Muster-Moldenhauer and Miller Genealogy

Civil War Hero John Muster Ancestry | Moldenhauer Ancestry (this page) | Miller Ancestry (this page)

My grandfather, William N. Muster, and grandmother, Emma Moldenhauer Miller Muster, married August 23, 1925.

William N. Muster (March 1868 - Jan. 30, 1926), born in Morgan (Porter County) Indiana. (obituary says Sunday January 31, but the gravestone says January 30)
Emma Moldenhauer (11/03/1886 - 10/10/1934) born in Chicago.

William was fifty-seven and Emma was thirty-nine. It was the second marriage for both. William's first wife was Esther Harrison

Esther "Ettie," Harrison, also known as Etta, was William's first wife. She was born December 13, 1872, died January 21, 1920 of pneumonia/influenza during the 1919 flu epidemic. Her parents were Andrew J. Harrison 1843-1888 b. Valparaiso, and Martha Quartermas (or Quartermass) 1848-1888, b. Canada. Their children were Esther (Ettie), George R. Harrison 1874-1961, Sadie M. Harrison 1876-1892, and Andrew Harrison 1888-1888. So their last child died soon after birth and both parents died the same year. Esther would have been fifteen, and her other surviving siblings were younger. She married William Muster March 18, 1891 when she was eighteen. They were married thirty-one years. Unknown if they had had children.



William lived in a house a half mile west of the Muster farm, and it's likely other siblings remained living near their parents. First William lived in the house with his first wife Ettie for thirty-one years, then in 1925 he lived there with Emma for four months until he died. Emma had a son from her first marriage to Mr. Miller (first name unknown). Her son was Edward Miller (1/13/1914 - 5/11/2000)

The original farm house where his parents, John and Barbara Muster lived, is now gone. The house was at 833 Lincolnway, where Barbara's parents settled when they came to America. Barbara lived in the house her whole life (see John and Barbara ancestry page at this site*) John died at age fifty-seven from his injuries in the Civil War, and Barbara outlived him by forty-four years.


This shot shows where the John and Barbara Muster farm house once was. Most likely some of the Muster farm is now part of the University of Valparaiso.


William's house was at 305 Indiana Avenue, and the house is still standing.


This shows the half-mile commute between the Lincolnway farm house and William's Indiana Avenue house. It's likely William took care of his mother, but he died five years before she did, and his sibling Minnie lived with and took care of their mother to the end. Barbara died at age eighty-three after a short illness.


William was buried at Graceland Cemetery, which still exists.* This shows the commute to bury William.


This map shows the whole world for the Muster family in Valparaiso: William's house at 305 Indiana, his parents' house at 833 Lincolnway, the University of Valparaiso, which existed when they lived there. Just to the south of the University is Graceland Cemetery where William and Ettie, and other family members are buried. Just south of that is Maplewood Cemetery where John and Barbara are buried.

William worked for the Post Office and delivered the mail in his horse-drawn surrey cart. He also raced surrey carts and died from injuries he sustained when he was thrown from the cart in a race. His death certificate says "d. injury while driving race horse / leakage of the heart." His obituary called it "a three months' illness from a nervous affliction," where he was "bed fast" for the last two weeks . . . and explained, "In one race he suffered serious injury when his horse stumbled and fell, throwing him under the cart of another driver. It is believed the injury was one of the causes of the illness which resulted in his death."

When Emma and William married, Emma's son Ed was eleven years old. He told me later in a 1999 interview he did not like William because he missed his real father who ran off (he said) and William forced him to take care of the horses. He said it was hard work and he was just a kid. Ed also recalled that as soon as William died, the brothers came over and took all the horses.

William was buried next to his first wife, Ettie.



Obituary for William N. Muster

Valparaiso Daily Vidette
Monday Evening, February 1, 1926
Veteran Rural Mail Man Dies

