Starting in the grocery trade as a clerk when fifteen years of age, Herman F. Mueller has since been connected to this business for a period of forty-three years. For the past thirteen years, he has confined his attention solely to the wholesale trade. He is now senior partner in the Mueller-Kuehn Company, operating wholesale houses in both. Racine and Kenosha, with Mr. Mueller in charge of the Racine plant. He was born in Germany on the 16th of August, 1857, and is a son of Gustave and Augusta Mueller, who left the fatherland in 1866 and brought their family to the United States, establishing their home in Racine. Gustave Mueller was a gardener and followed that business until advanced age necessitated his retirement. He passed away at the ripe old age of ninety-four years, while his wife reached the age of eighty-three years.
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Herman F. Mueller was a little lad of five summers when brought to the United States in 1863 by his uncle, Herman Mueller, who settled in Racine, and it was not until three years later that his parents reached the new world. tie pursued his education in parochial and public schools and when fifteen years old put aside his textbooks to make his initial step in the business world, securing a clerkship in a grocery store. He found the occupation congenial and has always continued in this line until now his connection with the grocery trade of Racine covers forty-three years. He clerked until his industry and economy had brought him sufficient capital to engage in business on his own account and on the 1st of May, 1876, he opened a retail grocery store at No. 1017 St. Clair Street, at which location he continued for six years. He afterwards spent five years at the corner of Superior Street and Douglas Avenue and in 1887 came to his present location at Nos. 1400-1410 Douglas avenue. For a long period he sold to the retail trade but for the past thirteen years has confined his attention to the wholesale grocery business and is supplying many merchants not only of this city but of the surrounding territory and in more remote districts. Something of the growth of his business is indicated in the fact that a branch house has been established in Kenosha and the annual sales of the firm amount to six hundred thousand dollars.
In 1878 Mr. Mueller was united in marriage to Miss Frederica Schuneman, who was born in Freeport, Illinois, and is a daughter of Henry and Johanna Schuneman, who became early settlers of Freeport, crossing the Atlantic from Germany and establishing their home in that city in the early ’50s. Mr. and Mrs. Mueller have become the parents of six children: Alma, the wife of Charles E. Gundlach, who is connected with the Mueller-Kuehn Company at Kenosha.
Clara, the wife of William Erick, who is a salesman with the Mueller-Kuehn Company in Racine; Minnie, who is private secretary for her father in the business; William, who died November 9, 1908; Elsie, the wife of William Kaiser, who is a bookkeeper for the Mueller-Kuehn Company, and Herman, who died in infancy.
Mr. Mueller and has family are members of the English Lutheran church, to which they give generous support. Mr. Mueller belongs to the United Commercial Travelers and his political allegiance is given to the Republican Party. He is now serving as president of the board of cemetery commissioners. He is deeply interested in all the questions which have to do with municipal welfare, staunchly advocating and supporting those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. His is the record of a well spent life, notable in its honorable purpose, its unfaltering diligence and indefatigable energy. He was fortunate that at the outset of his career he chose an occupation which he found congenial and which afforded him opportunity for the exercise of industry and perseverance-his dominant qualities. He has followed constructive methods in the conduct of his business affairs and in the upbuilding of his trade recognized that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement.