The best clues as to the complexity of people from the past include the memories which have been recorded, utilizing ink on paper

The best clues as to the complexity of people from the past include the memories which have been recorded, utilizing ink on paper.

Mary Hilkelina Muehring – a life-long educator – was a preserver of history. Small in stature but large in accomplishment, she compiled a printed history of her family in 1976, following a research trip to Germany. She then shared copies of her work with her siblings and cousins in order to keep their family stories alive.

Born in 1911, she attended Mills Creek School in Ralls County, and graduated from Hannibal High School in 1929, when it was located at Tenth and Broadway. She earned an associate degree from Hannibal-LaGrange College, which was in its infancy following its establishment beyond the town’s northwestern boundary. Continuing her education, she went to Canton, where she attended Culver-Stockton College, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1935. Finally, in 1943, she earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Daughter of Ahrend and Catherine Long Muehring, Mary grew up on the original 60-acre farm in Clay Township, Ralls County, which her father inherited from his father, Bohle Muehring.

She taught at the former Elzea School near Lindell Avenue on west of Hannibal, and then taught Spanish and English at Tilden High school in Oakwood. Later, she was an elementary school teacher for the Hannibal public schools. She left Hannibal in 1944, teaching for a decade at Brentwood, Mo., before going to work for the Department of Defense, teaching at U.S. Army bases overseas. She taught in Germany and Japan, and retired as principal at Sukiran Elementary School in Okinawa, with an enrollment of 1,200 students.

She relocated to San Jose, Calif., where she lived for nearly 30 years, until her death in 2003.

Bohle Franken Muehring III

Bohle Muehring, (1837-1909) one of Ralls County’s prominent farmers, died in November 1909.

Mary H. Muehring was the granddaughter of Bohle Franken Muhring III, and was born two years after his death.

She recorded the stories told of her grandfather’s lifetime adventures in her 1976, book, thus allowing his story to live on.

Bohle Franken Meuhring III was born in 1837 in a little village in the northwest part of Germany called Rhaude, near the Holland border.

At the age of 17 he enlisted in the military to serve on behalf of his brother, Johann, who had been drafted. Following that term of service, he enlisted again in order to fulfill his own required tour of duty. But he only served three years of that term, and then deserted. He was subsequently hired on as a cook on a Danish ship, which he believed to be headed for the United States.

Instead, he landed in South America, where he remained for four years.

In 1866, he finally made it to the United States, and settled in Forreston, Ill., where his brother, Johann, was already established.

Remembering a love he had left behind in Germany, Bohle returned in 1867, and married Hilkelina Kahlor, who by then was a widow with a young son, named John Luepkes.

They returned to Illinois, where Bohl’s first child, Engelina, was born in 1868.

Lumberman

His involvement in the lumber trade began when he rode the river rafts down the Mississippi River, where white pine logs were floated from Wisconsin to Hannibal. That trade brought him to Hannibal, where he built a home for his family on West Bird Street, at what is now known as 1409 Bird.

Bohle moved his family to Ralls County about 1880, when he purchased the historic A. Thompson fruit farm located two miles south of Hannibal, in Section 6, Township 56, Range 4, South of Oakwood, east of what was later known as Orchard Road (Route O).

Wife dies

During the winter of 1885, Bohle’s wife died at the age of 45. Four years later, he married her sister, Wilhelmina Kahlor.

Inheritance

Bohyle inherited a significant sum of money after the passing of his brother Wilhelm, who had remained in Germany. Bohle remodeled an existing log cabin on the Ralls County property, and eventually had home constructed for his family. (See accompanying photo.)

He moved his family to Brunswick, in north central Missouri, at the turn of the 20th century, where he was the proprietor of the Hannibal Lumber Company. Around 1904, he sold the lumber company and relocated to Ralls County, where he invested in in two farms in the Hydesburg neighborhood.

Upon his death in 1909, he bequeathed a farm to each of his three adult children:

Frank Muehring: 78 acres: Start E ½ of E ½ Section 16 Township 56 Range 5; south of the Hydesburg school.

Engelina Ransdell: 80 acres: Being the S ½ of SW ¼ Section 9 township 56 Range 5; south of Hydesburg.

Ahrend Muehring (father of Mary Hilkelina Muehring) 60 acres being the SW ¼ of the SE ¼ and East ½ of SE of the SW ¼ Section 6 Township 56 Range 4. South of Oakwood.

Note:

Thanks to Caroline McIntosh, daughter of Lois Muehring Moyers, for sharing Mary Hilkelina Muehring’s family history compilation and accompanying photos.

Mary Lou Montgomery retired as editor of the Hannibal Courier-Post in 2014. She researches and writes narrative-style stories about the people who served as building blocks for this region’s foundation. Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com