IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Herman F. Mueller

Herman F. Mueller has, through his own industry and well directed energies, gained definite success and precedence as one of the representative business men of his native county, and in the thriving village of Elkport he is conducting a substantial and flourishing enterprise as a representative of the jewelry, optical and music business, with a well equipped establishment that receives an appreciative supporting patronage.

He was born at Elkport on the 26th of October, 1873, and is a son of Herman Mueller, a sterling pioneer citizen of whom individual mention is made on other pages of this work. Herman F. Mueller attended the public school & of his native village until 1889, when, at the age of sixteen years, he entered Bayless Business College, in which institution he took an effective commercial course. In 1890 he returned to Elkport, where he assisted in the shoe store of his father until the following year, when he again went to Dubuque, where he was employed one year in a shoe factory. He then learned the barber’s trade, and to the work of the same he applied himself in Dubuque until 1894, when he went to Elgin, Illinois, the headquarters of the great Elgin watch works, and there, with the financial resources which he gained by continuing his work at the barber trade, he completed a course in the Elgin Horological School, in which he gained a thorough knowledge of the watchmaking and jewelry trade and also of the optical business, which latter he acquired by attending night school. It may well be understood that during this period of eighteen months passed at Elgin the young man had few idle moments, for he was applying himself constantly to study and practical work in perfecting himself as a watchmaker and optician and in the meanwhile was working at the barber trade to aid in defraying his expenses. His ambition has been a dominating characteristic and he is one of those who appreciate the value of hard work and who are always ready to apply themselves indefatigably.

Upon leaving Elgin Mr. Mueller returned to Elkport and initiated an independent business enterprise of somewhat unusual ramifications. He realized that no one department of the business would at the time render adequate financial returns, and thus he combined the barber, the optical and the jewelry business until the enterprise grew to such proportions as to justify his disposing of his barber shop and the concentration of his time and attention in the conducting of his now well established jewelry and optical business. He has since established also a well equipped musical store, in the management of which his wife is associated with him, and in which he carries full lines of pianos, Victrolas, and other musical instruments, as well as sheet music and musical merchandise in general. These brief statements mark him as one of the most progressive business men of Elkport, and his success has been the result of zealous and well directed effort and fair and honorable business policies.

He is a Republican in politics. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Lutheran church in their home village. On the 10th of November, 1896, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Mueller to Miss Ida Brandtman, who was born and reared in this county, and whose parents, Henry and Mary Brandtman, were born in Germany, whence they came to America and established their home in Clayton county many years ago. In her youth Mrs. Mueller became an expert milliner and after several years of married life and after she had become the mother of a fine son, she engaged in the millinery business at Elkport. After devoting herself to the enterprise for ten years her impaired health caused Mr. Mueller to sell all of his business interests, and for the purpose of recuperating his wife’s physical energies the family passed about eighteen months in the state of California. Upon their return home he re-engaged in the music and jewelry business. Mrs. Mueller associated with her husband in the music business, to which she has since given much of her time and attention.

Mr. and Mrs. Mueller have one son, Ralph, who was born December 8, 1897, and who is preparing himself carefully to assist his father in the jewelry, optical and musical business. At the time of this writing, in 1916, he is attending the Bradley Institute, in the city of Peoria, Illinois, where he is taking courses in the watchmaker’s and jeweler’s trade and also further preparing himself for service as a scientific optician.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 289-290
-OCR scanned by Sharyl Ferrall


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