Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 266 - 270

Biographies for Philip Christmann & Sons, John Schwabl, Wilhelm Emil Ritter, Emil Wohler, John W. Bolton, and Carl Tischendorf

Philip Christmann & Sons

German text for biography starts on page 265 which can be found on Webpage 37

Mr. Philip Christmann is considered among the best known German pioneers who played an important role in the development of Buffalo's industries. He first saw the light of the world on April 19, 1844 in a small cottage in the beautiful Rhine Palatinate near Zweibrücken. He was the son of farmer Peter Christmann and his wife Charlotte, nee Rüb. He attended the local school and apprenticed in the honorable trade of sheetmetal working. When he became a journeyman he travelled through Germany and Austria, working with many accomplished masters in the trade and increasing his knowledge of his trade and his fellow human beings. In 1866 Mr. Christmann decided to emigrate to the United States.

He landed in New York and was employed there for many years in his trade. In 1870 he came to Buffalo, which impressed him so favorably that he decided to settle here. He established an ironwares dealership at the corner of Mulberry and Virginia Streets, which was adjoined to a tinsmith shop at the corner of Orange and Virginia Streets. Over the years the business has become one of the largest of its kind in Buffalo. The firm of P. Christmann & Sons supplies roofing materials, skylights, metal decking and doors, storm doors, etc. The firm, which has a well deserved good reputation because of its reliability, supplies fabricated goods throughout the city and the surrounding towns and villages.

Mr. Philip Christmann married Miss Caroline Wenz on October 26, 1869. The happy marriage was blessed with 12 children, of whom the following 8 still live: Philip Jr., Peter, George, William, Caroline, Elisabeth, Tillie, and Lotte. In 1901 Mr. Christmann made his sons Philip, Peter, and William partners in the business. In them he has found reliable assistants. They are chips off the old block and will make sure that the firm of P. Christmann & Sons continues to expand, flourish, and prosper. Like their father they have a wide circle of friends and enjoy the respect of all who meet them.

Mr. Philip Christmann is a member of St. Mark's German Evangelical Church, where he has been a trustee for 25 years. He's also a member of the Order of Free Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Harugari.

Caption under picture at center reads Philip Christmann & Sons

Furthermore he is a member of the Harmonia Support Association, for which he was president for 10 years. He lives with his family in a pleasant home at 80 Orange Street. His place of business is located at 854 - 862 Virginia Street.

John Schwabl

Mr. John Schwabl, owner of the well known Lux Hof, comes from one of the most respected German pioneer families on the East Side. His father, a brewer's assistant, came to America 65 years ago from the Upper Rhine Palatinate. He immediately settled in Buffalo. His mother, Barbara Schwabl, nee Braun, operated a small grocery store in the house, which was renovated in early 1912 in order to enlarge it to become George Schwabl Hall. In this house John Schwabl first saw the light of the world on June 26, 1856. He attended St. Mary's School and apprenticed in the paper hanging trade. After being employed in this trade for a year he took over the management of Parade House, a well known entertainment resort and concert locale for the Germans of the East Side. After 8 years the building, which was the property of the city, was demolished to accommodate the enlargement of Humboldt Park. Mr. John Schwabl then took over a resort on Pine Hill, which he named Little Nuremberg. He managed this facility successfully for 18 years.

In early 1912 Mr. Schwabl became owner of Lux Hof at the corner of Fillmore Avenue and Broadway. It is one of the most elegant and well known locales and restaurants in the city. The lovers of true imported Munich strong brews and pilseners can always find the noblest draughts here. There's also a restaurant where one can find true German fare. Mr. Schwabl is a friendly and polite host, gaining him a large clientele and circle of friends. He is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Sängerbund, the Teutonia Liederkranz, the Harugari Frohsinn, the Bavarian Ludwig Society, the Bavarian National Assembly, and other organizations. He is also a member of the Order of Elks. Furthermore he is a member of Our Lady Queen of Sorrows Church and Branch 24 of the C.M.B.A.

On January 8, 1880 Mr. Schwabl led Miss Mary E. Höfler to the altar. The happy marriage was blessed with 3 children: John and Henry, the twins and George. John and Henry are employed in the business and make it their business to maintain and expand Lux Hof's reputation. George has his own successful business at the corner of Genesee Street and Bailey Avenue.

Wilhelm Emil Ritter

Mr. Wilhelm Emil Ritter was born on February 8, 1851 in Wiesbaden. He was the son of tax overseer Georg Ritter.

Caption under picture at upper right reads John Schwabl

He attended the excellent public school in his district and after leaving school he apprenticed in the carpentry trade. He fulfilled his military obligation in Potsdam with the First Guard Infantry Regiment.

In 1880 he emigrated to America and settled in New York, where he stayed until 1882. In that year he came to Buffalo and plied his trade but in 1894 he placed his apron on the nail and took over a wine and beer tavern. He did this for 6 years until 1900 but he didn't care for the occupation so he put the tavern up for sale. He became an agent for the Metropolitan Insurance Company. He's still employed by it today.

Since he has been here in Buffalo Mr. Ritter has regularly taken part in all German activities. During the 1892 Columbia Celebration he held the post of vice-president and second marshall. He was one of the founders of the German Hospital and a member of the committee which arranged the first German Days of Buffalo. He is a former grand bard of the expanded German Order of the Harugari. Mr. Ritter is an honored member of the Harugari Frohsinn, the Columbia Support League, the Young Siegfried Lodge No. 598 D.O.H., the East Buffalo Lodge No. 355 of the Odd Fellows. He holds the office of secretary of the German-American Assembly of Buffalo.

In 1882 he married Minnie Fickewirth of Buffalo. He lives in a cozy home at 65 Kilhoffer Street. He enjoys the respect of all who know him.

In the 1870-71 campaign [the Franco-Prussian War] he served as a volunteer stretcher bearer. Thus during his youth he offered himself up for the fatherland.

Emil Wohler

Mr. Emil Wohler, spokesman for the Buffalo Gymnastics Club, first saw the light of the world on January 19, 1877 in Zurich in beautiful Switzerland. His parents were the machinist Jacob Wohler and his wife, nee Frieda Thoma. They emigrated with their son to America in 1880 and after a 2 year stay in New York they settled in Buffalo. Here Emil attended the public school and at the age of 15 he became employed at the Harvey Seed Co. He advanced quickly due to his ability, hard work, and intelligence and today he is one of the primary managers of this well known business.

Mr. Wohler, who received a good German education, is also an active member of the Buffalo Gymnastics Club and for years has been its spokesman.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Wilhelm Emil Ritter

He is the youngest gymnast to have earned that honor. He has earned it. To a large extent it is through his effort and advocacy that the funds were obtained to build a new modern hall, which should be completed in the Fall of 1912. As soon as he was of age he joined the State Militia and for 8 years he belonged to the 65th Regiment. He took part in the Spanish American campaign and is a veteran of that war. For 3 years he was commander of the Liscum Camp and after its merger with the Seyburn Camp he became its first commander. He was Junior Vice Department Commander and for 5 years he was chairman of the general administration board of the Sp. W.V.[Spanish-American War Veterans?] Furthermore he is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, the Teutonia Liederkranz, the Grütli Club, the Credit Men's Association, and many other organizations. He is welcomed and esteemed for his friendly, lovable manner and his excellent character.

On September 19, 1900 Mr. Wohler married Miss Catharina Richard. The happy marriage has produced 3 children: Richard, 9, Arthur, 6, and Loretta, who was born on July 9, 1911. Mr. Wohler lives with his family in a cozy home at 2027 Hertel Avenue. His place of business is at 65 Ellicott Street.

John W. Bolton

Mr. John W. Bolton, the excellent musician and conductor of the 74th Regimental Choir of this city, was born in Clayton, England on June 14, 1864. He was the son of musician and choir master Robert Bolton. He was born with the significant musical talent of his father and he played the triangle in various choirs when he was scarcely 4 years of age. In 1872 his parents emigrated to the United States and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts, where John continued his musical studies and became such an accomplished player of the cornet that at the age of 15 he became a soloist in the St. Mary's Choir in Fall River. During the summer season he played at the fashionable resort in Rocky Point, New Jersey. In 1881 he joined the Marine Choir in Newport, where he advanced to the position of first chair.

In 1891 Mr. Bolton came to Buffalo and 2 years later he became conductor of the choir of the 74th Regiment. Under his baton it has become an excellent musical organization. Mr Bolton is a member of the Buffalo Orpheus. He is a good friend of the German community and most of the members of his choir are German. Furthermore he is a member of the Free Masons, the Elks, the Eagles, the Knights of Everlasting Pleasure, the Royal Arcanum, and other organizations.

Caption under picture in upper right reads Emil Wohler

Since 1894 he has lived in the bonds of holy matrimony with Emma, nee Burrows. The happy union has produced 2 children: Helen T. and John F. Bolton.

Carl Tischendorf

Carl Tischendorf was born in Buffalo on May 22, 1863. He was the son of manufacturer Gustav Tischendorf and his wife Henrietta, nee Schamberg. He attended the public schools of our city and pursued a career as a musician. He was gifted and ambitious thus he acquired an important and responsible position as a music teacher at St. Joseph's College. In his desire to become a thoroughly schooled musician he took private instruction in piano, violin, cornet, trombone, and bass strings. He was conductor of the Swabian Singing Society and the Teutonia Liederkranz as well as a member of the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra from its beginning until its dissolution. Furthermore he is a member of St. James Episcopal Church and the Concordia Lodge of the Order of Free Masons.

Since 1885 he has been married to Elisabeth, nee Grant. She has given him a daughter by the name of Edith. His residence is at 512 Winslow Street.

Mr. Karl Tischendorf has an excellent reputation as a musician and as a member of society.

Caption under picture at upper left reads John W. Bolton

Caption under picture at lower right reads Carl Tischendorf

Translation of biography for Harry C. Weasner will begin on Webpage 39

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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised August 28, 2005