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Heinrich (Henry) Müller (1821-1882)

My 2nd great grandfather was born Heinrich Müller. According to obituaries in Der Nord Westen, a German-language newspaper published in Manitowoc, He was born in Zschopau, Saxony, and his wife Welhelmina was born in Coblenz on the Rhine. The following information about him is from History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin by Dr. L. Falge, 1911-1912, v.2, p.269-270.

"Henry and Minnie (Heberlein) Mueller, the former a native of Prussia and the latter of Saxony, Germany. They were married in Milwaukee, whence Mr. Mueller had come in 1844 or 1845, and having a good education, secured work in a printing office. Some time after his marriage he came to Manitowoc county and secured sixty acres of land in the town of Mishicot, on which he made a comfortable home for his family. He held the office of chairman of the town board for many years also serving as clerk, treasurer and assessor, was very prominent in democratic politics, and became well known and highly esteemed throughout the town. He and his wife were the parents of seven children: Bruno, residing in Manitowoc; William; Emelia, who married Anton Vogt of Manitowoc; Albert, a leading contractor of Tacoma, Washington; Edward, proprietor of the Mueller Cornice & Roofing Company, at Nos. 114 Railroad and 1117 C. streets, Tacoma, Washington; Bertha, who died in 1895; and Hattie, who married Charles Muehlenbruch, of Tacoma, Washington."

Inexplicably, Henry's Civil War record is not mentioned in the above biography. Henry Mueller enlisted in the 27th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company C, on September 26, 1864. The regiment at that time was in Little Rock, Arizona and joined other union forces at New Orleans under General Canby for the siege of Mobile, March 17 through May 4, 1865. The 27th was involved in battles in Arkansas at Okolona, Prairie D'Ann, Jenkin's Ferry, and Pine Bluff. They then fought several battles at Spanish Fort, Alabama. The regiment took 27 casualties during these battles, but lost 232 men to illness or accident. He was mustered out of the service on July 14, 1865.

Henry Mueller died December 30, 1882, of injuries sustained from a kick in the eyes by a horse. Minnie died of an apparent stroke on June 16, 1905.

Albert Miller (1857-1935)

Albert Miller, my great grandfather, married Mary Levenhagen on October 28, 1880, and came to Tacoma in 1889. There (along with his brother Edward) he changed the spelling of his name to Miller. A well known contractor, he built several homes, as well as apartment houses, a church, the Blue Mouse theater at 26th and Procter, a factory building and a brewery. The BlueMouse Theater is still operating as a theater, one of the oldest in Washington State. Albert also started a company to sell electric autos. (The business was about 80 years ahead of its time!) Below is the letterhead of his stationery.

He was also one of the original directors of the Tacoma Savings and Loan Association, a position he still held at his death. Albert and Mary had three daughters; Lydia, Mabel and Cora, my grandmother. The family is shown below, with Mabel on the left, Lydia in the center, and Cora on the right.

Mary Miller contracted cancer in 1934 and Albert virtually bankrupted the family in a futile attempt to save her life. She died on October 23, 1934 and Albert swiftly followed, dying on January 29, 1935.

Cora Miller Imhoff (1881-1967)

Cora Miller, my maternal grandmother, was born in Wisconsin on June 28, 1881. Her family moved to Tacoma when she was 9 and she grew up there. Cora met my grandfather, Anthony (Tony) Imhoff, a candy-maker, while working in a candy store owned by one of her cousins. They married, and their only child, born October 24, 1911 in Tacoma, was Gladys Imhoff, my mother.

The family lived in Tacoma until my grandfather took a position with a Canadian candy company in about 1916, at which time they moved to Canada. A year or so later they moved to Seattle, but eventually returned to Tacoma and lived there until Cora and Anthony separated and ultimately divorced. Anthony, then living in Southern California, eventually remarried twice.

Cora never remarried, and lived for most of the rest of her life in a small basement apartment in the apartment house owned by my Aunt and Uncle Helland. One of my fondest (and earliest) memories of her was from a visit when I was very young. She volunteered to take me to my first ever showing of "moving pictures." Expecting to see pictures on a wall, with people moving around on them, I was somewhat surprised and at first rather disappointed. The film, by the way, was Shangri La. My grandmother was a rather eccentric but extremely loveble woman and I always enjoyed visits with her. She passed away in November, 1967 at the age of 86.