Edward and His Emma’s

Edward William Wunderlich is today’s birthday boy. He was born on January 9, 1862, making today his 159th birthday. Edward would go on to get married twice in his lifetime, and both of his wives were named Emma. Edward’s parents were Zacharias and Amelia (Gerstner) Wunderlich. Edward was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. At least that is where his baptism record is found. In those days, some pastors from Altenburg and Frohna were serving the spiritual needs of Lutherans in the New Wells area. Perhaps Rev. Loeber from Concordia baptized Edward when he traveled there.

Edward is found in his first census in 1870 at the age of 7. His family was living in the Shawnee Township. His mother had died in 1866, and his father remarried Maria Ludwig.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find Edward in the 1880 census as a teenager. His father had died in 1876, so the head of the household was Edward’s stepmother.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Edward moved across the river into Union County, Illinois. It was there that he married his first wife, Emma Schaefer. Emma was born on February 3, 1867. I know her father’s name was Jacob Schaefer, and his mother’s name was Theresia, but I do not know her maiden name. We find Emma in the 1870 census living near Kornthal, Illinois.

1870 census – Meisenheimer Township, IL

Next, we find Emma in the 1880 census in the same location.

1880 census – Meisenheimer Township, IL

On July 14, 1889, Edward Wunderlich married Emma Schaefer. They were likely married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal, Illinois. Here is an Illinois marriage record for this couple.

Wunderlich/Schaefer Illinois marriage record

This pair had 3 children. I found a baptism record for Anna Wunderlich from the St. Paul’s, Kornthal books.

Anna Wunderlich baptism record – St. Paul’s, Kornthal, IL

We find this Wunderlich family in the 1900 census. Edward was a farmer.

1900 census – Reynolds Township, IL

One year later, Emma died in 1901 at the age of 34. This tragic event likely led Edward to move his family back across the river into Missouri again. It was there that Edward married his second wife, Emma Schaumloeffel. Google Translate says schaum loeffel means “foam spoon”. Emma was born on December 4, 1873 in Germany. Emma apparently came to America in 1891. I was not able to find her in the 1900 census. Then on the day after Christmas in 1901, Edward Wunderlich married Emma Schaumloeffel at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is their marriage license.

Wunderlich/Schaumloeffel marriage license

We have this wedding photograph of Edward and Emma.

Wunderlich/Schaumloeffel wedding

Our German Family Tree shows this couple having 5 children. In the 1910 census, we find this couple living in the Shawnee Township. The oldest child in this entry was a child from Edward’s first wife.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find this household in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find Emma was the one taken in 1930.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The plat maps produced in 1930 show some farmland owned by Edward Wunderlich. That land was located not far south of New Wells.

Edward Wunderlich land map – 1930

Emma Wunderlich died in 1935 at the age of 61. Her death certificate refers to a form of cancer as her cause of death.

Emma Wunderlich death certificate

Emma was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Emma Wunderlich gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

In 1940, we find Edward living with one of his daughters, Frieda, who had married Roy Moeller. They were living in St. Louis.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Edward Wunderlich died in 1951 at the age of 89. His death certificate says he died in Friedheim of stomach cancer.

Edward Wunderlich death certificate

Edward was buried in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Gordonville, Missouri.

Edward Wunderlich gravestone – Christ, Gordonville, MO

Edward married two Emma’s and outlived them both. There seems to be a close connection between Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal. One of the most impressive researchers who has several binders in our research library was a man by the name of Clinton Wunderlich. While researching the Wunderlich’s, Clinton got access to the books of St. Paul’s in Kornthal, and he decided to make copies of those records. Then there came a time that the folks in Kornthal lost those books somehow. When they found out that Clinton had copied those records, they were thrilled to know that their precious records still existed. Some folks from Kornthal came to our museum to meet up with Clinton Wunderlich where they were given a copy of those records. I remember being there for that event. I remember the tears flowing down the cheeks of people who found something so precious to them that they thought had been lost forever. It may just have been Clinton’s connection to Edward Wunderlich that precipitated Clinton’s interest in the Kornthal records in the first place.


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