Johannes Riedesel was born November 11, 1833 in Wunderthausen as the first child of Georg Gabriel Riedesel (known as Ludwig) and Elisabeth Amalia Knoche. He was actually born in his mother’s house, known as Kellers. Within a few years, his father had established a new house known as Großeludwigs. Seven children were born to the marriage; three died young, while Johannes and all three of his surviving brothers were to emigrate to America. Elisabeth died in 1851 and the father remarried.
Johannes was the first to leave. He arrived October 25, 1854 in New Orleans on the ship “Auguste” from Bremen in the company of other Wunderthäuser. While he may have lived at first in Iowa City, he was soon established at Wheatland. By this time there was a substantial nucleus of families around Wheatland from Wunderthausen. His land was northeast of the town. He was known as John in America and sometimes as “John H.” to distinguish him from others by that name.
One of several emigrants in 1857 was Florentine Mörchen of the mill in Wunderthausen. By pre-arrangement or otherwise, they were married May 17, 1858 in Wheatland. The couple had ten children and, rather amazingly for the time, all reached adulthood. In years to come, John’s brothers known as Henry, George, and Louis also made their way to Wheatland. Their father, step-mother and step-siblings came to America in 1867 but mostly stayed around Kansas City.
John died at Wheatland at the age of 64 on September 27, 1898. Florence lived to see The Great War, dying on May 31, 1919.