When I consider doing a story on a Mueller for this blog, my first thought has to do with which of the many Mueller clans this one comes from. Today, I ran into a different situation. Who would have thought that the Mueller in today’s story was born in Minnesota? Certainly not me. Then when I saw that the man in the story was a pastor who was getting married in Longtown, I first thought he was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, and he was marrying a local Mueller. That was also not the case. Neither one of today’s characters were Perry County natives. However, they were married in Perry County. Here’s the story.
Lydia Hulda Elizabeth Mueller was born on September 11, 1892, the daughter of Rev. Ernst and Wilhelmina (Mueller) Mueller. That’s right. Her parents were a couple made up of a Mueller who married another Mueller. Lydia was born in Wood Lake, Minnesota where her father was the pastor at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. One interesting fact about this family is that Lydia’s mother was born in Constantinople, Turkey. That’s not something I run across very often on this blog. I found this photograph of Rev. Ernst and Wilhelmina (Helma) Mueller.
Lydia is found in the 1900 census living in Posen Township in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. That is where Wood Lake is located. Lydia was 7 years old at the time.
Lydia’s father must have taken a call to be a pastor in Quincy, Illinois before the 1910 census was taken. Lydia was then 17 years old.
Not long after that census, Rev. Ernst Mueller took another call. This time the call put him in Perry County at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, MIssouri. He served that congregation from 1911-1918, so we do not see him in a Perry County census. This is where we find the only church record for someone in this Mueller family. That document was the marriage record for Lydia. Let’s take a look at her future husband.
Walter George Schwehn was born on May 10, 1890 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, so today would have been his 131st birthday. He was the son of Conrad and Wilhelmine (Geller) Schwehn. We find Walter in the 1900 census at the age of 10. His father was a clerk at a gas office.
Next, we find Walter in the 1910 census at the age of 19. There is no occupation given for Walter, but I suspect he may have been attending the Lutheran seminary in Fort Wayne. By the time of his marriage in 1914, Walter is called a pastor on his marriage record.
Rev. Walter Schwehn married Lydia Mueller on September 3, 1914 at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, Missouri. Lydia’s father would perform the wedding. First, we will look at the church record for this occasion. I do not get to see many church records written by Rev. Ernst Mueller, but I am an immediate fan. His records are easy to read and very thorough. This record indicates that Walter was from Concord, North Carolina.
We can also view this couple’s marriage license. I do not have any idea how a pastor living in North Carolina managed to meet a pastor’s daughter in Missouri.
Rev. Walter Schwehn had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917. This document shows him living in Concord, North Carolina and working for the Board of Col. Missions, Syn. Conf. I find it interesting that this form also states that Rev. Schwehn had some previous military experience.
I was unable to locate the Schwehn family in the 1920 census. When the 1930 census was taken, we find Rev. Schwehn and his family living in Hannibal, Missouri. Rev. Schwehn was serving St. John’s Lutheran Church in that town. According to this census entry, this couple had 6 children. The last pair was a set of twin girls, Mary and Martha. The first 3 children were born in North Carolina, and then one was born in Pennsylvania. The twins were born in Missouri.
The 1940 census shows the Schwehn’s still living in Hannibal.
Rev. Schwehn had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.
A family photo of the Schwehn’s was taken on the church lawn in 1947. Walter and Lydia are standing together in the back wearing dark clothing. Mary and Martha are in front on the right.
We find an interesting list of Schwehn’s in a 1950 Hannibal city directory. The oldest son of the Schwehn’s, Hartwig, had also become a Lutheran pastor and was serving along with his father at St. John’s. The twin girls are also listed.
A photo of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hannibal is displayed below.
Walter Schwehn died in 1955 at the age of 64. An Indiana death certificate says he died in rural Adams County in that state. Rev. Schwehn may have taken a call to a Lutheran church in that area.
Lydia Schwehn would not die until 1982 at the age of 89. A social security death record says her last residence was Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both Walter and Lydia are buried in the Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal.
That one lonely church record in our German Family Tree was the starting point for this blog post. It ended up taking us to several locations around the country, but in most of those years, we find the characters living not far from the Mighty Mississippi.