The Frau Erica Project
Muellers in America:
The first 155 years


Geldgürtel   After he sold Bosenbüttel, Fritz Mueller moved most of his money to America through Bremen banks. He kept some of it in gold coins and put them into this money belt. Johanne, short and stout, wore it on the emigration to Indiana.

Johanne’s money belt, Georg’s tobacco box

The wooden box, a cube about six inches on a side, may have been in the family before Georg received it. It was handed down from Georg to Fritz to Wilhelm to Ernst (Opa) to son Ernst (Uncle Ernie of Eagle Lake), and eventually to Ernie’s nephew Herbert. It was accompanied by a handwritten note, note from Opa Mueller, transcribed below.

Georg Mueller owned this tobacco box late in the 18th century. He gave it to his son Fritz, who took it along when he and his family emigrated to Kendallville, Indiana, in 1865.

This tobacco box had been in use three generations before I received it after the death of my father, E.P. Wilhelm Mueller. My great-grandfather Georg Mueller owned it [in the] latter part of the 18th century.

My grandfather Fritz Mueller left his farm at Bosenbüttel bei Dorum, Kingdom of Hanover, [and] came to the U.S.A. by sailing vessel shortly after the close of the Civil War, 1866 or 1867,* with so much gold in coins that he, being of slender build, could not carry it in a money belt close to his body. Luckily grandmother Doris Mueller,* nee Rösing, had a waist measure answering the requirements. The gold soon disappeared into the pocket of a Yankee banker named Mitchell.

My father used the tobacco box after his father’s death. To the best of my knowledge, it must be about 200 years old.

— E.H.C. Mueller
March 1945

The Mueller family came ashore in New York on October 2, 1865.
Grandmother was Johanne Rösing, not Doris. Doris Mueller was Opa’s great aunt.