Buffalo Freie Presse - August 19, 1901
Page 2, Column 1 Top

Louis Allgewahr

Via telegraph from California this morning came the report of the death of Mr. Louis Allgewahr, well known within the widest circles of Buffalo society.

As our readers are aware, the departed had severely suffered for the last few months and his death can only be considered a great salvation. This fact is a consolation to his nearest relatives.

Mr. Allgewahr, who lived in Buffalo for many years and gathered a large number of friends in every part of the city due to his loving and helpful nature, was a true German from head to toe. He contributed much to the development of the German community, especially here in Buffalo.

Due to economic conditions he left his home here a number of years ago, much to the regret of his friends, and moved to California in order to pursue an occupation as a miner. It was always his wish that before he die he would return to his friends and acquaintances but unfortunately that wish did not find its fulfillment.

At the song festival before last, which was held here in Buffalo, he played a significant role and if illness had not hindered him he would have most certainly been here for the last one.

As stated, his death was a release from great pain and suffering. Those who knew the departed one well understood that it was a salvation although they may experience heavy sorrow for having lost a true friend.


Buffalo Freie Presse - August 21, 1901
Page 4, Column 1 Top

Death Notice

Died, on Wednesday morning at 7:30 AM, our loving young daughter Else Carolina, at the age of 1 year and 20 days.
The funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 from the house of mourning at 130 Desmond Place.
Friends and acquaintances are invited to participate.
                                                         The grieving parents
                                                      Ottomar and Rosa Reinecke Jr.


Buffalo Freie Presse - December 7, 1901
Page 4, Column 4 Top

Jakob Scheu

After a six-week illness Jakob Scheu, one of the oldest German pioneers and most prominent businessmen of this city, died this morning in his home at 988 Main St. He was more than 87 years of age. Until 6 weeks before his death he was in the soundest of health but he became suddenly sick and it was certain that he would not recover. He died of old age infirmity.

Mr. Scheu was born on May 23, 1814 in Rheingau as the son of simple farm folk. In his home district he learned the baker's trade and in 1837 he succumbed to the urge to travel to America. He came directly to Buffalo, where he had neither friends nor family. His savings quickly dwindled to nothing and things went badly for him since he could not find employment. He finally went to Canada and worked on a farm. He became a peddler of patent medicines in Canada and this business, which for him was very successful, established the basis for what later became his large fortune. During his stay in Canada the Mexican War broke out and he attempted to reenter the United States, but this was denied to him. When he finally received permission he had to promise never to step onto Canadian soil again.

His first business endeavor in the States was a lumber yard on Genesee and Elm Streets, which he established in 1839. Then he began to build houses on speculation. He purchased a brewery on Genesee and Spring Streets for his cousin. He took over the brewery when the cousin was not able to keep to running. He had such great success with this business that the brewery soon became too small. He had a new one built on Niagara Street. What we know today as the International Brewery was, at that time, the largest and best equipped brewery in the city.

Mr. Scheu also actively participated in politics. In 1860 he was elected alderman of the old 6th Ward, which he represented for 4 years consecutively. In 1867 he again ran against the Honorable Nelson R. Hopkins and he as reelected. He was one of the organizers of the Western Savings Bank and he was its president for 10 years. He was a member of the board of directors until his death. He was also one of the founders of the German Young Men's Association and he was actively involved in its leadership. Among the societies of free masonry he held a position of high prominence. His wife died 13 years ago.

He is survived by 2 daughters, Mrs. William Miller of Armor, N.Y. and Miss Amelia Scheu of Buffalo. Augustus F. Scheu, the Commissioner of Public Works, Jacob H. Scheu and Otto Scheu are his nephews. Solomon Scheu, the former mayor of Buffalo, and Wm. Scheu were his brothers. They came to Buffalo a few years after Jakob, who was the eldest.


Buffalo Freie Presse - Monday, March 2, 1903
Page 5, Center.

Johannes Gelbke.

Many friends and acquaintences were shocked to learn yesterday of the death of the beloved musician and composer, Mr. Johannes Waldmar Gelbke. People knew that he had been suffering from a nervous condition for the past few months however he seemed physically sound and the doctors expected he would eventually make a full recovery. As late as Saturday night he was in the best of spirits, he played the piano and spoke with his wife about his students. Yesterday morning he suddenly lost consciousness and by the time the physician was summoned he could only confirm Mr. Gelbke was dead. He succumbed to a heart attack.

Johannes Gelbke, one of the most talented musicians in the city, made a name for himself throughout the world as a song writer. He was born on July 19, 1846 as the son of a physician from Radeberg, a small city near Dresden. At an early age he exhibited an exceptional love of music which developed quickly when the boy received lessons in piano and violin. At the recommendation of his music teacher, upon graduation from the elementary school in his home town he attended the Kreuzschule in Dresden. He was gifted with an exceptional soprano voice and was accepted into the old and famous Alumni Choir, which performed church music for the three main evangelical churches in the city. Julius Otto, then choirmaster, had discovered the young man's musical talent and took an interest in him by giving him instruction in musical theory. Even back then young Gelbke composed a variety of songs and church hymns which garnered him much praise.

In 1866 he composed the music for the festival production of "Dornröschen" which was performed at the dedication of the new Kreuzschule. It was at this time that Gelbke decided to dedicate himself solely to music instead of his original intention to study theology. He moved to Leipzig and passed the examination for acceptance into the Royal Conservatory headed by Ignaz Moscheles. The teachers who helped him the most were Friedrich Richter and Oscar Paul in theory and composition and Theodor Corvius and Wenzer in piano. In addition to this he attended lectures in music history, acoustics and other subjects at the University of Leipzig and this contributed significantly to his musical prowess. During his stay in Leipzig he composed a series of solid compositions, many of which have stood the test of time. He directed several singing groups in Leipzig and the neighboring city of Wurzen and taught voice and piano.

In December 1882 he came to the United States to respond to an offer to take the baton for the Buffalo Orpheus. He remained at this posting for three years. For many more years he was director of the Buffalo Sängerbund. Of the 12 local singing societies he also directed the Central Sängerbund, the Beethoven Club, the Mendelssohn Club, the singing section of the Buffalo Turnverein. Additionally he directed the Niagara Falls Orpheus for 10 years. After retiring for some time from directing singing societies and dedicating himself to private instruction he was convinced to take the directorship of the Harugari Frohsinn. Last fall he laid down his baton after bringing the society to full artistic fruition. Testimony to the deceased's popularity can be seen in the number of certificates of honor he received from his singing groups. His numerous compositions, which receive more recognition and appreciation as the years go by, are collectively known for their distinctive character, beautiful melodies, and intimate nature. Among his earlier works is his most famous song, performed at the opening of the last song festival. It is titled Heimath [Homeland] and starts with the words "Hark, I hear the old oak rustling." It would be truly fitting if when the singers escort him to his grave they would honor him with a rendition of this wonderful song.

He was married to Mathilde Margarethe Hütter in December 27, 1887 and had a happy though childless marriage. Besides his widow he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Ottilie Fuchs of Berlin and Mrs. Anna Zschau of Würzen in Saxony. One brother and one sister preceded him in death.

Johannes Gelbke was an extrordinary and true soul, a human being of purehearted goodness who helped where he could when someone turned to him.He did not accumulate riches but as a man and an artist he has left behind a legacy of which he can be proud. May he rest in peace!