IN MEMORY OF GEO. W. MUELLER
from the April 26, 1912 edition of the Lowden News
submitted by Sharon Elijah June 7, 2017
The community was both surprised and shocked last week Wednesday when a telegram came announcing the death at Rochester, Minn., of Geo. W. Mueller, one of the best known and beloved citizens of Lowden.
He had gone to Rochester, Minn., the week previous to seek relief from a troublesome ailment of the stomach which had been upon him for the past six months. Many thought he was seriously afflicted, but no one expected that he would pass from us so soon, hence the news of his death spread most rapidly carrying with it a wave of grief and many expression of sorrow and eulogies of the man were heard.
The remains reached Lowden Thursday morning, accompanied by Mrs. Mueller and son, Gustav, who had gone to Rochester the Saturday before in response to a telegram that he would be operated upon Monday.
Mr. Mueller never reached the operation. On Sunday he collapsed from what afterward proved to be the breaking of the cancer in his stomach and from that time on his sinking was rapid.
In the last several weeks Mr. Mueller suffered more than he would admit to anyone, but still he did not realize how near death he was until told at Rochester that he was afflicted with cancer. Then he seemed to give up hope and expected an end soon. He did not consider his case a serious one and went to Rochester rather more to please Mrs. Mueller and others than for himself. It grieved him to have others solicitous about his condition.
George W. Mueller was born in Sedorf, Hannover, Germany, August 23, 1852. He came to the United States in 1870 and settled near Chicago. He worked three years as a farm hand in Illinois, attending school during the winter, also attending evening classes in the high school in Chicago two winters. In 1877 he came to Cedar county, and in 1882 went into business in a general store of merchandise and farm implements in Lowden.
In 1880 he married Matilda A. Hansen. They have four children living: Gustav, born in 1872, now of Camanche; George H., born in 1883, now of near Maurice, Iowa; Emelie, born in 1886, now Mrs. H. C. Miller, of Bennett; Ezra, born in 1889, of Lowden. One daughter, Ida, born December 17, 1880 died about a year and a half later. He is also survived by three grandchildren.
Death came to him at Rochester, Minn., Wednesday morning, April 17, 1912, at 7:20 o’clock, aged 59 years, 7 months and 24 days. The cause of his death was perforating gastric cancer. Contributory cause: Acute and chronic nephritis and pneumonia.
Perhaps no other man has been more identified with the upbuilding of Lowden than Geo. W. Mueller. In the 35 years he has lived here he has always looked after the public’s welfare. He served several terms as town councilman and six years as mayor, and would have been reelected, but refused to again accept. It was under his administration in 1902 that the beautiful City Hall was erected—a building that would do credit to a much larger city. Although not connected with the management of the town’s affairs for the past several years, still he never lost interest and was ever to be found working for the betterment of the town.
For twenty-eight years he has held the secretaryship of the school board. The handsome new school house in another fine building in which his position brought him in close connection with its plans and erection. In the twenty-eight years he issued 2573 school orders.
Other offices he filled with credit to himself and the town were Postmaster during President Cleveland’s administration from 1893 to 1897; justice of the peace from 1883 to 1897, excepting the four years he was postmaster and again from 1899 to 1903, mayor from 1897 to 1903; assessor one term, weighmaster and was township clerk for some time. He ran for country recorder in 1888, but was not elected, failing of election by about eighty votes.
What can commend a man more to his fellow beings than an unaffected and unostentatious show of genuine love for his children and for their mother? This was one of the most beautiful things in Mr. Mueller’s life. While he had no intention of showing his inner life to an outsider like the writer, still it could not go unnoticed. Even his manner of speech over the telephone to his daughter, to whom he communicated frequently at Bennett, betrayed his tender love for her. The welfare of his sons was ever in his mind and he gave them good courage. His home life was ideal. Therein he spent the greater portion of his time, contributing to the comfort and happiness of those whom it might contain. It is this that is going to augment the grief of the widow when the children and other relatives have returned to their homes and the saddened home left entirely to her. She will be reminded of him at every turn, the very cottage, furniture and garden seeming a part of him. It is then that her kind neighbors and other friends will be a comfort to her.
