The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County - Part II, pages 37 - 40

Biographies for Franz Friedrich Unbehaun, Emilie Ernestine Friedericke Unbehaun, Jakob Roskopf, Friedrich Geiger, Regina Geiger, Peter Zipp, and Henry Zipp.


Franz Friedrich Unbehaun

was born on September 12, 1843 in Mankenbach, in the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt region. He emigrated with his parents to the United States when he was 7. The family immediately settled in Buffalo. The young Unbehaun attended the Lutheran Church of the Trinity School at Goodell and Maple Streets and after he left there he learned tailoring. In 1865 he opened his own business at 404 East Genesee Street. He's been conducting business there continually ever since. Mr. Unbehaun never held public office but he did serve his adopted country as a volunteer in the ranks of the 65th Regiment for 4 weeks towards the end of the Civil War. He went with the regiment to Harrisburg, PA, Mt. Vernon, PA., and New York. Mr. Unbehaun enjoyed the reputation of being a solid, honest businessman. He married Miss Emilie Ernestine Friedericke Schultz on May 12, 1864. The marriage produced 7 children of whom 5 are still living: Frank, Emile, Mathilde, Alfred, and Charles. Mr. Unbehaun, who is an old and esteemed member of the Sängerbund, has his private residence at 771 Delavan Avenue.

Emilie Ernestine Friedericke Unbehaun

was born on January 14, 1846 in Demmin, Pommerania. She was the daughter of Johann Theodor Schultz and Friedericke Marie Magdelena Schultz, nee Bobzien. She attended the local public school and emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1856. The family arrived in Buffalo on August 2nd and settled on Mulberry Street. The daughter attended Public School 15. On May 12, 1864 she married F.F. Unbehaun, to whom she gave 7 children; 5 are still living. Mrs. Unbehaun is an active member of the Ladies Section of the Buffalo Sängerbund. She served as President for several years.


Jakob Roskopf

was born on June 3, 1821 in Planig in the Rhine-Hessen region. After receiving a good education at the local parish school, he went to Kreuznach in 1849 to become a baker. In 1849 he emigrated to America, first staying in New York and in 1853 going with his father to Utica. His father had a job as a baker at the State Insane Asylum. Mr. Roskopf worked with his father at that facility for 11 years. He then came to Buffalo and worked for his brother-in-law as a baker at the Broezel Hotel. On September 1, 1868 he established his own bakery at 142 Seneca Street. The business was sought out for its quality baked goods. This was in no small way due to Mr. Roskopf's effort and ability. Even though the bakery business took up a great deal of his time and effort, he found time to take part in the social life of the German community, Among others groups, he regularly participated in the German Young Men's Association, he was a founder and director for the Citizen's Gas Company, and today he is a director of the Erie County Fire Insurance Company. He is loved and respected by all for his open and honest nature. Having given up his business, he's enjoying a well-deserved retirement. Mr. Roskopf was married to Elisabeth Kaiser but lost his wife and 3-month-old daughter in 1872. He lives at 635 Main Street.

Friedrich Geiger

was born on June 3, 1818 in the Danube region of Swabia, near Neuberg in Bavaria. He was first educated at the village school and later at the secondary school in the district's city. In Ulm he learned the merchant trade and was for a long time employed as a salesman of wine and tobacco. Having taken part in the 1848 Revolution and fighting against the forces of the fatherland, he decided it might be a good idea to find a land for which he would be willing to shed his blood. Consequently he came to America. In 1849 he landed in the Land of the Free and came to Buffalo where he managed to find employment at a tobacconist business on Genesee Street. He remained there for many years but left when he had the opportunity to improve himself by becoming a clerk for the Buffalo Post Office in 1861. The city and the mail traffic were significantly increasing and a new service was added for the delivering and sorting of mail from Germany and other overseas places. Mr. Geiger punctually and conscientiously carried out this assignment until he left this life on September 14, 1868. In 1849 Mr. Geiger married Caroline Hochstein, a compatriot. The 1852 Cholera epidemic in Buffalo took away his wife and his child. On May 1, 1853 he married Regina Brunn, who gave him 2 boys - Charles, currently a partner in the firm Barnd & Geiger; and Max, who works for the Water Department.

Mr. Geiger was an old German of true, noble character, who approached matters of the German community with vigor and energy. He was well thought of and respected by all who knew him.

Regina Geiger, nee Brunn

was born on July 22, 1828 in Speyer, part of the Rhine Palatinate. She attended the village school. In 1848 she emigrated to America with her parents and arrived in Buffalo on October 12th of the same year. In 1853 she married Friedrich Geiger with whom she lived in wedded bliss until his death. The marriage was blessed with 2 children, both of whom are still living.

Mrs. Geiger operated a millinery business from 1854 to 1862. The family residence is at 19 Dodge Street.

[Friedrich and Regina Geiger]


Peter Zipp first saw the light of the world in December 1808 in Oberhausen, Hessen-Nassau. After attending the public school in his district, he apprenticed himself to a turner and became an accomplished practitioner. He also acquired skills in all facets of joinery. Because of his sense of fairness and his diligence he was loved by his fellow citizens but he never attempted to hold public office. He was married to Elizabeth Hecker. Six children came from the marriage. Four are still living. They are Mrs. Leonhardt Miller of Lockport, Mrs. Nicolaus Mörschfelder of Buffalo, Henry Zipp, the well known coal dealer and Councilman, and Mrs. Stephen Harbeck of Buffalo. The 2 children who are dead were Mrs. Phillip Miller and Gustav Zipp.

Henry Zipp

Mr. Henry Zipp is undoubtedly one of the most energetic, most active and most beloved of businessmen and public figures in our city. He was born on September 4, 1841 in Gräfeneck, Nassau and emigrated to America with his parents in 1852. They settled in Buffalo and the young son attended the public schools. After graduating he became a student at a trade and business school, where he became a skilled bookkeeper. He then had practical training in merchandising in a dry goods store. Later he was employed as a accountant for various firms and he held a responsible position for a long time on the Central Wharf.

In 1866 he established a grain and fodder business which lasted for a number of years. In 1877 he switched over to the coal business, which he still operates today.

Mr. Zipp was a member of the Parks Commission from 1891 to 1896, at which time he left since he was elected as a Councilman. Since 1898 he's been the President of the City Council.

Mr. Zipp is an active Free Mason and a respected member of this brotherhood. He is a trustee of the Free Mason's Temple and the Life Insurance committee for the Free Masons. Additionally he is a Director of Western Savings Bank and the Union Bank. He has taken an especially active interest in the affairs of the Orphanage of St. John's Church and has been a trustee there for some years. He was a member of St. John's German Church, consistently aware of his obligations and ever willing to sacrifice. He was on many church boards.

His wife Emilie, daughter of Martin Haller, gave him 2 sons, Albert and Georg. Mr. Zipp's private residence is at 100 Walnut Street.

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Revised August 14, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks