Q. I would appreciate help with my family research. I'm looking for an article on the wedding of my wife's grandparents, Almar Mueller and Gisela Zellmer. Also, my wife's great-grandfather, Herman Zellmer, operated a tailor shop on East Main in Belleville. I don't know the years of operation, but we have a photo of him standing in front of it. Where was it? And where did he live?
-- Gerald Scanlan, of Venedy
A. It was surprisingly easy to sew up all those questions about that old tailor. A century ago, people apparently didn't let the grass grow under their feet when reporting their marriages. Your wife's grandparents were married on a Wednesday night, Aug. 11, 1915, and it was in the Belleville Semi-Weekly Advocate on Friday.
"The bride (wore) a dainty creation of embroidered net with satin trimmings. The veil, which is embroidered, (was) worn Juliet style ...," the story read in part. They took up residence in Mueller's hometown of Guilding, Texas, but wound up back here in New Memphis, where Mueller pastored St. Peter's Lutheran Church for 33 years, according to the church history at www.lutheransonline.com. He died in 1960, and she passed nine years later. I'll be sending you a copy.
As for her father's business, the building you see on the picture would depend on the year it was taken because ol' Herman moved around a lot, too.
The 1904 Belleville city directory lists Zellmer with a shop at 317 E. Main St., but by 1908 he had moved across and up the street to 216. Either way, both buildings went the way of knickerbockers. The 317 address is now a patio between Big Daddy's (313) and Liese Lumber (319) while 216 likely would be part of what is now still best known as the St. Clair National Bank office building at Church and Main.
Later, Zellmer apparently closed his own shop because by 1920 he was listed as a tailor at the Romeiser Co. at 200-208 E. Main St. That building stands across from what is now known as "The Hole" after that 2010 downtown fire. Zellmer lived at 109 Michigan, where he raised four children and welcomed 15 grandchildren. As you likely know, the German native died in 1939 at 81, two years after his wife, Bertha, with whom he had celebrated his 50th anniversary on May 22, 1932.
The whole truth
My recent column on court reporters and that odd contraption they type on brought this fascinating note from Belleville historian Robert Brunkow: Believe it or don't, the American version of the stenotype machine can trace its origins to right here in the metro-east.
In 1877, Belleville native and court reporter Miles M. Bartholomew invented a device he called the Stenograph. Earning a patent in 1879, the machine resembled a simplified mechanical typewriter, according to a newsletter by Belleville's Labor and Industry Museum.
Pressing a key caused a needlepoint to punch a hole in one of five possible positions along a continuous stripe of paper about a half-inch wide. As many as four keys were pressed at once, and the various combinations could produce every letter of the alphabet.
The machines eventually were manufactured by his East St. Louis-based company, United States Stenograph Corp., and were still being used as late as 1937 before more advanced machines were developed. In the New World Encyclopedia, Bartholomew is still widely considered "the father of the Stenograph."
Many have kept asking over the years about the continuing saga of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in St. Louis. In case you missed it, the decade-long battle finally ended this week.
In short, St. Stanislaus and the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been fighting over control of the church since 2003. Eventually, then-Archbishop Raymond Burke removed the parish's priests and excommunicated both the board and the Polish priest the church recruited in 2005.
But that priest -- the Rev. Marek Bozek -- continued to celebrate Mass and administer the sacraments. In 2008, the fight came to a head when the archdiocese filed suit to regain control of the church, and the legal wrangling has continued ever since.
Now, they've reached a settlement. Bottom line: St. Stanislaus will retain ownership of the church but will stop saying that it is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. In return, the archdiocese will drop all appeals. A joint statement said no money changed hands; all other terms are confidential. Its website, www.stanislauskostka.com now says "Saint Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Parish."
On what popular food would you commonly find phloem?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: The discovery of the common foodborne illness salmonella had nothing to do with fish. Although Theobald Smith was first to report observing the bacterium, he eventually would name it after his boss at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the late 1800s, Daniel Elmer Salmon, a noted veterinary surgeon.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org