The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County - Part II, pages 32 - 36a

Biographies for August Holzhausen, Georg Vom Berge, Otto Kiekebusch, Isaac Geiershofer, Christian Pinkel, Johannette Pinkel, William Schneider, Catharine Schneider, Johan Martin Georger, Marianna Georger, F. Augustus Georger, Karl Georger, and Frank Georger.


August Holzhausen

was born on November 5, 1824 in the small industrial city of Kemberg in the environs of Wittenberg, located in the Saxony Province. He received a standard education at the city school in his home district. After leaving school he learned the blacksmith trade. In 1852 he emigrated to America and settled in Buffalo, where he lived until the end of his days. After working for a few years for other people he opened his own blacksmith shop in 1855 at the corner of Genesee and Oak Streets. He conducted business there for 30 years. From 1885 to 1888 he operated a well-frequented tavern on Genesee and Oak so that he could retire. Mr. Holzhausen was a member of the Concordia Lodge of the Order of Free Masons for many years. He was one of the founders of the Buffalo Sängerbund, to which he belonged until his death. He also belonged to the St. Peter's Relief Society. He never attempted to seek public office although his friends would have loved to see him serve the community because they treasured his forthright personality. On October 11, 1855 he married Susanna Schmidt. Four children resulted from the union, of whom 3 are still living. Until his death on May 25, 1891 he lived at 616 Northampton Street, where the family still resides.

Georg Vom Berge

Few men have earned the lasting esteem of their city and their circle of acquaintences the way Mr. Benjamin Gottwald Vom Berge has. Mr. Vom Berge was born on February 27, 1831 in Ottendorf, Silesia. He came from the old, noble families of the Prussian Provinces. After attending the High School in Görlitz and later acquiring the technical knowledge of surveying, he went to the Royal Architectural Academy in Berlin, where he completed his studies in railroad construction. On November of 1853 he emigrated to America and settled in Buffalo. The then-booming city provided ample opportunity for employment of his skills and he acquired a fine reputation. With only a 2 year interruption he was involved in the implementation of the first phase of city planning. Considering the expanse of the city, this was not an easy assignment. When the job was completed he became a construction engineer for the building of the Erie Railroad, an assignment which lasted 6 years. In 1862 he was appointed Consulting Engineer to the city and in 1867 was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for the office of Chief Engineer. He was elected by the citizens of the city. In 1873 he was again a consulting engineer to the city and about 4 years after that he received the nomination of the Worker's Party for Chief Engineer.


The Democratic Party endorsed the nomination and he was elected a second time. From 1881 to 1884 he was employed as the railroad technical specialist for the Lackawanna Railroad,and was then appointed consulting engineer by the city. He died on September 4, 1886 while at this post. His passing was mourned by all. Not only had the city lost it's most diligent, capable, and esteemed citizen but his fellow citizens, especially the Germans, had lost a loving and supportive member.

Mr. Vom Berge married Miss Marie de Rutte in 1872. They had a son, Henry Vom Berge. In his earlier years Mr. Vom Berge regularly took part in association activities. His social talents made him a treasured and esteemed participant. He was President of the Liedertafel (Glee Club) and the German Young Men's Association. In other clubs he was a highly respected member.

Otto Kiekebusch

was born on May 10, 1839 in Berlin, Prussia. He attended the public school in his city and learned the cigar-makers trade. Shortly before the outbreak of the war with France he emigrated to America in order to seek a better life than he could find in the homeland. On June 17, 1870 he arrived in Buffalo and lived here ever after. Mr. Kiekebusch owns one of the best known cigar factories in the city, famous for its high quality products. The business is loated at 499 Main Street. Mr. Kiekebusch is married to Bertha Wenke. Four children, all still living, have come from the union. Mr. Kiekebusch is known by young and old alike for his irrepressible sense of humor. He belongs to several societies including the Sängerbund, the Orpheus, the Turnverein [Gymnastics Club], and the German Young Men's Association, the Society of Old German Settlers, He lives at 31 East Utica Street.

Isaac Geiershofer

was born on December 31, 1829 in Adelsdorf, Bavaria. He received a well-rounded education at the Preparatory School in Erlangen and learned the fine fashion trade. In November of 1847 he emigrated to America and immediately came to Buffalo to seek his fortune. With the exception of spending the years 1850 and 1851 in California, he lived continually in Buffalo. Mr. Geiershofer established a tailoring and fine fashion business at 267 Main Street, which he continued to operate with great success until the end of 1880. He relocated his business in 1865 to the American House and after a short time to a building at 468-470 Main Street, which he had built. You'll now find the Hanan Shoe Co. there. At the end of 1880 he retired from business. Since then he's lived at his cozy home at 39 W. North Street at the corner of Linwood Avenue.

Mr. Geiershofer is one of the most prominent figures in the German community. He is highly esteemed and loved. In its time his business was one of the most popular in the city. It's now operated by Mr. M. Spiegel. He is married to the Widow Mary Maxon and has no children.


Christian Pinkel,

one of ths most successful German businessmen in Buffalo, was born on October 3, 1831 in Usingen, in the Hessen-Nassau region. He attended the public school in his district and then the secondary school. He learned the dyer and dry cleaning trade. He came to America in 1856. After a 42 day long journey by sailing ship he landed in New York and came to the environs of Aurora, Erie County where he was employed as a farm worker. In 1862 he settled in Buffalo in order to establish himself in the trade for which he had been trained. After working for several years for John Schmitz on Court Street he established his own business in 1864, which you'll now find is operated by his sons. The business is at 128 Seneca Street. Mr. Pinkel has escaped twice from the terrible peril of fire, in 1886 and 1888. Since October 26, 1856 he has been happily married to Johannette, nee Busz. They celebrated their silver wedding anniversary on October 26, 1881. They've been blessed with 7 children. Two sons and 1 daughter are still living. The daughter lives in Fredonia. Mr. Pinkel is a principle supporter of the United Evangelical Church of St. Paul and has served to the benefit of the congregation. He lives at 367 Elm Street.

Johannette Pinkel, nee Busz

was born on August 12, 1836 in Upper Hoergen in the Hessen-Darmstadt region. She came to America with her parents and one brother in 1854. After a 42 day journey by sailing ship they landed in New York and headed immediately for Buffalo. On October 26, 1856 she married Christian Pinkel, with whom she lives to this day in wedded bliss. Mrs. Pinkel is a member of the Ladies Association of the United Evangelical Church of St. Paul. She is a beloved member of the congregation because of her warm personality and because she is ever willing to be of assistance.


William Schneider,

one of the oldest living German settlers on the East Side, was born on March 3, 1823 in Upper-Inzelheim in the environs of Bingen, Hessen-Darmstadt region. He attended the Evangelical parish school in his home city and then learned tailoring. After spending a year as a journeyman he emigrated to the United States in 1846 and arrived in Buffalo on May 30th of the same year. For many years he has successfully run one of the best known tailoring businesses on the East Side. He's been one of the administrators of St. Peter's Evangelical Church for a long time. He is loved and respected by all because of his honest, simple nature. Mr. Schneider has been married twice, from 1848 to 1849 to Louise, nee Fries and from 1851 to 1896 to Catharine, nee Ruppel. There's a daughter from the first marriage and 4 sons and 3 daughters from the second. All children are still living. He lives at 445 Genesee Street.

Catharine Schneider, nee Ruppel

was born on December 12, 1828 in Münster, Hessen-Darmstadt. She came with her parents to Buffalo in 1850. On March 18, 1851 she married William Schneider, with whom she lived in wedded bliss. She died on March 26, 1896.


Johann Martin and Marianna Georger

Johann Martin Georger was born in 1796 in Röschwoot, Alsatia. After leaving school he learned the hat making and furrier trade. He married Marianna Heyl, who first saw the light of the world on March 25, 1800 in Zabern, Alsatia. He emigrated with his family to America in July of 1847. The Georgers settled in Buffalo. Their sons had already settled here a few years before. Mr. Georger died on January 29, 1859. His wife died on July 23, 1882. The marriage produced 6 children: F.A. Georger, Karl Georger, Julie, who was married to F.F. Günther in New York, Frank Georger, Rosa, the wife of Mr. Edward Harries, and Fannie, who is married to Mr. Karl Adam. Of the children only the last 3 are still alive.

F. Augustus Georger,

the eldest son of Mr. J.M. Georger, was born on August 10, 1821 in Lauterbach, Alsatia. He attended the public school in his home district and emigrated at the young age of 17 to the United States. In 1839 he settled in Buffalo when the small number of inhabitants had among them few Germans. He procured a position as a store clerk in a dry goods store. Through energetic and honest effort he succeeded in becoming self sufficient in 1843 and opened up a firm in partnership with Jacob Beyer. The flourishing firm was called Georger and Beyer, a dry goods business, and it was located at 520 Main Street. In 1848 he took over full ownership of the business and he continued to operate it until 1862 when he sold it in order to assume the position of Secretary of the Western Savings Bank. Two years later he established his own banking business with Augustus Paul at 518 Main Street. The firm's name was Georger & Paul, from which originated the founding of the German Bank, which we have today. Mr. Georger had a lot to do with the establishment of the German Bank. He served as President of that financial institute until his death. In the course of the years it has become powerful and today it is counted among the most solid of institutions in the United States. Mr. Georger was undoubtedly one of the best known, most influential and most prominent German citizens in the city. He did much to contribute to the raising and prospering of Buffalo's business interests. He was an avid supporter of the German community as demonstrated by the advice he had given and the actions he had taken. He was one of the co-founders and supporters of the German Young Men's Association. He was elected its first President, an office to which he was reelected on the golden jubilee of its founding in 1891. He was a lifelong member of the Orpheus. He was married to Barbara Sigwalt and from the union came Eugene A. Georger, successor to his father at the bank, Mrs. Frank Brazington and Mrs. John Bartow, both of whom are living in Cleveland. Mr. Georger died after a short illness on June 27, 1898.

Karl Georger,

the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Johann Martin Georger, was born on November 16, 1822 in Lauterbach, Alsatia. He acquired a sound albeit modest education in his district. He learned the hat making and furrier trade like his father. He emigrated to the United States in 1841 and settled in Buffalo. Here he opened a fur and hat business, in which his brother Frank later came in as partner. It soon became one of the significant businesses in the city. Mr. Georger married Miss Dorothea Schuh, who gave him 6 children, all of whom still live in Buffalo. Counted among the most respected of businessmen as is his brother, Mr. Georger died on March 18, 1892. His surviving widow lives at 904 Main Street.

Frank Georger

was born on March 31, 1829 in the town of Lauterbach, Lower Alsatia, which is famous for its hop gardens. Until his 14th year he attended the town school and then learned the hat making and furrier trade. In May of 1847 the 18-year-old emigrated to America and settled a month later in Buffalo, where he lived for the rest of his life. He raised himself up to become one of the most respected and prominent German businessmen in the city. The firm F. Georger & Son, which conducted a significant hat and fur business, enjoyed an envious reputation beyond the city limits because of his good business sense. Mr. Georger never sought or held public office, however he was an avid promoter of German endeavor: whenever there was the opportunity to support German enterprise you'd find him standing in line to help. He was an active, lifelong member of the German Young Men's Association and he participated in the golden jubilee of this old German-American society in 1891. A few years earlier Mr. Georger was an honory member of the Buffalo Liedertafel (Glee club) and he was an active member of the Orpheus. Mr. Georger was not connected directly with commercial enterprise but he did enjoy great success. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Savings Bank, an extremely well-situated financial institution in the city. Mr. Georger married Eliza Jane Lawrence on September 5, 1854. The marriage produced 4 sons, who are all established in Buffalo, and like their father,are considered among the most respected and prominent businessmen in the city. Mr. Georger lives at 159 Prospect Avenue.


Johann Martin and Marianna Georger, F. Augustus, Karl, Frank.

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Revised July 31, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks