Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 166 - 170

Biographies for John G. Kraetz, Friedrich Haupt, Friedrich Boehme, John Honecker, Friedrich W.C. Pohle, Albert R. Pankow, and Dr. Karl G. Winning

German text for beginning of translation of biography of John G. Kraetz can be found on Webpage 17

John G. Kraetz

There are few men in Buffalo better described by the term "self made man" than Mr. Johann G. Kraetz, Chief Operator of the Fire Alarm Telegraphy Office of the Fire Department. Mr. Kraetz is a self made man in the truest sense of the word. What he is today he has achieved through strenuous and untiring effort as well as diligent study. As a 13-year-old boy he emigrated to this land all by himself (he was born in Remlingen near Würzburg, Bavaria on October 8, 1859). At first he settled at his uncle's farm near Buffalo. He stayed there for a year and then came to Buffalo to apprentice in the honorable shoemaker's trade. He was employed in this trade for 9 years. During the course of this time Mr. Kraetz was part of the City Fire Department as a member of Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3. After a year he was transferred to Company No. 2, where he stayed for a year and a half. Then he went to the Telegraph Department, where he has been employed for 28 years. He achieved the highest position as Chief Operator through his own effort. For a year he was foreman of the department and on August 19, 1908 he became Chief Operator, a post to which he was well suited. Mr. Kraetz is a brilliant man who over the years has introduced many practical and worthwhile improvements in his department.

In social circles Mr. Kraetz is a member of the Concordia Lodge No. 143 F. & A.M.. For many years he has been a chaplain of this lodge. He is a member of the German Fishing Club, the Knights of E.L.P., the Orioles, and other groups.

He is married to Miss Kath. Vetter. Seven children have come from the union. Unfortunately the talented and lovely daughter Maria died at the age of 22. Those children still living are Anna, John, William, Carl, Georg, and Emma.


Mr. Kraetz lives with his family in a cosy little home at 258 Krettner Street near Broadway.

Haupt & Boehme

Next we offer short biographies of the business owners and founders of the well known tailoring firm of Haupt & Boehme at 368 Pearl Street.

Friedrich Haupt

comes from the old fatherland, apprenticed in the honorable trade of tailoring in Frankfurt on the Oder, graduated from the tailoring and fabric cutting schools in Berlin and Dresden, and worked in the largest cities in Germany and Austria including Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Nuremberg, Dresden, Frankfurt on the Mainz, Strassburg, Metz, and others. He was employed for 3 years in Paris, France and for a longer time in London, England.

In 1881 he came to America, worked at his profession first in New York, then came to Buffalo, where he and Mr. Friedrich Böhme worked at a tailoring establishment. In the course of about 4 years they returned to New York and together attended the John J. Mitchell & Co. Cutting School, the most famous and modern cutting school in the world. After passing their exams with distinction they returned to our city and in 1886 established the tailoring firm of Haupt & Böhme, which today is counted among the most properous and best known in the city.

Mr. Haupt is a member of the Harmonie F. & A.M., the Orpheus, the Sängerbund, the Odd Fellows, and the Stuttgart Lodge.

In this city he married Miss Emma Schenkelberger of Buffalo. The happy marriage has produced 3 children: Charles Ferd., Ellis, and Charlotte. The family residence is at 879 Michigan Street.

Caption under picture at upper right reads John G. Kraetz

Caption under picture at lower right reads Friedrich Haupt


Friedrich Boehme

Mr. Friedrich Boehme came from the old fatherland. In his youth he learned the tailoring trade, worked in the largest cities of Germany, Austria, France, and England, then came to Buffalo in 1882. Here he met up with the friend of his youth and colleague Mr. Fred Haupt. They had first met in Berlin in 1874. They had worked together and attended the same fabric cutting school. Mr. Boehme established the tailoring firm of Haupt & Boehme with the above-mentioned tailor. It goes without saying that Mr. Boehme, as well as his colleague Mr. Haupt, are fluent in their trade. He graduated from tailoring and fabric cutting school in the old fatherland.

Mr. Boehme has been a member of the Orpheus for 25 years. He is a member of the Sängerbund, the Buffalo Gymnastics Club, the Harmonia F. & A.M., the Odd Fellows, and the Elks.

In 1887 he married Miss Maria Miller of Buffalo. They live in a comfortable home at 289 Mortimer Street.

The members of the firm Haupt & Boehme, both excellent and popular gentlemen, enjoy fine reputations in the business world and among the general public.

John Honecker

Mr. John Honecker, Treasurer and Operations Manager of the Cooperative Brewing Co., is one of the best known and most respected citizens of the city. He is a self made man in the truest sense of the word. He was born on November 6, 1854 in Ebersbach in the district of Göppingen, part of beautiful Swabia. He attended the local schools and apprenticed in the honorable baker's trade. As a youth of 17 he crossed the ocean and established his home in the New World.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Friedrich Boehme

Caption under picture at upper right reads John Honecker


Here he found his fortune. He went to Cincinnati then settled in Buffalo in 1872. After being employed at several bakeries he opened a restaurant first at Broadway and Lutheran Alley, then at the corner of Sycamore and Hickory Streets. His lovable and personable character have led to his great success. His establishment was a focal point for meetings of the German community of the East Side, especially those from Swabia.

Thereafter he became a member of the Cooperative Brewing Co. His diligence helped him to advance to the positions of president and chief operations officer of the business. Then he became treasurer and operations officer. For 23 years he has been a guiding spirit at this large brewery, whose products enjoy great popularity.

Mr. Honecker is one of the surviving founders of the Buffalo Bakers Union, which started in 1875 with 14 members. Further he is one of the founders of the Swabian Singing Society. To this day he is one of the supporting participants in these groups. He is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Order of the Free Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Elks. He is a member of the Buffalo Sängerbund, the Teutonia Liederkranz, and many other German clubs.

Mr. Honecker is a Nimrod among men. For many years during hunting season he has taken hunting tours to Canada in New Brunswick and New Foundland. He's had many adventures on these hunting excursions, which are sometimes life-threatening. He's brought home many hunter's trophies. He's hunted bears, moose, deer, and caribou. Many stuffed heads exemplifying his best hunts can be found mounted on the walls of his comfortable home at 409 East Utica Street.

On May 12, 1874 Mr. Honecker married Miss Sophie Becker. The happy marriage has been blessed with 8 children, of whom the following are still living: John and Charles Honecker and Mrs. Sophie Kegler.

Mr. Honecker enjoys respect and popularity due to his friendly and open demeanor and his excellent character. He is a German through and through, taking part in word and deed in all German activities.

Friedrich W.C. Pohle

Friedrich W.C.Pohle, owner of the first photographic studio in the city, first saw the light of the world on February 4, 1868 in Nixdorf, a suburb of Berlin. He was the son of fabric maker Karl Pohle. He emigrated with his parents to America in 1871.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Friedrich W.C. Pohle


The Pohle family settled in Providence, R.I., where his father found a position in a fabric factory. Young Friedrich began to work at the age of 8 to help support the family. He continued to do this for the next 22 years. He earned his own money for his education at various academies and private schools. Through hard work and his own sweat he enabled himself to pass the exams for graduation with a grade of 98 percent. Until his 18th year he worked at a fabric factory in Providence then for 9 years he was a representative of an insurance business. After that he studied photography in Boston for 7 years. Mr. Pohle attended the art school there for 2 years.

In 1901 Mr. Pohle came to Buffalo and established his own photography business. Over the years his business has expanded. Today his business may be considered a cornerstone of Western New York. His photographs are well received. The business is at 9 W. Chippewa Street.

Mr. Pohle belongs to Nativity Parish and is a valued member of the Knights of Columbus, the Foresters, the West Side Businessmen's Association, the Red Men, and the Chamber of Commerce. In 1891 he married Miss Mary J. Gibney. Three children have come from the happy union: Hortune, B. Norbert, and Ernst B.

Albert R. Pankow

Mr. Albert R. Pankow, or by his fuller name Albert Karl Rudolph Pankow, is among the younger German-Americans of the first order. His diligence has led to his advancement in all areas of pursuit. He was born on February 19, 1879 in Buffalo. He was the son of brewery owner and Commissioner of Public Works, Charles G. Pankow. After attending the public schools he worked for 12 years in his father's office. Eight years ago he had the distinction of being appointed assistant cashier at the Department of Public Works. Early last year he became auditor of this important office. This is a position in which he has distinguished himself through his knowledge, hard work, and ability.

Mr. Pankow is a zealous proponent of the German lifestyle and German song. He is a prominent member of the Sängerbund. In this venerable Buffalo singing society he has been the chairman of the Arrangements Committee. His efforts are among the first to be acknowledged when it comes to the society's great success with this year's masked ball and other celebrations. Further he is a respected member of the Free Masons and the German Young Men's Association. He is finance secretary of the Schiller Memorial Society and an honorary member of the Heights Men's Choir of Cleveland. Besides this he is a member of the Highland Lodge No. 835, F. & A.M., the Buffalo Consistory A.A.S.R., and the Ismailia Temple A.A.O.N.M.O.


Since October 12, 1904 he has lived in the bonds of happy matrimony with Miss Grace A. Roehrer, daughter of the well known German pioneer of this city. Mr. Pankow lives with her in a beautiful home at 83 Meech Avenue.

Dr. Karl G. Winning

Among the Germans of Buffalo Mr. Karl Georg Winning, PhD. of 17 Crescent Avenue, is celebrated as a personality of great learning especially in the philosophy of music. His reputation for profound understanding of art and strong musical aptitude precede him.

Dr. Winning was born on March 15, 1872 in Frankfurt on the Oder. He was the son of the respected school director Karl Winning and his wife Rosa R., daughter of the Prussian General Music Director G. Pieske. After passing his exams at the academic high school in Frankfurt he went to the universities in Halle, Jena, and Berlin as well as the Royal Academy of Berlin to study music, the history of art, and the natural sciences. He received his doctorate in the Department of Philosophy. He fulfilled his military obligation in the Prussian Regiment of the Prince's Grenadiers No. 8 in Frankfurt on the Oder. He advanced to the rank of Reserve Officer.

In 1897 he became a correspondent for the North German Press Corps. In 1900 he became a member of the International Geographic Society in Paris, and a contributor to the journals published at Globus and Physikalische Forschungen (Physical Research). In 1893 he was musical director for the Bismarck Festival in Dresden. In 1896 he was choir master of the "Christus" performances in Bremen. From 1898 to 1900 he conducted concert and research tours through Russia, the Caucasus Mountains, and Persia. He published many compositions for orchestra, voice, piano and organ. He produced long scientific works on acoustics, tone formation, Slavic folksongs, Persian and Islamic tonality systems, audio acuteness and hearing thresholds of humans and animals, and other subjects. Most of these works are published through E. Trowitz, Bruckmann, Ries, and Erler Publishers.

In September 1907 Dr. Winning came to Buffalo to assume the baton for the Buffalo Sängerbund. He's been musical conductor ever since.

*The Sängerbund, Buffalo's oldest singing society, owes much of its reputation as one of the largest complex tone-producing groups in this part of the country to Dr. Winning's ability and untiring effort.

In December 1901 Dr. Winning married Miss Gussie Walldorf in Berlin. She was the youngest daughter of apothecary Dr. H. Walldorf of New York. One son, Wolfgang Karl Günther born on September 20, 1904, is the pride and joy of his parents.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Dr. Karl G. Winning

*Remainder of German text for biography of Dr. Karl G. Winning can be found on page 171 posted on Webpage 19


Go to next set of biographies

Go to Index


Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 7, 2005