       William N. Muster, a veteran rural route mail carrier at the Valparaiso post office and well known Valparaiso man, died Sunday afternoon at 5 o'clock at his home, 305 East Indiana avenue, following a three months' illness from a nervous affliction. For the last two weeks he had been bedfast.
       Mr. Muster was born in Morgan township, Porter county, January 18, 1868, and was a little past 58 years of age. All his life was spent in the county.
       On January 1, 1902, he took a position with the local postoffice at the time the rural free delivery service was instituted by the government, and continued in this capacity until illness forced him to give up work about three months ago. In years of service he was the oldest of the local rural mail employes.
       Surviving are a widow [this would be Emma Moldenhauer]; his mother, Mrs. Barbara Muster, of this city; three brothers, Louis of Rensselaer, Ind.; Albert, of Battle Creek, Mich. [the descendents of this brother are in contact with me through the Internet], and Jack, of Los Angeles, Cal.; and five sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Stansell, Mrs. George Howser and Miss Minnie Muster, of this city, and Mrs. Nellie Perry and Mrs. Ida Stoner, of Portland, Ore. He was a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of this city.
       Mr. Muster was also well known throughout Indiana and other states as a race horse developer. During his long connection with the racing game horses owned and driven by him participated in harness events at county fairs and race meets in many of the central states with marked success. In one race he suffered serious injury when his horse stumbled and fell, throwing him under the cart of another driver. It is believed the injury was one of the causes of the illness which resulted in his death.
       Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the Christian church, conducted by Rev. E. Richard Edwards. Internment will be in Graceland cemetery.


After William died, Emma stayed in Valparaiso (probably in the 305 Indiana Avenue house) to give birth to their son, my father, Bill Muster, b. June 18, 1926.

William N. Muster (Junior) Birth Announcement
Published June 18, 1926
Local Squibs and Personals

A son was born this morning to Mrs. William Muster, of East Indiana avenue. Mr. Muster, who was a rural carrier at the Valparaiso postoffice, died early this spring.


Emma and her two sons stayed on in Valparaiso for some time then she moved back to Chicago as a widow and single mother. She worked as a waitress at the Chicago train station, and Uncle Ed told me he could see the station from their home.

In 1929, Emma's health declined so she and her boys moved in with her parents, Ernest and Otila Moldenhauer, along with other family members. In total, eight people ages four (my father) to seventy-two (Emma's father), lived in a small apartment at 6218 South Lincoln, Chicago.

In his lifetime, my father told me his memories of this and I finally found verification in the 1930 census, along with a list of the family members who lived there. My father described it as a crowded, small apartment, on the wrong side of town, with dogs also living there. He especially remembered when his grandfather, grandmother, and mother died. He remembered it as "everyone dying."

Here's the 1930 census record from

moldenhauer 1930 census

6218 South Lincoln, Chicago, Illinois.

Transcript of the census record shows their ages in 1930 (I added the death dates):
75. Moldenhuer Ernest | head | 72 | d. 07/12/1930
76.   -- Otila | wife | 69 | d. 09/21/1934
77. Muster Emma | daughter | 43 | d. 10/10/1934
78. Miller Edward | g. child | 16 | d. 5/11/2000
79.   -- William | g. child | 4 | d. 1/3/1989
80. Moldenhuer William | son | 39 | d. Jaunary 1974
81.   -- Ella | daughter-in-law | 39 | d. October 1972
82.   -- Elaine | g. daughter | 13 | d. 1/31/2000

A genealogist volunteered to locate this census record for me and finally found it. They list my father with the last name Miller. Most likely Emma called both of her sons by her first husband's last name. Or it could have been an error on the part of the census taker. The taker also misspelled Moldenhauer (sic. Moldenhuer).

The other Moldenhauer family members living there were: Emma's brother, William, William's wife Ella, and their daughter Elaine. Elaine's grandson contacted me to provide more Moldenhauer genealogy information - now posted on this page - click here or scroll down.

Ernest died in late 1930, then Otila and Emma died within a month of each other in fall of 1934. After that, my father became an orphan. By 1934, Ed had married Lois and they were supporting three children, two of whom they adopted. It was the Great Depression and Ed and Lois could not take care of Bill, so my dad grew up in a series of orphanages and foster homes. When he turned eighteen in 1944 he joined the Army with one of his foster home brothers. I built a page for the final foster home where he lived from ages fifteen to eighteen, at this site.*

Moldenhauer Family Photo

The following photo turned up in a box of my father's papers. Not marked, but an educated guess: this is the Moldenhauer family in 1934, at the funeral of Otila Moldenhauer. The three people on the left are most likely William and Ella Mouldenhauer, with their daughter Elaine.


Detail of the family portrait (below) is Emma Mouldenhauer and my father, Bill Muster. If this photo was taken at the funeral of Emma's mother, Otila, who died September 21, 1934, Emma lived another few weeks, dying October 10, 1934.


Emma Moldenhauer's Parents

Emma's parents were Ernest and Otila Moldenhauer. Ernest b. 11/19/1857 Brumberg, Germany, d. 07/12/1930 Chicago, IL; Otila, aka Ottie, Ottilie, Ottile, Ottalie, nee Zogel/Zobel, b. 10/03/1860 Germany, d. 09/21/1934, Chicago, IL.

Moldenhauer Family Line in Europe

Editor's note: In 2009, as a result of posting this information, the grandson of Elaine Schlismann contacted me. In 1930, his grandmother (age thirteen) and my father (age four) were the two children living in the Moldenhauer apartment.

Here is John's letter to me, dated November 23, 2009. He begins with the family members in the crowded apartment during the Great Depression, then goes back in time to Europe.

From: John Schlismann
Subject: RE: follow-up re. Moldenhauer genealogy
Date: November 23, 2009 5:24:26 PM GMT-07:00
To: Nori Muster

Hi Nori,

Sorry I didn't get back to you before, your e-mail must have gotten lost in this mess of an inbox I have on here. I do have some information for you about the Moldenhauer family, actually a lot more that I had back in May so hopefully it'll be of some help to you.

Elaine Moldenhauer Schlismann was born Dec. 13, 1917. In the 1930 Census in which she was 13 she lived with her parents William and Ella Moldenhauer as well as her grandparents Ernest and Oteila Moldenhauer. Her father my great grandfather William was a milkman working for Western Dairy; he actually drove a horse drawn milk cart (which I learned from my father, Elaine's son, Paul Schlismann), before that he worked at a Ford plant painting cars (as of 1917 WWI Draft Registration). According to the 1930 Census there were 8 people living in that property (6218 South Lincoln). On William's WWII draft card he lived at 6218 South Wolcott, which is the house my dad remembers his grandparents living in. This place is still standing, but the neighborhood has changed drastically, unfortunately it's probably not as nice of a neighborhood as it was in the early 1900s. It's interesting that William lived at both 6218 South Lincoln and 6218 South Wolcott but I checked both original documents and it appears that's the case.

On May 24, 1949 Elaine got married to Carl Schlismann, I'm not sure how long they were married for but I would say until around 1970. Elaine and Carl Schlismann had five sons: Paul (my father), Norman, Carl, Charles, David. She never got remarried, lived in Park Forest, IL until her death on January 31, 2000.

Here are some vital stats on the Moldenhauer family:

William Henry Moldenhauer born September, 21 1890 in IL. Am able to track in 1900 census, 1910 census, and 1930 census. He died in January 1974 in Park Forest, IL at the age of 83.

married to:

Ella Moldenhauer born Febuary 25, 1890, died October 1972 in Chicago at the age of 82. The tree stops here for Ella.

Ernest Moldenhauer born Nov 19, 1857 in Bromberg Stadt, Posen, Preussen (Prussia which was once Germany and is now a part of Poland). He was Christened December 6th, 1857 also in Bromberg Stadt, Posen, Preussen. He Departed from Hamburg Germany at the age of 28 April 9, 1886. He stopped in Liverpool [and] London on the way. He arrived in Baltimore, Maryland April 29, 1886, than traveled immediately to Chicago. He came over here on a ship called Huddersfield. According to Census records he worked as a laborer in building construction. His son was William Moldenhauer.

married to:

Otiliea Moldenhauer who was born around 1861 also in Bromberg Stadt, Posen, Preussen. She came over here with Ernest when she was 25. They both had a lot of kids one of them being Emma (your grandmother) which I have names for but not much else other than William's history. Otiliea's tree stops here.

David Moldenhauer who was born September 1821 in Bromberg Stadt, Posen, Preussen. He was married in 1849 at the age of 28 to Eva Weber. They had a son Ernest. David died young at 41 on February 28, 1863. This is as far as I've gotten on the Moldenhauer family. I have no more information on Eva or David Moldenhauer.

I hope this information was helpful to you, I can send you copies of some of the original documents if your interested. Some of the originals I don't have are from the International Genealogy Index. Are you still researching the Moldenhauer side of the family?

John Schlismann

Emma Moldenhauer's Siblings

Emma Moldenhauer Miller Muster 11/03/1886 - 10/10/1934
Anna Amelia Moldenhauer (Hillman) 05/14/1889 - 12/30/1966
William Moldenhauer d. Jan. 1974
Charles Moldenhauer aka Ernest d. 05/31/1942
Arthur J. Moldenhauer 11/30/1899 - 12/05/1943

Emma Moldenhauer's Family Tree

In 2003-2004 my brother and I inherited money from a distant Moldenhauer cousin, Rita Moldenhauer. She died without a will, so attorneys contacted all her relatives and divided her estate among the living relatives, amount based on the relationship. The best part was when the attorney sent me the family tree at my request. It was my first insight into the Moldenhauer family.

