Frau Erica Meet Adelheid Rickmeyer

Adelheid Rickmeyer was a young woman in her late teens living in Blumenthal, near Hannover, in Germany. She was a writer and a poet, publishing her work under the pen name Frau Erica, a reference to the heather (Erikablüte) that grew in her beloved meadows.

Adelheid had become engaged to a young man named Wilhelm Ernst Paul Mueller, eldest son of the man who owned the Bosenbüttel estate near Midlum. Before they could marry, however, Wilhelm’s father sold his estate and moved his family to America. That was in the fall of 1865.

One year later, the news was not good. The Muellers had settled near Kendallville, Indiana, where Wilhelm’s father had invested nearly all his money in a beautiful farm of nearly 600 acres. But Wilhelm’s father died six months after their arrival in Indiana. Wilhelm’s mother Johanne soon learned they had been swindled and did not have clear title to the land. The bank foreclosed. Johanne and her nine children settled on a portion of the original farm — a little more than 100 acres, all of it heavily mortgaged. Wilhelm had to run the farm, pay the mortgage, and provide for his mother and his siblings.

He sent Adelheid a photograph. Would she still come over and marry him?

Adelheid, then 22 years old, traveled alone to New York in 1867, boarded a train for the Midwest and married Wilhelm on November 28, 1867, despite his reduced circumstances. The rest, as they say, is history.

About these archives is built around the Mueller family tree, beginning with Georg and Gertrude Mueller in Napoleanic times. Lots of other families plug in — Kniefs, Oltroges, Schumms, Nickels, Marquardts, Gramses, Feiertags and many more, a Who’s Who of old Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod names. (There is even a small walk-on performance by C.F.W. Walther himself.) The photographs, documents, information and text come from various family archives. It seemed easiest just to post it all to the Web.

Who has access?

We are sorry, but many of these pages are not open to the general public. There is nothing of great material value here, but there are names, photographs, and some personal moments scattered about. Some things are best kept within the family circle. We hope you understand.

If you believe you are living on a branch of the Mueller family tree

Send e-mail to the archivist.Describe how and through whom you plug in to the family tree. Any branch of the Mueller family from Georg and Gertrude will qualify. Include your full name and salient information about your Mueller forebears. If you are on a branch somewhere in this particular Mueller family, you will receive a user ID and password that will give you access to everything at

If you have your user ID and password, start here

User ID:    Password: