Never Wun(derlich) to Settle in One Place

Some folks live in one place all their lives, and others do not.  One of today’s characters is one of the latter.  In every census and even some other documents, I found him living in a different location.  Today’s story starts with his wedding which took place on August 14, 1902.  The bride was Magdalena Heins, and the groom was Paul Wunderlich.  Here is their marriage license.

Wunderlich Heins marriage license
Wunderlich/Heins marriage license

I will start with Magdalena Heins.  She was the daughter of Johann and Anna (Wichern) of Altenburg.  She was born March 4, 1883 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church. Her father was a farmer.

Paul Wunderlich, on the other hand, was not born in Perry County.  He was born on May 18, 1875 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, which is located in Cape Girardeau County, just south of Perry County.  He was the son of Zacharias and Mary (Ludwig) Wunderlich.  Zacharias was a farmer.  We have a photo of the Wunderlich home place in New Wells.

Wunderlich farm place New Wells

Also, some unidentified artist made this drawing of that farmhouse.

Wunderlich farm place drawing New Wells

In the 1880 census, we find Paul (called Ferdinand here) living in New Wells.  One year after he was born, his father, Zacharias died.  In this census, we see that Mary is already a widow.

Paul Wunderlich 1880 census New Wells MO
1880 census – New Wells, MO

We get an idea of what Magdalena and Paul looked like in these photographs taken before they were married.

Magdalena Heins and Paul Wunderlich before marriage

And we have the wedding photo of this couple.

Wunderlich Heins wedding
Paul and Magdalena Wunderlich

In the first census after their marriage, we find Paul working as a driver at a livery stable in Altenburg.  It is my belief that Paul was working at the livery stable that was associated with the Wagner Hotel in Altenburg.

Paul Wunderlich 1910 census Altenburg MO
1910 census – Altenburg, MO

I included the record for Adolph and Anna Richter in this image because Anna is Magdalena’s mother.  After her first husband died, she married Adolph.

For a while, Paul’s life gets intertwined with the Wagner family that ran the hotel.  Here is the World War I draft registration for Paul.

Paul Wunderlich – WWI draft registration

This form says Paul is a farm laborer in St. Louis, working for Joseph Wagner, and living at 3204 Hawthorne Ave.  Magdalena is listed as his nearest relative, but it says she is living in Altenburg.  This seems quite unusual to me.

Quite a while ago, a post titled, Just What Went on at the Wagner Hotel? was published on this blog which included some information about Joseph Wagner.  Joseph had a son named Hugo, and his WWI draft registration lists the same address as the one found on Paul Wunderlich’s….3204 Hawthorne.

Hugo Wagner – WWI draft registration

In the 1920 census, Hugo Wagner is shown as living at the home of Dr. Gustav Herrmann, who was married to Hulda Wagner, Joseph’s brother.


In the far left of this record you will see that the house number is 3204, and elsewhere, we find that the street on which he lived was Hawthorne.  In other words, in 1918, Paul Wunderlich must have been also living with Dr. Herrmann in St. Louis.

Two years later, the 1920 census finds Paul living in Altenburg, but now he is a farmer.

Paul Wunderlich 1920 census Altenburg MO
1920 census – Altenburg, MO

I also find it somewhat interesting that Paul’s first two children are named Hugo and Hilda, the names of Joseph Wagner’s son and wife.

That brings us to the 1930 census.  Now Paul is back living in New Wells again.

Paul Wunderlich 1930 census New Wells MO
1930 census – New Wells, MO

Paul is getting up there in age.  In this census, he was 55 years old.  There is one more census we can look at in 1940.  This time he and Magdalena are living with his son’s family in Kinder Township in Cape Girardeau County.  That township can be found west of Jackson, Missouri.

Paul Wunderlich 1940 census Cape Girardeau County MO
1940 census – Kinder Township, MO

One year after this census was taken, Paul died in 1941.   He is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Tilset, Missouri.

Paul Wunderlich gravestone Immanuel Tilset MO
Paul Wunderlich gravestone – Immanuel, Tilset, MO

Paul’s widow, Magdalena was not done living in different places.  She died in 1964 and her death certificate says she was living in Cape Girardeau.

Magdalena Wunderlich death certificate
Magdalena Wunderlich death certificate

Magdalena is buried in the Cape County Memorial Park in Cape Girardeau.

Magdalena Wunderlich gravestone Cape Memorial, Cape Girardeau MO
Magdalena Wunderlich gravestone – Cape County Memorial Park


I am going to place a gallery of photographs here with clickable thumbnails.  They show Paul, Magdalena, and other family members.


There is an interesting story that goes with Hugo and Evelyn Wunderlich.  Hugo’s wife, Evelyn was adopted as a child.  This couple had several children of their own, but on, we find this description of the efforts of Hugo and Evelyn to shelter children in need.

Hugo Wunderlich note findagrave

One more thing.  Many of the photos included in this story were found in some binders on the Wunderlich family that we have in our research library.  It is a monumental piece of work done by one of Paul and Magdalena’s grandchildren, Clinton Wunderlich, who did all his work in the times before the internet when doing family research took a lot of time, travel, and correspondence.  His father was Herbert Wunderlich, whose name can be seen as the informant on Magdalena’s death certificate.  Clinton died a few years back, and we miss his visits to our museum and his knowledge of the history of this area.

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