The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County - Part II, pages 66 - 70

Biographies for Johannes Gelbke, Mrs. Mathilde Margarethe Gelbke, Johann Georg Nachtrieb, Anna Maria Nachtrieb, Johann Friedrich Nachtrieb, Johann Georg Nachtrieb, Johann Karl Nachtrieb, Maria Nachtrieb, Caroline E. Nachtrieb, Louis Nachtrieb, Johann Gottlieb Nachtrieb, Emma Nachtrieb, Friedrich Nachtrieb, Wilhelm Nachtrieb, Sarah Nachtrieb, Dr. Friedrich Dellenbaugh, and Dr. Samuel Dellenbaugh.

.Johannes Gelbke

Among the many fine musicians who call Buffalo their home, Mr. Johannes Gelbke is certainly the most skillful of them all. Born on July 19, 1846 in Radeberg, a small city near Dresden, he showed an exceptional love of music at an early age. The love grew greater when he received instruction in violin and piano. After finishing his elementary education, on the advice of his teacher he went to the Krenz School in Dresden. He had an excellent soprano voice and was accepted into the famous alumni choir of the Krenz School, which provided the church music for the 3 main evangelical churches in the city. Here he learned the master works of church tonality. Julius Otto, leader of the choir, discovered the young man's musical ability, took an interest in him and gave him instruction in musical theory. At the time Mr. Gelbke composed various songs and choral works, among which was the music for the 1866 festival play "Sleeping Beauty", performed for the dedication of the new Krenz School. It was so well received that the ambitious youth decided to devote himself entirely to music. To this end he went to Leipzig and took the exam administered by Ignaz Moscheles for entry into the Royal Conservatory. His primary instructors were Ernst Friedrich Richter and Oscar Paul for theory and composition and Theodor Corvius and Wenzel for piano. Besides these courses at the Leipzig Conservatory he studied music history, acoustics and other subjects to further his education. During his stay in Leipzig he created a series of substantial compositions of lasting value, trained many groups in the neighboring city of Wurzen, and gave instruction in song and piano. One of those groups, the Orpheus, offered him the conductor's job and he came to the United States in December of 1882. On the 14th of that month he arrived in Buffalo and assumed his new post for the next 3 years. Furthermore Mr. Gelbke was for many years conductor of the Buffalo Sängerbund. He conducted the Central Sängerbund, composed of 12 local glee clubs, the Beethoven Club, the Mendelssohn Club, and other groups. He was the conductor of the Niagara Falls Orpheus for 10 years. In time Mr. Gelbke withdrew from the direction of singing groups in order to fully devote his time to instruction. He was later convinced to take over the direction of two aspiring groups, the Harugari Frohsinn and the Choral Section of the Buffalo Turnverein.

Proof of Mr. Gelbke's popularity can be seen through the number of honorary diplomas he received. His numerous compositions demonstrate individuality, melodic beauty and fervor. They have received well deserved recognition both here and in Germany. The most performed song by Mr. Gelbke is an old composition with the words beginning "Horch, die alten Eichen rauschen" [Listen, the old oaks are rustling].

Mrs. Mathilde Margarethe Gelbke

was born on February 1, 1856. She was the daughter of Mr. Carl Hütter and his wife Margarethe, nee Siegler, both of whom came from Württemberg. On December 27, 1887 she married Mr. Johannes Gelbke, whom we discussed in the previous sketch. Mr. Carl Hütter, the father of Mrs. Gelbke, came from Germany in 1848 and settled in Buffalo. He died here in 1888, a year after his wife had died (1887)


The Nachtrieb Family
Top: Johann Georg, Jr., Maria, Johann Karl
Center: Caroline E., Anna Maria Nachtrieb, nee Fehr, Johann Georg Nachtrieb, Sr., Louise
Bottom: Johann Gottlieb, Emman, Sarah, Wilhelm

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.The Nachtrieb Family

Johann Georg Nachtrieb first saw the light of the world on November 15, 1828 in Birkmannweiler, in the district of Württemberg. In his district he attended the congregational school and then became an apprentice in his father's mill. In 1846 the 18-year-old emigrated to the United States and settled in Buffalo. A year later he went to Canada, where he stayed until 1849, then returned to Buffalo in order to establish himself as a contractor for finish work, excavation and street grading, etc. At the time he was the only contractor in his field in the entire city, so he was able to raise his business to a successful status. Today he is still one of the busiest people in the field. Mr. Nachtrieb is a director and founding member of the First German Methodist Church. He is counted among its major supporters.
He is married to Anna Maria Fehr, who gave him 11 children. All but 3 still live. His residence is located at 29 Goodrich Street.

Anna Maria Nachtrieb, nee Fehr, wife of the above mentioned, was born on October 8, 1823 in Zinsheim, Baden. She came to Buffalo in 1846. She entered the bonds of holy matrimony with Johann Georg Nachtrieb in 1847. She lived with him in wedded bliss until her death on April 20, 1883. The marriage was blessed with 11 children.

Johann Friedrich Nachtrieb, eldest child of the Nachtrieb family, was born in Canada on January 28, 1849 but unfortunately died on August 7, 1852 in Buffalo while his parents were moving.

