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Artistic Wiesenmuller Descendants

by Betty Ashley


Do you know an artistic descendant of Wiesenmullerin?  If so, I'd be very interested in hearing about him/her.

The first artist I ever knew was my mother, Molly SCHAFER MILEY, who was born 7 July 1905 in Russia.  Her parents brought her to America in 1907, along with two brothers and two sister.  Four more children were born here.  As soon as she could reach the treadle on the old Singer, Molly was sewing for her brothers and sisters.  Sometimes her mother hid the scissors from her, because Grandma never knew what Molly would cut up next!

My sisters and I were lucky because Mom could look at a picture (even from the most fashionable store) and copy it perfectly.  She made pep-girl outfits, bridesmaids and bridal gowns, and dozens of matching costumes for her lodge marching team.  When she died I found yards and yards of gold lame, sequins, buttons, tatted lace, crocheted doilies and colorful afghans.  She taught me to draw and embroider before I could even spell my name.  My daughter Allyn JARRETT, inherited Mom's talent.  Allyn has even tailored suits for her husband.  Presently she is doing botanical drawings for a publication in Boulder, CO and is working on an architectural degree at C.U.

Mom's aunt, Eva (Effie) MILLER YOUNG made quilts on the sewing machine before the quit shops ever heard of doing so.  I have two of her colorful quilts.  One is in tatters, but I keep it anyway.  Aunt Effie's daughter, Eva YOUNG CHAMNESS, is 85 years old and keeping young making "American Girl" doll clothes.

This bent for creativity runs through various other descendants of Grandmother SCHAFER.  Mom once mentioned that Grandma's mother (Marie Elisabeth ZELLER MILLER) born 1840 in Dietel was the village seamstress in Wiesenmuller until she went blind.

If you saw the picture of the Wiesenmullerin at Frankfurt on the Oder, you saw little Victor PINNECKER.  He lived in Fresno, CA, until his recent death.  One of his descendants owns a pottery studio in Fresno.

I know just a few of the BUXMANs who live in the vicinity of Fresno (near where I live).  One BUXMAN descendant of who I have heard (surname LUTZ) is a well-known architect here.  Paul BUXMAN is a very talented oil painter.

Our own Sue KOTTWITZ is a prolific artist.  Her dolls are collectable, individualized and numbered, dated and signed by the artist.  She now is creating precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry.  Sue comes by her talent naturally also.  Her great grandpa, George Peter SCHREINER born 1850 in Huck, built the steeple of the church in Gnadenthau (among many others) and his sons were also talented woodworkers.  Most of our ancestors who lived in Wiesenmuller, Gnadenthau, and Friedenburg, around 1860 to 1900, were married and/or confirmed in that church in Gnadenthau.

I have read that many of the people who migrated to Russia because of Catherine the Great's invitation in the 1760's were artisans.  Even though our ancestors had to become farmers to survive, I firmly believe that those creative genes survive to this day in many descendants.