The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County - Part II, pages 79 - 85

Biographies for Friedrich Brunner, Marie Brunner, Johann Brunner, Catharine E. Brunner, Anna Brunner, Otto Wende, John Kuecherer, C. Louis Fritz, John R. Reinhart, Christina Reinhart, Charles Frederick Reinhart, Katherine Charlotte Reinhart, William Peter Reinhart, Amelia Marie Reinhart, Ernestina Margaret Reinhart, and Samuel J. Ramsperger.


Top: Anna Brunner, Catherine E. Brunner
Center: Marie Brunner, nee Edelmann, Friedrich Brunner
Bottom: Johann Brunner

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The Brunner Family

Friedrich Brunner was born on November 26, 1845 in Gittersbach, Hessen-Darmstadt. He received his education at the parish school and became a baker's apprentice. In 1866 he emigrated to the United States and worked for the next 2 years as a journeyman in New York and another 4 years in the same capacity in Buffalo. In 1872 he returned to New York and stayed there until 1882. Through hard work and frugality he was able to acquire a tidy sum and he returned to Buffalo and established his own bakery. His baked goods developed a steady clientele because of their quality. Over the course of the years this seemingly insignificant little bakery grew ever larger, requiring that it be enlarged and improved. Today it's operated by steam and it's considered an operational model for a modern bakery. It's also one of the most important industrial facilities in the area. On March 17, 1870 Mr. Brunner married Miss Marie Edelmann. Five children came from the marriage. Today one son and two daughters are still living. Mr. Brunner's business is located at 263-269 Oak Street. The family residence is at 271 Oak Street.

Marie Brunner, nee Edelmann, wife of the aforementioned, came from Upper Finkenbach, Hessen-Darmstadt. She was born on June 8, 1846. She emigrated to the United States and married Mr. Friedrich Brunner in 1870. At the time he was a journeyman baker. In the course of time she gave her husband 5 children. Unfortunately 2 sons died. Of their siblings, 2 sisters and one brother still live.

Johann Brunner, the only still-living son of Mr. Friedrich Brunner, was born on February 8, 1875 in Buffalo. He came with his parents to Buffalo and attended the public school. Then he went into apprenticeship under his father and became a baker. He's also the bookkeeper for his father's business. The young Mr. Brunner is generally loved for his amicability, and should he take over his father's business, he will certainly make sure that he maintains the business' good reputation.

Catharine E. Brunner, sister of Mr. Johann Brunner, was born in the City of New York on January 8, 1879. At the age of 3 years she came with her parents to Buffalo. She attended the public schools and lives with her 2 siblings and her parents at 271 Oak Street.

Anna Brunner, youngest daughter of the family of Friedrich Brunner, was born in Buffalo on November 29, 1886.

Otto Wende

There are few men of such indefatigable and stalwart principle as Mr. Otto Wende. Through his own power he has managed at a relatively early age to bring himself into high standing within the community. Mr. Wende, who by the way is a cousin of the Sanitation Commissioner, was born on April 19, 1866 in Wende, in the Town of Alden. His father, Hermann A. Wende, had a farm and operated a saw mill. Hermann Wende came from lower Silesia. He settled in the colony which bears his name on May 23, 1848 and on June 16, 1851 he married Marie Ries. The marriage produced 10 children. Gottfried, Karl, Wilhelm, Anna Louise, Marie, Otto and Heinrich are still living while Franz, Georg and Robert died at early ages. The father died in his 67th year on March 16, 1892. He was a respected citizen, who had held just about every public office in his town.

Otto, the eighth child in the family, grew up in Wende, attended school in the neighboring village and later received private instruction at a trade school in Buffalo. During the years 1887 and 1888 he was employed as a teacher in the village school where he lived. When he reached the age of 21 he was a tax collector and soon after was elected Justice of the Peace. He was the youngest to hold this appointment and probably one of the best the township had. His term of office had not yet run out but he was elected town supervisor by his fellow citizens. He resigned from his former office during 1895-97 in order to serve the interests of his constituents in the Supervisory Council of Erie County to the fullest. In later years he was elected Clerk of Erie County and he resigned from the position of Supervisor although he could have served for 2 more years. Mr. Wende is a strict Democrat and he is respected by his fellow citizens. He was a man with a vote, who never missed a party convention and who several times was sent as a delegate to the State Conventions. We Germans have particular reason to be proud of him because not only was he the youngest ever elected County Clerk but also the first of German ancestry. The measure of the respect given him by his fellow citizens is indicated by the large majority of votes he received in his last election. Mr. Wende is still a bachelor and lives with his mother in the parental home in Alden. He is a Free Mason and a member of various other associations.


John Kuecherer,

who was popularly known by the name "Water John" during his time and is still referred to by that moniker to this day, is probably the first German in Erie County about whose life we have a significant number of details. John Kücherer was born on March 5, 1795 in Baden-Baden, a town in the Grand Duchy of Baden. He attended the local public school. In 1817 he emigrated and came here to Buffalo. He became a cattle dealer, travelling between here and Canada. He used a shallop, built with the sweat of his own brow, to transport his animals. One day the shallop was ripped loose from its anchor by a strong storm and tossed out onto the lake. The owner couldn't reach it in time so he lost all his property and goods. He also lost his livelihood so he had to come up with an alternate way to make a living. He found this way through providing the residents of Buffalo with a portion of their water. It was difficult to get water for clothes washing since you had to go down to Lake Erie. He used a wagon he constructed himself to which he harnessed a blind white horse. Water John with his cart became a well-known and sought-after personality.
Over the course of the years with improvement in city facilities, his business was no longer needed. He built a small home at the corner of Court and Franklin, which still stands today, and he established a small household goods business. The brave pioneer allowed a small protestant group to hold its services in a room of the house. From that small protestant congregation came the seed of the large congregation of St. Paul's Church.
Later John Kücherer built a livery stable on Pearl Street on the spot where many years later Miller's Livery Stable stood. Mr. Kücherer was a generally well respected and popular man, who lived to a ripe old age. He was 82 years and 6 months old when he died. He had a lively wit and a happy disposition. He was glad to tell the stories of Buffalo during the days when it wore diapers. He died following old age infirmity and was buried by a large number of participants from St. Paul's Church. His wife, Christina, with whom he lived for a long time in marital bliss, was born a Bronner from Oberbron in Alsatia. The couple had 7 children, of which 2 daughters, Mrs. Catharina Kuster and Mrs. Louise Crosier, still live in Buffalo. Another daughter, Mrs. Sophie Keller; the 4 sons, Johann, Louis, Carl and Friedrich, have already left the mortal plain.

C. Louis Fritz

Mr.C. Louis Fritz may be counted among the most highly respected Germans in the city. He first saw the light of the world here in Buffalo on April 24, 1838 on Fox Street, past High Street. After attending St. Stephen's Parish School and Public School 31 he went to Bryant and Stratton Trade School to become a businessman. Then he learned to become a pump builder. Today Mr. Fritz, known for his integrity and broad business sense, is the senior partner and manager of the Harvey Seed Co., a substantial enterprise with a large annual income derived from the sale of all kinds of meal, grain, animal feed, etc. He regularly takes part in German association life. Since 1893 he has been a member of the East Buffalo Lodge No. 335, Order of the Odd Fellows; in 1894 he entered the Modestia Lodge No. 340, F. & A.M., and the Modestia Rebekkah Lodge No. 69, Order of the Odd Fellows. He's also a member of the Jefferson Lodge No. 240 of the Odd Fellows, the Teutonia Men's Choir, known as one of the best groups on the East Side. Mr. Fritz is married to Elizabeth M. Witte, who has given him 5 children, and nary a girl. The family lives at 149 Peckham Street.


Top: Charles Frederick, Ernestina Margaret, Katherine Charlotte
Center: John R. Reinhart, Christina Reinhart, nee Nagel
Bottom: Amelia Marie, William Peter

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The Reinhart Family

John R. Reinhart, who is counted among the most respected citizens of the city, was born on September 11, 1825 in the Württemberg District. He attended the village school and emigrated in 1847 to the United States. In March of the same year he settled in Buffalo. He lived here until his death on May 1, 1885. Mr. Reinhart was married to Miss Christina Nagel. He is survived by 5 children. He belonged to the old 65th Regiment and served with distinction during the Civil War.

Christina Reinhart, nee Nagel, was born on June 8, 1825 in Baden. She attended the village school. She came to the United States in 1846, arriving in Buffalo on June 28th of the same year. She lived on Pine Street. She married John R. Reinhart on December 3, 1848. Of the 9 children, with which the marriage was blessed, 5 are still living. Mrs. Reinhart lives at 547 Oak Street.

Charles Frederick Reinhart, who was born on August 12, 1854 in Buffalo, attended Public Schools 13 and 31 and then learned accounting. On January 15, 1872 he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and from February 1872 to 1874 he was employed at W.G. Cutler & Co. He was employed as a salesman from 1874 to 1889 and then he established his own company, the Milwaukee Palming Co, at 425 Clybourn Street in Milwaukee. He's still owner of the company, which manufactures gloves and glove parts. The business has a respected name in the business world. Mr. Reinhart is married to Margaret Leigh, who presented him with 4 daughters and 1 son. He lives at 578 Milwaukee Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Katherine Charlotte Reinhart, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Reinhart, was born on July 12, 1856 in Buffalo. She received her schooling at Public School 15 and is married to Philip Goehrig, to whom she gave 3 children. After her first husband's death she married Mr. Joseph Clody, the reknown restauranteur at 3322 Main Street. One child has come from that marriage.

William Peter Reinhart, who was born in Buffalo on August 18, 1858, attended Public School 15 and later educated himself to become a clerk. He is currently employed in that capacity in Monterey, California. He is married and the proud father of 4 children.

Amelia Marie Reinhart was born in Buffalo on May 2, 1861. She attended Public Schools 15 and 13 and is now married to Mr. Louis Hoehn of 626 Oak Street. The marriage has been blessed with 5 children.

Ernestina Margaret Reinhart first saw the light of the world in Buffalo on December 3, 1866. She attended Public School 13 and on November 26, 1889 she married the famous and popular journalist, Hermann A.O. Hoffmann, who unfortunately died on January 14, 1896. Mrs. Hoffmann, who lives at her mother's house on 547 Oak Street, is employed as a stenographer and typist. Her marriage to Mr. Hoffmann was childless.

Samuel J. Ramsperger

was born on April 25, 1862 in Buffalo and has lived here continuously. This gentleman has been entrusted with the interests of the city and represents the 48th Senate District. Despite the fact that he was left to fend for himself at the age of 7 because of his father's death, he managed to secure a good education through the parish and public schools and later at the renowned Canisius College, where he studied for 3 years. After graduation he was employed at the Hans, Nauert & Klein Printing Co., where he stayed for a short period of time. The late John Schüssler, who recognized his ability, took Mr. Ramsperger into his employ as a collector. He stayed in this position from 1877 to 1888. In the later year he established his own business, which he managed for a year and a half, and then he returned to the John Schüssler Brewing Co., owned by Mr. William Simon. He was a cashier and bookkeeper. In 1894 he took over the managing of the business.

Mr. Ramsperger was an active and decisive Democrat. He dedicated the best years of his life to the concerns of his party. Already at the age of 23 he was elected Alderman of the old 5th Ward, at the time one of the largest districts in the city. He was reelected 3 times and eventually nominated to run for Assessor, despite the fact that he was running behind the other candidate, who won by 3000 votes. In the Fall of 1898 he was elected Senator of the 48th Senate District. In the ranks of the Democratic party he was a leading figure and has been for 7 years a member of the General Committee. In 1896 he was elected its Secretary. Mr. Ramsperger is a member of various groups and charitable organizations, in which he often holds an office.

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Revised August 22, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks