Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 196 - 200

Biographies for Heinrich H. Elbers, Andrew Holz, Jacob J. Weber, John Hofmayr, Rev. Georg Sellinger, and Louis Kinkel

Heinrich H. Elbers

German text for biography of Heinrich H. Elbers begins on page 195, which can be found at Webpage 23

Mr. Heinrich H. Elbers was born on March 38 [sic], 1869 in the city of Anholt in the legislative district of Münster in Westphalia. His father, Heinrich Elbers, took part in the Wars of 1866 and 1870-71. He later served Prince Leopold Alfred of Salm loyally and honorably for 35 years, as the Prince himself acknowledged, as a valet. In this capacity he travelled with the prince throughout Europe, influencing the prince on matters of the treatment of the poor. His mother Dorothea, nee von Uem, was the daughter of respected and prosperous innkeeper Stephan von Uem.

Heinrich H. Elbers attended the elementary school, the trade and drafting school, and educated himself to become a flower and landscape gardener. He was an apprentice in Anholt for 4 years. For another 4 years he was a second and then first assistant in the Prince of Salm's castle gardens in Anholt. Then he came to America in order to utilize his extensive range of knowledge and great ability. He came to Buffalo and successfully worked in various flower gardens. In 1898 he gained the posting of Superintendent of Humboldt Park, which represented the epitome of his craft.

Mr. Elbers is a member of Maria Magdalena Catholic Church. He is a member of the Canisius Alumni Sodality. Furthermore he is a member of the German-American Alliance, the East Side Business Men's Association, the Taxpayers Association, the Young Men's Drama Club, the Erie Tribe of the Red Men, and the Humboldt Club. Since 1896 he has been happily married to Julia Louise, nee Frommel. He has one daughter, Leonora Bertha, who was born in 1902.


The son of respected parents who were dedicated to duty, Mr. Heinrich Elbers has done well for himself in the New World, acquiring a good name which will lead to even greater success in the future.

Andrew Holz

Mr. Andrew Holz, the well known undertaker at 279 Broadway, was born on October 26, 1858 in Heilsberg, East Prussia. His parents, respected citizens, were master saddle and harness maker Andreas Holz and his wife Magdalena, nee Wien. Andrew attended the local school and at the age of 14 came to America in 1873. After staying for a short time with relatives in Amsterdam, N.Y. the striving and enterprising lad came to Buffalo. Here he found work as a courier for undertaker Anton Feldman at 279 Broadway. He attended St. Mary's School primarily to learn the English language, which he mastered within a short time. He applied himself diligently and enthusiastically to further his knowledge of the business in which he was employed. It goes without saying that he was successful. He soon advanced to become Mr. Feldmann's assistant. By the time Mr. Feldmann died in 1887 Mr. Holz had gained the knowledge and means necessary to take over the establishment and run it himself.

Mr. Andrew Holz, one of the most respected German citizens of the East Side, is an active member of St. Mary's Parish, the Knights of St. John, the Knights of Columbus, the St. Mary's Club, the C.M.B.A. and C.B.L. Furthermore he is one of the directors of the German Roman Catholic Orphanage. In 1887 he married Miss Helena Neukirchen. The happy union has been blessed with 3 children: Mrs. Catharine Zubler, 23; Philomena, 21; Loretta, 14 years of age.

Caption under picture at upper left reads Heinrich H. Elbers

Caption under picture at lower right reads Andrew Holz


Jacob J. Weber

Mr. Jacob John Weber, the well known undertaker at 1307 Fillmore Avenue and a well known and respected citizen of the East Side, first saw the light of the world on October 8, 1863 in Waukegan, Illinois. He was the son of German crate manufacturer Jacob Weber and his wife Katharine, nee Krebel. In 1870 he came with his parents and siblings to Buffalo. Here he attended St. Boniface Catholic School. He learned his father's trade, at which he was employed until 1899. Then he became a partner in the undertaking establishment of Mr. Kaufmann located at 1414 Fillmore Avenue. In 1900 the firm of Kaufmann & Weber was dissolved and Mr. Weber established his own business at 1307 Fillmore Avenue.

Mr. Weber, a man of excellent character respected and loved by a wide circle of friends, is a capable businessman who in 1910 established the Elk Spring Water Co. Not only is he secretary and treasurer of this business but also he is operations manger. The hours in which he is not employed as an undertaker he spends in the company's office and facilities.

Mr. Weber is an active member of Mary Magdalena Catholic Church and he is a member of the church council. He is also a member of the Order of Elks, the Orioles, the Foresters, the Knights of St. John, the Knights of Columbus, the K.E.P., the C.M.B.A., the Alhambra, the Redmen, the Humboldt Club, the "Heimatlustigen" (the Enthusiasts of the Homeland), the Bavarian National Assembly, and other organizations. From 1906 to 1908 he was the official undertaker for Erie County.

On September 16, 1884 Mr. Weber married Miss Josephine Deinzer. The happy union has remained childless but the couple has adopted a daughter, Antoinette.

John Hofmayr

Mr. Johann Hofmayr is one of Buffalo's prominent German pioneers and businessmen. He is well known in Catholic circles and he is a valued citizen. He first saw the light of the world on April 20, 1845 in Türkheim in the Bavarian environs of Swabia and Neuberg. He was the son of master potter Stephan Hofmayr and his wife Creszentia. He received his education at the merchandising school in Türkheim, graduating with highest honors. He apprenticed in the carpentry trade in the city of Pfreint in the upper Palatinate. Not yet 18 years of age he became a journeyman carpenter and worked in this capacity for various master carpenters in Munich, Wiesbaden, and Magdeburg. At the end of the War of 1866 he emigrated to America and arrived in Buffalo on November 1, 1866. He settled here permanently.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Jacob J. Weber


In 1878 Mr. Hofmayr married Miss Maria A. Hauser, daughter of one of the first German settlers in Buffalo, Mr. Wendelin Hauser. The happy union produced 10 children, 6 of whom are still living: Joseph, Maria, Franziska, Klara (Mrs. Nikolaus Schwab), John, and Bernhard.

Mr. Hofmayr worked here in Buffalo as a carpenter and was a foreman in a factory for 17 years. In 1896 he took over a book and picture frame business at 514 Emslie Street. In 1908 he established an altar and church construction business at 661 Broadway. His ability and honesty helped make him successful.

Although Mr. Hofmayr remained distant from political activity, he was from 1905 to 1907 a member of the executive committee for the Municipal League. He is an active member of St. Ann's Parish and Branch 24 of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. He is also one of the founding members of the Catholic Workers Association of St. Ann's Parish. For 5 years he was president of the German Catholic Federation of the Diocese of Buffalo and he served 3 terms as president of the German Catholic State Assembly of New York. Currently he holds an honorary lifetime position as president of the State Assembly. Mr. Hofmayr is a well respected and beloved individual because of his excellent character.

Rev. Georg Sellinger

Rev. Georg Sellinger, the active spiritual leader of St. Matthew's Catholic Church, was born on December 21, 1865 in Schifferstadt in the beautiful Rhine Palatinate. He was the son of farmers Georg Adam Sellinger and his wife Maria Antonia Dennhardt. He attended the parish school in his home city and then went to the academic high school in Speyer. After this he decided to dedicate his life to the service of God and the church so he completed his theological studies at the University of Munich. He fulfilled his military duty as a one year volunteer.

Caption under picture at upper left reads John Hofmayr

Caption under picture at lower right reads Rev. Georg Sellinger


On August 18, 1889 he was ordained a priest in the imperial cathedral in Speyer. He served as chaplain for 3 years at the parish of St. Ingbert, was called to become military chaplian at Germersheim, then spent another 3 years as chaplain in Neustadt on the Haardt. In 1898 he emigrated to the United States. Here he became pastor of St. John's Church in Boston, N.Y., where is served for 10 years. He won the love and respect of his congregation. In May 1908 he was called up by his superiors in Buffalo to establish a new parish in the northern part of the city. It was in the district of the Belt Line delineated by Grider Street, Northland Avenue, the Erie Railroad, and Genesee Street. This was no easy task. It required the untiring activity of Rev. Sellinger and the willingness to sacrifice of the Catholics of the new parish, mostly German-America and primarily tradesmen and laborers. A temporary church with school rooms was established at the corner of East Ferry Street and Schuele Avenue. Scarcely had the roof been raised when a gale force wind destroyed it on June 19th. Reconstruction immediately commenced and by August 2nd the building was dedicated by the Most Reverend Bishop Colton.

By the beginning of the 1908-1909 School Year there were 63 children who received instruction under the Sisters of St. Joseph. Today there are 260 children in the school who are taught by 7 holy sisters. More room must be found for these 260 children. Through the efforts of Rev. Sellinger a piece of land on East Ferry between Moselle and Wyoming Streets next to Scajaquada Creek has been purchased. It's big enough for the construction of the church, parish house, and school. The solid limestone ground floor of the church was finished in Fall of 1912, secured with a roof, and dedicated to the service of God on October 8th. The dimensions are 80 feet wide and 135 feet long. In another year the Romanesque style church will be completed with a cost of $75,000. The stately parish house is being built behind the church at a cost of $8000. The new tiny congregation is growing under the goal-minded leadership of its spiritual guardian. Father Sellinger possesses the many characteristics needed to be a clarion of the soul. He is loved and respected as a priest and as a human being. He is a gifted poet. Many of the products of his Muse have been published.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Rev. G.J. Krim, S.J. (see page 61).
Translator's note: (See page 61) refers to the building of St. Ann's Church. Rev. Krim is mentioned as the pastor on Page 61, which can be found on Webpage 2.4


Louis Kinkel

Mr. Louis Kinkel is a true son of the red earth who has something to offer the New World - his ability, his diligence, his endurance, and his respectability. He is considered among the best known merchants on Buffalo's East Side. He was born on September 22, 1862 in Berleburg, Westphalia. He was the son of apothecary Louis Kinkel. He attended the elementary and secondary schools and became a merchant. In 1881 he made the acquaintance of a visiting slaughterhouse owner from Milwaukee who had originally come from Kinkel's home city. The man told him to seek his fortune in the New World. Kinkel did this and secured a good position as a bookkeeper in the slaughterhouse owner's office in Milwaukee. A year later he came to Buffalo with which he was so favorably impressed that he decided to settle here. He went into the dry goods business of S. Bettinger & Co. and remained there for a year. Then he was employed at Adam, Meldrum & Anderson Co. for 9 1/2 years and another 6 years for J.N. Adam & Co. In 1893 he established his own dry goods business at 1282 Clinton Street. His business prospered to the utmost. He served his clientele honestly, amicably, and honorably. From the start he was successful. His growing business occupies an entire block at the corner of Clinton and Gilbert Streets.

Mr. Kinkel is a member of the Harmonia Lodge No. 699 amd the Germania Chapter of the Order of Free Masons. Furthermore he is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus and other organizations. In 1888 he married Miss Amalia Leusenhuber. One son, Reuben, was born in 1890 to the happy couple.

Biography for Otto A. Kiekebusch can be found on Webpage 25

Caption under picture at lower left reads Louis Kinkel


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 14, 2005