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Frank C. Mueller (1879–1945)

With tragic suddenness death claimed one of Echuca's most useful and highly respected citizens yesterday afternoon, when Mr. Frank Mueller' was the victim of a sudden seizure.

Recently he had been particularly active. He had walked to Moama and back on Monday evening and complained of a pain in his chest on his return, and again yesterday. During yesterday he had successfully conducted a case in the Echuca Court and had been later, busily engaged in connection with, another important case, in which he was to have represented the Moama Municipal Council today. He visited Moama during the afternoon and after finishing his work art his office was proceeding to his home. He stopped in Heygarth Street, outside of Dr. Brown's surgery to converse with Mr. W. Bryce. While engaged in conversation he fell to the ground unconscious. His son, Carl, was sent for and he was conveyed to the hospital in the ambulance, but Dr. Brown could only pronounce life extinct.

The late Mr. Mueller was born in 1879 and married Miss Cissy O'Brien, daughter, of Mrs. O'Brien, of the Union Club Hotel, Echuca, in 1912. He is survived by his wife and his family—Carl Francis, John Erne'st (AIF), Mary Catherine, Aileen and Estelle. A brother, Ernest, and sister, Mrs. A. Scott, both of Bendigo also survive him.

Mr. Mueller was among the ablest of Echuca's citizens, and when the exactions of his legal practice allowed, devoted much of his time to the social, sporting, and musical activities of the town. Mr. Mueller had been identified with Northern Victoria and its interests all his life. His father was the late Carl Mueller, one of the pioneers of the mining industry in Bendigo, where Mr. Mueller spent his early life and received his education. He attended the North Sandhurst and Central State Schools, and was successful even at that early age in impressing the school examiners, as he left with a scholarship bursary. His education was completed at the Bendigo Grammar School, which was then conducted by his brother-in-law, the late A. J. Pearce. Mr. Mueller was articled to Sir John Quick in 1895, and completed his legal studies under the tuition of Mr H. I. Colier, K.C. M., L.C. Admission to practice as a barrister and solicitor was granted Mr. Mueller in October 1900, on the motion of Sir Isaac Isaacs, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, and later Governor-General of Australia. On leaving Bendigo in 1906 Mr. Mueller started the practice of his profession in Echuca, and from 1907 to 1913, was associated with the late A. J. Mitchell, since when he developed a large and influential clientele on his own account. In connection with his profession, Mr Mueller was solicitor to the Echuca Sewerage Authority and the Moama Municipality, having been enrolled as a solicitor in New South Wales in 1910. He was a keen advocate and excelled in cross-examination and it had been said that when "F.C.M." looks over his glasses—"Witness beware!"

As an athlete, Mr. Mueller enjoyed a State-wide reputation, and while in. Bendigo developed into a first class footballer, having played with the old Sandhurst, Bendigo and South Bendigo football clubs. He was one of the founders of the Bendigo Hare and Hounds club, the premier club of Victoria for some years. His personal triumphs on the track included the amateur championship for 100 yards, 220 yards, and the long jump, which he held for two years in succession. His defeat of Arthur Duffy, the American champion, on the MCC ground in 1905 over 100 yards will probably remain a record for all time. He was a cricketer of no mean order, his speciality being wicket keeping. On his arrival in Echuca he immediately associated himself with sporting activities and was the first captain of the Echuca Football Club on its entry into the Goulburn Valley League. Perhaps his best work in connection with, sport was his labors with and on behalf of the Echuca and District Athletic Association. He was elected committeeman in the first year of its formation, in 1906, and for a considerable period he officiated as starter. He occupied the chief executive position in the association from 1915 to 1918, and was again elected president in 1921, a position he filled with dignity. His experience and ability in no small measure contributed to the wonderful progress made by the association, the annual Boxing Day Carnival having became prior to the outbreak of war, one of the leading athletic fixtures in the Commonwealth. Recently the Athletic Association decided to renew its activities and Mr. Mueller was again at its head, planning with all his former enthusiasm for the Boxing Day Carnival.

In music he was for a time associated with Mr. E. Allen Bindley, of  the Bendigo Conservatorium, and as a violinist with Mr. A. G. Finster, and enjoyed many successes in competitions. In Echuca he organised an orchestra, conducted by himself, established a reputation for excellence throughout the north. Though Mr. Mueller never sought municipal or political honors, he took at all times his share of civic responsibility, and his work for the  Echuca District Hospital will always be remembered by those who realise the keen and active interest he had taken, in its administration. He was honorary legal adviser to the institution, and occupied the presidential chair on several occasions. The organisation of the local hospital auxiliaries was successfully undertaken by him, and their value to the board of management has already been incalculable. Although he retired from the board of management some years ago, his interest in the institution never waned, and when the hospital expansion scheme was launched recently he willingly accepted the secretaryship, entering into the project with the enthusiasm that characterised all his activities.

The late Mr. Mueller was for many years a valued member of the hoard of management of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and as a member of the choir gave fine service. Only a few weeks ago he assumed the conductorship of the choir and was planning a special programme for the Christmas season.

Original publication

Citation details

'Mueller, Frank C. (1879–1945)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mueller-frank-c-20804/text31544, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Birth

1879
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Death

20 November, 1945 (aged ~ 66)
Echuca, Victoria, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Education
Occupation