Mueller’s in Willow Springs

Ernest Rudolph Mueller was born on May 25, 1891, making today his 131st birthday. Ernest (or Ernst) was the son of Theodore and Emma (Thomas) Mueller, making him a member of what we call the “Frohna Mueller’s”. And, as you would expect, he was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is an image of his baptism record from the books of that congregation.

Ernest R. Mueller baptism record

The 1900 census shows Ernest at the age of 8. He was the youngest son of 4 children in his family. His father was a farmer in the Union Township.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

The only other census in which we would be able to find Ernest as a single man was the one taken in 1910. That is the census in which I was unable to find. I do know that he was not living with his parents, so he likely was working out somewhere. I did find an Ernst Mueller living in St. Louis who was the right age, but that entry said his mother was born in Illinois, and I know that was not the case. It is likely that he spent a good portion of his life prior to 1918 in Perry County because that is where he found his bride. Let’s take a look at her.

Emma Alma Wittschieben was born on December 13, 1896, the daughter of Hans and Mary (Weber) Wittschieben. A post was written about Emma’s parents titled, Wittschieben Weber Wedding. Like it was with Ernest, Emma was the 4th and last child born into this family. Emma was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can also take a look at her baptism record from that church’s books.

Emma Wittschieben baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Emma was 3 years old when she was included in this entry from the 1900 census. Her father was also a farmer.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Next, we find Emma in the 1910 census. At the age of 13, she was the only child left in the household with her parents. This was also the year that Emma was confirmed at Grace, Uniontown.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

I think it is important to know that another event took place in 1909, just prior to the census entry above. Emma’s sister, Margaretha Wittschieben married Paul Mueller, who happened to be Ernest’s brother. That means today’s couple was not the first time a Wittschieben married one of these Frohna Mueller’s. I wrote the story of the first Wittschieben/Mueller marriage in the post, Six Pack of Mueller.

Before we get to the next Mueller/Wittschieben wedding, we need to discuss the fact that Ernest Mueller served time in the military during World War I. His draft registration form is shown here. At the time this form was filled out, he was working in the Blanken & Tanz sawmill. His employer was Conrad Tanz.

Ernest Mueller – WWI draft registration

The military record shown below does not indicate that he was sent overseas, but it does say that he came away from his service with a 40% disability.

Ernest Mueller – WWI military record

Ernest Mueller married Emma Wittschieben on July 25, 1918. This couple’s church marriage record is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. A transcription of that record is pictured here.

Mueller/Wittschieben marriage record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Perhaps you noticed that Ernest and Emma were married the day before Ernest was inducted in the service on July 26, 1918 in Perryville. They apparently made the decision to get married before he went off to war. This could also possibly explain why this couple from Uniontown and Frohna were married at Immanuel, Perryville. The marriage license for this pair can also be viewed.

Mueller/Wittschieben marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to this couple, one of which died shortly after birth. The first census in which we find this married couple was the one taken in 1920. Their first child was born shortly after this census was taken. At this time, Ernest was a farmer.

1920 ccensus – Union Township, MO

Next, we find the Mueller’s in the 1930 census. Three children were in their household.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

That would be the last census in which we find the Mueller family living in Perry County. Sometime between 1935 and 1940, this family moved to Willow Springs, Missouri. Ernest remained a farmer, and he had a son, Osmond, who had the intriguing occupation described as tower laborer. I was not able to identify what that meant.

1940 census – Willow Springs, MO

Ernest had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942 despite the fact that he was already 50 years old and was somewhat disabled after his service during World War I. This form seems to indicate that he had no occupation.

Ernest Mueller – WWII draft card

Ernest and Emma are found in the last census we can view in 1950. Once again, no occupation is given for Ernest. He and Emma had an empty nest by this time.

1950 census – Willow Springs, MO

Ernest Mueller died in 1958 at the age of 66. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Ernest Mueller death certificate

An application form was completed by Emma to have Ernest’s gravestone to recognize his military service.

Ernest Mueller – Application for Military Headstone

Emma Mueller did not die until 1986 at the age of 89. Both Ernest and Emma are buried in the City Cemetery in Willow Springs, Missouri.

The town of Willow Springs, Missouri sounded familiar to me. When I searched this blog for that town, I discovered that two other stories have been written about Perry County natives who spent some time there during their lifetimes. One was Joseph Noennig, whose story was told in the post, Joe and Eunice Noennig. The other was a post about John and Emilie (Ehlers) Walther titled, Another Emilie Walther. Now, we can add the story of Ernest and Emma Mueller to the list of local folks who lived in Willow Springs, Missouri.


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