Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 211 - 215

Biographies for Theodor Metz, Karl A. Metz, Gustav Bruiknern, Nicholas C. Brick, Ernst Wesselmann, Edward F. Stettenbenz, and Alois Steger

Theodor Metz

German text for biography of Theodor Metz starts on page 210, found on Webpage 26

Mr. Theodor Metz was born on June 13, 1872 in Linkenheim, Baden. He was the son of Mr. Ludwig Metz and his wife Karolina, nee Butzer. He received his education at the local school. He came to Buffalo in 1886. Here he learned the builder's carpentry trade. When the firm of Metz Bros. was established he was one of the 3 brothers who founded it.


Later the firm was known as Metz Bros. Co. The firm, which deals exclusively in building construction, has made a good name for itself here in the city and it has the full trust of the business community.

Mr. Theodor Metz is a respected member of the Krettner Street Church of the Evangelical Congregation. He is a member of the Modestia Lodge No. 340 F. & A.M.. In 1900 he married Miss Lydia Hahl. The happy couple have been sent one son, Theodor G. who is 3 years old, and a small daughter, Gertrude who is 2 years of age.

The place of business for the firm of Metz Bros. Co. is 1295 Fillmore Avenue. Mr. Theodor Metz lives with his family in a beautiful home at 330 Landon Street.

Karl A. Metz

Mr. Karl A. Metz is the brother of Mr. Theodor Metz and he is a member of the firm Metz Bros. Co. General Building Contractors. He was born on September 18, 1875 in Linkenheim, Baden. He attended the local school as well as the public school in Buffalo, where he settled in 1886. Mr. Karl Metz is a member of the Krettner Street Church of the Evangelical Congregation. He is happily married to Cornelia, nee Hänssel. Two lovely girls, Cornelia Magdalena, 5 years old, and Helene Salomea, 2, are the pride of their parents. The family residence is at 936 Humboldt Parkway. Mr. Karl A. Metz, like his brother Theodor, enjoys the respect of all who know him.

Caption under picture at upper left reads Theodor Metz

Caption under picture at lower right reads Karl A. Metz


Gustav Bruiknern

Mr. Gustav Bruiknern is a successful businessman of German ancestry. He is the Buffalo representative for the Schlitz Brewery of Milwaukee. Although an American by birth, Mr. Bruiknern holds the German language in such high esteem that he speaks it fluently. He takes pride in his German heritage. The German-Americans of our city may consider themselves honored to have such a man in their midst.

Gustav Bruiknern is a child of our city, a true Buffalonian as he loves to say with a smirk. He was born on June 24, 1860 as the son of Julius Bruiknern and his wife Emilia, nee Baetzhold. He received his education in the public schools and at St. Michael's School. He then went into merchandising. He was in the service of the Broadway Brewing Co. for 19 years. Currently he is the business manager of the Buffalo agency for the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. at 202 - 208 Walden Avenue. In German organizational circles he is very popular. He is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Teutonia Liederkranz, and other respected groups in our city. On July 28, 1883 Gustav Bruiknern married Miss Catherine Granacher. The happy union has produced 6 children: Florence, Mathilda, Gustav, who's 23 years old and an employee of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., Howard,21, Esther, and Lorinda. The family residence is located at 38 Walden Avenue.

The Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. of Milwaukee, for which Mr. Bruiknern is a representative, may be named the largest brewing concern in the United States. The Buffalo Agency has been here for 7 years. One finds Schlitz Beer in many pubs in this part of the country. The excellent bottled beer is reaching a larger market. The glass used for the Schlitz beer is dark brown, that way the beer is protected from the harmful light rays so it will not spoil. "Schlitz in brown bottles" has become the motto of the Schlitz Brewery.

Nicholas C. Brick

Mr. Nicholas C. Brick was born on February 19, 1865 here in Buffalo. He was the son of locomotive engineer Anthony Brick and his wife Theresa, nee Gronaman. He attended St. Mary's School and St. Joseph's College and he received a good German education.

After completing his studies he went into the shoe trade and opened a store at 299 Broadway. His business knowledge, his ability, his honesty, and his friendly, open demeanor made him successful from the start.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Gustav Bruiknern


He was a staunch Democrat and although he never actively sought political office, at the urging of his friends he accepted the nomination for the post of supervisor on the Democratic ballot. He won by a strong majority. In 1911 he was appointed the administrator of the Erie County Jail. He conducted this post capably and with dedication.

Mr. Brick is an active member of St. Mary's parish. Furthermore he is a member of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, the Catholic Benevolent Legion, the Order of the Forresters, and other associations. It goes without saying that he is also a good German. He is a member of the Pumpernickel Society, in which only German is spoken. Mr. Brick is a friendly man, a popular member of society, and he has a wide circle of friends. On September 27, 1897 he married Miss Rosa W. Dickmann. The happy union has been blessed with 3 children: Margaret, 13; Theresa, 11; and Gerald A., 9 years of age.

Ernst Wesselmann

The owner of the large dye house, Mr. Ernst Wesselmann, came from Holstein, which is surrounded by the sea. He was born on August 3, 1855 in Bramstedt. He attended the public school there and afterward he apprenticed in cloth dying. After his apprenticeship he worked in various large cities in Germany and built his knowledge of the trade from the ground up. After fulfilling his military duty with the 90th Infantry Regiment in Rostock, Mecklenburg, he emigrated to America in 1881. He worked for 2 years in New York at his trade.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Nicholas C. Brick

Caption under picture at upper right reads Ernst Wesselmann


For 3 years he was a foreman in Nyack on the Hudson at a woolen material production and dying facility. For another 4 years he worked as a foreman in a similar facility in Buffalo. In 1890 Mr. Wesselmann became self employed, establishing his own business where the Buffalo Savings Bank Building now sits. Two years later he relocated to 322 Niagara Street, where over the years it has become one of the most important facilities of its kind here in Buffalo. There's a branch located at 17 West Huron Street.

Mr. Wesselman is a member of the Harmonia Lodge F. & A.M., the Orpheus, etc. In 1888 here in Buffalo he married Miss Carrie Duero of Ashtabula, Ohio. Three children have come from the happy union: Agnes, Louis, and Louise.

Edward F. Stettenbenz

The oldest fire insurance business in America is the Sun Insurance Office of London, England. The manager of the Buffalo office of this renown business is Mr. Edward F. Stettenbenz. Since 1885 his activity and ability have made it possible for the firm to have a large clientele here in Buffalo. Mr. Stettenbenz was born in Buffalo on May 6, 1857. He was the son of the well known and respected German pioneer and citizen, master baker Anton Stettenbenz. He attended the public schools and at first went into the gold and jewelry trade. In the interim his father went into the fire insurance and real estate business. In 1884 he became a partner in his father's business. Following his father's death in 1885 he took over the agency. He's had remarkable success.

Mr. Stettenbenz, who received a true German education, has remained loyal to German ideals. He was one of the first members of the German Young Men's Association. He is a member of the Sängerbund and the Skat Club, the Knights of Honor, and many other associations. In 1890 and 1891 he was elected Alderman to the City Council for the old 5th Ward, which at the time had 56,000 residents. He executed the duties of office to the satisfaction of his constituency. On May 9, 1877 he married Miss Adeline Lohaus. Five children have come from the happy union: Augusta, Carolyn, Gertrude, Clarence, and Leonore. He lives with his family at 184 Dodge Street. His office, where he is the sole representative of the Sun Insurance Office, is located in the Builders Exchange Building at the corner of Court and Pearl Streets. His fellow citizens consider him a respectable man and a good citizen. The Germans consider him a true friend and coworker.


Alois Steger

Mr. Alois Steger is one of the best known and most loved members of Buffalo's Bavarian colony. Mr. Steger is the popular master tailor at 284 Broadway. He was born on March 6, 1853 in Oedpilmansberg in the beautiful land of Bavaria. He was the son of master tailor Sebastian Steger and his wife, born Katharina Irlbacher. He attended the local school and apprenticed in his father's trade. Having learned the trade from the ground up he had no trouble finding work with the best masters. The industrious young man however yearned to come to the land of limitless opportunities, where one of his brothers had already moved, and where he wished to make his fortune. Thus in 1873 he emigrated to the United States and came directly to Buffalo. Here he worked for a long time with his brother and then found employment in various businesses. Through hard work and thrift he saved enough to start his own business in 1878. He opened a small workshop at 176 Seneca Street. Since he delivered fine workmanship and quality goods his clientele grew rapidly. After some years he had to rent a larger workshop at 248 Broadway. His success continued and in 1884 he was able to buy the house at 284 Broadway and open a larger tailoring shop. He still works there today although he has handed the management of the business over to his oldest son, Mr. Christian Steger.

Mr. Steger is an active member of St. Mary's Church, St. Augustine's Association, the Bavarian Ludwig Club, the Order of the Foresters, the Bavarian National Assembly, the German General Support League, of which he has been treasurer for 16 years, and several other associations. On July 9, 1875 he married Miss Rosina Schneider. The happy marriage has been blessed with 11 children: Therese, Christian, Charles (who died at age 2), Joseph, Anna, Andreas, Margaret, Milli, Carolina, Gerhard, Hilga.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Alois Steger

Biography for Leodegar Hering can be found on Webpage 28


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 20, 2005