The Baby Brother of the Mueller Sisters

Ferdinand and Amalia (Theiss) Mueller had seven children before 1898, and all of them were girls. One of those girls, Bertha Mueller, was my grandmother. I can display this photograph of the parents of these girls.

Ferdinand and Amalia Mueller

On February 7, 1898, a baby boy was finally born to this family. He would be the last child of Ferdinand and Amalia. His name was Edwin Ferdinand Mueller, and he would be celebrating his 125th birthday today if he was still alive. I have often looked at this Mueller family and felt sorry for Edwin who had to grow up as the youngest boy in a family full of girls. Edwin was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown here.

Edwin Mueller baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Edwin is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 2. The oldest girl in this Mueller family had died in 1884 at the age of 7 even before Edwin was born. So, we see Edwin with 6 older sisters in this entry. His father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, Edwin was 12 years old. This time, his father was called a house carpenter. One of Edwin’s sisters, Laura, had married Otto Schuessler in 1906, had a son in 1907, and then both Laura and Otto died in 1909. Their son, Walter Schuessler, who was then an orphan, is included in this household. His grandparents raised him as part of their family.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1918. Edwin had a World War I draft registration completed. He was working on the farm of Otto Burroughs. Otto Burroughs had married Edwin’s sister, Magdalena Mueller, in 1910. Edwin was not called into service during that war. Perhaps the draft board knew that he was the only male child in this family and chose not to draft him.

Edwin Mueller – WWI draft registration

Edwin is found in one more census as a single man. In the 1920 census, only Edwin and one sister, Matilda, were living in the Mueller household. His father had died in 1915, so his mother was the head of the household.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Edwin’s bride. Her name was Emma Magdalena Grebing, who was born on November 10, 1899. Emma was the daughter of Martin and Emma (Richter) Grebing. She was also baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record.

Emma Grebing baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

In the 1900 census, Emma was not even one year old. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It was a few years after the above census that Martin and Emma Grebing had a family photograph taken. Since Emma was the 3rd child in this family, she would be the girl standing in the front next to her father’s thigh.

Martin Grebing family

Emma’s father is a minor character in my Wittenberg ’03 book. Martin was the first mail carrier for the rural route that was established in Wittenberg in 1903. When the 1910 census was taken, we see Martin called a mail carrier, and Emma was 10 years old.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Emma was 20 years old when the 1920 census was taken. At that time, her father was working at the swing factory in Wittenberg.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Edwin Mueller married Emma Grebing on January 30, 1921 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. The church record for this event is shown below.

Mueller/Grebing marriage record – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

Two members of their wedding party, Goerge and Clara Loebs, were my uncle and aunt (technically my half-uncle and half-aunt). Also, Carla Grebing and Gerard Fiehler would call Clara their grandmother. The marriage license for Edwin and Emma is pictured here.

Mueller/Grebing marriage license

There was an article published in the Perry County Republican about this wedding. The thumbnails can be clicked to enlarge.

When Emma was rather young, a portrait was taken of her.

Emma Grebing Mueller

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to this couple, but I think there were 5. Three of them were baptized at St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, but the 3rd child was not. That child was born in 1932. The 1930 census helps explain why their 3rd child was not baptized in Wittenberg. In that census we find the Mueller family living in Cape Girardeau where Edwin was working at a dairy farm. There is a daughter named Dorothy that does not show up in our GFT because she, like the son born in 1932, was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

1930 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Next, we find Edwin and Emma in the 1940 census. They were back living in Perry County where Edwin is called a laborer on a farm. The census entry shown here is full of side stories.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

First of all, one of the Mueller daughters, Elvera, was not in this census entry. She is found living in Cape Girardeau and working as a 16 year-old servant in the James Finch household.

1940 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Right below the Mueller household is the Ernst Doering family. That helps explain this photo that I can display that shows Edwin, Emma, and Ernst Doering sitting in front of Tower Rock.

Edwin and Emma Mueller with Ernst Doering at Tower Rock

One more thing about the 1940 census. There is a George Loebs household below that of Ernst Doering. That is the George Loebs who was part of Edwin’s wedding party. In that Loebs household, you will see a woman named Martha Mueller who is called a mother-in-law. My Uncle George had married Frieda Mueller from a different Mueller clan, and this was Frieda’s mother. Another member of this household was Herbert Schmidt, who was my uncle. I now live in the house once owned by my Uncle Herb.

In 1942, Edwin completed the World War draft card shown below. I find it somewhat humorous that the name, Wittenberg, is spelled 2 different ways on this form. Around here, one of the first things you need to know is that Altenburg is spelled with a “u” and Wittenberg is spelled with an “e”.

Edwin Mueller – WWII draft card

The last census entry that we can view is the one taken in 1950. Edwin was working as a saw mill hand at a lumber company. That was likely the East Perry Lumber Company in Frohna. His son, Ralph, was a truck driver for that lumber company.

1950 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Edwin Mueller died in 1980 at the age of 82; Emma Mueller died in 1985 at the age of 85. Each of them is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

I have just one more thing to add. I mentioned Elvera Mueller earlier. Elvera married Ernst Weber. Elvera, up until her recent death, was my neighbor. She lived in the home shown in the photo below that is located just up the lane from my house.

Elvera Weber home

The driveway seen in the above photo goes to my next-door neighbor’s home. The wife who lives in that neighbor’s house is Bertha (Mueller) Schmidt’s great granddaughter. Her son recently bought Elvera’s house. So, now one of Bertha’s great great grandsons lives there. Meanwhile, I live in the house where Bertha’s son, Herb, lived. Right now, this “neighborhood” includes a grandson, a great granddaughter, and a great great grandson of Bertha. I think she and her brother, Edwin, might be smiling in heaven thinking about that.

One thought on “The Baby Brother of the Mueller Sisters

  1. This blog was so interesting. I think I figured out that Ferdinand Mueller was my grandfather (Zacharius) nephew. And one of Ferdinand’s daughter, Magdalena married a Burroughs. One of their daughters, Mildred married my uncle Theodore Miesner. Wow! So my Aunt Mildred had to say aunt to your grandmother? !! Very interesting!


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