Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 201 to 205

Biographies for Otto Kiekebusch, Georg Kramer, Philipp Leininger, Heinrich Kobler, Charles Kreiss, Peter Young, and Georg Schantz


Otto A. Kiekebusch

German text for beginning of biography on Otto Kiekebusch is on page 200, which can be found on Webpage 24.

Mr. Otto Albert Kiekebusch, one of the best known, most youthful, and most popular Germans in the city, was born on May 10, 1839 in Berlin, the capital city of what is now the German Empire. He was the son of separatist Karl Kiekebusch and his wife. He attended the local schools and apprenticed in the cigar making trade. After finishing his apprenticeship and journeymanship he established himself as a successful cigar manufacturer and dealer in his father city for many years. In 1870 he emigrated with his family to the United States. He settled immediately in Buffalo where he was able to find gainful employment in his field. In 1872 he opened his own factory. Ever since the cigars he's produced have been among the most popular and sought out in Buffalo.

Mr. Kiekebusch has always taken a lively interest in all German endeavors and he is a member of the Old German Society, the Buffalo Orpheus, and many other German organizations.


He also belongs to the Order of Free Masons. Blessed with a devastating sense of humor and a friendly and open demeanor, he is a welcome member at social gatherings. He lends a festive and joyous atmosphere to gatherings.

In 1859 Mr. Kiekebusch married Miss Bertha Wenke, with whom he celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1909. Unfortunately his wife died at the beginning of 1912. The happy union produced 4 children: Messers Emil and Paul Kiekebusch and Mrs. Martha Burke. Mr. Kiekebusch's factory and home are located at 31 East Utica Street.

Georg Kramer

Georg Kramer was born on April 5, 1869 in Worms on the Rhine. He was the son of postal worker Leonhard Kramer. As a youth he learned photography. He came to Buffalo in 1891. Here he worked for the first photographic studios and he had the opportunity to further educate himself in the profession. In 1906 he established his own business, which despite its newness has turned into an enviable profession. The products of his studio are considered art works of the first order.

Mr. Kramer most liberally supports the German organizations of this city. He is a member of the Sängerbund, the Teutonia, the Transportation Lodge F.& A.M., the Odd Fellows, the Eagles, the Redmen, and the Harmonia.

In 1896 Mr. Kramer married Lina Meyer. The happy union produced 5 children: George, Bertha, Jenny, Louise, and Ella. His place of business is located in the building at 856 Main Street.

Caption under picture at upper left reads Otto A. Kiekebusch

Caption under picture at lower right reads Georg Kramer


Philipp Leininger

Mr. Philipp Leininger, who is valued as a city legislative officer and a citizen, was born on February 24, 1862 in Engweiler in the environs of Hagenau, Alsatia. He was the son of farmer Georg Leininger. He attended the public school of his homeland and then became a farmer. At the age of 16 in 1878 he emigrated to the United States, landing in New York on September 1st. He came directly to Buffalo and found work on a farm in the town of Elma. In 1882 he returned to Buffalo and found employment in a grocery store where he stayed until 1887. In this year he began his own grocery store, which he successfully operated until 1899. Then he became a tax collector for the Tax Service assigned to the Ferry Street Station. As a tax collector for 6 years he conducted his post in a capable and dedicated manner. In March 1906 he opened his current coal and feed business. The business grew due to his diligence and business sense.

In 1909 he was elected alderman of the 16th Ward, further proving the respect and confidence people have in him. There is no doubt that his Ward could not have found a better representative. In November 1911 he was reelected by a large majority.

Since May 23, 1889 he has been married and has been blessed with 5 children: Burt, Philip, Lucy, Howard, and Margareta. He is a member of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran church, the Order of the Free Masons, and the Odd Fellows, the Redmen and the Harugari. He is also a member of the Teutonia Liederkranz and the Swabian Singing Society.

Heinrich Kobler

Buffalo, for a long time a leader in the production and tranport of furniture, is represented by the German firm of Kobler & Miller. The sole current manager of this firm, Mr. Heinrich Kobler, has made this possible through his excellent business sense, his energy, his circumspection, and his drive to overcome all difficulties.

Heinrich Kobler was born on February 2, 1860 in Clarence Center. He was the son of Jacob Kobler and his wife Dorothea, nee Weber. He received his education in the public school. He became a merchant and he served in the Buffalo 65th Militia.

After working for Messersmith as a salesman for 7 years and then 2 years as a purchasing agent he established his own business in 1880 after he came to Buffalo.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Philipp Leininger


In 1892 he went into partnership with Mr. Miller in his current business. After being together for 12 years the partnership was dissolved as a result of Mr. Miller's death. Mr. Kobler became sole owner and operator when the business had reached its peak and had a fine reputation. The business has ever since acquired more respect and success.

Since October 8, 1890 he has been happily married to Luise, nee Miller, of Buffalo. He's a father of an adorable 10-year-old daughter named Ada. When he's not involved in his intensive business dealings he basks in the joy of his idyllic family life.

Although he was born in America he comes from German parents and he has a great preference for the German language and German customs. He retains the tradition of German song. He is a member of the Orpheus Singing Society and the Sängerbund. Furthermore he is a 32nd degree Free Mason, a Shriner, a member of the Odd Fellows and the Forresters.

Mr. Kobler enjoys the esteem of all, as witnessed by his appointment to the position of Director of the Genesee Business Men's Association.

Charles Kreiss

Mr. Charles Kreiss, owner of the well known sign painting establishment at the corner of Genesee and Jefferson Streets, is a respected citizen. He was born on August 17, 1861 here in Buffalo as the son of true German parents. He received a fine German education at home. After attending the public school he apprenticed in the sign painting trade. He worked for the best masters, learning his profession from the ground up. He was successful from the time he first established his own business. He produced fine work and served his clientele honestly.

Mr. Kreiss is a member of Zion Evangelical Reform Church. He belongs to the Order of Free Masons, the Parish Lodge No. 292, the Germania Chapter No. 256, the Lake Erie Commandery No. 20 K.T., the Ismalia Temple of the Shriners, the Fidelity Lodge No. 550 J.O.O.F., and the Chippewa Council No. 1243 Royal Arcanum. Furthermore he is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Genesee Street Business Men's Association, and various other political and social clubs. It goes without saying he's also a member of many excellent German organizations including the Sängerbund, the Teutonia Liederkranz, and the German Fishing Club. Earlier he was president of the Arion Singing Society and he is ex-president of the erstwhile Harugari Men's Choir. During the National Song Festival of 1901 he was a member of the Music Committee.

On June 15, 1887 Mr. Kreiss married Miss Emilie H. Meyer. The happy union has produced 5 children: Edward J., Jesse F. W., Charles F., Jennie M., and Margaretha Emilie.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Heinrich Kobler


Peter Young

Peter Young is one of those Germans who came to this country without a sack of gold but who had the spirit of enterprise and the willingness to work hard. They came to the land of unlimited opportunities to forge careers. On August 7, 1854 Mr. Peter Young first saw the light of the world in the beautiful Rhineland of Bavaria. He was the son of Daniel Jung and his wife. He attended the local school and showed an early talent for music. He left his parents in order to become a musician.

In 1880 Mr. Young came to the United Stated and settled in Buffalo. Here he became a member of Müller's Chapel Choir, to which he belonged for 12 years. Perceiving that it was as difficult to survive here as an inexperienced musician as it was in the old homeland, he opened a small men's clothing store in a house at 586 Genesee Street on June 10, 1882. His speedy uptake of the ins and outs of the business, his energy, his business sense, and his open and friendly manner led to great success from the outset. Today his establishment in the large double building at 582 and 584 Genesee Street is considered among the largest and most renown on this main thoroughfare in the German section of the city. His business has grown and prospered to the point that last year he had an elegant residence built on the East Side at 72 N. Parade. In 1882 he married Miss Dorothea Weber, with whom he had 3 children. One is a daughter who has the same name as her mother. Another daughter and one son have died.

Caption under picture at upper left reads Charles Kreiss

Caption under picture at lower right reads Peter Young


Mr. Young is a prominent member of the Order of Free Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Harugari, and the Forresters. Furthermore he is a member of the Buffalo Sängerbund, the Teutonia Liederkranz, the Harugari Frohsinn, the Bavarian Alpine Hunters, the German Deaconess Home, the German Y.M.C.A., and many other organizations. Besides these he is a trustee of the Buffalo and Concordia Cemetery Association, the Genesee Street and East Buffalo Businessmen's Association, and other corporations. He is a trustee of St. Peter's Evangelical Church at Genesee and Hickory Streets.

Georg Schantz

The well known engineer Mr. Georg Schantz was born on February 24, 1859 in Haidenheim, Württemberg. He attended the Latin and Business School in his father city and apprenticed in the honorable trade of locksmithing. In 1880 he emigrated to America and first settled in Williamsport, Pa. There he attended the engineering school. After passing his exams with distinction he went to Alliance, Ohio where he was a foreman at the Morgan Engineering Co. for 11 years. In 1894 he took over the job of superintendent at the Lorraine Steel Co. in Lorain, Ohio. He stayed there until 1901. Due to his excellent character Mr. Schantz was a respected citizen in Alliance and Lorain. In both places he was entrusted with the office of Deputy Sheriff. In Alliance he was elected a Councilman.

From Lorain Mr. Schantz came to Buffalo. He became construction supervisor of the Lackawanna Steel Works. To a great extent this facility was established under his leadership. He managed the building of the Dold Packing Co. in 1905. Currently Mr. Schantz is self employed as a "Consulting & Erecting Engineer". His offices are located at 686 South Side Parkway. He receives contracts for large construction from all parts of the country. He has a well deserved reputation as a capable and reliable expert in his field.

Of course Mr. Schantz regularly takes part in all German activities. He is a member of the Orpheus, the Swabia Club, the Technical Society, and other organizations. On October 18, 1883 he married Miss Cartherine [sic] Metzger. The happy union has produced 6 children: Emilie, Carrie, Laura, Julia, George, and Katie.

Biography for John B. Uster can be found on Webpage 26

Caption under picture at upper right reads Georg Schantz


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 15, 2005