Collection 00/MS.343 - Adam, Helen, and Amelia Mueller Papers

Identity area

Reference code

US BCMLA 00/MS.343


Adam, Helen, and Amelia Mueller Papers


  • 1920-2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

22.75 Cubic Feet

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Adam Theodore Mueller was born on January 8, 1904, in Meno, Oklahoma, to Theodore Henry Mueller and Anna Becker Mueller. His father was not of Mennonite background, but had come from Leavenworth, Kansas, to participate in the Oklahoma “run” in 1893 and homesteaded land a mile north of Meno. Adam’s father married Anna Becker and Adam was baptized in the New Hopedale Mennonite Church. Adam attended the Oklahoma Bible Academy, 1916-18, but ended his secondary education at Lahoma, Oklahoma, High School in 1921 without a diploma. During this period the family had spent a year or two in far southern Texas at LaFeria, near Brownsville. Adam attended the Enid Business College for two years and received a diploma in business in 1924. He attended Bethel College from 1927-32 and obtained a BA in 1932. Adam continued his education with a MA in economics in 1939 from the University of Kansas. He also studied accounting at the University of Oklahoma in 1946 and Wichita State University from 1957-1959.

Adam’s career included stints at a number of businesses. From 1924 to 1927 before attending Bethel he was the bookkeeper for the Wynona, Oklahoma, Chevrolet Dealer and then for the Meno Hardware and Implement Company. He worked in the business office and bookstore at Bethel while a student and returned a decade later to work in the business office and as purchasing agent, 1943-46. He worked in the General Conference Offices from 1948-50. Then he and Helen left Newton to become the first directors of Camp Mennoscah, 1950-54. For the following years, 1954-62 he worked as the office manager for the doctors’ office of Tippin, Harms, and Tippin in Wichita. He taught a night course at Wichita State. During these years the Muellers were members of the Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church.

Adam obtained a teaching position at Southeast Missouri State in 1962 and taught there until his retirement in 1974. With no Mennonite churches nearby, he and Helen participated in an Episcopal Church.

Adam married Helen Elisabeth Hiebert on June 7, 1932. They had two children, Theodore, born December 3, 1934; and Lyman, born April 14, 1938. Following the death of Helen on December 14, 1975, Adam married Amelia Katherine Mueller (no relation) on August 14, 1976, and after selling her house in Hutchinson they moved into her family home in Halstead. She preceded him in death on October 14, 2001. They moved from Halstead to North Newton in 1999. Adam died on January 12, 2004, a few days after his 100th birthday.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Amelia Mueller was born August 27, 1911, to Jacob and Elizabeth Ellenberger Mueller on a farm northwest of Halstead, Kansas. The family belonged to the Garden Township Mennonite Church. When she was three her family along with two of her father’s brothers families sold their farms and moved to Hamshire, Texas, north east of Houston. After a few years of crop failures in part due to two hurricanes, the Muellers tried to return to Halstead, but finding no land settled near relatives near Deer Creek, Oklahoma. Amelia attended local schools, but graduated from Halstead High School when her family was able to find a farm to rent and returned to Kansas before her senior year. They joined the Halstead Mennonite Church.

Amelia attended Bethel College for two years and obtained a teaching certificate. She taught second grade for two years in Mankato, Kansas. Then she obtained her BS from Emporia Normal School and taught third grade for a year in Manhattan before obtaining a position closer to home in Hutchinson. She taught in Hutchinson for thirty-three years with the exception of a year of teaching at the American Dependents School in Ansbach, Germany (1949-50). During that year she especially enjoyed visiting her mother’s extensive family throughout Germany and corresponded with these relatives regularly for decades.

In 1955 Amelia completed a MS degree from the University of Colorado and for the following years served as the Speech Clinician for the Hutchinson School District. She spent many summers advancing her education in this field. She retired in 1976 and a few months later married Adam, who had retired from Southeast Missouri State.

Like Adam’s first wife, Amelia was a prolific author. She had extensive poems, articles, and short stories published in a wide variety of magazines. She also authored four books, hymns, and Sunday school materials. She was an active member of the Kansas Authors Club. Other vocations included quilting, crocheting, drawing, and painting. She joined a number of local civic groups, and participated with Adam in the American Iris Society. Amelia passed away after moving to Kidron Bethel on October 14, 2001.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Helen Hiebert was born April 1, 1912, in Mountain Lake, Minnesota to Jacob D. And Anna Janzen Hiebert. She graduated from Mountain Lake High School and then from Bethel College in 1933. She worked in the General Conference Mennonite Church Offices in Newton in the late 1940s, first as the secretary of P. A. Penner and then as the executive secretary of the Young Peoples Committee. It was through association with the Western District Young Peoples Committee that the call to Camp Mennoscah developed. She worked with Adam when he became the first director of Camp Mennoscah.

When the Muellers left Mennoscah for Wichita she worked as a secretary at Wichita West High School, and when Adam accepted a job at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Helen was a substitute teacher for about thirteen years and a full-time teacher for four years. She served as secretary of the local writers guild for many years.

Helen was an avid writer and this collection contains much of her work. The General Conference published her book, Through the Year: Junior Programs for Special Days. Beginning in the 1930s Helen experienced difficulty in hearing, but surgery eventually improved her hearing in one ear. Upon her death she donated her ears to the national Temporal Bone Bank. She passed away on December 14, 1975.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer


Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection contains personal materials from all three creators, including school transcripts and diplomas, school papers, baptismal certificates and other documentation of their early family life. However, the most extensive personal materials are the writings of Helen and Amelia and the correspondence of Amelia and her family.

The other major category of materials in the collection is family history. This includes several generations of correspondence of Amelia’s family, especially of her many relatives in Germany who wrote to Amelia’s mother Elizabeth Ellenberger, her Aunt Selma Ellenberger, and to Amelia herself, covering a period of over a century. The family history materials, in addition to these primary source documents, includes extensive genealogical research materials. Published genealogies, primarily collected by Adam, relate to many branches of his ancestors, especially on his maternal, Becker, side. He and Amelia both compiled numerous family charts and histories.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


This collection was donated to the MLA in numerous installments, some by Adam and Amelia in the 1990s,and many more from Adam’s son Theodore following Adam’s death. Amelia’s niece, Pat Friesen, donated the final installment in late 2018.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

open for research use

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • German

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Finding aids

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Notes area


The finding aid in the collection also includes a list of books that were not retained in the collection.

Box 1: folders 1-35
Box 2: folders 36-50
Box 3: folders 51-72
Box 4: folders 73-96
Box 5: folders 97-128
Box 6: folders 129-186
Box 7: folders 187-217
Box 8: folders 218-242
Box 9: folders 243-289
Box 10: folders 290-312
Box 11: folders 313-358
Box 12: folders 359-415
Box 13: folders 416-463
Box 14: folders 464-495
Box 15: folders 496-509
Box 16: folders 510-528
Box 17: folders 529-553
Box 18: folders 554-583
Box 19: folders 584-608
Box 20: folders 609-624

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Accession area