It also made me realize how many relatives my father had on his mother's and father's side, and none of them could take him in when he became an orphan. Also, when Barbara Muster died in 1931, the obituaries mentioned twelve grandchildren in attendance, but my father, the thirteenth grandchild, was not present. By then my father was five, and living in Chicago. The families did not remain close. It may be because William and Emma were married only four months when William died a painful death from his surrey cart accident, and it was just short of a year when their son, my father, was born. Also, Emma was eighteen years younger, and that may have also been an issue. However, their father John was also eighteen years than their mother Barbara. Also, William had been married to his first wife for thirty-one years and he was buried next to her. So his second wife Emma was only married for five months before William died.

Well, that's the type of unhappy stuff you are sure to find when you research your genealogy. There's no reason to take your ancestors' problems personally or hold it against them. All this happened during the Great Depression. None of my father's aunts or uncles wanted to take him in because during the Great Depression people weren't necessarily looking to take in more children if they didn't have to.

In discussion with the descendants of Albert Muster, they told me they knew something alienated the Muster family, but they didn't know what it was. I figure it was the marriage between Emma and William. He was the oldest of eleven children. Losing his wife Etta to the flu pandemic and marrying a much younger woman five years later and then dying of a terrible accident may have been enough to wreck the family. I can just see them saying "if only he hadn't married that woman . . ."

Rita Moldenhauer, one of Emma's relatives, died in 2001 and left a sizable estate with no will. Because there was no will, genealogists compiled this family tree to distribute the estate. If you want a searchable PDF of this family tree, click here.


Miller Family

During my father's lifetime, he was interested in finding his relatives, but lost contact with the family when his mother died. The only relative who did stay in contact (especially toward the end), was his half brother, Uncle Ed Miller. Ed and his wife Lois (b. October 19, 1912) had three children (Jeanne b. 1931, Vicki, and Bob). Ed's grandchildren, Christina Musilek (daughter of Vicki) and Sandy (daughter of Jeanne, b. 1965), are my cousins. Christina has a daughter, Kaitlyn Victoria Musilek, born June 3, 2005.

Editor's note: I heard from Tina Wood, the daughter of Bob Miller, offering more details about the Miller branch of the Moldenhauer family.

On Jun 4, 2013, at 10:08 AM, Tina Wood wrote:

Dear Ms Muster,

I would like to introduce myself since we have never met. I am Tina Wood, (nee Miller ). My father is your cousin Robert (Bob) Miller and my Grandfather Edward was your father's brother. I had met your father on several occasions. When I was young, a visit from Uncle Bill was a great treat and celebration!

I have heard some wonderful stories about your father. My grandfather was extremely proud of the work your father did, with the saving of the Delta Queen and the photography he had done his whole life. I have several pictures of my father that your father took when Dad was a young boy.

Recently we were in Chattanooga, Tennessee and found out that the Delta Queen is docked there. I will be taking my parents there for Christmas this year. I was thrilled to learn it was so close to us. It is something I have heard about since I was young, so I am excited to be able to share that with my father.

I just wanted to reach out to say hello. I don't know if you would be interested in the pictures your father took, they are just simple photos of a young boy and his dog, but if you are, I would be happy to make myself copies and send you the originals. They would have been taken around 1945 when my father was about 6 or so. . . .

I just noticed the interest in the genealogy information. The family from your grandmother's side through Ed Miller is this:

Edward A and Lois had 3 children who have all had children. Oldest to youngest:

Jeanne Miller, b. 1931 - daughter: Sandy Miller, b. 1965 - no children

Bob Miller - daughter: Tina Miller Wood - no children
           son: Joseph Edward Miller - 2 sons
           Jason Edward Miller - 2 daughters
                      Madelyn (2) and Jocelyn (1 )
           Brandon A. Miller (20) - no children
Vicki Musilek - daughter Christina - daughter Kaitlyn Victoria Musilek, born June 3, 2005

I can try to get more info on dates and more info on Aunt Vicki's daughter. Unfortunately the last time I same them both was at Grandma Lois's funeral. I guess that is the real downside of family spread out over the country.

My grandfather, your Uncle Ed, has a library named after him at the Cobb County Extension Office, Marietta, GA, in honor of his work with The Master Gardeners Association and his charity work with them. He donated plants to nursing homes all over the area. It was estimated that he donated approximately 10-15,000 plants a year.

Photos from Sandy Miller

The following photos, and scan of the back of one of the photos, are from Sandy Miller. Her grandparents were Ed and Lois Miller.


Bill and Ella Moldenhauer, and daughter Elaine (later Elaine Schlismann).


Bill and Ella Moldenhauer.


Bill Moldenhauer and Ed Miller.



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