A capacity in which Mr. Mueller will be greatly missed is that in which both the English and German languages entered into business transactions. Many people who had little or no knowledge of one or both of the languages in writing depended upon him to transact business for them. This he did to his customers’ perfect satisfaction. He was not a lawyer, yet his counsel was often sought and his judgment proved good. Many are the wills in this portion of Cedar County that are in his hand-writing.
Geo. W. Mueller was The Lowden News. He made it what it is. A circulation of from 300 to 400 was all that the publisher thought possible when the first paper was issued July 18, 1902. A Washington hand press was at first used in issuing the paper. Mr. Mueller made the circulation such that press day was a hard one with this machine. A cylinder press was installed and hand power used. Not long after this an engine was found quite a necessity. The circulation of The News has for eight years exceeded that of any other paper, in Cedar county outside of Tipton. January 1, 1911, The News was awarded the county printing and has since enjoyed the distinction of being one of the three official papers of Cedar county. For all this the writer takes no credit, for none is due us. Geo. W. Mueller made The Lowden News what it is.
Several inquiries have been made as to plans for the paper in the future. At present it can only be said that the business will continue, for a while at least, as now.
The writer has had several partners before at different periods, but never before, nor do we ever again expect to be associated with a man more honest or more conscientious than Mr. Mueller. He was correct with every item of business to the minutest detail, dealt squarely to the last penny. It will be ten years on July 18th since we started The News together. During all this time not one dispute has come to the surface, not one disagreement. His advice and manner of conducting the business never proved to be unwise or unsafe. There never was a loss of friends or finance through him. We who have worked with him within the walls of The News office, have loved him more than we thought. Of this we became aware when forced to realize that he was to leave us. We have however a heritage of pleasant memories.
The flowers brought to his bier were many, choice and beautiful. He was a great lover of flowers and always cultivated them in his garden. During the summer season he nearly always had a bouquet on his office table. Could he have seen those that were laid upon his casket and left with him at his grave, they would have gladdened his heart. The sentiment the flowers represented came straight from the hearts of those who bestowed them, a tribute of respect and love for the dead and to temper the grief of those called upon to mourn.
The funeral was held on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock from the home to the German Evangelical church. All who could of Mr. Mueller’s very large circle of acquaintances gathered to pay their last respects to the departed. So large was the assemblage that not near all gained admission to the church to hear the comforting sermon in the German language by Rev. F. Werning, who was followed by Dr. Carlton, district superintendent of the M.E. church, in the English language. Dr. Carlton is a gentleman for whom Mr. Mueller had much admiration. Sweet music was rendered by the audience and Miss Emma Werning as organist and a quartet composed of Miss Elizabeth Heiner, Miss Maud Reid, Chas. H. Reid and Paul Kemmann, who sang three beautiful selections in English.
Following the services the remains were borne to the Lowden cemetery where they were laid to rest surrounded by deeply grieved relatives and friend. The pall bearers were all ex-mayors of Lowden except the last one named who is president of the school board: L. Hoeltje, H. D. Kemmann, G. F. Reinking, P. H. Jurgensen, H. H. Petersen and Wm. Kreinbring. The local Woodman lodge, of which he was a long time member attended the funeral in a body.
A good man is gone, may he rest in peace.
Relatives present at the funeral who came from a distance were: Mr. and Mrs. W. Gustav Mueller of Comanche, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. George H. Mueller and son, Master Lloyd, of Maurice, Iowa; Mr. and Mr. H. C. Miller, of Bennett, Iowa; Christ Mueller and Henry Mueller, of Maurice, Ia., Mrs. Doris Ostermann, of Ocheyedan, Iowa; Mrs. Emma Lendt and son, Master Paul, of Ireton, Iowa, and Mr. and Mrs. John Freitag, of Ottumwa, Iowa.
