The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County - Part II, pages 18 - 21

Biographies for John Broezel, Henry Werich, Jacob Schenkelberger, Hermann Storck, Simon Seibert, William Nicklis, Jr., Henry W. Brendel, and Johann Friedrich Barth.


John Broezel

was during his time one of the best known and most loved of Buffalo's German settlers. He was born on December 29, 1828 in Schwaben Hall, Württemberg. He emigrated to the United States around 1845. He first settled in New York, where he married Miss Elizabeth Roskopf in 1854. Shortly after the wedding he came to Buffalo in order to open a restaurant in the old Post Office building at the corner of Seneca and Washington Streets. He maintained this business for 14 years, which became more popular and beloved with every year that passed. It was a meeting place for the best known politicians and served at the time as a place for mass gatherings of the elegant clubs of the day.

In Mr. Broezel's restaurant one could daily meet people from Cleveland, Bass, Folsom, Lansing, Ganson, and Warren as well as the various representatives of all political parties. Here is where Mr. Broezel made his fortune during the war, and it must be mentioned that his lovable and hard working wife played quite a part in the success, which Mr. Broezel enjoyed. Having amassed a substantial fortune and having achieved popularity and favor as an individual in Buffalo, Mr. Broezel retired in 1872. However his propensity towards work, his sense of regularity and his spirit of enterprise would not let him be inactive for long, so we saw him return to full activity. In 1875 he built and opened a beautiful, friendly hotel on Seneca Street, which was called "Broezel House". It quickly developed a well deserved fine reputation. Mr. Broezel was a man of excellent character and because of his common sense, his readiness to do good, his willingness to be a true friend, and his drive to be the best at what he did, he couldn't help but be loved and respected by his fellow citizens. Although he was barraged from all sides, he never failed to honor each and every request made by public officials. Mr. Broezel was one of the first members of the German Young Men's Association, the Orpheus, and the Sängerbund. He was a director of the German Fire Insurance Company. He died in Buffalo on October 10, 1887. Two of his children, Mrs. S.F. Eagan and Mr. John Broezel, live in this city. Men like Mr. Broezel show what diligence, honor and good will can accomplish. In his various relationships he stood out as a wealthy man but for his progeny he leaves them with the knowledge that to have a name, of which one can be proud, is worth much more than all the riches in the world.

Henry Werich

was born on December 31, 1823 in Flannersheim in the Canton of Frankenthal in the Rhine Palatinate. He attended the school in his district until 1838, when he emigrated to America with his parents. He arrived in Buffalo on July 3rd of the same year. At first he lived with his parents on 509 Oak Street, near Goodell. Henry Werich learned furniture joinery and the upholstery trade and worked at the same task for 33 years until he retired. In 1861 when the Civil War broke out he couldn't bear to stay at home so he entered the 10th New York Cavalry Regiment as a private. He served with great distinction and was made a second Lieutenant. He also belonged to the Volunteer Fire Brigade and is now a member of the Veteran Firemen's Association. On October 3, 1850 he married Veronica Herder, who gave him 6 children, of whom 1 son and 2 daughters still live. He lives at 437 Oak Street.

.Jacob Schenkelberger

was born on May 7, 1835 in Harxheim, which is on the Mainz River in the Hessen-Darmstadt region. He attended the district school. In 1845, at the young age of 10, he emigrated with his parents to America and landed after a relatively long journey in New York. On September 3 of the same year the parents settled in Buffalo and took their first residence on the corner of Batavia and Pratt Streets. After the lad attended Public School 12, he studied the hotel and restaurant management business. After a few years he was self-employed. For nearly 20 years he was greatly successful. Schenkelberger's Restaurant, located in Ziegele's Hall, was a favorite and popular place in Buffalo. In October of 1887 he took over the restaurant in the old Music Hall, which he managed until March 1, 1888. In this same year he was appointed by President Cleveland, with whom he shared a fine friendship, to the post of Pension Agent. He held this office with such great prudence that he was reappointed by President Harrison. In 1893 he retired from public life but in 1894, at the urging of many friends, accepted the nomination to run for Sheriff on the Democratic ticket. He was defeated by the Republican Lamy. Thereafter he lived peacefully in the bossom of his family in his happy and extremely comfortable home on 26 Otis Place. He went to his eternal rest on May 17, 1898. All who knew him mourned his passing. His very happy marriage was blessed with 6 children, all of whom still reside in Buffalo with the exception of his oldest son, Albert, who is employed as a merchant in Boston. Of special note in the life of Mr. Schenkelberger was his participation in the Civil War. He served in the Light Artillery Unit of Battery A of the 1st New York Volunteers as a Lieutenant. He personally took part in all the schirmishes and battles fought by the Battery. He lost a leg in the great battle of Bull Run. His wound made it impossible to continue fighting in the War; Washington notified him that he was discharged. Despite his injury he had a generally sound constitution. As a Veteran, who acquired many friends due to his amicability and rich, full life, it's understandable that he possessed many fine social skills. He was a member of the Orpheus for 28 years and from 1854 he belonged to the German Young Men's Association. The Sängerbund counts him among their founders.

Herman Storck

was born on June 2, 1843 in Bramsch, part of what was then the Kingdom of Hannover. After attending the public school, he learned the farrier (shoer of horses) trade. In 1869 he came to the United States and settled immediately in Buffalo. Three years later, on July 1, 1882, he established his own business at 101 Clinton Street. He works at that old place to this day. He's widely known for his fine work and is counted as one the finest German residents in the city. He's the personification of German endeavor. For years he's been a member of the Sängerbund and the Sports Association, ever willing to fulfill any task given to him. Mr. Storck is married to Francisca Krüger. He lives at 103 Clinton Street. Of 6 children born to the marriage, 3 still live.


Simon Seibert

is a man who enjoys unusually great political popularity. His fellow citizens have chosen him to represent them in both houses of the State Legislature as well as at various conventions of the Republican Party. For more than 10 years he has been sent to all important conventions by his party. He was born on September 12, 1857 in Buffalo. From the age of 5 he attended the public schools and then went to Bryant and Stratton Academy to study business. After finishing his education in 1878 with distinction, he entered his father's coal business. Later he opened a men's shop on the East Side, which brought him great success for many years. In 1889 he gave up that business in order to accept an appointment under President Harrison as a United States "Aicher" *. He continued in this capacity until 1893 when he became an agent for the "Magnus Beck Brewing Co." He still holds that position. For many years Mr. Seibert has been active in the affairs of the Republican Party. He was a strident activist for them on the East Side and was for a long time President of the East Side Republican League. Mr. Seibert has been the Party's strongest second-hand. In 1893 he was honored by a nomination for the Assembly. Although the democratic majority was 600 strong and his opponent was a man whose popularity was proven through earlier victories, Mr. Seibert was elected with a majority of 1356 votes. After representing his district excellently for a year in Albany, he was again nominated in 1894 and this time won by an even bigger margin. At the end of his second term he received an even greater honor. He was nominated to run for the upper house of the State Legislature as Representative for the 48th Senate District. The Convention, at which he received the nominination, was made up of businessmen, and his nomination occurred amid acclamation. In 1892 Grover Cleveland had won in this district by 2000 votes. Mr. Seibert had a majority of 2206 votes, even though new voting laws meant that nearly 1000 votes had been lost. In 1896 he was chosen to be an alternate delegate for the National Convention in St. Louis. Mr. Seibert's unceasing success leaves one to wonder about the source of his political popularity. He himself does not consider it a form of genius but rather the result of participation in which he has properly dealt with his constituents and has never promised them anything that he couldn't deliver. This is how he has acquired the trust and respect of all and his best friends are those who have known him the longest - this is the best proof that one truly can decipher the character of a man. Mr. Seibert is a member of the Mystic Star Lodge, I.O.O.F., the Millard Fillmore Lodge, K.O.P., the Teutonia Men's Choir, the Sprudel Fishing Club, the Silver King Fish Club, etc.

William Nicklis, Jr.,

whose life will be delineated in the following lines, was born on January 21, 1840 in Buffalo. He is the son of William Nicklis, Sr., who came into the world on January 21, 1809 in Niederwiesen and emigrated to Buffalo in 1836. He opened a tailoring shop on the top floor of an old stone building on the corner of Main and Erie Streets. When his father had been in Buffalo for about 4 years he built a store at 27 - 29 Main Street, which is still there today after 56 years and is still family owned. Mr. Nicklis, Jr., whose father died in 1874, has 6 siblings - Mrs. Geo. Dickerson (Eva), Mrs. Clark Leonard (Nettie), Mrs. Fred Conaut (Carrie), Jacob, Ferdinand, and Mrs. William Pierce. Only Mrs. Dickerson and Mrs. Conaut are still living. Mr. Nicklis, Jr. attended what is now called the grammar school. It was originally a city school. At the age of 21 he entered his father's business and remained there until his death. On 1861 he married Liliam Elizabeth Fysh, who gave him 6 children. He died in the prime of life in March 1884 at the age of 44. The business, under the firm name of Nicklis & Company, is managed by his son, William Nicklis.

*This term has me stumped. If it's a derivative of "Eicher," it refers to an appointment to the Bureau of Standards. Looking at Benjamin Harrison's biography showed much tariff legislation was enacted during his administration, therefore aicher could refer to a tariff officer or investigator. Return to text


Henry W. Brendel,

one of the best known and most important lawyers in Buffalo, was born on December 10, 1857 in Buffalo. He is the child of German parents. After receiving a basic education at the public schools in his father city, he entered the law firm of Hawkins & Fischer as a student, or perhaps more accurately, as an apprentice. He finished his studies at the office of lawyer Delavan F. Clark. In 1879 he became associated with General James C. Strong, in whose firm he was so successful that in 1891 he could stand on his own two feet. Consequently he absolved the partnership with General Strong.

Mr. Brendel has regularly taken part in the politics of his own County and the entire State. As a result of his hard work and amicability he has held various honorary positions and offices. For a string of years he was a member of the Executive Committee of New York's Republican Party and for 3 years he was Treasurer of the Republican Party in Erie County. He was nominated 3 times by his Party for the State Legislature but was defeated because he ran in a predominantly Democratic district.

He was a member of St. Stephan's Evangelical Church, the Order of the Harugari, and the Teutonia Men's Choir, in which he is especially active. He's had quite an influence over the singing and musical scene here in the city.

Mr. Brendel was appointed Collector of Harbor Fees for the City of Buffalo by President McKinley. He is also Captain of Company D of the 65th New York State Regiment. He served in that capacity in the field with his regiment at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War.

Johann Friedrich Barth

is one of our old, true warriors from the Civil War and at this time is an alderman for the 16th Ward on the City Council. Mr. Barth was born on April 4, 1844 at Höfen in Württemberg. He attended the Protestant Congregational school there and after his emigration to America on November 30, 1854 he attended Public School 12 in the City of Buffalo. After his schooling was completed he learned the cigar maker's trade and worked in this trade at various businesses until 1876 when he opened his own cigar factory at 179 Orange Street. His factory has a well-deserved, good reputation and is to this day considered a well-run and and respectable business. Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a volunteer in the 187th Regiment. From September 4, 1864 to July 5, 1865, on which date he was honorably discharged, he took active part in battle at the Battle at Five Forks, both battles at Hatcher's Run on October 24, 1864 and February 12, 1865. He fought valiently for his adopted fatherland. He took part in the Battle at Walton Road in 1863 and he was a participant at Petersburgh and Richmond, Va. He lived to see General Lee's capitulation to General Grant. Mr. Barth is a zealous and treasured member of the Republican Party, by whom he was nominated to be alderman. As already mentioned he was elected in the Fall of 1897. In 1866 he married Miss Anna Hoffmann, who was born in Bavaria. Nine children have come from the union. Unfortunately only 4 still live.

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Revised July 27, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks