Ferdinand is a small town in Indiana, with just over 2,000 citizens today. It is mostly inhabited by immigrants of German descent, and was founded by Croatian priest Josip Kundek, who came to Indiana in 1838 on behalf of the German Leopold society, which was sponsored by Ferdinand I. Riding across Indiana, Kundek raised churches and schools in many places, including the towns of St. Anthony, Celestine, Fulda, and Mariah Hill. He then founded a town and named it Ferdinand, after the Austrian ruler. In 1957, the governor of Indiana declared the 8th of December to be Father Kundek Day, as a sign of gratitude for his efforts in colonizing this area, as well as the progress he brought them. In 1998, the Historical Society placed a memorial marker at the site where father Kundek carved the name Ferdinand into a tree.[1]


Kundek copy

Reverend Josip Kundek


Ploča copy


[1] Dugandžić-Pašić, Maria. 2010. Croatians of Chicagoland. Arcadia Publishing. N. Carolina. Pg. 12. (photo  by Josip Kundek, courtesy of  the St. Jerome Church, Chicago; Ferdinand Historical Society memorial)