Today, you are going to read the story of an amazing woman who gave birth to 13 children. Yet she came short of outdoing her own mother, who had 15 children. That mother may have to be a story for another day, but today we will tell the tale of Julia Kasten who is also today’s birthday girl.
Julia Caroline Amalie Kasten was born on March 24, 1866, the daughter of Heinrich and Theresia (Lueders) Kasten. We have photos of Julia’s parents.
Julia was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is her baptism record.
Julia is first found in the 1870 census for Apple Creek Township in northern Cape Girardeau County. She was 4 years old. She was the 3rd child among the 15 total children born into her parents’ family. The 2nd child died as a baby, so we only see Julia having only one older sister in this entry.
Julia shows up in one more census before her marriage. That was the one taken in 1880. Julia had been confirmed in 1879, one year before this census.
Before we discuss Julia’s marriage, let’s take a look at her future husband, Bernhard Wunderlich. Bernhard’s father was rather prolific himself. He fathered 11 children with two wives. Bernhard was the firstborn of the first wife. He was born on October 3, 1855 in Groβenstein, Germany, the son of Zacharias and Emilie (Gerstner) Wunderlich. Although we cannot see the original record, we can take a look at a transcription of his baptism record.
The Wunderlich family came to America not long after Bernhard was born, and we find them in the 1860 census for Brazeau Township. Bernhard was 5 years old, and his father was a tailor.
Before the next census, two things happened. First, Bernhard’s mother died and his father remarried. His second wife was Maria (Ludwig) Beck. Second, the Wunderlich family moved to the northern part of Cape Girardeau County in Shawnee Township. That is where we find this family in the 1870 census. There are 3 more children on the next page of the census which I chose not to display.
Bernhard’s father died in 1876, so in the 1880 census we find him living in the household of his stepmother. As a farmer and as the eldest son, he was probably the breadwinner for the family.
That brings us up to the marriage of Bernhard Wunderlich and Julia Kasten which took place on May 3, 1885 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is an image of their marriage record from the church books.
I find it amazing that when Julia gave birth to her first child in 1886, her mother would give birth to her last child later during that year. Since it would be 15 years before the 1900 census was taken, by that time we see this family with 7 children. Another one had lived and died at the age of 5 during the interim.
I am guessing this early photo of Bernhard and Julia and two children was taken before the above census.
The next photo was probably taken right about the time of the 1900 census.
Next, we find the Wunderlich family in the 1910 census.
In 1910, Bernhard and Julia celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and had a photo taken. This was that time period when headdresses and lapel pins were popular for wedding anniversaries.
Here is an enlargement showing a closer view of Bernhard and Julia.
Bernhard was too old to have a World War I draft registration completed in 1917-1918, but I am sure several of his sons were required. Next, the Wunderlich family is found in the 1920 census. Olga, the last child in the list, was the last of the 13 children.
I don’t know when these photos were taken of Bernhard and Julia, but I am going to place them here.
By the time of the 1930 census, Bernhard and Julia had moved to the city of Jackson, Missouri. You might find it interesting that their boarder, John Goodson, was an undertaker doing embalming at the age of 19.
A plat map of Cape Girardeau County was produced in 1930. On it, you find a farm owned by Edw. Wunderlich. I think this was the land farmed by Bernhard. There is also another Wunderlich piece of land noted by an arrow.
In 1935, Bernhard and Julia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and had another family photo taken. This time, you see no headdresses or lapel pins. It must have gone out of style.
The last census in which we find this couple was the one taken in 1940. They were living in the Glenn Webb household. Olga Webb was their daughter.
Late in their lives, this couple had another photo taken of just the two of them. It must have finally gotten to the time when folks were allowed to smile for a picture.
Bernhard died later during that year, 1940, at the age of 85. We have his death certificate.
Julia died in 1946 at the age of 80. Her death certificate was a little harder to find because her name was transcribed as Wonderlick.
Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, Missouri.
I think you can understand now why there are so many folks around here with the surnames Kasten and Wunderlich. Perhaps I will regale you with the story of the Kasten’s and their 15 children someday.