The Mueller Museum celebrates the life and legacy of Hieronymus Mueller. Mueller immigrated from Germany to Decatur, IL and founded several businesses in the area. One of the most recognizable companies, Mueller Co., is still in operation today and produces water pressure valves and fire hydrants that you will find in many American cities.
The museum itself was founded in 1995 by the Hieronymus Mueller Family Foundation to “house and curate the vast collection of Mueller Family and Mueller Co physical artifacts, memorabilia and library materials,” according to the museum’s website. The museum moved to its current location on West Eldorado Street in 2005.
What You Will Find Inside the Mueller Museum
Inside the Mueller Museum, you’ll find bronze busts of Hieronymus Mueller himself along with historical artifacts from his life and the companies he founded. The museum also keeps an online collections database that allows you to search out certain items you may be in search of that relate to Mueller and his companies.
The History of Hieronymus Mueller
Hieronymus Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1832. According to his bio on the museum’s website, he “was trained and apprenticed as a machinist but became caught up in the widespread economic and political upheaval engulfing Germany in the 1840’s.” As a result of the chaos, Mueller chose to flee Germany and come to the United States.
He briefly resided in Freeport, IL where he met and married Frederica Bernhart. Mueller and his new wife were advised to move to Decatur IL, and thus began the growing of a business enterprise that would span far beyond his lifetime.
Mueller found great success in Decatur and was named the first “city plumber” in 1871 and oversaw the installation of a water distribution system. The following year he developed his first significant invention with the creation of the Mueller Water Tapper. This invention (with minor modifications) is still the standard for the industry today. In the ensuing years, Mueller and his sons would obtain over 501 patents “including water pressure regulators, faucet designs, the first sanitary drinking fountain, a roller skate design, and a bicycle kick-stand,” per the museum’s website.
As a result of his ingenuity, hard work, and business acumen, Mueller would go on to establish many companies creating an enduring legacy in the Decatur, IL area.
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Bob Brady Honda
Our dealership is proud to be a part of a community that honors the history of successful businessmen like Hieronymus Mueller. We invite you to visit Bob Brady Honda if you are in the market for a new Honda or quality pre-owned vehicle. Just check out all our inventory online and then come see us in person for a test drive at 3955 E Boyd Rd Decatur, IL 62521.