Buffalo and its German Community, Pages 321 - 325

Biographies for Jacob Kauf, Eugen S. Bollin, Franz Bender, Karl Meyer, Emil Schmelzer, and Michael Ulrich

Jacob Kauf

Mr. Jacob Kauf first saw the light of the world on March 28, 1853 in Steinbach in the happy Rhineland. He was the son of master tailor Peter Kauf. After leaving school young Jacob decided to go into his father's trade, thus he apprenticed to become a tailor. When he reached the age for military service he enlisted in the 5th Bavarian Rifle Batallion and he served his time as a brave soldier. In 1883 he came to Buffalo and at first worked at his trade but then left it. He operated a restaurant for 14 years. Later he opened his own business at 885 Michigan Street, with which he has obviously had success.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Jacob Kauf

As an old German soldier he is a member of the East Buffalo Warriors Association. Furthermore Mr. Kauf has held the highest positions of honor in various lodges. He is former bard of the Odin Lodge No. 637, D.O.H., former master of the Odin Lodge No.178, J.O.O.F., and commandant of the Walpot Division No. 1 of the German Knights.

On August 14, 1877 Mr. Kauf married a compatriot, Miss Sophie Klüting, who was born in Steinbach. The couple was richly blessed with children. The names of the children are Robert, Jacob, Carl, Fina, George, Mamie, Katie, Gustav, Friedrich, and Lottie.

Eugen S. Bolin

Mr. Eugen S. Bollin is a well respected and popular man in Buffalo German circles. He is a partner in the Fillmore Furniture Co., a furniture dealership in the building at 1326 Fillmore Avenue. It is still a young business, which came into existence a few months ago, but the strict honesty with which it is operated and the excellent quality of the goods it carries have already earned a fine reputation. Mr. Bollin comes from the old fatherland and he served that country as a soldier. Although he's been living in America for over 20 years now he has remained a good German, who thinks with pride on his German heritage and gladly reminisces on his happy days as a soldier. Thus he is a member of the German Dragoons. Those were happy days as they rode through the streets on their horses and the crowds cheered. Such are the beautiful memories which Mr. Bollin recounts with his comrades.

Eugen S. Bollin was born on October 28, 1874 in Kulm in the Province of West Prussia. His father was a master saddle maker and the son took up the trade. He fulfilled his 3 years of compulsory military service with the 11th Pommerainian Dragoons of the H. von Wedel Regiment in Bromberg in the Province of Posen. In 1890 he came to America and settled immediately in Buffalo. In 1902 he married Miss Fredericka Stoll. Mr. Bollin is a busy man and he always makes the effort in his current business, which includes reupholstering, to serve his customers well and promote the firm.

Mr. Bollin is much esteemed in social circles. He is a member of the Foresters of America, the Honorable Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Golden Seal, the Humboldt Shooting Club, the German Dragoons, etc. He is proud of his German heritage and he pays homage to it!

Franz Bender

Mr. Franz Bender first saw the light of the world on March 5, 1846 in the beautiful land of Baden in Eschelbach near Dinsheim. He was the son of farmer Josef Bender and his wife Maria Kunigunde, nee Krotz.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Eugen S. Bollin

He attended the local school in his birth district and apprenticed in the carpentry trade. As an journeyman he traveled across southern German and increased his knowledge of the trade and his knowledge of people. He fulfilled his 3 years of compulsory military service with the 4th Baden Infantry of the Prince Wilhelm Regiment No.112 in Rastatt. He entered that service on March 1, 1867. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out he was conscripted into the 3rd Baden Infantry Unit of the 144th Regiment, where he stayed for the entire war. He took part in the Battle of Wörth, the Campaign of Strassburg, the 3-day battle near Belfort, and 5 other difficult campaigns. He was shot 5 times but he survived. At the end of the war he returned to his home district and took up his trade as a building carpenter.

In 1891 Mr. Bender decided to emigrate to America. He arrived with his family here in Buffalo on June 1st, where he has been employed ever since as a building carpenter and contractor. He is a man of true German character with a friendly demeanor and a large circle of friends. As a former soldier he is a prominent member of the German Military Brigade. Furthermore he is a member of the Building Carpenters Union No. 355, the Baden Support League No. 2, C.B.L., the Gerhard Lang Council No. 298, the German General Burial Fund, the Society for Contentment, and other organizations. He is also a loyal member of St. Joachim's Church.

On June 8, 1870 Mr. Bender married Miss Barbara Karolina Schäfer. After only 8 weeks he had to leave his bride and go to war. The happy union has been blessed with 6 children, of whom the following are still living: Franz, 41 years old; Hermann Jos.,35; Emma, 29. Anna died at the age of 3 in Germany; August Heinrich, 20 and Anna Barbara, 22 years of age, died in Buffalo.

After Mr. Bender's first wife died on March 14, 1907 he married Franziska Wagner a year later. He lives with her in a pleasant home at 311 Koons Avenue.

Karl Meyer

Mr. Karl Meyer is one of the best known and most popular German tavern owners on Buffalo's East Side. His place is at the corner of Broadway and Jefferson Avenue. He was born on February 7, 1873 in Buschweiler, Alsatia. He attended the local school in Mühlhausen and when he was 15 years of age he emigrated with his father to America. His mother had already died when he was 7 years of age. His father did not like the New World and he returned to the old homeland 6 months later.

Caption under picture at upper right reads Franz Bender

Karl however did not wish to leave. The alert and intelligent young man recognized that Buffalo could provide him with better opportunities than the Old World so he stayed in Buffalo.

In 1901, after Mr. Meyer had spent 11 years in the employ of the Schwabl Brothers and learned the innkeepers trade, he took over an establishment at the corner of Walnut and William Streets, which he later moved to 483 Broadway. In the summer of 1911 he relocated to his present location, where you'll find modern bowling alleys, an assembly hall, and club meeting rooms. Mr. Meyer is a member of the Order of the Knights of Pythias and the Redmen. Furthermore he is a member of the Alsatian-Lothringia Support League, the Bingham & Taylor Benevolent Associaton, the La Prevoyance Mutual Society, the Teutonia Liederkranz, the Helvetia Mens Choir, the Saxonia, Karl Meyer's Geysers, and other bowling clubs, which have their headquarters at his establishment. Since 1895 he has lived in wedded bliss to Miss Maria O. Gufy. The happy union has been blessed with 10 children: Charles E., Mary, Ella L. and Raymond (twins), Anthony, Hilda, Helene, Margaretha, Louis P., and Florence.

Emil Schmelzer

Buffalo's German community consists to a large percentage of Bavarians and South Germans. For that reason people often refer to the East Side of the city as Little Bavaria. Mr. Emil Schmelzer is one of the best known and most respected members of the Bavarian colony. For years he was president of the United Sections of the Bavarian National Assembly. He had to resign from that position a year ago for health reasons.

Mr. Emil Schmelzer first saw the light of the world on May 25, 1850 in Germersheim in the Rhine Palatinate. His father was an officer in the Bavarian Army. He died when Emil had scarcely reached his fourth year of life. He attended the public school in Germersheim and later the school in a village in upper Bavaria whence his mother moved. He apprenticed in the shoemaking trade. When he was 19 years of age his mother died and 3 years later he decided to seek his fortune in the New World. He emigrated to America, landing in New York on June 1, 1872. First he settled in Erie, Pa. and he was employed at a large shoe business until 1883. Then he settled in Buffalo, which pleased him so much that he decided to establish his permanent residence here.

The motto "cobbler, be true to your trade" did not impress Mr. Schmelzer so he established a tailoring studio here in Buffalo and had such success that he was able to buy his own home at 1320 Broadway. Today he owns almost an entire block on Broadway. Mr. Schmelzer is a prominent member of Christ Evangelical Church.

Caption under picture at lower left reads Karl Meyer

For many years he has been on the church board and he has been its secretary for 14 years. As we've already mentioned, he is a respected member of the Bavarian National Assembly, which celebrated its silver anniversary in August 1910 during his time in office.

Michael Ulrich

Mr. Michael Ulrich is one of the best known and loved German innkeepers in the city. He is a hospitable Swabian whose popularity is due to his friendly, reliable, and courteous manner and his honesty. He was born on May 29, 1876 in Thalheim in the Upper District of Tuttlingen, Württemberg. He attended the local school in his home district. At the age of 14 the alert and enterprising lad emigrated to the United States and came directly to Buffalo, where he found work at Lang's Brewery. He worked his way up through the ranks and for many years he was an agent for Lang's, Schreiber's, and Simon's Breweries. Eight years later his thrift and hard work enabled him to purchase an inn and restaurant at the corner of Ellicott and Virginia Streets. He was successful from the start and today his establishment is an meeting place for all the Germans in the district who know how to appreciate courteous service, good fare, and true hospitality.

Mr. Ulrich is a member of the East Buffalo Swabian Support League, the Swabian Singing Society, the Teutonia Liederkranz, the Valhalla Section of the Bavarian National Assembly, the Order of the Eagles, the Orioles, the Knights of Pythias, and many other organizations. Many of the last mentioned groups hold their meetings in his hall as do the Sunny Top Social Club, the 12th Ward Republican Club, and the Valhalla Section.

Mr. Ulrich married Miss Jennie Sonnemann in November 29, 1898. She died on January 24, 1910.

Translation for biography of Warren Prescott Bender will begin on Webpage 50

Caption under picture at upper right reads Michael Ulrich

Go to next set of biographies

Go to Index

Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised September 10, 2005