Our Theatre's Namesake
The name "Wohlfahrt Haus" was chosen to honor early pioneer Wilhelm Ludwig Wohlfahrt, born in 1718, who immigrated to America from Baden, Germany in 1750 on the vessel "Phoenix", captained by John Mason of Rotterdam.* Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Wohlfahrt married Margaretha Hoag, and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His son, Johann Ludwig (Lewis) Wohlfahrt, traveled to Wytheville, Virginia, married Christina Elser, and resided on the Lewis Wohlfahrt Land Grant. Both are buried in the cemetery at St. John's Lutheran Church, one of the older churches in Wythe County. Their daughter, Margaretha (called Peggy) married Peter Shrader. They resided in Wythe County and are buried beside Lewis and Christina Wohlfahrt in St. John's Cemetery.
Their son, Jon Lewis Shrader, settled in Bland County and married Christina Day. Both are buried near their homestead on Wolf Creek Mountain. John Lewis fathered a son, Joseph Michael, who married Emily Catherine Lambert. During the Civil War, John Lewis and Joseph Michael exchanged places on the battlefront, one staying at home tending their farmlands while the other fought for their country. Joseph Michael and Emily Catherine are both buried approximately two miles down Wolf Creek Valley, near Niday in the Shrader Family Cemetery, also located on Wolf Creek Mountain.
Joseph Watson (Watt) Shrader, son of Joseph Michael and Emily, married Bessie Alderman and they resided on a farm near Rocky Gap, Virginia. Both are buried in the Shrader Family Cemetery. They raised one son and three daughters, one being Emily Pauline Shrader who married Arnold Scott Hutchinson. They are the parents of Bobbie H. DeHart and Peggy H. Sutphin, grandparents of Richard F. (Rick) DeHart, Jr., Scott C. DeHart and Charles Patrick Sutphin and Great Grandparents of Christopher Scott DeHart, Jessica Emily DeHart and Eden Noel Sutphin.
*Bible records and Straussburgers Pennsylvania German Pioneers.