Old Buffalo 1832 - title page and pages 2- 11

Old Buffalo

Reproduced Nov. 16th to 27th


Nurses Home -- German Hospital



The object of this stupendous undertaking, the reproduction of Old Buffalo, was conceived in the fertile brain of Mr. Harry J. Knepper, and developed by himself and Executive Committee with the avowed intent of raising money for the purpose of building a home for the nurses of the German Hospital. It is needless to say how original is this thought, but it is opportune to remark that such an effort, of rebuilding an old city, such as this construction will be, has never been attempted by any other city. And to the Executive Committee of the German Hospital Association must be given credit of "first attempt." How well "they have builded" is for the public to say, and the cause for which this Committee have given so much of their time and energy we feel assured will receive the plaudits they so richly deserve. And we trust the response from the citizens in the way of patronage will be so great that it will leave no room for questions as to appreciation.

            Very truly yours,
                        GERMAN HOSPITAL.

Caption under photograph reads: RED JACKET. Famous Indian Chief addressing the Iroquois. Born 1752, died 1830. Buried in Forest Lawn.

Introduction of Old Buffalo


The following is a concise history of the growth of Buffalo from the time when it was inhabited by the Indians until the present day. The data has been carefully selected, and the dates have all been gathered from the most reliable sources.

The first white men to visit this section were LaSalle and Father Hennepin, who headed an exploring party. They stopped at the head of Cayuga Island in the year 1615, and built a boat call La Griffin. They are not supposed to have landed here, but passed by the spot now occupied by the City of Buffalo, on their way to Detroit.

In 1645 a tribe of Indians known as the Kah-Kwahs located here.

Two years later the Iroquois, or Five Nations, came to participate in a tournament. This resulted two years later in a bitter war, in which the Kah-Kwahs were practically exterminated.

Shortly after the Revolutionary War the Senecas located here.

In 1788 a party of white men held a council with the Indians, which resulted in Gorham and Phelps purchasing about 2,600,000 acres of land from the red men.

The founding of the public debt of the States by the Federal Government compelled these two men to ask for a reclaim of much of this land, and this reclaimed land, which was the entire site of Buffalo, was immediately purchased by Robert Morris of Philadelphia.

In 1805 several Netherlanders, who formed the supposed Holland Land Company, bought the land from Herman Leroy and others from Mr. Morris; thus the ownership of the site of Buffalo practically passed to Holland.

The first white settler to come here was Cornelius Winne. This was in the year 1789. (Mrs. Howard D. Herr, wife of the director-general of "Old Buffalo," and Mrs. J.E. Lewis of Brantford Place, are lineal descendants of Cornelius Winne.) Winne left several years later.

The first permanent resident was Captain William Johnson, who came here in 1793, and the first white child was born in Erie County in 1797. She was the daughter of Asa Ransom.

John Kuecherer

German-Pennsylvanian who was one of Buffalo's first settlers. He came here in 1821, and was popularly known as "Water John." He furnished a regular supply of water for one shilling. Died 88 years old in the early seventies.

Introduction of Old Buffalo


Joseph Elliot [sic] was engaged by the "Holland Company" to survey the land, and he laid out the village of New Amsterdam in 1799.

In 1801 Stiff Arm George stabbed John Hewitt to death. This was the first murder.

In 1804 the first postoffice was built, and Erastus Granger was made first postmaster.

In 1808 the first school was erected, and on October 3d, 1811, the first newspaper, the Gazette, was published.

When the war of 1812 broke out two regiments were formed here and sent to the front.

The British burned the village in 1813, and the next year the village was rebuilt and called New Amsterdam, but later called the Village of Buffalo which it received its charter.

The year of 1825 was one of the most notable in the history of Buffalo. In that year General Lafayette was a visitor here, the Erie Canal was completed, and the three Thayers were hanged for the murder of John Love.

In 1832 Buffalo was incorporated as a city, and Dr. Ebenezer Johnson was elected Mayor by the Common Council.

In 1837 Buffalo experienced its first panic, and the people here suffered greatly.

During the next year, 1838, the public school system was established, and in 1840 the first Mayor, Sheldon Thompson, was elected by the people. The census of 1845 showed that Buffalo had a population of over 30,000.

In 1853 the city charter was revised, and the next year the city was enlarged to comprise thirteen wards instead of five.

From that time on up to the present day Buffalo has continued to grow and prosper. It now has a population of over 400,000 and covers an area of forty miles. Its seven miles of water front and numerous railroad terminals give Buffalo a great advantage over other cities; and if the present spirit of advancement, a Bigger, Better, Busier Buffalo, is carried out, this city will be one of the greatest commercial cities of the world.

Caption under photograph reads:OLD CITY BUILDING facing Franklin Street, present site of the City and County Hall.

Old St. Louis Church

Oldest German place of worship. Founded by a Frenchman, Louis Stephen Le Couteulx, at Edward and Main Street, January 5th, 1829. [Transcriber's note: See the bottom of Webpage 4 for a small article on St. Louis Church.]

Caption under photograph reads:OLD ST. LOUIS CHURCH

Dr. Johnson's Residence

Dr. Ebenezer Johnson was elected first Mayor of Buffalo May 28, 1832. The ten aldermen who were chosed at the same time paraded to the new mayor's residence, which was on Delaware Avenue near Mohawk Street, and informed Mr. Johnson of his election.

Caption under photograph reads: DR. JOHNSON'S RESIDENCE

Go to pages 12-23

Imaging and transcription by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks

Project begun November 26, 2018.