Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 106 - 110

Biographies for William Paul Lüdecke, Robert G. Heussler, Frank Zesch, Rev. Augustine Anthony Miller, S.J., Rev. Bernard Clarence Cohauss, and John de Nyiri


William Paul Lüdecke

Mr. William Paul Lüdecke comes from Prussian Providence of Pommerania. He was born in Glowitz on November 17, 1862. He was the son of Karl and Louise Luedecke. He attended the school in his district. He came to America before he was 9 years old in 1871 and attended the public schools here as well. He was first employed as a clerk at a tobacco dealership. At the age of 19 in 1881 he became a clerk in the German Bank, in which he advanced to assistant cashier. He stayed at the bank until 1904. Since that time he has been employed as secretary of the American Savings Bank. It is a responsible and highly respectable position requiring extraordinary ability, strength of character, and integrity. He has remained true to his German upbringing. He is an honorable member of the Buffalo Orpheus, having held various offices for 21 years with this group and 3 years as its president. Today he is a member of the governing council and an active singer. Furthermore he enjoys the distinction of being an honorary member of the Vienna Men's Choir in Vienna. He is also a 32nd degree member of the Washington Lodge, F.&A.M., and a member of the Scottish Rite and the Shriners.

Since October 18, 1887 Mr. Luedecke has been happily married to Miss Anna M. Kuster. Two children, Ellen and William, aged 16 and 11, have blessed the marriage. He lives with his family in a beautiful home at 40 Hodge Street.

Robert H. Heussler

Although a native born American there are few prominent citizens of our city, who are so totally German and who are inspired by German life and ideals, particularly song, to the degree to which Robert Henry Heussler has been inspired. He first saw the light of the world on December 23, 1854 in Hartford, Connecticutt. He was the son of the premier German musician, August Heussler, and his wife, Fredericke. He attended the German and English district schools in his father city and became a lithographer. In January 1875 he came to Buffalo and entered the employ of the lithographic firm of Cosack & Co. Mr. Heussler has been employed in this business, first under the name Cosack & Co. and then under the name of its successor, Hayes Lithographing Co., for 37 years. It is located at 100 Lake View Avenue.

Caption under picture reads William Paul Lüdecke


Climbing his way up the ladder he became a partner in the business and today is vice president of the firm and general manager of the operation, which has experienced great expansion due to his capable and goal-oriented leadership. The firm employs 250 to 300 workers and is generally known as an art print workshop of the first order.

Mr. Heussler was born with a love for music. Whenever a large music festival is to be held, you'll find him earnestly and diligently involved with it. He was president of the Buffalo Liedertafel and was head of the Music Committee for 4 years. From 1900 to 1902 he was a member of the music advisory committee for the North American Singing Society and chairman of the music committee for the song festival of 1901. He has taken an active role in Buffalo's musical events for 30 years. He has an excellent reputation as an arranger of large festivals. We are indebted to him for his hard work in bringing premier musicians and singers of the world to Buffalo.

Mr. Heussler is a member of the Buffalo Club, the Orpheus, the German Young Men's Association, the Auto Club, the Harmonia Lodge of the Free Masons, and he is director of the Philharmonic Society. He is married to Miss Ida M. Hornung. He has 4 strong sons: Arthur F., 30 years old; Robert A., 28; Walter G., 26; Herman K., 17.

Frank H. Zesch

Frank H. Zesch, partner of the firm Reinecke & Zesch, has had a remarkable life. Like so many other German newspaper men in America, he has worked his way up from news carrier to typesetter to newspaper owner. Mr. Zesch is an outstanding professional who knows the business from the ground up and has proved that fact to everyone's satisfaction in his 45 year collaboration with Ottomar Reinecke. His vigor and prudence are chiefly to thank for the Buffalo Freie Presse [Buffalo Free Press] and its printing subsidiary's strong reputation.

Frank H. Zesch was born on April 16, 1840 in Stargard, Mecklenburg-Strelitz. In 1854 he came with his parents to America. The family settled in Buffalo. After the young Zesch spent 2 years as a news carrier for the Buffalo Democrat, he became a typesetter apprentice at the same paper. Later he was employed as a typesetter at the Volksblatt in Rochester as well as the subsidiary press of the Courier. Since 1867 he has been Mr. Reinecke's partner.

Mr. Zesch regularly takes part in social affairs.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Robert H. Heussler


He is a member of the Sängerbund, the Young Men's Association, the Natural Science Society, the Vesta Lodge No. 137, A.O.U.W., of which he is a founder. He's a life-long member of the Buffalo Gymnastics Club, which he joined in 1855. Mr. Zesch enjoys great respect as a citizen. In acknowledgement of his service for the welfare of the city he was appointed to membership on the Civil Service Commission by Mayor Diehl. Needless to say Mr. Frank H. Zesch served in this post with distinction and did credit to the German community.

In 1863 Mr. Zesch married Miss Mathilde Hermine Milow of Strassburg in the Ukermark. The happy union produced 9 children, 7 of whom are still living.

Rev. Augustine Anthony Miller, S.J.

The widely known Catholic institution of higher learning, Canisius College, has as its president a man who prevails due to his life perspective, his moral sincerity, and his erudition. This man of fine reputation and high esteem is Rev. Augustine Anthony Miller, S.J.

Coming from Switzerland, where the wonders of nature manifest themselves in unparalleled beauty and magnitude, he brought his spirituality and nobility across the ocean. He was born on May 13, 1869 in Uznach in the Canton of St. Gallen. He was the son of respected attorney and Canton judge, August Müller, and his wife Philomena, nee Pirscher. He received a fine educational upbringing in his parents home, uniting good heartedness and true piety. As a boy he attended the district school in Rorschach, Canton St. Gallen, then attended the lower and upper gymnasium (academic high school) at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Voralberg. After finishing at Matutina his inner drive led him to enter the Jesuit Order as a novitiate. He studied philology and rhetoric for 2 years at the Jesuit monastery in Wynandsrade in Holland, then spent 3 years studying philosophy at Exaeten in Holland. He ended his studies with 4 years of theology at Valkenburg, Holland, where the German Jesuits have one of their most important monasteries.

On August 1, 1893 Father Miller came to America at the order of his superiors. Next he became a professor of ancient languages at the business school of Ignatius College in Cleveland, Ohio. On July 15, 1905 he was called upon to become president of Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. The highly responsible office, which he assumed here, could not have been more worthy of his ability.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Rev. Augustine Anthony Miller, S.J.


Rev. Bernard Clarence Cohauss

Bernard Clarence Cohauss, pastor of St. Michael's Parish since 1908, is a member of the Jesuit Order.

He was born on October 30, 1868 in Nordwalde near quaint and beautiful Münster in Westphalia. He was the son of manufacturer August Cohauss and his wife Pauline, nee Brede. He received a well though-out education in his parent's home through a cleric tutor. He then went to the gymnasium (secondary school) in Münster, which he left in 1889 upon receiving his diploma. Afterwards his plan was to study medicine but he decided to embrace the religious life of the Order. After finishing his exams he entered the learned Society of Jesus on April 29, 1889. Since it was well known that the Order was banned on German soil he had to leave the country to fulfill his wish. He was received at the Jesuit monastery in Blyenbeck located in Wynandsrade in Holland.

After completing his studies his superiors sent him to America. He landed in July 1894. He came directly to Buffalo. Here he became a professor at Canisius College, which was administered by the Jesuits. Then he was vice-president and business manager of the institution. In 1908 he answered the call to become pastor of St. Michael's Parish.

He is distinguished by his great intellect, his inner devotion towards his ideal calling, and a thorough understanding of the capacity of the human being. And one more thing: Bernard Clarence Cohauss is a German Jesuit; he was a German and he remains a German. He still dreams of the land of his youth, thus he dedicates himself to the deepening and internalizing of German essence and its contributions to the emerging American nation.

Father Cohauss is an excellent orator. His sermons are marked by high ideals and deep content. Justifiably he is one of the foremost spiritual leaders of our city.

John de Nyiri

The blood of ancient nobility courses through the veins of Mr. John de Nyiri, Consulate Agent of the Eastern Empire. He's a gentleman from head to toe whose full name is Johann Nyiri von Szekely. He was born on April 21, 1859 as the son of the same-named owner of the manor of Szekely in the annexed province of Szaboles in Hungary.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Rev. Bernard Clarence Cohauss


After receiving his first instruction from a private tutor he attended the Gymnasium in Kassa and then went to the University of Budapest. The death of his father required him to attend to the manor so he studied agriculture.

In 1893 Mr. de Nyiri emigrated to America. In New York he acquired the post of secretary in the Austro-Hungarian Consulate. At the same time he was an immigration delegate. He administered this office with great ability and dedication to duty. In 1909 he was sent to Buffalo and became Consulate Agent for the Regime in the western districts of New York, in which approximately 60,000 Austrians and Hungarians lived. On July 31, 1906 he married Miss Helene Markos of Bedö, with whom he lives in wedded bliss.

Mr. de Nyiri is not German but he is a fluent speaker of the German language. He is a friend of German customs and habits. He represents thousands of German speaking people of Austria and Hungary. He is a member of the German Association in Buffalo, the Schlaraffia, and thus has earned his place in the pages of this book.

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Biography for Prof. Dr. A.P. Sy, beginning on page 110 of the German text, will be found at Webpage 7


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised July 16, 2005