Johann Georg Nachtrieb, brother of the late Johann Friedrich, came into the world on September 29, 1851. He was born in Buffalo. His parents had settled on Seneca Street. He attended Public School 14 and later Bryant and Stratton Business Academy. There he studied accounting , the profession which he practices currently. He's also a foreman in his father's flourishing business, in which he knows how to make himself exceptionally useful. Besides bookkeeping he's involved in just about every kind of trade activity. Mr. Nachtrieb, who lives at 73 Goodrich Street, belongs to the Volunteer Fire Department and is currently a member of the union. He's been married to Sarah Graeder since December 14, 1875. The marriage has produced one child.

Johann Karl Nachtrieb, a son of the well known contractor, was born on April 11, 1854 on Goodell Street. He attended Public School 14 and Bryant and Stratton Business Academy to learn accounting. He later went into the contracting business, in which he was successfully active until his death on Spetember 9, 1890. He was married to Margaret Bickelmann in February 11, 1881, who survived him along with 3 children. Two other children are dead. The family lives on Michigan Avenue.

Maria Nachtrieb was born on Washington Street in Buffalo on March 3, 1856. She attended Public Schools 14 and 15 and lives now with her father at 29 Goodrich Street.

Caroline E. Nachtrieb, who was born on November 16, 1857 on Ellicott Street, was educated at Public Schools 14 and 15. She also took instruction in German from Professor Schneider. She was musically gifted and her parents allowed her to receive an excellent musical education. Currently she is organist of the German Methodist Church. She lives with her father at 29 Goodrich Street.

Louise Nachtrieb, another daughter of Mr. J. G. Nachtrieb, was born on Main Street on December 4, 1859. She attended Public Schools 14 and 15 and took German instruction under Professor Schneider. On October 13, 1882 she married George J. Stumpf, with whom she lives at 190 Masten Street. Two children have come from the marriage.

Johann Gottlieb Nachtrieb, born on September 3, 1861 on Main Street, went to Schools 14 and 15 like his siblings and also took German instruction from Professor Schneider. He educated himself to become an accountant, worked for a time as a foreman at his father's business, then established himself as a contractor. Until September 1888 he had all the contracts for street cleaning in certain sections of the city. His marriage to Dora S. Stumpf, since November 29, 1885, has been blessed with 3 children. He lives at 46 Kingsley Street.

Emma Nachtrieb, born on April 11, 1863 on Main Street, received her education at Public Schools 14 and 15 and with Professor Schneider, from whom she took German instruction. On May 7, 1885 she married Clark E. Eiss, with whom she lives in Rosedale, N.Y. She is the mother of 3 children, of whom 2 are still living.

Friedrich Nachtrieb was born on October 3, 1864 at what is now the family home at 29 Goodrich Street. Unfortunately he died at a tender age of not even one year on August 4, 1865.

Wilhelm Nachtrieb, youngest son of the family of J.G. Nachtrieb, was born on April 13, 1866 at 29 Goodrich Street. After attending Schools 14 and 15 he furthered his education attending Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. He was later employed as an accountant and foreman, but now belongs to the city Police Department as a patrolman. On October 8, 1891 he married Annie McCrea. He lives at 50 Kingsley Street.

Sarah Nachtrieb, who first saw the light of the world on April 2, 1868 from 29 Goodrich Street, attended Public Schools 14 and 15 and took German instruction from Professor Schneider. On May 29, 1888 she married Pastor Henry Vollberg, whom she gave 2 children. The family lives at 43 State Street in Troy, N.Y.


Dr. Friedrich Dellenbaugh,

who was in his day the only German physician in Buffalo, was born in 1808 in the Swiss Canton of Bern. He came to America in 1825. He studied medicine here, practiced for a while in Pennsylvania, and then came to Buffalo in 1831 and set up a practice here at the corner of Rock Street and Maiden Lane. In the years that followed there was a terrifying cholera epidemic, during which Dr. Dellenbaugh was a true guardian angel to the poor, to whom he extended his help. His assistant was later Dr. John Hauenstein. Until 1876 Dr. Dellenbaugh was an active member and ardent supporter of the St. Paul's Congregation, whose church at the time was located on Washington Street. Then he joined the Trinity Congregation on Delaware Avenue, to which he belonged until his death on January 15, 1891. Dr. Dellenbaugh took an active part in politics. From 1839 to 1840 he represented the old 4th Ward as Alderman. From 1855 to 1856 he was alderman to the 5th Ward. At his death he left behind 4 daughters. One son had died before him.

Dr. Samuel Dellenbaugh,

who was born on February 28, 1806 in the Swiss Canton of Bern, came with his parents to America in 1825, after receiving an excellent education in his old district. The family first settled in Georgetown, Ohio. Mr. Dellenbaugh, who educated himself to be a practicing physician, went to Wheeling, Va. in 1833 where he married. In 1845 he came with his family to Buffalo, where his brother Friedrich had been practicing as a physician for years. Dr. Samuel Dellenbaugh acquired a growing practice because of his ability. He died a highly respected man on June 17, 1879, mourned not only by his widow and 4 children but by the entire community. His family residence is located at 245 Ellicott Street.

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Revised August 21, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks