Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Robert Swan Mueller III -- Part I

I began writing this article early in the Donald Trump administration, shortly after Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to write a report about Russians meddling in the 2016 election. Some were saying at the time that Mueller could not be trusted to give us the real truth about what really happened. Already shocked by all the lies Trump had told during his campaign, I held on to hope that all would be revealed when Mueller got to the bottom of what the Russian government had done to make him into our President.

So much has happened in the intervening two years since I began this research. Our country will never be the same. I will label this post as Part I of the story of Robert Swan Mueller III, though I may not hereafter have the will or inclination--or the time--to complete it.


There is a lot of garbage on the internet spouted by the likes of RCM (2016 Bernie supporter) in the insert to the right. I posted an item on Facebook about the CIA background of William Barr, about whom I had read in Terry Reed's book, Compromised, published in 1995, while Bill Clinton was still President. The YouTube video lists all the mentions of Barr in Terry Reed's book.

Instead of making a comment about Barr, Bernie Bro RCM tried to sully the character of Robert Mueller by pretending to know all about his ancestors and those of his late wife, Ann Cabell Standish. I had already done research on them after being asked by a friend about the same erroneous details. But, since I had not saved my previous research, I started again. What follows is the story I learned.

Dr. Gustave A. Mueller
Dr. Gustave Adolph Mueller was the first of Robert Mueller III's Prussian branch of family to be born in America--born ten years after his parents arrived from Bremen on the S.S. Beethoven. Arriving with August C. E. Mueller, then 33, and his wife, the former Fredericka Dorshlag, were their three eldest children. They made their way to Crestline, Ohio, where August worked as a farmer, and more daughters were born before Gustave, the youngest of seven, the only boy, was born in 1863.

Eventually August would move his family 165 miles farther east to North Shore (Allegheny, Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania, in time for the 1870 census. A directory from 1876 shows that August's family lived at 159 Madison Avenue--a site within walking distance of the river, which is now dwarfed by highways, overpasses and bridges--and that he had become a machinist.
Robert Swan Mueller's mother was Grace Swan Miller.

While he was the city physician for what was then Allegheny, Pennsylvania, he married his first wife on April 15, 1891, and she gave birth in 1893 to their only child, Robert Swan Mueller, given the same middle name as his mother--being the maiden name of his grandmother. Gustave took his wife Grace and their baby son to Hamburg on June 11, 1895 in order to pursue further education in the specialty in ear, nose and throat medicine. His wife's unmarried aunt, Janet Swan, went along as a companion and nurse/nanny.

A year and a half after that voyage commenced, Grace executed her last will, dated January 15, 1897, leaving all her property to Gustave. The will was witnessed by Janet Swan and Gustave's sister, Clara Mueller, who was also a teacher in the Allegheny area. Grace died three weeks later, and a published  announcement stated that the funeral procession would begin from the home of Grace's uncle, John Swan, at 64 Union Avenue in Allegheny (North Shore). Grace Swan Miller Mueller, had died February 8, 1897, leaving Robert Swan Mueller I behind for Dr. Mueller to attempt to care for on his own.

On April 25, 1900 Dr. Mueller married Nell Day Anderson, a young nurse nine years his junior, and his son Robert Swan Mueller (then age 7) was entrusted to Nell's care for seven years before she gave birth to Gustave Jr. in 1907. Nell had completed her nursing training in 1896 and, most likely, became a nurse not long afterward in the same medical community in which Dr. Mueller was a associated.

Nell's family had relocated from Steubenville, Ohio to Forbes Street in the Bellefield area of Pittsburgh--at that time one of the centers of focus for Andrew Carnegie's purchase of land for his institute and library, as indicated in a letter to Carnegie from his business partner, Henry Frick. Mueller's first wife's family also owned property only a block or so away from the Phipps Conservatory, near the location Carnegie chose for his library. Today, the Mueller home in 1900 (711 Arch Street), the Anderson property on Forbes, and the Swan property at Federal and Erie Streets have been absorbed within what has been called the "massive Carnegie culture complex." Before 1910 Mueller had sold the Arch Street residence and relocated about 13 miles to the east in Oakmont/Hulton area.

When Dr. Mueller, a robust young man of 49, died from typhoid fever, his eldest son—Robert Swan Mueller—was then nineteen and living with his stepmother, Nell Anderson Mueller, and his half brother, Gustave Mueller, Jr. Their marriage had lasted only twelve years, during which time she reared Dr. Mueller's first son and gave birth to the second. Nell was named Administratrix c.t.a. (cum testamento annexo, meaning "with will annexed") upon his death, an indication that the probated hand-written will did not name her as executor. Although, Dr. Mueller and his second wife had had an active social circle during their marriage, which included some of Pittsburgh's notable industrialists, such as Arthur Vining Davis of ALCOA, upon his death their new residence had to be sold, and his widow Nell went back to work. Like many of the Mellon family, owners of Alcoa, A. V. Davis moved to Florida and tried to get richer quick in its land boom, buying property in Sarasota and surrounding counties from the Palmer family.

By 1912 Robert S. Mueller I was ready for boarding school in Easton, Pa—almost on the eastern border of Pennsylvania. By 1920 Nell had moved with Gustave, Jr. to San Diego where she became a telephone operator at the Army and Naval Academy. Even though Gustave Jr. was at Stanford for a time, he seems to have lived with or near his mother most of his life. He did marry Maxine Cigal of Brooklyn in 1965. They lived in Houston at 151 Sage Rd, Houston, TX and also at 4806 Post Oak before their divorce in 1984. He was present to sign the death certificate for Nell who lived to be 100 years old. Her death occurred in 1973 at a nursing home in the same area of Houston near the Galleria. There did not appear to be any contact between them and Robert Mueller.

Swan family background

The 1876 directory mentioned earlier also listed the name of the Hon. John Swan as a member of the state legislature, living at 64 Union Avenue. John was the eldest son of Robert Swan and his wife, Grizzel (Grisela or Grace) Gibson, a couple who in about 1831 immigrated from Scotland. Robert worked as a stonemason, and many of his sons worked for construction contractors. Grace Swan's brother, Alexander Gibson, lived with the Swan family for decades in rural Ross Township, McCandless or Perrysville areas surrounding what was then Allegheny City, a city destined to disappear overnight in 1907 when it became part of Pittsburgh, Northside.

John Swan was the first Swan child born in American after the Scottish couple's immigration, and he had taken an early interest in politics, becoming a Democrat by as early as 1875. He continued in that party, helping to elect Grover Cleveland in 1884, and was rewarded by being named Postmaster of Allegheny until Cleveland lost to Harrison in 1888.
Robert Swan

The genealogy of the Swan family indicates that Robert Swan and Grisel Gibson, Grace Swan Miller's parents, had four sons--John (1832), Robert, Jr. (1837), Samuel (1848) and James (1849)--all of whom lived in the Allegheny area. Their daughters were Marion (born Scotland 1830), who married William Lyons (and died in 1910 leaving seven children); Jeannette "Jean" (1832), who married William Crider; Janet (1834), who never married; and Grace (1841), who married William B. Miller.

Grace's name appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census but not in the census of 1870. By 1880, her daughter, shown as "Grizzell Miller" (age 12), was living with her widowed grandmother "Grizzell" Swan. Also living at the same residence in Ross township at that time was a 40-year-old Janet Swan and James Swan, then 30. In 1891 the young Grizzell Miller, whose legal name was Grace Swan Miller, married Dr. Gustave Mueller, the city physician, who was four years her senior.

John Swan, Jr.
We know John Swan had married Annie Ramsey, and by 1880 had numerous children, including Robert and John Swan, Jr., who were both engineers in charge of Allegheny's public works. John was one of the first postmasters of the town, and his son, John, Jr. would become Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works.

Many of the John Swan's daughters became public school teachers who lived together in their parents' homes, along with brother, John Jr., who was unmarried as well. After her mother's death, Janet Swan also made her home with her nieces and nephew--either at 64 Union Avenue or at 1105 Allegheny Avenue. They would continue living there even after John died in 1897.

Eleanor Swan (1869-1893), a daughter of Robert, Jr., married David M. Alston, an attorney. John Swan also had a son named Robert, in addition to John Swan, Jr.--a detail adding much confusion to sorting out the various Swan families.

In 1916 the Swan family attempted to settle title to some land that had been owned by their parents. Attorney David Alston and his wife filed an ejectment suit naming Gustave's surviving spouse, Nell, and the two sons of her husband, as well as the Criders, Janet Swan and others. Nell countersued on behalf of Gustave Mueller's sons.

 A New Life in Baltimore

While Robert Swan Mueller was at Presbyterian-supported Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania (1911-12) he met Anna Elizabeth Freeman, whose father, Dr. Edward Jacob Freeman, announced their engagement in 1915. Anna was the Freemans' only child to survive to adulthood.

Only two years later, as the United States geared up for war in June of 1917, Robert, who by then had a wife and small son, registered for the military. Instead of becoming a soldier, however, he was employed by National Metal Molding Co. in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which normally make electrical parts. Controlled by William C. Robinson, this company  officially merged with National Electric Products in 1928, which became a subsidiary corporation in Phelps Dodge in 1930.

Soon after he registered for the draft, Robert found an opportunity to work in Baltimore as a brass purchasing agent for Union Shipbuilding (according to an October 1920 ad in the American Machinist, which erroneously listed his name as R. M. Mueller). The 1920 census confirmed that he was indeed a brass purchaser for the war-related shipping company, while renting a residence at 3551 Newland Avenue, and he was also a member of the Baltimore branch of the National Association of Purchasing Agents, elected secretary-treasurer of the group early in 1921.

Once the war ended, however, the war shipping board was closed down. By 1923 Robert and his wife had purchased an upscale home at 12 Englewood in Baltimore. At that time he opened his own office on the second floor of the Vickers Building, a red brick building on East Redwood, just north of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. On the east side of Vickers (225 E. Redwood) was the Keyser Building at 207 E. Redwood (now a hotel).

Mueller company's location in BALTIMORE
His associate in the fertilizer business was W. Whiteley Baker, Jr., a young man who had been arrested in 1921 for fraud and writing bad checks, after the death of his father. The senior Baker, a vice president at American Agricultural Chemical Company, had suffered a long illness before his retirement and subsequent death in September 1918. The ancestral Whiteley and Baker families had been partners in an international company based in Baltimore which for many decades imported nitrates for fertilizer--operating under the name of H. J. Baker & Bro., which W. W. Baker, Jr. joined after leaving employment with Mueller.

Robert S. Mueller I
Mueller advertised his new company extensively in 1923, but thereafter it appears advertising was unnecessary. By 1926 the Robert S. Mueller Co.—broker for fertilizers and metals—had moved one door west of the Vickers Building to the Garrett Building, located at 237 E. Redwood, where his office would remain for many years. The construction of this building, erected in 1913, had been a project of Robert Garrett (1875-1961), former Olympic athlete. He and his brother, Ambassador John Work Garrett (1872-1942) were the two surviving sons of T. Harrison Garrett II (1843-1888), a third son, Horatio Whitridge Garrett having died in 1896.

T. Harrison Garrett II was a son of John Work Garrett (born in Baltimore in 1820) and a brother of an earlier Robert Garrett (1847-1896), who had married Mary Sloan Frick. A few years after her husband's death, Mary married his doctor, Henry Barton Jacobs. She had no children with either husband. So many Robert Garretts makes it all quite confusing. The Garretts may have wondered about the middle name of Robert Mueller, since their heritage also had a Swan embedded there--stemming from a branch of the Swan family from Dumfries, Scotland, whereas the Swan family in Mueller's family hailed from Lanarkshire. According to The Genealogical and Memorial Encyclopedia of Maryland, at 628, Anne Elizabeth Swan was the mother of Mary Sloan Frick Garrett Jacobs.

Garrett Building Owners

Robert Garrett constructed the office building in Baltimore in 1913 to house the investment banking firm of Robert Garrett & Sons, decades after the Garretts began their primary business of promoting and operating the Baltimore and Ohio (B&) Railroad. The B&O connection affiliated the Garrett family with other Baltimore families, such as Alexander Brown and his sons, who had intermarried with the Whitridge and Keyser families through Isabel Brown Graham's family line--five generations after Alexander Brown started the firm which would eventually become Deutsche Bank Wealth Management (now part of Raymond James).

The Garretts lived in large acreage sites east of the historical area of Roland Park. The original Garrett Italianate mansion, Evergreen, was much grander than any of the Mueller family's homes. In 1910 Ambassador John W. Garrett (a grandson of the first John Work Garrett) purchased 32 acres of land adjacent to Evergreen, where his widowed mother, Mrs. T. Harrison (Alice Whitridge) Garrett, lived and the nearby "Wyndhurst" residence, where his brother Robert resided. John W. Garrett at the time was in his first decade of service in the diplomatic corps. By the time he retired in 1933, his mother had died, and he moved into Evergreen. The acreage he had purchased was subdivided into multi-acre lots, beginning in about 1922.

Robert's son, Harrison Garrett, operated Robert Garret & Sons from post-WWII until his retirement in 1974, when it was sold to Alex. Brown & Sons, also of Baltimore. Another son, Johnson Garrett, married a daughter of Bayard and Mary Bliss Dodge, whose ancestors controlled Phelps-Dodge Company, and he was a civilian employee of NATO in Paris in 1961. There is no indication the Muellers ever traveled within the high-class social circle of the Garretts, but they did manage to get within sight of them.

Robert S. (Bobby) Mueller, Jr.

In late July 1936 the Baltimore Sun announced that Robert S. Mueller had purchased a home at 6 E. Giddings--a two-and-a-half story colonial with five bathrooms. The new residence, like the previous one at 12 Englewood, was located in  Roland Park, developed from plans of the renowned Olmstead Brothers just west of Evergreen, the stately home of Garrett family, now within the campus of Loyola University. Both homes were within easy reach of the Gilman Country School, which the children attended.

Robert S. ("Bobby") Mueller, Jr., the eldest, graduated from Gilman in 1934 and then headed off to Princeton, a different Presbyterian college than his father had attended, to join the class of 1938. Like his parents, Bobby enjoyed all the amenities of their social set, including golf and sailboat racing, and at Gilman had played lacrosse and football.

During the mid-1930s, Mueller Sr.’s business was doing well enough that they acquired a second home on Gibson Island, a project planned in 1922 by developers Stuart and Thomas Symington, who went bankrupt because of the inauspicious timing of the project. The Muellers were also members of the Baltimore Country Club and participated in numerous regattas with elite members of other clubs located on the Chesapeake Bay.

One such club had members such as Nina and Patsy Raskob, daughters of John J. Raskob, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who worked for and with the du Pont family, and had a strategic role in Franklin Roosevelt’s first term. Raskob's employer, Eugene Eleuthere du Pont, won a racing award in one of the events also. By August 1934 du Pont was united with other members of his elite family from Wilmington, Delaware, in opposition to FDR’s New Deal, and, according to an online history source: "former party chairman John J. Raskob joined corporate leaders such as Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors, the DuPont family, and others to oppose the administration in advance of the year’s congressional elections....Many wealthy critics labeled Roosevelt a 'traitor to his class.'”

The closest friends of young “Bobby Mueller” during those days, however, were sailing enthusiasts in the Gibson Island Yacht club, such as the John Rulon-Miller, Jr. family. A civil engineer, Rulon-Miller, Jr. owned a residence on Charles Avenue next door to Robert Garrett and also owned a second home on Gibson Island before his untimely death in July 1931. A Princeton graduate of the class of 1905, John had grown up northwest of Philadelphia, in or near Haverford, Pennsylvania, and had moved to Baltimore in 1916 after his marriage to Anna "Nancy" Richmond Taylor, daughter of J. Bonsall Taylor, a Philadelphia patent lawyer.

Anna had spent most of her childhood winters abroad with her family, and her sister, Margaretta Bonsall Taylor, who had married in 1907 Dr. Charles Adams Holder, a physician, who had recently divorced. Holder entered the consular service in 1909 and was appointed by Robert Lansing in 1915 to be Woodrow Wilson's trade adviser. Anna's niece Margaretta "Peggy" Bonsall Holder, who had lived with her aunt in Baltimore for a few months in 1929 during her debutante year, was by 1931 competing in the Paris horse show. But then John Rulon Miller died from a hear condition in 1931.

Anna was remarried in July 1933 to the recently divorced Douglas Elphinstone, a construction machinery dealer, who lived on Blythewood Road. They returned from France on September 3, 1933, less than a year after Anna's sister had died in Paris. The following year Anna's new husband also died, but  she wasted no time in remarrying George Blakiston, Jr., seven years her junior, in February 1936. George's father had been president of the Union Trust Co., as well as a former manager of the Hotel Belvedere for several years. They made their home in the rear of 6 Blythewood Road in 1940, but had divorced before he registered for the draft in 1942.

During Anna's three marriages, the Rulon-Miller sons were attending Gilman School, Princeton and sailing during the summer months at Gibson Island. Son Berkeley T. Rulon-Miller, died at the age of 23 in 1937.

Richmond Rulon Miller, their third son, was, in fact, on the lacrosse team with Bobby at Princeton. Another friend in the 1938 class at Princeton was Francis Huger McAdoo, Jr., grandson of Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of treasury, William Gibbs McAdoo, who had himself twice been an unsuccessful Democratic Presidential candidate before becoming a U.S. Senator from California in 1932, but was not reelected in 1938. F.H. McAdoo, Jr.'s mother was Ethel Preston McCormack, an adopted daughter of Bromo-Seltzer inventor Isaac E. Emerson, who bought the estate of Brookland Wood in the Green Spring Valley north of Baltimore. Ethel Emerson and Francis H. McAdoo divorced in Paris in 1923, and in 1929 she was married to Walter Winchester Keith, grandson of George Brown, a previous owner of Brookland Wood, but they divorced in 1936.
Emerson also had a natural daughter--Margaret Emerson--who had been the surviving widow of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Sr., one of the wealthy men who died aboard the Lusitania in 1915. With him she had two sons, A. G. Vanderbilt, Jr. and George Washington Vanderbilt, who would grow up in Lenox, Massachusetts from 1918 during her subsequent ten-year marriage to Raymond Thomas Baker, Director of the U.S. Mint. What a tangled web of money and power! And I left half of it out, or else we would all be confused.
Both Bobby Mueller and McAdoo were ushers in Richmond Rulon-Miller’s wedding in 1939. McAdoo married that same year. In an interview with the Princeton Ivy Vine newsletter, he recounted memories of his time at Princeton, including roommates who had known John F. Kennedy--who had dropped out of Princeton due to illness after entering the class of 1939.

The Truesdale Family

It may have been while he was at Princeton that Bobby met his future bride, Alice Truesdale, daughter of the youngest child of William H. Truesdale, a railroad president who had risen quickly in the ranks to succeed the notable Samuel Sloan in 1899.

After five years in the Chicago area, William H. Truesdale was selected to head the New York-based Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, which Sloan had led for many years. Sloan resigned as president and moved to the new office of Chairman of the Board of Managers, leaving a committee of three (including William Rockefeller and George F. Baker) to name his replacement. 

In 1901 Truesdale gave his eldest daughter Marie in marriage to a man 18 years her senior, Richard M. Bissell from Lake Forest, Illinois. The Truesdales had been members within the same Lake Forest, Illinois, social set since only September of 1894, when they had moved from Minneapolis. Not long after the wedding Marie new husband relocated them to Hartford, Connecticut where he had been named president of The Hartford insurance company. Business and social friends who bestowed gifts on the couple included Honore Palmer, Potter Palmer, Jr., Marshall Field, James Stillman, William Rockefeller, and Samuel Sloan.

Nine years after the Truesdale-Bissell wedding, the 1910 census reflects Marie had three children ranging from six years and birth, though the family had nine live-in servants to attend to every need.
Marie Truesdale Bissell’s first child—William Truesdale Bissell—born in Illinois in December 1902, would, like his father, go to Yale, class of 1925, where he would be tapped for Skull and Bones. His future was cut out for him, to rise to high office in the same insurance company—The Hartford—where his father was president. It was the youngest son, born in 1909, however, who became his father’s namesake. Richard Mervin Bissell, Jr. entered Yale in 1928, after six years at Groton.

Marie Truesdale’s younger siblings, Calvin and Melville, grew up in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut, from which their father would commute to his office in New York. Calvin (Yale’s class of 1907), was a member of the glee and banjo club, but was also tapped for Skull and Bones with fellow classmate William McCormick Blair. Calvin became a securities broker and investment banker, living out his life in Greenwich.
Melville Truesdale's voyage to Japan, 1915
The youngest child in the family, Melville Douglas Truesdale, graduated in the Yale class of 1915, which included Dean Acheson and four other friends who made a voyage to Japan the summer of 1915, keeping an “anonymous log” of their trip, mentioned in a biography of Acheson. See excerpt to the right from that biography.

It should be noted here that Dean Acheson, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's acting secretary of the treasury, resigned in protest in FDR's first year in office, as described below by Gauti B. Eggertsson.
On the monetary side  Roosevelt  announced  that  the  value  of  the  dollar  was  no  longer  tied  to  the  price  of  gold, effectively giving the administration unlimited power to print money. The overarching goal of these policies was to inflate the price level, and Roosevelt announced that this would be achieved through all possible means, stating: “If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another. Do it, we will.” ...

During Roosevelt’s first year in office, several senior government officials resigned in protest. These included Lewis Douglas. Acting Secretary of the Treasury Dean Acheson was forced to resign due to his opposition to unbalanced budgets and the elimination of the gold standard. These policies violated three almost universally accepted policy dogmas of the time: (a) the gold standard, (b) the principle of balanced budget, and (c) the commitment to small government. Interestingly, the end of the gold standard and the monetary and fiscal expansion were largely unexpected, since all these policies violated the Democratic presidential platform.The data are highly suggestive of a regime change and a large shift in expectations.
In 1943, a decade after this resignation occurred, Dean Acheson's daughter, Mary Eleanor, was given in marriage to William Putnam Bundy, also Skull and Bones, and a member of the same extended family as William McCormick Blair--Calvin Truesdale's Bonesman brother. Bundy's sister Katherine Lawrence Bundy, married Dr. Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, II, Gordon's nephew. Gordon Auchincloss takes us back to Samuel Sloan, the man who had virtually created the railroad to which William Truesdale was promoted in 1899.

Gordon's mother, Maria LaGrange "Maggie" Sloan, was the eldest daughter of Samuel Sloan. Her husband, Edgar Stirling Auchincloss (born in 1847), was one of four brothers who established a mercantile firm known as Auchincloss Brothers in New York: John L., Edgar Stirling, John Winthrop and Hugh Dudley, while their sister Sarah married Sir James Coats, 1st Baronet, of J. and P. Coats Ltd, sewing cotton manufacturers in the United Kingdom, which later became Coats & Clark.

Gordon was one of seven sons of Edgar and Maggie Sloan Auchincloss. Gordon would ultimately be married to a daughter of the notorious Democrat from Texas, Colonel Edward M. House, while yet another relative named Hugh Auchincloss married the mother of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, becoming her stepfather.
There was no official intelligence service in America until the CIA, preceded by its largely unfunded preliminary attempts at information gathering, was created.  But there were what I call "rich people," who were concerned about maintaining their investments abroad. Our elected governments were more or less dependent upon those millionaires to use their own funds to inform "us" about whatever it is those leaders wanted to know.

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