I confess. I was attracted to today’s story because of a personal reason. A birth took place on this day 170 years ago in Perry County. Maria Amalia Mueller was born on January 29, 1850. It just so happens that I was born on January 29, 1950. Yes, today is my birthday, and I will let you do the math to figure out my age. So Amelia Mueller and I not only share a birthday, but we share a January 29, ’50 birthday. She and I are separated by a century. Amalia’s birthday was a starting point for today’s story, but this tale took me on a wild ride to many places. So hang on!
Amalia was the daughter of Christian and Augusta (Mueller) Mueller. That’s right, Amalia’s parents were both Mueller’s…from two different Mueller clans. Amalia was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is her baptism record.
Since she was born so early in the calendar year, Amalia can already be found in the census taken during the year of her birth. Here is the 1850 census. Amalia’s father was a brick maker. You will also see Zacharias Mueller in this household. He was the brother of Amalia’s mother.
We find Amalia once again in the 1860 census. It shows Amalia as being 9 years old, although I think she should have already turned 10.
Amalia’s first husband was Herman Moeckel, the son of Johann and Sophia (Militzer) Moeckel. He was born on January 19, 1844 in Germany. That family arrived in America sometime in the mid-1850’s, so the first census in which we find Herman was the one taken in 1860. Herman was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna in 1857.
On September 3, 1868, Herman Moeckel married Amalia Mueller. This was during the time period that Rev. J.F. Koestering was the pastor at both Trinity and Concordia. He was not recording marriages in the church books during those days, so we do not know for sure which church this wedding between a Frohna boy and an Altenburg girl took place. I think the odds are very much in favor of it happening at Trinity, Altenburg. Not only was the marriage most often in the church of the bride, but Trinity had a practically new church building in which to get married.
As it turns out, the only census in which we find Herman and Amalia was the 1870 census.
Two children were born to this couple in the 1870’s, and one of those died at the age of 7. The oldest child was Paul Moeckel. A previous story was written about Paul titled, Tin Man. Paul is shown in the photo below with Martin Mueller, who is from yet another Mueller clan.
In 1880, Amalia’s husband, Herman, died at the age of 36. He is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. His tombstone has fallen and lays flat on the ground.
Amalia married again in 1882. Her second husband was Alvin Richter, the son of Adolph and Christine Richter. He was born on October 1, 1857, so he was 7 years younger than Amalia. The marriage took place on November 23, 1882 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We have the church record for that wedding.
The next census we can view was the one taken in 1900. It is in two images. The five Richter children born to this couple are all found in this entry.
We find this couple again in the 1910 census. Alvin was a farmer, and in this census, one of their sons, Otto, was also working their farm.
In the 1915 plat maps, we find a piece of farmland located between Altenburg and Frohna that was in Otto Richter’s name.
Otto got married later during 1910. He married Linna Schmidt (no relation to me). Before the 1920 census, Otto and his wife obtained the Wagner Hotel in Altenburg, and it became known as the Richter Hotel.
If you search on this blog for Wagner Hotel, you will find that several posts have been written about that establishment. Here is what we find in the 1920 census.
You can see that Otto was managing the hotel, and Alvin was working at the swing factory in Wittenberg. Alvin died in 1925 at the age of 68. We have his death certificate.
Amalia died in 1930 at the age of 80 before the census was taken that year. We also have her death certificate.
She must have been still living with her son, Otto, in the hotel. Here is the 1930 census for Otto’s household, which included some hotel residents. In this entry, Linna is listed as being the hotel proprietor and Otto was a mail carrier.
If you look at other descendants in the Richter family, you find several individuals that were involved with the postal service.
Alvin and Amalia Richter are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Their death certificates give documentation to where they are buried. Death records found in the Trinity church books tell us more or less where they should be buried. In both cases, Alvin and Amalia do not have gravestones, but there are empty spaces where they should be. I found those empty spots at the cemetery this morning. First, here is the grave site for Alvin. He should be buried in the spot right next to the gravestone of my great grandfather, Gottwerth Schmidt.
Next, here is where Amalia’s grave would be found. The death records indicate she should be buried between two Poppitz’s, and that is indeed the case.
There is even more than meets the eye to this story. Yesterday, I did not write a blog post because my time was taken up attending the funeral of my cousin, Milton Schlimpert. Here is a photo of Milton from a previous post about butchering hogs.
Where did Milton live? He lived in the house that was built around 1962 after the Richter Hotel was demolished. That house was built right where that hotel once stood, and today, I just so happened to find a birthday girl who once lived on that property. What are the chances? Here is a photo of Milton’s home.
When Otto Richter owned the hotel, he converted the stables that were once important to the hotel business into a garage. That garage would later become a car dealership. That garage can be seen here near to the Schlimpert place.
Last night, my wife and I had a delicious meal provided by Say Grace with Kim. The building that houses that business is shown below.
That establishment is housed in the same building that was once the Mueller Hardware Store where Paul Moeckel once worked. We can see him standing in front of that building in the photo below.
What are the chances that I would find a story that ties into that business today?
And what was the maiden name of the grandmother of Milton and me? It was Mueller. And yes, that is yet another different Mueller clan. I think this story includes all four of the major Mueller clans that settled in Perry County in 1839.
I really didn’t want to write about my birthday today. I cannot wait for my birthday to be over today so I can get back to my normal routine. However, when I find a story that not only includes a birthday that was 100 years before mine, but also has so many other connections to events that have been taking place in my life lately, I cannot resist telling the story. In fact, I consider it to be an “Act of God”.
One thought on “Birthdays of the Century”
For some reason my computer refuses to send messages to firstname.lastname@example.org . The message I was attempting to send is the following.
I believe that my son Steve has corresponded with you about getting the Kramer information straightened out.
There was much in you information about the Muellers that I could relate to..
During my years as principal of Grace Chapel School in North St. Louis County I had a colleague named Erich Mueller. Erich was my third cousin. We had common ancestry through the Bergts. Erich succeeded me as principal of the school. His daughter, Sheryl Reinisch, served on the Concordia Portland faculty for about 25 years. In her final years she served as Chair of the College of Education during a highly expansive period of its existence.
Charles Schlimpert served as President of Concordia Portland for 35 years. At his arrival I was serving as academic dean. At his request, I served the school for six years in Japan. I was acquainted with Chuck’s father, Edgar, since River Forest days. We both served in St. Louis in the late 50s and early 60s. I assume that Milton Schlimpert was either Edgar’s brother or cousin.
There was a teacher named Richter who served in Frohna during the 30s. He originated in Concordia, MO. I am guessing that he was related to the Richters in your message. His sister, Vera, was married to Rev. Everett Grese, my pastor in Memphis.
Thanks for the good work.