Wedding Photo Revisted-Mystery Solved!

This past week I received some very good information which answered a question I asked in a blog post several years ago.

The blog post, “A Wedding Celebration,” [1] July 2015, featured a picture postcard which showed an outdoor wedding dinner. The name Wambsganss was written on the photo and it appears the photo was taken about 1920. Those were the only clues I had and I wondered whose wedding it was.

Wedding dinner of Walter Augenstein & Florence Wambsganss, 24 June 1917. 

Thanks to some Karen’s Chatt readers, this week I learned whose wedding celebration it was and when their wedding took place. And a whole lot more.

Thanks to Bob Schumm for reaching out to me and, with the help of his late wife’s family, solving this mystery. They have a definite connection to the photo, as Bob’s late wife was Carolyn Wambsganss, the grandniece of the bride in the above photo.

It turns out that the photo was taken at the wedding dinner of Walter Augenstein and Florence Wambsganss. They were married 24 June 1917 in Van Wert County. The photo was taken at the Wambsganss farm, located just east of St. Thomas Lutheran church and school on German School Road, in Van Wert County.

Armed with this information I was able to add little more to the story.

Walter Frederick Augenstein was born 6 January 1894 in Marion County, Ohio, born to Philipp (1851-1911) and Johanna (Etzler) (1853-1941) Augenstein. Walter was a coil winder, living in Harrison Township, Van Wert County, when he married Florence A. Wambsganss.

The bride, Florence A. Wambsganss, was born 31 December 1894 to Frederick C. (1865-1944) and Emma (Laupee) (1870-1954) Wambsganss. She also lived in Harrison Township, Van Wert County. The couple was married by Aug. F.C. Buuck. [2]

Bob Schumm’s sister-in-law was able to identify a couple people in the photo.

Emma & Fred C. Wambsganss (parents of the bride): 4th & 5th on left side of table.

Emeline & Art Sheets (sister of the groom): 7th & 8th on right side of table.

Lydia (Augenstein) Wambsganss (holding baby): standing in the very back, in the center.

Oscar Wambsganss, (holding baby) & husband of Lydia (Augenstein): standing to Lydia’s left. [3]

The groom’s mother, widow Johanna (Etzler) Augenstein, was still living and was likely in the photo but they were unable to identify her.

Children of Walter & Florence (Wambsganss) Augenstein:
Donald W. Augenstein (1918-1994), married Elda C. Hirsch  
Dale Gilbert Augenstein (1920-2013), married Edna Belle Disler
Marie E. Augenstein (1922-2006), married Walter Ernest Reinking
Kenneth Augenstein

There is another Schumm/Wambsganss connection in addition to Bob and Carolyn (Wambsganss) Schumm. Rev. Alfred Oswald Ferdinand Schumm (1900-1981) married Irma S. Wambsganss (1898-1974). Irma and Florence (the bride in the photo) were sisters.

Not a Schumm connection, but George Wambsganss (1842-1899) married Elizabeth German (1844-1921). George and Elizabeth were Florence Wambsganss’ grandparents. This is probably why this photo postcard was among some German photos I have. 

And, Oscar J. Wambsganss (1890-1942) married Lydia (Augenstein) (1891-1940). Oscar was (bride) Florence Wambsganss’ brother and Lydia was (groom) Walter Augenstein’s sister.

Such great information and so good to have this mystery solved.

A big Thank You to Bob Schumm and his extended family!  

[1] “A Wedding Celebration,” Karen’s Chatt, 10 Jul 2015.

[2] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” Van Wert Marriages, Vol. 15, p.103, Walter F Augenstein & Florentine M Wambsganss, 24 Jun 1917; database with images, ( : viewed 2 Sep 2021).

[3] The children Oscar and Lydia (Augenstein) Wambsganss were holding were not their children. Their first child, Clayton Wambsganss, was born June 1918.


    • Very exciting, happy dance, find on September 3, 2021 at 11:32 am
    • Reply

    Very exciting, happy dance, find

    1. Thank you! It is always exciting to identify a photo and learn about the families involved. Thanks for writing!

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