The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 72 - 76


"The Buffalo Telegraph", having been a weekly paper, was soon after the third of May, 1853 published daily by the firm of Miller and Bender. Later on, Philipp H. Bender was the sole proprietor. After the Republican party was formed it found a powerful supporter in the "Buffalo Telegraph". During the war of the Rebellion the paper was issued for a long time both morning and evening. After Ph. H. Bender, Friedrich Gelb took possession of the "Telegraph", but soon after it dropped entirely out of existence.

In 1850 "The Luegenfeind" [The Enemy of Liars], a weekly paper published by J. Marie, an organ of the Free-Christian-Communion, made its appearance. It had an existence of two years. A second trial to publish a paper of the same tendency was made in 1853 by G. Scheibel, the pastor of the Free Communion. This paper was called the "Morgenröthe" [The Red Light of Dawn]; but this also expired after a short time. The "Lichtfreund" [Friend of the Light], published by F.E. Egenter in 1855, also an organ of the Free-Communion, had no better result. It only appeared in eighteen numbers.

In 1853 C. Wieckmann started a Catholic weekly paper, "Aurora". He died Dec. 2, 1898, his son J.D. Wieckmann, succeeding him.

Friedrich Reinecke, an experienced printer who came in 1852 from the beautiful Thuringian country to Buffalo, opened a small printing shop at 73 Genesee Street after having built a little hand-press by himself, with a capital of $80. In October 1853, he published a small weekly paper, called "Humoristischer Volksfreund" [Humourous Friend of the People], illustrated with wood-engravings and exclusively devoted to amusement. The success of the enterprise encouraged the publisher to undertake a larger weekly paper. "The Buffalo Allgemeine Zeitung"[The Buffalo General News], that made a special feature of the report of social affairs, which the press at that time paid very little attention to. The first number of the new paper came out on the 17th of May, 1856.

Caption under picture at center reads Buffalo Free Press, 1870 to 1872


On account of the increasing business the printing office was moved to "Baker's Block", at the north-east corner of Main and Huron Streets. In September, 1860, the "Buffalo Allgemeine" changed into the "Buffalo Freie Presse"[The Buffalo Free Press], a daily paper, published by Friedrich Reinecke and Michael Wiedrich. After the election in that year, when Mr. Wiedrich was elected tax-collector, he dropped out of the firm, and the daily paper was changed to a weekly one, though retaining the new title.

On the 22nd of February, 1864, Reinecke & Storck published a daily republican paper "The Buffalo Union", which only had an existence of two days.

"The Buffalo Freie Presse" has been carried on since 1866 by Ottomar Reinecke, the son of Friedrich Reinecke, who died in the year mentioned. A year later, Frank H. Zesch went in partnership with Ottomar Reinecke. With the enlargement of the firm into Reinecke, Zesch & Baltz in 1872, the "Buffalo Freie Presse" became a daily newspaper. It has always been a true protector of republican principles. Since Mr. Baltz left the business in 1874, the firm's name has been "Reinecke & Zesch". In the Spring of 1893 the newspaper moved into its own well-appointed building at No. 352 Ellicott Street.

The "Amerikanische Beobachter" [The American Observer] was the name of a paper which made its appearance twice a week, and was published by Dr. James B. Cosgrove, who was authorized by the American party of Erie County to publish same during the President's campaign in 1856 in order to back Millard Fillmore, the candidate of this party. This newspaper proved an entire failure, because the Germans did not want to be baited by the Know-Nothings.

The "Buffalo Patriot", a daily morning paper, published by Friedrich Vogt and Joseph Young in 1857, had only a short existence.

Nauert, Hausmann & Co. published in 1863 the "Buffalo Journal" which was brought out by Ph. Bender, the publisher of the "Buffalo Telegraph", after a short existence, and became connected with the "Telegraph".

In 1867 the "Central Zeitung" [Central Newspaper], a Catholic weekly paper, made its appearance, being published by Joseph Hoag. This paper was transferred by the publisher to New York, where it disappeared within a few weeks, after an existence of four years.

