Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 236 - 240

Biographies for Peter Maul, Rev. Eduard Lang, Henry Bauer, Henry Willert, and Georg Schaaf


Peter Maul

Mr. Peter Maul, the popular judge of the Buffalo City Court, was born in this city on April 29, 1875. He was the son of Mr. Johann Conrad Maul and his wife Anna Barbara, nee Birkmann. His parents were born near Nuremberg in Bavaria. His father was a German soldier in the campaign against Denmark in 1848. He emigrated to America in 1854 and settled in Buffalo. Here he was first employed as a maltster. Then he went into the milk business. He died in 1907 at his house at 182 East North Street, in which he had lived for close to 50 years. It was the house in which Peter was born and in which Peter resides to this day.

Mr. Peter Maul received a good German education and has as perfect a grasp of the German language as he does English words and writing. After attending the church school as well as the public elementary and high schools, he went to the Buffalo Law School, from which he graduated in 1896 after passing his Bar Exams with distinction. He's built a solid practice because of his knowledge, his integrity, and his friendly and pleasant manner. In the Fall of 1909 he was nominated by many sections of the Republican Party for the post of City Court Judge.

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He was elected by a hefty majority. He has carried out his office capably and with dedication and thus won the reputation for being a just and wise juror.

Judge Peter Maul belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church and is a trustee of the Lutheran Seminary. Furthermore he is a member of the Constantia Association of Young Men, the Bar Association, the Lawyers Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and other associations.

On July 22, 1908 Mr. Peter Maul married Miss Hulda M. Goehle. She is the daughter of the well known teacher, musician, and composer Prof. A. Goehle of Buffalo. For some time she was a teacher of the German language and physiology at the Masten Park High School.

Rev. Eduard Lang

Mr. Eduard Lang first saw the light of the world on December 30, 1865 in beautiful Schaffhausen, Switzerland. His father was an organist and the love of noble music was passed down to the boy at an early age. He attended the academic high school in his father city and went to the University of Zurich. He would have gladly dedicated himself totally to music but it was his father's wish that he become a minister and a teacher.

In 1888 he emigrated to the United States and after attending courses at Eden College in St. Louis he became the pastor of the congregation in Scranton, Pennsylvania for 5 years. Then he took over the post of teacher at the high school in Washington, Missouri. After 2 years he was called by the Evangelical congregation in Troy, New York, where he became pastor for 11 years. At the same time for 8 years he was a professor at the academy in Troy.

In 1907 Rev. Lang came to Buffalo in order to take over the leadership of the congregation and spent about a year as German instructor at Masten Park High School, where his ability was highly esteemed.

But during all this time Mr. Lang never abandonned his favorite subject, music. He continued to educate himself to become a musician. He is not only a gifted solo singer but an excellent choir director. In Scranton, Pa. he was director of the Swiss Men's Choir. In Washington, Mo. he was director of the Apollo Men's Choir, and here in Buffalo he is director of the Helvetia Men's Choir and the German Men's Choir. Furthermore he was from time to time director of the Harugari Frohsinn and the Teutonia Liederkranz.

Henry Bauer

Mr. Henry Bauer stands at the top of the class among the well known and respected businessmen of Buffalo, who owe their success to their own ability and energy, thus being self-made men.

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Born in Buffalo in 1858 as the son of brave German pioneers, he attended the public school and apprenticed in the cigar makers trade, thus earning his living. He remained true to his trade and in 1886 was able to establish his own business through ability, hard work and diligence. He opened a small cigar store at the corner of William and Union Street. Since he delivered excellent goods and served his clientele honestly, success was not lacking. About 4 years ago Mr. Bauer had to relocate to a larger facility. His workshop and office are at 565 William Street. With larger facilities his business has grown even larger and today his products are known not just in Buffalo but in outlying cities and states. Especially well known are his Silver King and White Rats brands, which are immensely popular and widely marketed.

Mr. Bauer was a staunch Democrate and although he never sought political appointments or offices, in 1909 at the urging of his many friends he was nominated for the post of alderman of the 12th Ward.

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He was elected by a large majority. The excellent ability with which he executed his office and his great popularity were the reasons that in Fall 1911 he was nominated for the post of Sheriff of Erie County by his party. Only the strong Republican landslide can be cited as a reason he was not elected.

Mr. Henry Bauer has great popularity and respect in the widest circles. He is president of one of the Eagle Lodges. He is a member of the Order of Free Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Elks, the Redmen, the Orioles, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Everlasting Pleasure, as well as a member of the Businessmen & Tax Payers Association, the Cigarmakers Union No. 2, and many other organizations. He lives with his family in a pleasant home at 123 May Street.

Henry Willert

Mr. Henry Willert, the well known poultry dealer at the Washington Market, is in the top ranks of those German Buffalonians who have travelled widely, seen and experienced much. He was born on April 19, 1857 in the old Hanseatic city and Free State of Lübeck. He was the son of master tailor Karl Willert and his wife Maria, nee Schweitke. He attended school in Lübeck. When he was 12 years old he was supposed to start his apprenticeship with his father in the tailoring trade. However Heinrich was not so inclined. Instead he apprenticed in the distillery trade, where he earned 16 dollars salary and board for his first year.
By the time he was 13 years old the enterprising and adventurous youth no longer wished to stay in his father city so he went to Hamburg and found a position as an apprentice waiter in a large hotel. After 2 years Hamburg became too small so he signed on as a cabin boy on a sailing ship headed for India. He returned 2 years later and signed on as a cook on an eastward sailing vessel headed for Trieste. He made a second trip to the East, went to Bombay, and then caught a Dutch ship sailing for Rotterdam. His next trip was from Falmouth, England to Hong Kong and China. On the return trip he landed in the United States. In Boston he was posted on coastal steamers for some time. Then he came to Buffalo, where he sailed in the lake for 2 years. He started as a fishmonger and then successfully went into supplying caviar. He was in a position to acquire more boats in order to expand his business. Then with one blow he lost everything. His boats, which took up all his savings, were destroyed in a fearsome gale on Lake Huron.

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Mr. Willert gave up life on the sea and everything that went with. He became a valet and in the interim he married Miss Julie Freitag of Buffalo. He decided to settle here and he opened a tavern at the corner of Terrace and Henry Streets. He didn't care for this line of business and he gave it up. After working for a while at a painting firm and then at Hamlins Sugar Refinery he began a small poultry dealership, primarily handling chickens. He found in his wife a good assistant, who is not only hard working and thrifty but also a capable businesswoman. This along with the fact that he serves his customers honestly has brought him great success. Today he supplies the largest hotels, the finest restaurants, and the exclusive clubs of the city with their table poultry. All his clients value him for his honesty and reliability. He also has a branch in Niagara Falls.

Mr. Henry Willert, who lives with his wife in a pleasant home at 10 Girard Place, is a member of the Order of Elks, the Buffalo Orpheus, and several other organizations. He is beloved and respected and enjoys a large circle of friends.

Georg Schaaf

Mr. Georg Schaaf, the well known contractor at 547 East Utica Street, was born on December 14, 1862 in Upper Gleen, in the Hessen-Darmstadt region. He was the son of wagon maker Johann Schaaf and his wife Katharina, nee Gräb. He attended the local school and apprenticed with a master mason. When he became a journeyman he went to work in Dortmund and other cities in Westphalia. When he was 22 years old the enterprising young man decided to seek his fortune in the New World. He landed in New York in 1884. He came directly to Buffalo and immediately found work since he knew his trade thoroughly and he was hard working and reliable. When the new St. Louis Church was being built he was already an assistant foreman. It was his distinction to set the last stone on the tower.

In 1892 Mr. Schaaf became self employed and he succeeded from the start due to his ability and business sense. Countless large buildings in every portion of the city have been built by him and today he is considered one of the most prominent contractors in Buffalo. He has also remained a true German and he is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Sängerbund, the Teutonia Liederkranz, and the Harugari Frohsinn. Furthermore he is a 32nd degree member of the Order of Free Masons, as well as a member of the Order of Odd Fellows.

In May 1882 Mr. Schaaf married Miss Elisabeth Bast. Eight children have come from the happy union: Anna, Henry, John, George, Catharina, Myrtle, and Pearl. One small daughter, a twin, died as a small child. Mr. Schaaf is a member of Bethania Evangelical Lutheran Church. He has a large circle of friends and is esteemed by all who come in contact with him.

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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 26, 2005