Niagara Falls and its German Community, Pages 16 - 20

Profiles for Dr. Karl Georg Leo-Wolf, Albert Sigel, Niagara Alkali Co., and the Hydraulic Power Company


Dr. Karl Georg Leo-Wolf

Dr. Karl Georg Leo-Wolf is one of the most prominent physicians of Niagara Falls and indisputably one of the most respected and unique German physicians in the beautiful city on the Falls. He was born on July 30, 1868 in the royal city of Vienna as the son of Louis Leo-Wolf, a man of private means. His father, a German law student, spent many years in America, first in New Orleans. From there he took a boat to St. Louis and after a brief stay he went to Philadelphia and New York by horse. In 1857 he returned to Vienna and there founded a large machine factory. His grandfather Dr. Wilhelm Leo-Wolf, who was one of the best known physicians from Hamburg, spent the first part of the 1830s in the New World.

After studying at the Wöhler School and the academic high school in Frankfurt on the Mainz, where his parents had settled, Karl Georg Leo-Wolf went to the high school in Weilburg on the Lahn. He then studied in Würzburg, Kiel, Berlin, and Leipzig, where he became a physician. In the interim he fulfilled his military obligation with the 9th Bavarian Infantry Regiment in Würzburg. After this he spent half a year in Vienna and half a year in London where he continued his studies. For half a year he was a ship's doctor on the Lloyd North German line. He decided to settle in America. In August 1895 he came to Buffalo. After a month he passed his State Exams with distinction and became a practicing physician in Niagara Falls. He built a large practice and he became one of the most sought-after physicians. Currently he specializes in childhood diseases, a field in which he has been published.

Naturally Dr. Leo-Wolf takes part in German activities and he is always ready to help in word and deed when it's to the advantage of the German community. He is a member of the Fort Schlosser Club and the Niagara Club. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and the Elks. He is popular and has a wide circle of friends because of his sympathetic nature. In 1902 and 1903 he was City Physician of Niagara Falls. He is respected for his ability and knowledge by all classes of people and he is treasured by all for his excellent character.

On August 16, 1900 Dr. Leo-Wolf married Miss Clara Gräbe, daughter of the late prominent attorney Gräbe from Rochester and granddaughter of the well known German pioneer and 48er Mr. Andreas Kaltenbach of Niagara Falls. Three children has come from the happy union: Anita Ottilie, 10; Helene Louise, 9; Albert Louis, 6 years of age. Dr. Leo-Wolf lives with his family in a cozy home at 105 Jefferson Street. His office is at 44 Falls Street.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Dr. Karl Georg Leo-Wolf


Albert Sigel

Mr. Albert Sigel is one of the best known and most respected Germans in Niagara Falls. He was born on May 26, 1848 in Kirchheim beneath the Teck as the son of Mr. Karl Friedrich Sigel and his wife Christine, nee Schöllkopf, a sister of Mr. Jacob F. Schöllkopf, who played a significant role in the industrial development of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Frontier. After attending school he apprenticed in the beer brewing trade. He came to the United States in 1869 and first went to Milwaukee. He was there for 4 ½ years in the employ of Pabst Brewery. Then he came to Buffalo and worked for his uncle Jacob Schöllkopf for a year. He moved to Cincinnati , where he worked for 4 years for Mörlein's Brewery. Then he came to Niagara Falls, where he settled. In partnership with his brother and Mr. Meyer he organized the Niagara Falls Brewing Company. He built a brewery on 3rd Street, which today is considered among the largest breweries in this part of the country.

In 1903 Mr. Albert Sigel retired to private life in order to spend his autumn years in quiet contemplation in his friendly home at the corner of 4th and Cedar Streets. He has remained a good German and he is a loyal member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. A while back he donated a set of church chimes consisting of 10 bells in C Major. The largest bell weighs 2650 pounds and the smallest weighs 500 pounds. The church bells were dedicated on August 4, 1912. Mr. Sigel is not only a charitable man who gives with his right hand without letting the left hand know about it. Despite his riches he's remained a humble, simple man who is respected and loved by everyone who comes in contact with him. He lives and comports himself in accordance with the tenets of the Odd Fellows, to which groups he has been a member for many years.

Niagara Alkali Company

The Niagara Alkali Co. of Niagara Falls is among the most significant, prospering industries on the Niagara Frontier. The chief product of the factory of this firm is caustic soda, which plays an important role in the production of good soaps and similar articles. Other products include hydrochloric acid and chlorine products. The management of these facilities, which will be significantly expanded, lies in part in the hands of young Germans, who bring German solidity, knowledge, and enterprising spirit to the operation.

Mr. Fritz Otto Geyler, the secretary and treasurer of the Niagara Alkali Co., was born on May 24, 1882 in Leipzig in Saxony.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Albert Sigel


He was the son of Mr. Otto Geyler, director of the large alkali works in Aschersleben, and his wife Agnes, nee Lange. He attended the academic high school in Aschersleben and the trade school in Leipzig. He followed the merchants trade. He fulfilled his military obligation as a one-year volunteer with the Fusilier Regiment No. 36 in Halle on the Saale River.

In May 1905 Mr. Geyler emigrated to the United States and after a short stay in New York headed to Chicago, where he worked as a packer in a warehouse. After a few months he became a bookkeeper in the German accounting firm of Kölling and Klappenbach. He later found a similar position at the Kemler Lumber Co. He then became a purchasing agent for that company and a year later he was again employed in New York. He became employed in his current position in February 1910.

Mr. Alfred Suchy, the engineer and chemist of the facility, first saw the light of the world in 1879 in Bielitz in Austrian Silesia. He attended the technical high school, served in the Austrian Army, received his discharge as a Reserve Lieutenant, and in July 1910 pursued his career as a technical manager of the Niagara Alkali Works in America. He's proven that he's the right man for the job.

The research chemist of the firm is Mr. Heinrich Wilhelm Witzel, who was born on December 3, 1876 in Birkhausen in Kurhessen. He was the son of Pastor Julius Witzel and his wife. He attended the academic high schools in Kassel and Weilburg. Later he went to the universities in Marburg, Erlangen, and Zurich. He became a chemist and decided to emigrate to America in 1906. He landed on November 20th in New York. Until August 1910 he was chief chemist and operations manager in Syracuse, N.Y. at the Penman Littlehaler Co. At that time he received a call to his current position, which he has executed with great ability and skill. On September 3, 1901 in Erlangen, Bavaria he married Miss Lydia Pren. The happy union has been blessed with 4 children: Erich, Fred, Rolf, and Else. He is a member of the Syracuse Technology Club, the Syracuse Gymnastics Club, the American Chemical Society, and the League of German Chemists.

Caption under picture at center reads Building of the Niagara Alkali Co.


The Hydraulic Power Company

The Hydraulic Power Company is one of the chief factors in the huge industrial development of Niagara Falls and the Frontier. As far back as 1725 attempts were made to harness the enormous power of Niagara Falls but nothing came of these attempts until 1852 when a project was laid out to build a canal. But significant progress wasn't made until 1877 when the late Jacob F. Schöllkopf bought the canal. Mr. Jacob Schöllkopf first saw the light of the world in Germany near Kirchheim beneath theTeck. As a youth he came to America. He became the head of the Schöllkopf family, which played a significant role in the industrial history of Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and other cities.

Jacob F. Schöllkopf, who with sharp insight looked into the future of the water power of Niagara, succeeded with his endeavor where others had failed. He built the Schöllkopf-Mathews Mill with its capacity for 900 horsepower. Recognizing the potential for development and the marketability of hydroelectric power to factories, in 1878 he organized the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Company, which built Station No. 1 and delivered electricity for industrial purposes.

Caption under picture at center reads Illustration A


This was the dawn of a new era in the industrial development of the Niagara Frontier.

In 1895 Station No. 2 was put into operation with a capacity to produce 35,000 units of horsepower. The operation has worked continually ever since. The construction of Station No. 3 began in 1904 with the capacity for 11,000 units of horsepower. Further hydraulic development has the potential of producing 135,000 units of horsepower.

In 1910 the Power Company was reorganized under the name Hydraulic Power Company of Niagara Falls. In partnership with the Cliff Electrical Distributing Co. the Schöllkopfs reorganized, bringing all electrical apparatuses, distribution systems, and contracts with the old Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Company together. The current operation delivers electricity to the largest and most important industries in Niagara Falls.

The Hydraulic Power Co. and the Cliff Electrical Co. are under the personal management of Mr. Arthur Schöllkopf, son of Mr. Jacob F. Schöllkopf, and Paul A. Schöllkopf, son of Mr. Arthur Schöllkopf. Mr. Paul A. Schöllkopf completed his studies at Cornell University. He studied engineering and machine building. The members of the Board of Directors for both companies chiefly come from branches of the Schöllkopf family, who take part in all the large industrial and financial enterprises on the Niagara Frontier.

Profile for the Niagara Hydraulic Power Company and the Schöllkopf family continues on Niagara Falls 5


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Susan Kriegbam-Hanks
Revised September 17, 2005