|Theresia and Paul Müller, parents to|
Therese Woschkeruscha, maternal
grandparents to Luise Woschkeruscha
While the origins of Louise's mental illness can't be pinpointed, some facts about her childhood may throw some light the possible origins of her incendiary temper.
Aloisia (in America, Louise) Woschkeruscha's mother was Therese Müller, daughter of a successful miller and farmer, Paul Müller and his wife, Theresia, nee Blaschka. (Couple at left).
|Johann Woschkeruscha, father to|
Aloisia and John
|Therese Woschkeruscha, nee|
Müller, Louise's mother
As a young woman, Theresia met Johann Woschkeruscha, a handsome wagonmaker. Family lore has it that Johann seduced Therese Müller as a way to wheedle his way into her family money. My mother told me that the butcher in town begged Therese not to marry Johann. He, the butcher, loved her and didn’t care if she was pregnant with Johann’s child. It's unclear to me if Therese loved Johann or just felt the child should be raised with her biological father. Whatever the reason for her decision, their differences in class and ethnicity infused their marriage and family life with tension and violence.
|Paul Müller's home, about 1900, location described on back:|
St. Leonhardt am Forst, bei St. Pelten, Nieder Österreich (lower Austria)
|John Miller, about 8, nee|
Woschkeruscha. Look at his
eyes and hand. I see a tense
and angry little boy.
Family lore has it he ran away from home at the age of fifteen. Whether that age is correct, I'm not certain, but I do know, based on Ellis Island's ship manifest, that John was twenty when he boarded the S.S. George Washington in Bremen on May 4, 1912, and arrived in New York on May 13th, destined for Chicago. He changed his name from Johann (Hans) Woschkeruscha to "John Miller," using his maternal grandfather's Americanized surname, to erase the familial connection to the man who had abused him.
I never heard that Johann, the father, beat Louise, but it’s pretty clear that she grew up in a home where violence was common and self-control in short supply. She, too, would develop a volatile temper.
|John Miller, center, son of Johann and Therese|
Woschkeruscha, in wagonmaker school, Austria