Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 116 - 120

Biographies for Dr. Max Breuer, Dr. Herman Schorcht, Rabbi Israel Aaron, D.D., Martin Scheeler, and Dr. Henry P. Emerson


German text for beginning of biography on Dr. Max Breuer is on page 115 available at Webpage 7

Dr. Max Breuer

Dr. Max Breuer was born on February 20, 1865 in Falkenberg, Upper Silesia. He was the son of a Chancery Counselor. He attended the academic high school in Greater Strehlitz. After successfully completing his qualifying exams he studied medicine at the University of Breslau. When he finished he became a practicing physician of good reputation.


He is known as a conscientous medical man with a solid scientific background. It goes without saying that he is one of the foremost physicians in our city.

Dr. Breuer is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the University Club, the Erie County Medical Society, the Academy of Medicine, and the Park Club.

Since 1895 he has been married to Miss Preusser of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Three children have been born to the happy union. They are Annie, Camilla, and Carl. Dr. Max Breuer holds a respectable position in German-American circles due to his excellent personality.

The residence of Dr. Breuer is located at 33 Allen Street.

Dr. Herman Schorcht

On October 25, 1910 a man in the prime of life died here in Buffalo. His loving wife knelt before the coffin. Thousands living in America paid their respects and offered their condolences. People from the old fatherland and beyond its borders deeply acknowledged loss to the world of art. This was for Dr. Herman Schorcht.

He was an artist who led the singing group, the Orpheus, to its highest artistic achievement. He dedicated his genius to the songs of the Harugari Frohsinn and the Teutonia Liederkranz (Glee Club). He was the conductor and composer who succumbed to a neck disorder shortly after his last song, Dem deutschen Liede (To the German Song), delighted so many.

Herman Schorcht was born in 1865 in Bad Sulza in Thuringia. He was the son of esteemed parents. He attended the academic high school in Weimar, the city of the prince of poetry, Goethe. After graduating he studied music at the Grossheim School of Orchestra and Opera. Here he developed his talents under the direction of private instructors Prof. Müller-Hartung and Dr. Eduard Lassen. He evolved so well that he was awarded the Liszt Scholarship and was given free reign to enter and leave the old master's room.
In June 1884 he made his debut as opera director in Weimar with the introduction of Kreutzer's Das Nachtlager von Granada. In 1885, having completed his military duty by becoming a volunteer for one-year, he attained great success as one of the soloists (the Piano Suite by Joachim Raff) in the German Musicians Assembly. Afterwards he was conductor at the Opera School in Weimar, where he conducted the student opera company in "Der Freischütz" (The Marksman), "The Troubadour", "The Golden Cross", "The Devil's Due", "The Regimental Daughter", and "The Tsar and the Carpenter".

Caption at upper right of page reads Dr. Max Breuer


The company, which went on tour throughout Germany with Anton Schott, Brandt, Dr. Grützmacher, and Jules de Swert, was highly acclaimed. In 1887 Schorcht took over the position of first choir master for the city theater in Metz. In 1888 he was at the Prince's Court Theater in Sondershausen and in 1889 he was called upon to be the choir master for the United City Theater of Leipzig. In 1891 he became the director of the 107-member Trivoli Symphony Orchestra in Christiania, Norway. He remained there until 1902. In 1903 the Buffalo Orpheus unanimously chose him to be their conductor. This in turn led to his assuming the baton for the Harugari Frohsinn.
In 1905 he returned to Germany for a brief period. He came back to America to assume a post at the Morris Institute in New York. At the same time he declined an excellent position at the Conservatory in St. Louis. During his stay at the art institute his conducting talents grew. He took over the direction of the German Liederkranz in New York and directed many large concerts. The glee club flourished.

In 1906 the late Herman Schorcht married Emma Scheu, daughter of a highly respected Buffalo family. When the signs of his later fatal illness emerged, he convinced his wife to resettle in Buffalo. Here he became conductor of the Liederkranz and later the Harugari Frohsinn.

With a deep artistic soul and an excellent character one can see that Herman Schorcht had a great pedigogical talent. He inspired his singers and instilled some of his own fire in their souls. Thus his masterly recitals became true artistic pearls.

The deceased also made a name for himself as a composer. From him came the 3 act opera "Die Wolfenbraut"(The Wolf's Bride), the 1 act opera "Der Wilderer" (The Poacher), the Norwegian operettas "Paa Fjieldet" and "Kingsjaa", the "Fram Cantata", which was dedicated to the North Pole explorer Frithjof Nansen, and the "Jubel Kantate" (Jubilation Cantata), composed for the 25 year jubilee of King Oskar of Sweden. He also composed several piano and orchestral works, a cello concerto, 2 piano concertos with orchestra, a string quartet, and a series of songs. In his later years he was occupied with the composition of large orchestral and choral works including "Mervilla", an overture for large orchestra, ballet music to "Kringsjaa", the Intermezzo "Die Heimkehr der Soldaten" (The Homecoming of the Soldiers), The 30th Psalm for Solos, Men's Choir, and Orchestra, The 23rd Psalm for Solo Quartet, various choral and men's choir pieces.

Caption under picture at lower right reads Dr. Herman Schorcht


Herman Schorcht has been silenced, his eyes have lost their light. His spirit however lives on in the songs which he taught us and the musical language he gave us. He lives on in the great works which his genius produced for the future. Buffalo may be proud to have had him within its walls. His ashes are decorated with a laurel wreath.

Rabbi Israel Aaron, DD

Dr. Israel Aaron, the long-time beloved Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue, was born on November 20, 1859 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His parents came from Hessen-Nassau. His father was an officer in the Hessian Army but after immigrating to America he became a Rabbi of a Hebrew congregation in Lancaster. His mother, Settie Grünbaum, first saw the light of the world in Nassau. He attended the public schools and the academic high school in Lancaster, went to the University of Cincinnati, and completed his studies at Hebrew Union College, where after his graduation he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

Dr. Aaron held his first post as Rabbi in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On February 24, 1887 he wed Miss Emma Falk. In April of the same year he followed the call to the Beth Zion congregation, where he has been spiritual leader ever since. Dr. Aaron is a man of wisdom and comprehensive knowledge. He has held many offices among those of his faith in the United States. Among these are membership in the governing council of the Jewish Orphanage in Rochester and the administrative council of the Central Conference of Rabbis and the administration of Hebrew Union College. He is a member of many local and national entities such as the University Club and the Sedate Sixteen. Further he is the founder of Zion House, built in 1890, at 456 Jefferson Avenue. The extraordinary growth of this institute has caused the need for a larger building. Over the next few years it should be built.

Dr. Aaron is an excellent orator. His oratory accomplishments have awed thousands on numerous occasions. He lives at 748 Auburn Avenue amid not only members of his faith but amid members of all classes of citizens. His excellent character has earned him the respect and admiration of all. He too has not forgotten his German heritage. He displays a lively interest in all forms of German endeavor.

On May 10th Dr. Aaron celebrated his silver jubilee as rabbi. Five days later he was taken from his wife, his congregation, and his circle of friends. May his memory be honored.

Caption under picture in lower left reads Rabbi Israel Aaron, DD


Martin Scheeler

Mr. Martin Scheeler, president of the Buffalo Wire Works Co. Inc, first saw the light of the world in Buffalo on April 30, 1863. In 1883 he went into the business of his father, the late Martin Scheeler, Jr. and his brother, the more recently deceased Philip Scheeler. The business was under the firm name of Scheeler & Sons. Martin Scheeler, Jr. retired from the firm in 1896. In 1903 the business was restructured with $100,000 in capital under the name Buffalo Wire Works Co. Inc. It was incorporated with P. Scheeler as president and Martin Scheeler as treasurer and operations manager.

Under Martin Scheeler's capable management the works has become one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The facilities are furnished with the most modern equipment and machinery, up-to-date in every detail. There are a number of cable weaving machines at the works which are second to none in the world in size and complexity. You can get the heaviest gauge wire mesh here. In order to get a fair idea of the magnitude of this establishment, one really must visit the works. It extends from the Terrace to Jackson Street. The machinery is driven by electrical power. The sound of the over 150 weaving machines and the numerous other pieces of equipment is deafening. The visitor comes away in astonishment and wonder over the immensity of the cable making industry in Buffalo and its evolution since the 1860s. Martin Scheeler, Jr, who emigrated from Germany in the 1840s, established the business.

In the factory there are over 200 mechanics, weavers, and assistants. It is self evident that there must be very large contracts involved in keeping operations going and the works in business. Naturally the marketing area is not limited to Buffalo but rather it's spread out all over the United States. You can find the products of the Buffalo Wire Works Co. in every state of the union as well as in foreign lands across the ocean. Just last summer Mr. Scheeler returned from an extensive trip in South America, where he made large sales, especially in Brazil. The market for his wares is quite favorable there.

Mr. Scheeler is a staunch Republican but he has never sought to enter the political arena or obtain public office. Rather he has spent all his time with the firm, for which he is currently president. He has made many long trips abroad. A year ago he visited the German states in which his parents first saw the light of the world, Lower Roden and Eppertshausen in Hessen-Darmstadt. He also visited the large cities of Germany, Italy, and France.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Martin Scheeler


Mr. Scheeler, who attended the public school, is proud that he is fluent in the German language, taught to him by his parents.

Mr. Scheeler married Miss Anna Seifert in 1886. The happy union produced 3 children - one son and 2 daughters. The son is secretary of the company. Mr. Philip M. Scheeler, the Treasurer, and Mr. Chas. A. Scheeler, Assistant Treasurer, are nephews of Mr. Martin Scheeler. A brother-in-law, Mr. Ferdinand Grimm, is vice-president and operations manager. Mr. Martin Scheeler lives with his family in a cosy home at 28 Willow Lawn.

Dr. Henry P. Emerson

The Buffalo School System is recognized as one of the best in the United States. It is also a fact that the leadership of the public schools until 1893 was one of the worst in the land. The man, who brought about the change and who during a period of 19 years raised the educational standards in our city to such a high level, is Dr. Henry P. Emerson. On November 7, 1911 he was reelected to the post of School Superintendent by the citizenry.

Mr. Emerson was born and educated in Massachusetts. It was there that he became a teacher. In 1874 he came to Buffalo in order to assume the direction of the Classics Department at Central High School. He proved himself an excellent driving force and in 1883 he took over the vacant director's post at the educational institution. Here he also proved that he was the right man for the job.

The citizenery of the city, which had the welfare of the upcoming generation in mind, expressed dissatisfaction with the poor management of the public schools. Great sums of money were spent but no positive results were achieved. In 1892 The Forum, a prominent magazine, did a series of articles on the school systems of the large cities in our country. In the article the Buffalo School System was often cited as a disgrace to the city. Similarly the local press had used sharp words to criticize the prevailing malaise of the public schools. Public opinion wanted change and the election of a plausible candidate to lead the change went to Mr. Emerson. He was nominated by the Republican Party for the post of Superintendent and he was elected by a vast majority. He justified the faith placed in him at every turn. From the day he took office to the present Mr. Emerson has made it his task to raise the standard of education in Buffalo.

* He did not rest until he succeeded and he continued until he had perfected the school system. His first endeavor was to get rid of inferior teachers, do away with the favoritism system, and appoint only first-rate people. He also succeeded in replacing the old system with a new and contemporary teaching method using textbooks. He ordered a new and better system for grading and introduced hands-on teaching techniques. He also introduced the public schools to instruction in German techniques of gymnastics. He facilitated the broadening of curriculum to include instruction in German in the public schools. He introduced the latest innovations in practice and theory while at the same time exercising thrift so as not to unnecessarily burden taxpayers.

Mr. Emerson has been an excellent officer in his 18 year tenure. He was elected president of the New York State Teachers Association as well as president of the State Council of School Superintendents and the Department of Superintendents of the National Education Association. Currently he is a member of the State Examination Board. In the summer of last year he was recognized for his outstanding service with a Ph.D. in Education by the University of Rochester. He has also been a Trustee, ex officio, of the Buffalo Public Library since its founding.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Dr. Henry P. Emerson


*German text for last 2 paragraphs available on page 121 found on Webpage 9. Return to English text

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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised July 24, 2005