Heinrich Ferdinand Wunderlich was born on January 21, 1886, so if he was still alive today, he would have to blow out 136 candles on his birthday cake. Ferdinand was the firstborn child of Bernhard and Julia (Kasten) Wunderlich. He was by no means the only child in that family. Our German Family Tree shows 13 children born to Bernhard and Julia. Ferdinand was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Only the last child in this family was baptized in Shawneetown, not New Wells. We can view Ferdinand’s baptism record below.
A photo was taken of Ferdinand’s parents that included two young children. If this is a photo of that couple’s first two children, then Ferdinand is the oldest of the youngsters in this photo.
We cannot view a census record including Ferdinand until the one taken in 1900 when he was already 14 years old. His father was a farmer.
A photograph of the Bernhard Wunderlich family is shown here. My best guess is that Ferdinand is the boy standing farthest to the right.
The last census in which we find Ferdinand as a single man was the one taken in 1910. At the age of 24, Ferdinand was one of a few other sons who were working on their father’s farm.
Fairly early in his life, possibly before he was married, this photo was taken of Ferdinand. Unfortunately, it is a copy of the photo, and the quality is not very good.
Now, we will turn our attention to discuss the woman who would become Ferdinand’s wife. Her name was Lina Dorothea Schlimpert who was born on December 9, 1886. She was the daughter of Martin and Wilhelmina (Schmidt) Schlimpert. Lina was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is an image of her baptism record in that congregation’s books.
Lina shows up in the 1900 census at the age of 13. Her family was living in the Union Township, where her father was a farmer.
Next, we find Lina ten years later in the 1910 census at the age of 22.
Ferdinand Wunderlich married Lina Schlimpert on April 21, 1912 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. The church record for this event is displayed here.
We can also view the marriage license for this pair.
An article appeared in the Perry County Republican that described this wedding. You may have to click on the images to enlarge them.
Ferdinand Wunderlich had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918.
This couple had just one child, a daughter named Jeanette, who was born in 1919. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown. Later during 1919, Ferdinand bought a farm in Perry County and moved his wife and child and became members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
We find the Wunderlich family living in the Brazeau Township in the 1920 census. Ferdinand was a farmer all his life.
The 1930 census looks very similar with the exception of a farm laborer by the name of Walter Roth living in their household.
A photo was taken at Trinity Lutheran School in Altenburg of Teacher Krahn’s class. Jeanette Wunderlich was a student in that class.
I have enlarged the right side of this photo and indicated the girl that I figure is Jeanette Wunderlich with a red arrow.
In 1935, Ferdinand’s parents celebrated their 50th anniversary, and another family photo was taken. Ferdinand is the first man from the left in the second row.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Once again, we see just Ferdinand, Lina, and Jeanette in the household. Jeanette never married.
Ferdinand had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942.
Lina Wunderlich died in 1958 at the age of 72. Her death certificate says she died of cancer.
Ferdinand died in 1974 at the age of 88; Jeanette died in 1994 at the age of 75. Ferdinand, Lina, and Jeanette share the same grave site in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
Mary Dillon’s Altenburg book states that Ferdinand Wunderlich was one of the founding fathers of the East Perry Community Fair that began in 1919. A photo was taken of several of those men who were honored in the 1969 parade.
A caption for this photo says that Ferdinand was not included. It is told that Ferdinand spent some of his last years in a wheelchair, and that may have kept him from participating in that event.