Werner Wollenmann

 July 28, 1894 – August 5, 1986

 Watch Maker, Business Owner and Community Leader

 

 

Werner Wollenmann, son of Dr. Alois G. and Fidelia (Kempf) Wollenmann, was a prominent figure in the Ferdinand community throughout his life. He was born in the “Swiss Chalet” style abode located on the east side of Main Street between East 10th and 11th. Long known as the Wollenmann House, it is today owned by the Ferdinand Historical Society, and is home to Monkey Hollow Bistro and Winery.

 Always a gentleman, Werner wore a suit almost every day of his adult life, although he relaxed his rigid clothing standards somewhat following retirement.

His mother passed away in 1903, when he was just nine-years old and he lost his father in 1912 to tuberculosis. Werner was 18 at the time and assumed responsibility for his younger brother, Max, who eventually followed in his father's footsteps and became a physician.

But Werner stayed put in the house his father built, at least until he left for military service, fighting valiantly in Europe during World War I. He suffered an injury on his leg that never fully healed the remainder of his life.

He trained as a watchmaker and, in 1920, purchased Lot No. 123 near 9th and Main in Ferdinand and built a shop featuring a variety of gift items, cosmetics, non-prescription pharmaceuticals, tobacco, sporting goods, school supplies and religious items.

In 1922, Werner was appointed Receiver for the local Electric Light and Power Company and for the Building and Loan Association in 1934.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he served as postmaster from 1924 to 1928 and again from 1953 to 56.

Werner married the daughter of the man who installed the fireplace in the house — Irene Lindauer. The fireplace never worked and when John Lindauer told builder Ben Seufert it couldn’t possibly, Ben told him to be quiet and just install it as the schematic instructed.

Werner and his wife, who wed on June 28, 1921 would become parents 11 times over and all their offspring grew up in the house, which became party central for the entire town. In summer, Irene would hang a sheet across the door and show movies on its surface. Tennis would be played on the south side, other games elsewhere in the yard. Irene also loved to entertain her friends and was known for her afternoon card parties.

Werner made no objections when three more children were added to the mix, Irene’s widowed sister’s sons. Thus 14 children grew up in a 3.5 bedroom house.

In August of 1932, several businessmen met to organize the Ferdinand Chamber of Commerce. Werner was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

He was one of the inaugural Officers of Woodman of the World Camp in Ferdinand (Camp No. 221). The Charter was received on Feb 3, 1941.  In April of that year, Senninger Hall and Garden behind Senninger Hotel was rented by the Camp for a regular meeting place and for non-member civic and political events, wedding receptions, etc.

Late in 1948, a group of Veterans of World Wars I and II decided to form a Legion Post in Ferdinand – No. 124. The first official meeting was held in February of 1946 in Barth’s Hall (where the Legion post is presently located) and Werner served as one of the first officers.

Throughout his life, Werner A. Wollenmann was the epitome of kindness and honor, gentleness and chivalry.

He died August 5, 1986 and is buried in St. Ferdinand Cemetery.

 

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