in a wagon shop.

Rudolph died of cancer on March 29, 1948 at the age of 54.  He had just turned 54 eight days earlier.  Here is his death certificate.

Rudolph Eugene Mueller death certificate
Rudolph Eugene Mueller death certificate

One amazing fact is that both the R.E. Muellers were not only born in the same year, but they also both died in 1948 at rather young ages.  Rudolph Ernst Mueller died on February 15, 1948.  He hadn’t reached his 54th birthday yet.

Emma Mueller would die in 1985 at the age of 91.  Rudolph and Emma are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.  Here is their gravestone.

Rudolph Eugene and Emma Mueller gravestone Zion Longtown
Rudolph and Emma Mueller gravestone – Zion, Longtown

One has to wonder if the two R.E. Muellers managed to end up at the same event sometime in their lifetimes.  Maybe Rudolph Ernst attended Rudolph Eugene’s grandfather’s funeral that occurred in 1910 when they were both 16 years old.  If so, their mothers may have had to use their middle names when they wanted their Rudolph’s attention.  I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, mothers only used middle names when you were in some kind of trouble.

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