During the early years of his life, Wedekind's father served as physician. A progressive democrat, he also participated in the 1848 Revolution, and next year escaped to America, where he made a fortune in land speculation. In San Francisco he married Emilie Kammerer, a singer and actress twenty-three years his junior. (Some scholars have speculated that this relationship might have served as a kind of model for the relationship between Lulu and Dr. Schon in Pandora’s Box.)
A search of the newly available city directories for 1858, 1860, and 1862 reveals that the future playwright’s Father, Friedrich Wilhelm Wedekind, had a medical practice at 136 and later 524 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. Doctor Wedekind was also a prominent member of the local German General Benevolent Society as well as President of the local German Club.
Friedrich Wilhelm Wedekind and Emilie Kammerer’s second child – the future writer, was conceived in San Francisco - though born in Hanover, Germany. Early in the pregnancy, the patriotic couple decided to return to their native land. And that’s where Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (named for the free-thinking American revolutionary - and later known simply as Frank) was born in 1864.