Das Buch der Deutschen in America: Pages 805 - 809



The lithography business was built in 1851 at 3rd Street and Ellbow Lane and it later relocated to 119 S. 4th St. Young Leonhardt soon after became a master at his trade and by the time of his father death on August 9, 1877 there was scarcely a better lithographer in the country. Theodor Leonhardt was born on October 5, 1818 in Bautzen in the kingdom of Saxony. The upheaval of the year 1848 prompted the young lithographer to emigrate along with his wife and two children. After a difficult journey lasting three months he arrived in New York just as the area was being ravaged by cholera. The epidemic killed both his children. Then Theodor Leonhardt settled in Philadelphia, where he was soon after able to find employment. The discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania in 1865 and the numerous companies, which were established to extract it, were major factors in the prosperity of Leonhardt's lithography business, which specialized in the printing of bonds and stock certificates. Arno Leonhardt enlarged the inherited business and relocated it in 1889 to 125 S. 5th. St., where it can be found today. He received may awards, including a silver medal from the Maryland Institute in 1887 and an award from the National Export Exposition in Philadelphia in 1899. Like his father, he specialized in manufacturing bonds and corporate certificates. Arno Leonhardt founded the first lithographer's union. For years he was secretary and treasurer of the Lithographer's Association.

Arno Leonhardt played a role in the German life of Philadelphia and the rest of the country. He has been vice-president of the German-American Central Alliance, president of the German Theatre Realty Co., a many-year director of the Northeastern Sängerbund, president of the great National Sängerfest, successfully held in Philadelphia in 1897, and president of the Young Men's Choir, to which he belonged for 25 years. He became its president on March 10, 1884. Under his presidency the magnificent hall at 6th and Vine Sts. and a lasting memorial to German men's singing in America have been built. In Arno Leonhardt these projects found a most reliable supporter. Mr. Leonhardt was founder of the Pupils Association of the Philadelphia Gymnastics Community, of which he was a member until his death. He was a life-long member of the German Hospital, the German Society, the Samaritan's Shelter, the Free Masons and the Veteran Free Masons. He was one of the most lovable men, who ever played a role in German association life.

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Joseph Keller, Indianapolis
First Vice-President of the National German-American Alliance

About 50 years ago Joseph Keller was born in the wonderful and legend-filled region of Germany between the Danube and Rhine rivers. He received his education at the school in his home district and the academic high school "ad fontes Danubii", as Scheffel describes every nice city in the Black Forest, as well as the lyceum in Konstanz.

After fulfilling his military service in Freiburg in Baden, he came to America in 1882 at the recommendation of his brother, who lived in Indianapolis.

Just as is the case for almost every new German immigrant, he was not spared the bitter experiences of the early days.

He managed to sustain his existence and that of his young wife, whom he had brought with him from the beloved homeland, by taking a modest job in a department store, supplemented by a small income he made as a private tutor during his spare time.


Over the span of years he worked to secure the position of buyer at the previously mentioned business and a few years after that he established a textile business, which he still manages today.

Since the early days of his arrival Keller regularly took part in all German endeavors. A German festival was never held and a German undertaking was never begun, which did not find him an active participant.

For twelve terms he was spokeman for the Independent Gymnastics Association, which was called to life in 1898 by a small group of energetic and determined men. It was one of the first associations to join the National Alliance and Keller was one of the delegates at the Baltimore convention, where he succeeded in securing Indianapolis as the venue for the third convention and was elected First Vice-President of the Alliance.

The founding of the State Association in Indiana followed in 1903. Only four other city groups attended the first state convention, which was held in Indianapolis. Congressman Richard Bartholdt attended as guest of honor at the assembly. A constitution with by-laws was adopted and Keller

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Caption under picture at center reads Joseph Keller, Indianapolis, the First Vice-President of the National German-American Alliance.


was elected president of the State Association, an office which he still holds today.

Currently the State Association of Indiana consists of 6 strong municipal associations and 8 branches in smaller cities.

The Association has been active in each legislative period over the past 6 years. Its lobbying efforts are to thank for teachers pension legislation and the raising of teacher salaries.