Caption under picture at center reads Buffalo Free Press


In the Summer of 1868 a number of Catholic citizens agreed upon the formation of a society of Catholics in order to publish a political newspaper. Among them were August Hager, George Baldus, Ambrose Hertkorn, Jacob Zenzius, John Schaefer, A. Haefner, John Schwartz, Mathias Strauss, F.J. Stephan, Anthony Neupert, Jacob Hiemenz and Peter Wex. The purpose of this paper was to protect the political, religious and business rights of each citizen, and also to uphold the true Catholic religion. The society was incorporated under the name of the "Buffalo German Printing Association", and called their newspaper "Buffalo Volksfreund" [Buffalo's Friend of the People], published on the first of August, 1868. The first editor of the paper was L.W. Koelkenbeck. He was followed by Mathias Rohr in 1871, who had been editor of the "Central Zeitung" in 1868 and '69. The "Volksfreund" moved into its own home in September, 1878. The first

Caption under picture at center reads The Evans House, Williamsville, Oldest House in Erie County


number of a second Catholic weekly paper called the "Christliche Woche" [The Christian Weekly], was published in February 1875, for the benefit of a German Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, and was edited by Rev. P. Joseph M. Sorg until his death in 1888, since which time F. X. Schifferli has been the editor.

The first German Sunday paper, the "Sonntag Herold" [Sunday Herald], was published in September, 1875, by the firm of Haas, Nauert & Klein, but dropped out of existence eight months later.

Ismar S. Ellison, editor of the "Buffalo Freie Presse", and later on, for a short time, also editor of the "Sonntags Herold", caused a split in the camp of the German Republicans by publishing a republican paper named "Der Tägliche Republikaner" [The Daily Republican], on the 15th of October, 1875. On the 1st of January, 1878, the right of possession of the newspaper was turned over to the "German Republican Printing Association".

The "Buffalo Tribuene" [Buffalo Tribune], with Stechholtz & Miller as publishers, was the second German Sunday paper in Buffalo, and made its first appearance on the first Sunday in 1876. Its aim was the consideration of municipal affairs favoring all actions for the improvement of the condition of the laboring classes. Chosen as their organ by the Labor party, which was formed in the Summer of 1877, the "Taegliche Tribuene" [Daily Tribune] was published in September of the same year, also retaining the Sunday edition.

In April, 1878, both papers were turned into the hands of the "German Republican Printing Association", who did away with the "Tägliche Tribüne", and only retained the Sunday paper, changing it into the "Täglicher Republikaner" [Daily Republican]. In November of the same year the "German Republican Printing Association" sold the newspaper business to Reinecke & Zesch. The publication of the "Tägliche Republikaner" was stopped, and the "Buffalo Tribüne" became the Sunday paper of the "Buffalo Freie Presse".

The "Evangelische Gemeindezeitung" [The Evangelical Congregation Newspaper], a weekly paper devoted to the interests of the Protestant churches, was published by Berner & Messmer in 1877, and received after a few months the name of "Volksblatt für Stadt und Land" [The Metropolitan and National People's News], being now a daily political independent newspaper.

Caption under picture at center reads Old Post Office


At that time Buffalo had six daily German newspapers namely: "Demokrat", "Freie Presse", Volksfreund", "Täglicher Republikaner", "Tägliche Tribüne", and the "Volksblatt". That was indeed too much of a good thing. The "Tägliche Tribüne" dropped out of existence, and the "Volksblatt für Stadt und Land" disappeared as a daily paper toward the end of January, 1880.

The "Arbeiterstimme an Erie" [Voice of the Workers on Lake Erie], a Sunday paper, was published by Paul Koberstein, former editor of the "Buffalo Tribüne", was devoted like its name ("laborers' voice") indicates, to the interests of the workingmen. But the voice became silent after it had been heard from May until the end of November, 1878.

The "Laterne" [Lantern], a small socialistic weekly paper, was brought before the public by Emil C. Eckart in February, 1880; but was turned over to the "Banner Printing Co." after an existence of six months. Under the name "Das Banner" [The Banner] it was then enlarged and published until February, 1883, as an organ of the "Greenback party". A second little weekly paper, the "Buffalo Wecker" [Buffalo Awakener], issued at the end of October, 1880 by E.C. Eckart, survived its first issue only by seven weeks.

In the Autumn of 1885 a weekly paper, the "Buffaloer Arbeiter-Zeitung" [Buffalo Workers' Newspaper], was established by a stock company, and was changed into a daily paper in September, 1897, first being a morning paper and later on appearing in the evening.

Caption under picture at center reads Old Board of Trade, Central Wharf. Abandoned 1883

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Revised November 28, 2004
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks