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Rev. John Muller, Page 615 Peoria Co. Biographical and Portrait Album

Rev. John Muller, A.B., A.M. The pleasing office of the biographical writer is to rescue from oblivion the names and deeds of those whose lives are well spent, whether on tented field, in busy marts of commerce, amid pastoral scenes or in the ranks of professional life. The man who stands before the people to proclaim the “unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ,” and to teach humanity how to live in order that it may be prepared to die, is surely worthy of remembrance, and deserving of an honorable place in the annals of the country. Rev. John Muller, pastor of the (German) Reformed Church of Peoria, has filled the position since 1871, in a manner that denotes his deep attachment to the cause of Christianity, and his fitness for the holy office he has assumed.

The church over which Mr. Muller has charge, was established mainly through his efforts in organizing a society, as that organized in 1869 had gone down for the lack of a pastor. After the re-organization a church was built at the corner of Persimmon and Madison Street which still stands, and with which a school has since been connected, under the supervision of the officers of the church. The membership of the church is now fifty families, and of the Sunday-school two hundred and twenty, while the day school is attended by fifty-six pupils.

Mr. Muller was born in Germany June 22, 1826, and under the wise laws of his native land acquired a fair education in boyhood. Before he had passed through his teens he determined to seek a field of labor in the United States, and so bade adieu to the land of his birth, and crossing the Atlantic, arrived in New York August 19, 1845. He made it his first endeavor to learn the English language, and afterward attended Rutger college in New Brunswick, N.J. from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, having the higher degree of Master of Arts bestowed upon him by his Alma Mater in later years.

We next find Mr. Muller prosecuting the studies that were intended to fit him for the ministry, in the theological Seminary of the Reformed Church at New Brunswick, N.J. During the first week of October, 1854, he was ordained, his first charge being at Wolcott, N.Y. the congregation American, and his pastorate continuing three years. He then went to Philadelphia to organize a church, but his health was so poor, that he was obliged to abandon his labors and rest for a twelvemonth. At the expiration of the period of enforced idleness, he took charge of a church in Burlington, Iowa, leaving that city for a new field of labor in 1861.

At that time Mr. Muller assumed the pastorate of a large German church in silver Creek, Stephenson County, Ill, continuing his labors there until 1871, when he came to Peoria. He is an excellent speaker, forcible in argument, and as a pastor so faithful and conscientious is he, that his warmest and most devoted friends are his own people. His influence extends, as that of every true man must, beyond the limits of his congregation, and he is everywhere spoken of as an earnest and capable advocate of the claims of Christianity.

A young lady of New Brunswick, N.J., secured the affection of Rev. Mr. Muller, and with her he was united in marriage in January 1855. She bore the maiden name of Cornelia V. Camp and was born April 3, 1826. She entered into rest Dec. 27, 1885, leaving behind her the record of good deeds that is a source of loving remembrance in the minds of her friends, and adds to the weight of her recollected words of counsel. Mrs. Muller was the mother of eight children, six of whom survive. They are Herman F., chief clerk for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy road in Peoria; Martin is at home; and Emma Augusta, who has the housewifely care of the house. All are well informed, upright, and useful in the spheres they occupy, and so are preparing themselves for greater works in the future.

The portrait of the Rev. John Muller, which is presented in connection with his sketch, will be considered a valuable addition to the Album, not only by his parishioners, but by his many friends throughout the county.

Submitted by Londie Benson.