I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I consider it a tiny “Act of God”. In yesterday’s post, Alvina Heidel’s birthday led me to a story about the “Dietrich Giants” which ended up in Kansas. I reported that the Dietrich’s moved to Kansas because Rev. Friedrich Mueller was the pastor there. What are the chances that today is Pastor Mueller’s birthday? So, I get to tell his tale today.
Wilhelm Friedrich Mueller was born on February 4, 1852, making today his 170th birthday. When I use his first name, I will call him Fred. He was the 7th of 12 children born to Carl and Amelia (Kuehn) Mueller. I have previously called his parents the original “Frohna Mueller’s”. Fred was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church, but I will not be able to display that church record today. Fred is found in the 1860 census at the age of 8. His father was a farmer.
The above census entry would be the only one in which we find Fred living in Perry County. When the 1870 census was taken, at the age of 18, Fred was attending Concordia College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, studying to become a Lutheran pastor.
Fred returned to this area to get married in 1875. His first bride would be Karoline Emilie Schuppan, who was born on September 26, 1853. Emilie was the youngest child of Adolph and Amelia (Vogel) Schuppan, and like Fred, she was baptized at Concordia, Frohna. Emilie is found in the 1860 census at the age of 6. Her father was a carpenter.
Since I could not locate an 1870 census for this family, that would be the only one in which we find Emilie living in this area. However, I can tell you that the Schuppan family had moved to New Wells prior to Emilie’s marriage.
Fred Mueller married Emilie Schuppan on October 28, 1875 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can view a civil marriage record for this event.
When their first child was born in 1876, several census records indicate that boy was born in Iowa, so I think Fred’s first call as a minister was somewhere in Iowa. I do not think he remained in that state very long because when the Dietrich family moved to Junction City, Kansas sometime around 1877, it is said they moved there because that is where Rev. Mueller was the pastor. The next 3 Mueller children were born in Kansas. The 1880 census shows this household living in the Jefferson Township of Geary County, Kansas.
I will once again post this photo of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Clark’s Creek, Kansas, where Pastor Mueller was serving.
When the 5th child was born to this family, he was born in Indiana. Fred became the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lanesville, Indiana, which is located not far from Louisville, Kentucky. Since we cannot view the 1890 census, we never see this family in a census living in Lanesville. In 1891, Emilie Mueller died at the age of 37. Three children had been born in Lanesville. If you would like to see some photos of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lanesville, you can click on the link below, go to the tab “About Us” and click on “Our History”.
Fred would marry again. His second wife was Clara Emilie Vogel, who was born on March 14, 1866. Clara was actually the niece of Fred’s first wife. Clara was the daughter of Alexander and Mathilde (Schuppan) Vogel and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We find Clara at the age of 3 in the 1870 census living in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. Her father was a school teacher.
Clara was yet another person who is only found in one census from this area. Her family also moved to Kansas sometime in the 1870’s. When the 1880 census was taken, we find them living in Topeka where Clara’s father was a painter. Clara was a teenager.
Although I could not locate any documentation, it is reported that Fred Mueller married Clara Vogel on September 22, 1892 in Topeka. It must have also been around that time that Pastor Mueller changed churches. Beginning with a child born in 1893, the children born to this couple were baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Farmers Retreat, Indiana. We find the Mueller household living in the Caesar Creek Township in 1900.
Farmers Retreat is located near Cincinnati, Ohio. The map below shows the two locations at which Pastor Mueller served in Indiana.
Below are two photos of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Farmers Retreat, one taken a long time ago, and another taken recently.
Clara Mueller died in 1909 at the age of 43, so once again, Fred was left a widower with several young children. In 1910, we find him living in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the Martin Pohlmann household. Martin had married Fred’s daughter, Amelia and was a teacher at a parochial school. Martin’s World War I draft registration would indicate that he would later be the pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. Just for your information, Pohlmann is another “Perry County Name”, but Martin was not from here.
Rev. Mueller would marry a third time later that year. His third wife was Wilhelmina “Minnie” Voelker. That is yet another “Perry County Name”, but Minnie was born and raised in Lanesville, Indiana where Pastor Mueller had previously served. Minnie was born on April 18, 1873, so she was over 20 years younger than Fred. She was the daughter of Frederick and Margaret (Dudtrich) Voelker. Yes, Minnies’ mother’s maiden name sounds like Dietrich. I will not discuss Minnie’s early life because this post is getting too long. We can take a look at a transcription of an Indiana marriage license for Fred and Minnie.
We find Fred and Minnie in the 1920 census living in Fort Wayne. At the age of 67, Fred had no occupation listed.
The last census in which we find Fred was the one taken in 1930. He was still in Ft. Wayne.
Rev. Fred Mueller died in 1936 at the age of 84. We can take a look at his Indiana death certificate.
Minnie Mueller died in 1950 at the age of 76. Her Indiana death certificate is shown here.
Both of the above death certificates say that these two were buried in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Lanesville, Indiana, but there are no have entries on Findagrave.com for these two.
Several characters in this story began their lives in this area, but did not remain here long. Much time was spent in Kansas and Indiana. And Fred Mueller is yet another Perry County native that can be added to the ever-growing list of people that became full-time Lutheran church workers.