They Died Young

The birthday boy for today is Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller.  He was born on April 8, 1891.  I am of the opinion that this boy was born in Wittenberg, Missouri, and I have a few different reasons for thinking this.  Let me get started by telling you that Alfred Jacob Gottfried was the son of Wilhelm and Louise (Hartung) Mueller.  A previous post on this blog told the story of Alfred’s sister, Bertha, in which William and Louise were pictured.  Here they are again.

Wilhelm’s life began in Uniontown.  Louise was said to have been from Frohna on her marriage record.  However, that record can be found in the Trinity Lutheran Church, Altenburg books.

We have what I consider an interesting situation occurring with the first two children of Wilhelm and Louise.  First of all, the records for the first two children can be found in the Grace Lutheran Church records from Uniontown.   First, here is the record for Sarah Mueller.  She was born in 1884.

Sarah Mueller baptism record Grace Uniontown
Sarah Mueller baptism record – Grace, Uniontown

The second child was Bertha.  Here is her baptism record, also from Uniontown.  She was born in 1888.

Bertha Mueller baptism record Grace Uniontown
Bertha Mueller baptism record – Grace, Uniontown

If you look at the column where the sponsors are listed, you will see names such as Boehme and Richter.  Those are Wittenberg names.  I have this suspicion that the Mueller family was already living in Wittenberg, but because of the father’s connections to Grace Lutheran Church, they took their first two babies to Uniontown to be baptized.  Then Alfred was born in 1891, and we find his baptism record in the Trinity, Altenburg books.  Here is that record.

Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller baptism record Trinity Altenburg
Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg

We also have a civil birth record for this child.  I will show it here in two images.

Gottfried Mueller birth record 1 1891

Gottfried Mueller birth record 2 1891
Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller birth record

Even the person listed as an assistant for this birth (a midwife) was a Mueller.  I have seen Magdalena’s name on several of these birth registers, especially for ones in and around Wittenberg. Magdalena was the daughter of Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger, the first doctor in Altenburg.  She married a Mueller who, if you went back a couple of generations, you could probably find a connection to this Mueller family.

In the first census in which we find Alfred Jacob Gottfried, he is listed as Gottfried.  His parents were living in Wittenberg, and his father was listed simply as a laborer.

Gottfried Mueller 1900 census Wittenberg MO
1900 census – Wittenberg, MO

I have no proof, but I am guessing that Gottfried is likely one of the students shown of this class of students at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Wittenberg.

St. Paul's Lutheran School children

Then in 1910, Gottfried was working on the Joseph Richter farm just north of Wittenberg.

Gottfied Mueller 1910 census Wittenberg MO
1910 census – Wittenberg, MO

On this 1915 land map, we can see where this Richter farm was located.  Wittenberg is not shown, but it would be right below what this map shows.

Joseph Richter land map 1915

Much of the Richter land was in the bottoms area just north of Wittenberg, an area that often got flooded.

In the same year of the 1910 census, this young Mueller boy died at the age of 19.  Here is his death certificate.

Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller death certificate
Alfred Jacob Gottfried Mueller death certificate

You can see that Gottfried (although on this form he is called Alfred Jacob) died of typhoid fever.  He is buried in the cemetery of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg.  I wasn’t able to find his gravestone on, so I went down to that cemetery today and took this photo of it.


I also found his mother’s gravestone there.  Here is that stone.


I think what happened here is that after someone documented stones in the St. Paul’s Cemetery for, these two markers were place fairly recently.

If you look into this Mueller family, you will find several men who died rather young.  Gottfried’s father died when he was 52 years old.  His Uncle Martin Mueller died when he was 44.  Martin and Wilhelm had another brother who died when he was just one year old.  The father of all these Mueller boys (also the grandfather of today’s Gottfried) died when he was just 36.  They died young.

With the death of a 19 year-old boy, I also cannot help but wonder if at the time of his death, he may have had a girlfriend.  If so, she must have grieved.  We know his mother certainly must have done so.

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