Mama Wunderlich

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 Kasten baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Julia Kasten baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

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.

Julie Kasten 1870 census Apple Creek Township MO
1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

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.

Julie Kasten 1880 census Apple Creek Township MO
1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich baptism record Germany
Bernhard Wunderlich baptism record – Groβenstein, Germany

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1860 census Brazeau Township MO
1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

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 Wunderlich 1870 census Shawnee Township MO
1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1880 census Shawnee Township MO
1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

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.

Wunderlich Kasten marriage Immanuel New Wells MO
Wunderlich/Kasten marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

I am guessing this early photo of Bernhard and Julia and two children was taken before the above census.

Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich family early

The next photo was probably taken right about the time of the 1900 census.

Bernhard Wunderlich family

Next, we find the Wunderlich family in the 1910 census.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1910 census Shawnee Township MO
1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

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.

Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich 25th anniversary 1
Bernard and Julia Wunderlich family – 25th anniversary

Here is an enlargement showing a closer view of Bernhard and Julia.

Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich 25th anniversary 2

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1930 census Jackson MO
1930 census – Jackson, MO

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.

Edw Wunderlich land map 1930
Edw. Wunderlich land map – 1930 census

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.

Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich 1935
Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich family – 50th anniversary

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.

Bernhard Wunderlich 1940 census Jackson MO
1940 census – Jackson, MO

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 and Julie Wunderlich
Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich

Bernhard died later during that year, 1940, at the age of 85.   We have his death certificate.

Bernhard Wunderlich death certificate
Bernhard Wunderlich 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.

Julie Wunderlich death certificate
Julia Wunderlich death certificate

Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, Missouri.

Bernhard and Julie Wunderlich gravestone Russell Heights Jackson MO
Bernhard and Julia Wunderlich gravestone – Russell Heights, Jackson, MO

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.


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