The Wollenmann House Project
The Wollenmann Family
The Wollenmann family is deeply rooted in Ferdinand’s history. Alois Wollenmann was born in Neuenkirchen, Switzerland, and eventually studied medicine in both his native country and in Germany. He relocated to the United States and eventually made his way to Indiana where he served as a physician for the monks at St. Meinrad. He continued studies at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine and eventually married and settled in Ferdinand in 1893. Wollenmann married Fidelia Petronella Kempf, daughter of Dr. Matthew Kempf, who taught at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and who had previously served as a family physician in Ferdinand.
It was Dr. Kempf who purchased the property known today as 1150 Main Street. He established a medical practice here. Eventually his sons, Edward and Paul, joined the practice. An earlier 19th century house occupied the lot at the time.
A building at the southwest corner of the property eventually became the site of Dr. Wollenmann’s medical practice when he became a Ferdinand physician. He also established the town’s first drug store in the building. It also later housed the Ferdinand Post Office for a time and a watch repair business — all operated by Dr. Wollenmann.
In 1903, Dr. Wollenmann engaged the services of the Keith Brothers Architects, whose origins are presently unknown, to design a new dwelling for his family. That same year, Dr. Wollenmann lost his wife and newborn daughter. He resided in the house until his death in June of 1912. He was survived by two sons, Werner and Max. Max went on to become a doctor, and Werner ran the drug store and resided in the house. His two daughters now own the property.