Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 261 - 265

Biographies for August Bätzhold & Sons, Edward J. Frank, Francis J. Kraft, Frank A. Kraft, and J. Georg Nussbaumer


August Bätzhold and Sons

The firm of August Bätzhold & Sons, dealers in and importers of fine wines and spirits, is counted among the most respected and best known German established firms in the city. The founder of this firm was Mr. August Bätzhold, a self-made man in the finest sense of the term. At the age of 77 he passed over to a higher plain of existence on January 11, 1911.

Mr. August Bätzhold first saw the light of the world on December 31, 1833 in Damsbrück near Langenfalza in Saxony. He apprenticed in the honorable trade of carpentry and joinery. As a youth at the age of 19 he came to the New World and settled immediately in Buffalo. After being employed in his trade for over 10 years he opened a small liquor store on Main Street in the Cold Springs District in 1863. The business grew rapidly and he was forced to find a larger facility in the building at 346 Ellicott Street. But this space also became too small so in 1872 he bought the Odd Fellows Hall at 567 - 571 Michigan Street, which he remodelled and renovated from the ground up at great expense.

Mr. August Bätzhold Sr. also played a significant role in social and political life. He was a prominent member of the Order of the Free Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Maccabees, the Buffalo Orpheus, the Sängerbund, the Gymnastics Club, and many other organizations. In 1877 and 1878 he was alderman of the old 6th Ward. Furthermore he was one of the directors of the German American Bank and director of the old Excelsior Brewery. He was also State Treasurer of the New York State Wholesale and Retail Liquor Dealers Association for many years.

After his death his business was taken over by his sons, August Bätzhold Jr. and Theodor Bätzhold, who were chief assistants in the firm and helped the business to prosper for years.

Mr. August Bätzhold Jr. is a chip off the old block and currently head of the firm. He was born on May 17, 1859 in Buffalo, received a good school education and then went into his father's business. Today he is considered among the most respected citizens and businessmen in the city. He's well liked and esteemed in all the circles in which he travels. He is a prominent Free Mason, a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Buffalo Gymnastics Club, and many other organizations. He is also a member of the local, state, and national Liquor Dealers Association. On April 26, 1911 his wife Natalie, nee Kuster, died. During their 26 year marriage the couple had 4 children: Eugenie, Jenny, August C., and Howard. Mr. Bätzhold has found August C. to be a capable assistant in the business.

Caption under picture at upper left reads August Bätzhold, Sr.

Caption under picture at lower left reads August Bätzhold, Jr.


Mr. Theodor A. Bätzhold was born on October 3, 1860. After leaving school he went into his father's business and then became a travelling representative for the firm, introducing the firm and increasing the clientele base in all parts of the country. He belongs to the Order of the Elks, the Free Masons, and he is a treasured member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Sängerbund, and the Buffalo Gymnastics Club. He married Miss Jenny Hitschler 26 years ago. The happy union has been blessed with 2 children: Alma and Arthur. The latter is employed in the family business and contributes his efforts so that the firm of August Bätzhold & Sons may prosper and flourish for a long time to come.

The firm of August Bätzhold & Sons enjoys a fine reputation, procuring the best wines from the Rhineland, from Hungary, Spain, and France. They also import the finest liquor. The firm carries the best wines from California and other wine-producing regions of America and their spirits are thoroughly first class goods. They are the sole owners of the famous Deer Run and Santa Fe brands of whiskey. The firm of August Bätzhold & Sons is built on strictly honest business practices and it is one of the largest and best known firms of its kind in this part of the country.

Edward J. Frank

When it comes to the preservation of German identity and the proliferation of the German language, the German way of life, German customs and habits, in short everything that is German, to the high placement of the German-American ideal and to the support of German-American endeavor, the Assembly of German Catholic Societies in Buffalo stands at the foreground. Mr. Edward J. Frank has been one of the best leaders of this powerful body. He was their earlier president and for years their representative at the annual convention of German Roman Catholic State Assemblies. Mr. Edward J. Frank was born and raised in Buffalo. Much to his credit he comes from German blood and he honors his German heritage. Mr. Frank is a successful attorney who has practiced law for over 12 years now. He enjoys the popularity and respect of a wide circle of people. He has played an important role in Catholic association life, as evidenced by the many honorary positions he has held in these societies and organizations.

Edward J. Frank was born on September 18, 1874 in Buffalo.He was the son of master mason and building contractor Georg Frank and his wife Elisabeth, nee Gebhard. His father came from the old fatherland. In 1839 at the age of 9 he emigrated from Bavaria to America with his parents. The family settled in Buffalo. Georg Frank is therefore one of the pioneers of our city.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Theodor A. Bätzhold


When he was alive he was an excellent citizen. He dedicated his entire existence to his new homeland, taking up a weapon and participating in the Civil War. Georg Frank died on November 28, 1902. He was deeply mourned not only by his family but by his large group of friends. Mr. Edward J. Frank's mother, who is still living, is also of German extraction. She was born in Buffalo and also comes from a pioneer family.
Young Edward attended the parish school of St. Mary's Church and he attended St. Joseph's College. He chose the study of jurisprudence and went to the Law School at the University of Buffalo. During his time as a student he worked in the law firm of the famous attorney Harvey W. Putnam. Thus he received excellent training for his future career as an attorney-at-law. In 1900 he opened his own law offices in the White Building. Later he relocated to Room 305 of the Brisbane Building, where he currently works. His work was so distinguished by ability and circumspection that he could not fail to succeed. His 12 years in his profession have garnered him a reputation as a competent and reliable advocate.

The German Catholics of Buffalo proudly claim him as one of their own. They honor him as a gifted leader and selfless man who spares no effort in the interests of the good cause. Mr. Frank is an excellent and versatile orator and a born organizational leader. He is a member of St. Mary's Church, the Gerhard Lang Council No. 298 of the C.B.L.(Catholic Benevolent League), president of Section 1 of the Catholic Federation of St. Mary's Church, president of the Catholic Aid Society, a member of the Catholic Young Men's Club of St. Mary's Church, finance secretary of the St. Michael's Club, a member of the First Prussian National Support League, the Erie County Bar Association and the Lawyers Club. He is a former president of Branch No. 16 of the C.M.B.A. (Catholic Mutual Benefit Association) and former president of the central body of the Federation of German Catholic Societies of Buffalo.

On Thanksgiving Day 1907 Mr. Frank married Miss Agnes Brautigam of Buffalo. She was a daughter of the respected cigar manufacturer Anton Brautigam, who died in 1911. The happy marriage has produced one small daughter by the name of Marie who as of this date (June 1912) is 3 and a half years old. The family residence is at 113 Cedar Street in the old German quarter of the city. Mr. Frank belongs to that group of native born citizens of German heritage of whom the German population of this city may feel pride. In him the best traits of the German-American are represented. These are respected and highly valued assets which have made America a great nation.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Edward J. Frank


Francis J. Kraft

Francis J. Kraft, founder of the oldest and most prominent German undertaking facility in Buffalo, was born on November 18, 1820 in Wangen, Alsatia, where he received his education. He apprenticed in the furniture and cabinetmaking trade. In 1840 he came to America and he settled in Buffalo. He opened a furniture business on Main Street near Mohawk, which he ran until 1844. Then he established an undertaking business at 31 East Huron Street. In 1870 he was elected Superintendent of the Poor on the Republican ticket. He executed this office with such ability and conscientiousness that he was elected a second time. On March 16, 1898 Mr. Kraft died, depriving Buffalo of one of its most respected and esteemed German pioneers.

Frank A. Kraft

Mr. Frank A. Kraft first saw the light of the world on December 18, 1853 in Buffalo. He attended the public school and completed his studies at the Canandaigua Academy. After being employed in the Internal Tax Service of the United States for 15 years he became a partner in his father's business. The firm was under the name of F.J. Kraft & Son. The business still operates the same way and out of the same building it has always been in at 31 East Huron Street. Like his deceased father, Mr. Kraft has the highest respect of his fellow citizens and he has a large circle of friends. He works to maintain the good reputation of the business and despite current trends the business has expanded.

Caption under picture at upper left reads Francis J. Kraft

Caption under picture at lower right reads Frank A. Kraft


J. Georg Nussbaumer

Mr. J. Georg Nussbaumer is a leading figure among the photographers of Buffalo. He is an artist in his field, producing quite excellent images. As a result his studio at 628 Main Street has a steady clientele. Mr. Nussbaumer is also a welcome personality at social and organizational functions.

J. Georg Nussbaumer was the son of merchant Johannes Nussbaumer and his wife Friederike. He was born on February 23, 1866 in Dunkirk, N.Y. He attended the public school and the high school. Then he became a photographer. Thanks to his artistic ability he has had great success in his field. Proof of his reputation in photographers' circles comes from the fact that he plays an important role in the Photographers Association of America. He was elected secretary of the important organization twice. In 1902 he was its vice-president and in 1903 he successfully conducted the organization's business as president. Mr. Nussbaumer belonged to the panel which judged the photographs at the World Exposition in St. Louis in 1904.

In 1886 Mr. Nussbaumer came to Buffalo and in 1890 he established his own business. On May 19, 1891 he married Miss Harriet Newell of Buffalo. One child has come from the happy union, Newell L. Nussbaumer who was born on June 7, 1896. The family home is at 432 Ashland Avenue. Mr. Nussbaumer is a member of the First Congregational Church, the Free Masons, the Hugh de Payens Commandery of the Knights of the Templar, and other groups and organizations. He was Assistant Grand Master for the 38th District of the Free Masons. Known and respected the world over, Mr. Nussbaumer is a man of German heritage in whom the German community can undoubtedly take pride.

Caption under picture at upper right reads J. Georg Nussbaumer

Translation for biographies of Philip Christmann & Sons will begin on Webpage 38


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 28, 2005