It would be impossible to gather the names of all the friends who came from the neighboring towns and country to attend the funeral so we will not attempt further enumeration.
The following paragraphs are from the pens of friends of Mr. Mueller who knew him best:
L. Hoeltje: Death has removed from our midst one of our foremost and most public spirited citizens in the person of Geo. W. Mueller.
H. Ruprecht Jr.: Through the death of Geo. W. Mueller Lowden has lost one of its most respected citizens. Mr. Mueller was everybody’s friend and always willing to oblige and help others and his advice was often sought and always cheerfully and conscientiously given. He will be greatly missed by the people of this town and the whole community.
Kossuth Pauls: A well posted man in business and public affairs, and always willing to give advice when he was able to do so. Honest and conscientious in the fulfillment of duties while holding public offices, and a friend in need, especially to many of his countrymen in business transactions with the old country. Such was our departed friend, Geo. W. Mueller, and his place will be hard to fill.
J. D. Reid: A faithful and true friend is a living treasure. Nothing more difficult than to find one. Life has no blessing like such a friend. We found that friend in Geo W. Mueller.
Carl F. Becker: Mr. Mueller was a man in the truest sense of the word. Kind, courteous and obliging, a friend whom I valued beyond gold.
Wm. Kreinbring: Geo. W. Mueller, the late editor of the Lowden News and secretary of the board of education, will be greatly missed both by the board of education and the general public. As an efficient secretary and wise counsel he always worked for the good of the general public and took an active part in the advancement of education. While acting in the capacity of mayor he was active in building a new town hall, and again took a firm stand as editor in building a new school house.
H. A. Runkle: I have known Geo W. Mueller from the time he published the first issue of The Lowden News. During this time he has shown himself to be a man of strong character and signal ability for the work he had in hand. I consider he has done his community and immutable service in his capacity of Mayor. He has broadened our views, he has kept us together as a family, leading us to have a wholesome interaction with our neighbors, in our town, its institutions and improvements he must be identified with the best years of progress this town has and the value of his personality and effort in this regard no man can truly measure.
M. L. Banks and family: Of the late George W. Mueller we would say that he will be greatly missed by us all. He lived as a neighbor to us many years, and we always thought a great deal of him. We will miss his pleasant face at his work in his garden as he always took so much pride in keeping it up, and it truly was a beautiful place. Mr. Mueller made a success of The Lowden News, and we think that no one could have done better than he did. He always done so much for all who had death and sorrow in their homes, and we certainly appreciated it. We could say much more, but other friends will wish to say a word for our friend and neighbor.
H. H. Petersen: In the death of Geo. W. Mueller, Lowden has lost one who has done much to the meaning of what Lowden is today. George was always a booster for Lowden. Any improvement suggested always had the approval and the help of George. His place cannot be filled. Lowden will miss him, much more his widow. His good deeds done will always be remembered by us all.
G. F. Reinking: My first acquaintance with Geo. W. Mueller began in 1870 when both of us crossed the Atlantic ocean about the same time and landing on two adjoining farms near Elmhurst, Ill., where both of us worked as farm hands for some time. Our paths then parted until in 1877 when I met Friend George again in the neighborhood of Lowden. From our old records is shown that Mr. Mueller was elected town councilman in 1880, this being his first public office. In another column of this paper it is shown the different offices which he held in Lowden during his term of life and which will convince every citizen that he was most highly respected by all. His old time friends will remember the pleasure of the social gatherings together of which Mr. Mueller was the main character. He was a good humorist and a splendid entertainer. Under his administration as mayor the City Hall was erected with his advice and rulings. The City Hall is an ornament for Lowden and it is safe to say, if this building is not destroyed by accident one hundred years from now on great-grand-children will find the name of George. W. Mueller, mayor as the originator, in golden letters engraved on a beautiful picture.