Manuscript Group 1517, Mueller Family (Newark, NJ), Papers, 1895 – 1950

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 1517, Mueller Family (Newark, NJ)

Papers, 1895-1950 (Bulk dates: 1918-1919, 1943-1945), 0.75 linear feet / 2 manuscript boxes

Call Number: MG 1517 + box & folder number (there are oversize photograph boxes)



Largely consists of the correspondence of Frank Mueller (b. 1895), a member of the 312th Infantry, New Jersey Regiment during World War I, and of his son, Joseph Mueller (b. 1924), a member of the 35th Infantry, Cannon Company, Tank Destroyers during World War II.  The papers span the years 1895-1950, but are mostly from the time period each man was involved in the armed forces: 1918-1919 and 1943-1945.  Also contains photographs, newspapers clippings, pamphlets, and a scrapbook.

Gift of Sister Gerardine Mueller, 1999.

Biographical Note:

Francis (Frank) Joseph Mueller was born August 15, 1895 in Newark, New Jersey.  He was the child of Jacob Mueller and Clara Bender.  He grew up living on 33 Kent Street in Newark and was a florist by profession.

Frank Mueller joined the army at age 22 and he served in Company C of the 312th Infantry in the New Jersey Regiment.  He participated in both offensive and defensive battles in World War I, with the majority of them occurring in France. His valor was recognized on March 25, 1919, when he achieved the rank of Corporal.

After he was honorably discharged from the armed forces on May 31, 1919 he returned home to his family, and fiancé Tess, in Newark, New Jersey.

Frank Mueller married Teresa (Tess) Barbara Saalmuller, daughter of John Saalmuller and Barbara Brunquell, on June 23, 1920 at Saint Anne’s Church in Newark.  They both owned and ran a flower shop on 424 Springfield Avenue in Newark until their mutual retirement in 1964.  At this time they turned the business over to their son, Joseph, but remained involved in the business.

Frank and Tess lived at South 11th Street in Newark, New Jersey until 1977 when they moved to Maplewood, New Jersey where their new address was 212 Indiana Street.

Joseph Mueller was born in Maplewood, New Jersey in 1924.  He graduated from Saint Joseph’s School and went on to graduate from Seton Hall Preparatory School in 1943. At the age of nineteen, and on the day of his graduation from Seton Hall Prep, Joseph Mueller enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.

After training in Texas and Tennessee, Joseph was assigned to the 35th Infantry, Cannon Company, Tank Destroyers.  It was with this company that he participated in the invasion of Omaha Beach, France in 1944. During the time spent with the 35th  Infantry, Joseph fought under General Patton, 3rd Army in the same general vicinity as his father did during the first World War.

During his time overseas, Joseph Mueller was awarded the Bronze Star on October 4, 1944, for saving a wounded
soldier’s life, and also the Combat Infantryman Badge for battle efficiency.

Joseph Mueller wrote letters to his sister, Gerardine, and parents, Frank and Tess, throughout his time overseas.  His letters came from France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and England.

Provenance Note:

The Mueller Family Papers were donated to the New Jersey Historical Society on June 10, 1999 by Sister Gerardine Mueller.

Scope and Content Note:

The Mueller Family Papers, 1895-1950, document the effects of war on two generations of the Mueller family.  The bulk of the documents range from 1918-1919 and 1943-1945, corresponding to Frank Mueller’s participation in the first World War and Joseph Mueller’s involvement overseas during the second World War.

The collection is organized in two series: Frank Mueller Papers and Joseph Mueller Papers.  Document types include letters, greeting cards, photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, pamphlets, printed material and miscellaneous items.

Information on Frank Mueller and the Newark 312th can primarily be found in the scrapbook.  The development of his relationship with Tess can be read in her correspondence to him.  Subjects covered in the first series include family issues, minimal battle stories, and daily activities of Frank’s family back home.

The second series comes from Joseph Mueller and primarily consists of his correspondence to his parents, Frank and Tess, during his time serving with the 35th Infantry, Cannon Company in the second World War.  These letters include information on Joseph’s military training, his activities during leave, and scattered information on his military activity and experiences.  These letters convey his interest in his family and local events back home in New Jersey.

Series Descriptions:

I.  Frank Mueller Papers, 1895-ca. 1935, 15 Folders

This series contains correspondence, a scrapbook, military and personal documents, publications including a brief diary, and photographs.  The bulk of correspondence, 1917-1919, illustrates the development of feelings for Frank from Tess and the daily activities of the Mueller family and their local friends dealing with their soldiers “over there.”  Of particular interest is the scrapbook kept by Tess and the Mueller family.  This scrapbook contains many newspaper clippings relating to Frank Mueller, to his company and friends, and describing how his local community supported their New Jersey regiment.  There is also a  published diary relating Frank’s two week trip from New Jersey to England prior to his involvement in the war. Folders are arranged in chronological order by type of material.

II.  Joseph Mueller Papers, 1943-1950, 14 Folders

The bulk of this series is correspondence from Joseph, but also includes newspaper clippings, photographs and a description of a family pilgrimage to Omaha Beach in 1950. The bulk of the correspondence is from Joseph to his parents, Frank and Tess Mueller.  These letters, saved by his parents, relate to his basic training, daily activity and some of his war time experiences.  The letters, for the most part, tend to avoid controversial issues and spend much time concerned with the well being of his family and friends back home.  The newspaper clippings contain information about Joseph’s patriotic enlistment into the Armed Services and a photograph of Joseph at age nineteen prior to being shipped overseas.  Folders are arranged in chronological order according to material.

Container List:

Box Folder Title Dates
Series I.
Frank Joseph Mueller Papers: 1895 – 1919
1 1 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller Aug 1918 – March
1 2 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller April – May 1918
1 3 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller Sept. – Oct. 1918
1 4 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller Nov. – Dec. 1918
1 5 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller Jan. – Feb. 1919
1 6 Correspondence from Teresa Saalmuller March – May 1919
1 7 Correspondence to Parents Jacob and Clara,
brothers Joseph
and Robert, and his
and Tess’s sisters Evylan and Marie
Aug. 1918 – Feb. 1919
1 8 Correspondence to Friends ca. 1919
1 9 Greeting Cards ca. 1918
1 10 Picture Postcards ca. 1918-1919
1 11 Scrapbook 1918-1944
1 12 Military/ Personal Documents 1895-1920
1 13 Publications ca. 1920
1 14 Photographs ca. 1919
1 15 Miscellaneous Dec. 1918
Series II.
Joseph Mueller Papers: 1943 – 1950
1 16 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller June – Oct.1943
1 17 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Nov. 1943
1 18 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Dec. 1943
1 19 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Jan. – Feb. 1944
1 20 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller March – May 1944
2 1 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller June – July 1944
2 2 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Aug. – Sept. 1944
2 3 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Oct. – Dec. 1944
2 4 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller Jan. – May 1945
2 5 Correspondence to Frank and Tess Mueller June – Aug. 1945
2 6 Correspondence to Gerardine Mueller Aug. 1943 – Aug. 1945
2 7 Newspaper Clippings 1944
2 8 Photographs ca. 1943
2 9 Omaha Beach Family Pilgrimage Sept. 1950

Processed by Stephen M. Sullivan, Rutgers University at Newark, June 1999

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