Today would have been the 133rd birthday of Paul Theodore Mueller. His story drew my attention for a variety of reasons. One of the facts about his life was that he and his wife had six children…all girls. I helped raise three girls myself. There were times when they drove me nuts. Poor Theodore had twice as many girls. I can only imagine his frustrations. Plus, for a farmer like him, I’m sure he would have appreciated a boy or two to help with some of his tough chores.
Theodore Mueller was one of Frohna Muellers. The story of the origin of this clan was told in the post, The Beginning of the Frohna Muellers. Yet even though this Mueller clan began in Seelitz and moved to Frohna, by the time of his death, Theodore was a Uniontown Mueller.
Theodore Mueller was the son of Carl Theodore and Emma (Thomas) Mueller of Frohna. He was born on April 29, 1885. Here is a civil birth record for him. I will show it in two images.
The person assisting the birth was W. Schmidt. I assure you that was not me. My parents were not even born in 1885, much less me. Theodore was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Here is his baptism record in their church books.
On April 18, 1909, eleven days before his 24th birthday, Theodore married Margaretha Wittschieben. They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Here is their marriage license.
Margaretha is recorded here as being from Uniontown, but she was born and baptized in Farrar. She was the daughter of Hans and Mary (Weber) Wittschieben. Hans and Mary were married in 1885 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, and their first child, Pauline, was baptized at that church. When Margaretha was born on August 17, 1889, she was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. The last two Wittschieben children were baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown in 1892 and 1896.
I made an attempt to find the origin of the Wittschieben name in Germany. I could not find the actual baptism record of the Hans Wittschieben who settled in Perry County, but all the Wittschieben baptisms I could find were from a parish in Ringstedt, Germany. That is a village that is located within ten miles of Lamstedt, where so many of the Salem, Farrar members originated. Here is a map showing Ringstedt and Lamstedt.
When Theodore and Margaretha began having children, their first daughter, Lucille, was baptized at Concordia, Frohna, but the rest of their children were baptized at Grace, Uniontown. I think the fact that this Mueller family has so many connections between both Frohna and Uniontown can at least partially be explained by looking at where the Mueller farm was located. It can be found right at the far eastern edge of the Union Township of Perry County. Just to the east of their land was the Brazeau Township. In other words, they were just about the same distance away from both the Uniontown church and the Frohna church. Here is a map showing the location of their farm.
The Mueller farm was also located very near where the Indian Creek Bridge (the blue arrow) can be found. That is the bridge that was built in 1931 and is now being replaced. When that bridge was built, all six of the Mueller girls were already born and ranged in age from 18 years old down to a one-year-old.
Two other stories come out of the Mueller/Wittschieben family. Not long after they were married, Margaretha’s only brother, Herman, died. His death certificate says that he died from a fall from a tree. Here is that death certificate. Herman’s name is butchered on this form.
Since the only Wittschieben male died before getting married and having children, this death marked the end of the Wittschieben surname in Perry County. The other story that comes from this family is that Margaretha’s younger sister, Emma, married Theodore’s younger brother, Ernst.
Theodore registered for the World War I draft when he was 33 years old.
There were several Paul and Theodore Muellers from Missouri who served in World War I, but none of them were this one from Perry County. Theodore was also required to fill out a World War II draft card when he was 56 years old.
Theodore died in 1964 at the age of 79. Margaretha died in 1979 at the age of 89. She was only a few days away from her 80th birthday. In fact it was on her birthday that she was buried. Both Theodore and Margaretha are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, Missouri.
This family’s history can be traced through so many Perry County churches. Their family could be found in the churches of Seelitz, Altenburg, Frohna, Farrar, and Uniontown. In addition to his six-pack of girls, Theodore’s family almost made it to a six-pack of churches.
**To really understand the title, one must understand that around here, Mueller is pronounce Miller.
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