In 1905, Charles H. Mueller began offering his services as an undertaker in the Dale Street/University Avenue area of St. Paul, Minnesota. Known at various times as the Mueller Undertaking Parlors and the Charles H. Mueller Mortuary, his firm operated in St. Paul from 1905 to 1935 at several different locations in that area, known as the "Frogtown" neighborhood. His stepson, Albert N. Bies, joined him in the business in 1933, and shortly thereafter, in 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, he settled into a new location at 575 W. University Avenue, just east of Dale. In the subsequent years the firm became known as Mueller-Bies Funeral Home. Eventually, Charlie retired, and Al assumed full ownership and operation of the company.
In those years, there were several mortuaries operating in the neighborhood, each serving a different nationality, religious background, or both; Mueller-Bies primarily catered to the German Lutherans of the area. In 1955, in its fiftieth year of operation, Mueller-Bies moved into a new location in St. Paul, at 650 N. Dale St, on the corner of Dale and Blair - about a half-mile north of its previous home. In the 1960's, Al's oldest son, Albert W., joined his father in the business, stretching the family tradition of funeral directing to a third generation. As years passed, the old ethnic and religous barriers began to break down, and many of the mortuaries in the area began to close or consolidate; Mueller-Bies, however, continued to grow and serve an increasing portion of the families of the area, from all backgrounds. In 1970, Mueller-Bies acquired a funeral home that was closing down across Dale Street from its existing location, at 625 N. Dale, and the two locations on either side of Dale were operated as the Mueller-Bies East and West Chapels. This was done in large part in anticipation of the city's plans to widen Dale Street, as part of which the city proposed taking ownership of and demolishing the existing Mueller-Bies building on the east side of Dale.
By 1984, Al Sr.'s younger son, Greg, had joined his father and brother in the business. The project to widen Dale Street had still not been initiated, and Mueller-Bies had been maintaining two properties across the street from one another for fourteen years. It was decided to sell one of the properties and relocate that office to the St. Paul suburb of Roseville. The West Chapel was sold and converted to a Masonic Lodge, and in 1985, Mueller-Bies built a new facility at the corner of Dale St. and County Road B in Roseville, just three miles north of the East Chapel. It became known as the North Chapel. Soon thereafter, Jim Nielsen became the first grandson of Albert N. (and step-great-grandson of Charlie Mueller) to join the firm.
Albert N. Bies passed away in 1990, and his sons, Albert W. and Greg, became the owners and operators of the Funeral Home. The firm continued to operate the East Chapel in St. Paul and the North Chapel in Roseville until 1995, when St. Paul's Dale Street widening project finally commenced. The city took control of the East Chapel, and the building was demolished after 40 years of operation. Mueller-Bies continued operations solely out of the North Chapel for a few years, until the fall of 2001, when the company expanded into the Lino Lakes area, building a new facility at 7050 Lake Drive. The North Chapel was then renamed the Roseville Chapel.
Following the death of Greg Bies in 1996 and the subsequent retirement of Albert W., Greg's two sons, Rick and Gary Bies, joined their cousin Jim Nielsen as funeral directors and operators of the firm. The three continue to be a part of the company today, as does Greg's wife, Laurie Bies, who serves as the business manager.
Mueller-Bies has been continually owned and operated by the family of its founder since its inception.
One family, over one hundred years.