Wyneken House move – press release, photos and video

On August 18 and 19, 2010, the Wyneken House was moved into its final resting place near the Adams/Allen County line.

Press release from the Friends of Wyneken:

The Friends Of Wyneken is a non-profit Committee under tho Indiana German Heritage Society whose sole purpose is the restoration of the Adams County home of Indiana religious pioneer Friedrich C.D. Wyneken.

Wyneken was asked to come to American from Germany because there was a need for Pastors to minister to the many German-Lutherans in this area. He came to American from Germany in 1838 at the age of 23, at a time when Fort Wayne had a population of about 1500 people.

He became known as “The Preacher In The Yellow Pants” as he rode his horse as far south as Cincinnati, Ohio, to as far north as Frankenmuth, Michigan, ministering to the far flung and widely separated Germans in the pre-Civil War era of what was then called the Northwest Territory.

Reverend Wyneken married a local Adams County girl, Sophie Buuck, and lived from time to time in a house her father built for them, and titled in her name, since Friedrich had a reputation for literally giving the clothes off his back to those in need.

Reverend Wyneken serviced the few already existing Lutheran churches in the tri-state area, and founded many more. He was widely known for his staunchly conservative teachings, and went on to found the present Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne to train more preachers, and for a time even taught classes in his Adams County home. He also served as the second President for many years of the then newly formed Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Because of his role in establishing and growing the Concordia Seminary and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, he is considered to be a figure of national historic Significance, and his Adams County home is the last known surviving home of any Indiana religious pioneer, and the last known surviving structure associated with Wyneken anywhere in the Country.

Five years ago the Friends Of Wyneken were forced to move the “Wyneken House”, itself no small feat, to keep it from being destroyed. We put it “temporarily” on some land belonging to one of the FOW members, on the Winchester Road, just south of the Allen/Adams County line, as we worked to raise money and look for a permanent site. As time went on, it became apparent the temporary location would make a good permanent site, and FOW member Dona Schaefer graciously donated three acres of her land to the FOW.

Our goal from “day one”, and the reason for our existence, is to restore the House to its circa 1850 condition, and use it as an interpretive center, or teaching center, not only to tell people about Reverend Wyneken, but also to educate the public about the large German heritage in this area, and especially teach both the young and old alike, what it was like to live in Northeast Indiana in the middle 1850’s when this was considered the wild frontier!

Last Fall, the Adams County Zoning Board granted us a zoning variance to keep the House there, with the stipulation that we have it moved onto its basement and closed up by this October. Since then, we have been working feverishly to raise money and get the planning done, and work started. The costs are immense, and we’ve been blessed to have received a pledge of a large matching donation from W. Paul and Carolyn Wolf, which has enabled us to proceed with the basement work.

The culmination of this stage of our work will be this Wednesday, at 1:00 p.rn., when Ron Ross, the house mover, plans to move the House onto the basement. This is truly a significant event and a milestone in the ongoing work to restore the Wyneken House, and the result of five years of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers to get to this point.




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Related weblink:
Friends of Wyneken website or find them on Facebook.


  1. Stephen – Thank you so much for the “time-lapse” Video and the great photos – and especially for taking your time to help us document this event!
    I know you will say,”It was nothing” but we say ;” It was Stephen Parker doing his normal terrific (and largely, volunter) job!”


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