The German State Association of Indiana is among the first organizations to stand at the forefront for the preservation of personal freedom. Through numerous letters and speeches before just about every city in the state, the president of the association has urged the liberal element to maintain the right of self determination and civil liberty.

In the State Election of 1908 it was recognized that the combined efforts of members of the State Association made it possible for the Prohibitionist Hanley, then candidate for governor, to be soundly defeated by 87,000 votes.

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Adolf Timm,
Secretary of the National German-American Alliance.

Alliance Secretary Adolf Timm is without a doubt the godfather and major supporter of President Dr. Hexamer and the National German-American Alliance. Only those within the organization, who have seen the piles of correspondence, the propaganda, the reports to the press, the official documents such as legislative proposals and recordings of sessions in Congress and the state legislatures, truly know how much he has accomplished and how fervently he has worked in service to the Alliance and the German people of this country. He reads through each and every item as a true guardian of personal freedom, seeking out anti-liberal tendencies. From the time of the Alliance's inception, Adolf Timm was its most fervent promoter and supporter of its efforts. He is an experience warrior for the German people and civil liberty.

The Secretary of the National German-American Alliance first saw the light of the world on May 2, 1861 in Rawitsch in the Prussian province of Posen. He was educated in Berlin and later became a journalist there. He learned typesetting and this was how he earned his living when he first came to America in 1881 and settled in Philadelphia. He was employed at various newspaper and commercial printing offices until he became self-employed in 1894 by establishing Die Vereine- und Logen-Zeitung [The Societal and Lodge Newspaper], a weekly paper whose function is indicated by its title.

When steps were being taken to establish a union of Germans in and around the Philadelphia area, Adolf Timm was the first man Dr. Hexamer enlisted to the cause, making him secretary. When in April 1899 the German-American Central Alliance of Pennsylvania was founded, Adolf Timm was the logical choice for secretary. The same held true the following year when the National German-American Alliance was called into existence at the convention in Philadelphia. He worked with astonishing energy for the growth and prosperity of the Alliance. Today the Alliance extends almost across the entire expanse of the United States due to the efforts of Adolf Timm, the Alliance Secretary.

His work in forwarding the interests of gymnastics earned Adolf Timm the appointment as societal secretary of the Philadelphia Gymnastics Precinct. Additionally, Adolf Timm is Secretary of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Hans Weniger,
Treasurer of the National German-American Alliance

Hans Weniger, Treasurer of the National Alliance, was born in Hanover on September 25, 1845. He was the son of a civil servant. He attended school until he was 14 years old and then began his four-year apprenticeship with an apothecary in Celle. He spent another two years as an assistant at the Rath Apothecary Shop in Bremen. He came to Philadelphia in 1866 and owned an apothecary shop there from 1868 to 1884. In 1879 he married the daughter of the then recently deceased Christ. F. Elwert and took over his passage booking, bank and insurance business. Hans Weniger understood better than most, that it is through persistence and scrupulousness that one wins the public's trust

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Caption under picture at center reads Hans Weniger, Treasurer of the National German-American Alliance


and achieves respect in the business world of Philadelphia. He was an avid champion for the advancement of German goals and interests, who was ever ready to dedicate his service and time to noble endeavors. For years he has been Treasurer of the German Society and has taken on the same role for the National German-American Alliance at the city, state and national level. He is also Treasurer of the German Theater Construction Society and the German-American Historical Society. He was financial secretary in 1897 for the Sängerfest and in 1900 for the Alliance Gymnastics Festival held in Philadelphia. He has proven himself worthy of the trust placed in him and he has played a prominent role in efforts to increase German influences. The German community of Philadelphia justifiably sees in him a leader and turns to him when it needs help in succeeding in important matters.

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Henry Schwemmer,
One of the Founders of the National Alliance and Champion for Gymnastics

Henry Schwemmer is one of the most reliable supporters of the Philadelphia German community. Since December 1900 he has been First Speaker for the Philadelphia Gymnastics Community, which under his leadership has doubled its membership,

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Caption under picture at center reads Henry Schwemmer


Go to Pages 810 - 813


Text provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo NY
Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks