Our story for today will highlight the 125th birthday of a man by the name of Paul John Muench. He was born on August 19, 1897, the son of Michael and Barbara (Hoehn) Muench. Paul was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. The transcription for his baptism record is pictured here.
Paul is found in his first census entry in 1900. He and his family were living in Perryville where his father was a farmer. The German Family Tree lists Paul as being child #4 out of 8 children all together. This entry says Paul was 2 years old when this census was taken.
Paul was 12 years old when the 1910 census was taken. The Muench family was still living in Perryville, but this time Paul’s father was called a teamster. Paul’s mother had died in 1907, so she is not found in this entry.
Before 1918, Michael Muench moved his family to St. Louis. The 1920 census for that city says Michael was a laborer in a foundry, and Paul’s occupation is listed as “electric”.
When we look at the World War I draft registration that Paul had completed in 1918, he listed Wagner Electric as his employer.
An aerial view of Wagner Electric is displayed below.
Before I move on, let me say that toward the end of World War I, Paul was called to serve his country. His military record is shown here. He did not get sent overseas for combat.
Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Paul’s bride. Her name was Alphetta McMillan, who was born on February 27, 1900. Alphetta was the daughter of James and Martha (Orr) McMillan. She was born in Illinois according to later census records. I found Alphetta’s family in the 1900 census for Coulterville, Illinois, but Alphetta is not included. Most likely, Coulterville is the place of birth for Alphetta.
By 1910, the McMillan family had moved to St. Louis where Alphetta’s father was a stable manager for a dairy. Alphetta was 10 years old at the time.
The last census in which we find Alphetta as a single person was the one taken in 1920. She was a 19 year-old telephone operator.
Paul Muench married Alphetta McMillan on December 28, 1925. An application form for their marriage license is shown here.
There is no indication that Paul and Alphetta had any children. The 1930 census shows Paul and Alphetta living with the McMillan’s. Paul was a supervisor of a dairy. His brother-in-law, William McMillan, was a salesman for a dairy.
When the 1940 census was taken, we still find Alphetta’s father living with the Muench’s. Paul was a supervisor of retail dairy stores, and Alphetta was a manager of retail dairy stores.
Paul Muench had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. It says Paul was employed by the Pevely Dairy Company.
The last census we can view for the Muench’s was the one taken in 1950. They were living in an area in the St. Louis area that is called Lemay. Paul was the supervisor of retail dairy stores.
Paul Muench died in 1952 at the age of 54. His death certificate mentions colon cancer when it describes the cause of death.
As a result of his military service, Paul qualified to be buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Below is a form documenting the reason Paul was buried there. It says a space was reserved for Alphetta when she died, but she did not get buried there.
Below is a photo of Paul’s gravestone at Jefferson Barracks.
At some time after Paul’s death, Alphetta married again. Her second husband was Clarence Stock. Alphetta outlived Clarence, who died in 1962. She died in 1975 at the age of 75. In a few years, we should be able to view her death certificate, and that document may be able to confirm that she was born in Coulterville, Illinois.
Alphetta, as well as her second husband, was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park in Affton, Missouri.
There you have it. The story of a Muench who marries a McMillan, and becomes a merchant of milk. Happy 125th birthday to Paul Muench.