The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 217 - 221


was a very slow one until, by reason of the railroad station, which was built in 1845, a boom set in and Alden soon had several hundred inhabitants. In 1854 William C. Leonard founded, together with others, who like him were interested in the education of the children, the "Alden Seminary." It prospered for some years but as the public schools improved and the attendance became less from year to year it had to be closed. The village was incorporated on May 7th, 1869 and the first officials were: G.F. Vandervoort, E.W. Hendee, D.C. Skeels, J.B. Pride and A.D. Farnsworth, Trustees, William A. Sanders, Clerk, H.R. Kidder, Treasurer, C.N. Fulton, Assessor, M. Maxson, Street Commissioner and Frederick Thatcher, Collector.

West Alden

The small village of West Alden lies about one and one half miles in southwesterly direction from the village of Alden. It was formerly known as Alden Centre and consisted only of a few farm houses, a hotel and a few small stores and shops. Before 1860 Alden Centre had a post office, the name of which was 10 years later changed to West Alden; the village also received this name. In 1865 F.R. Martin opened a store there.[1]

Caption under picture at center reads New Post Office Building

[1] The German text states "In 1865 I.R. Martin opened a store, which first he managed in partnership with B.F. Peck. Later he managed the concern himself." Return to text


Town Line

This small hamlet is situated on the road between Alden and Buffalo, and is mainly populated by Germans, the first of whom settled there fifty years ago. The Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1853. The Elders at that time were: Jacob Weber and Christian Billiard.[1] Deacons: Daniel Schneider and Philip Wiederrecht. Trustees: Johann Nicolaus Kiefer, Jacob Kientz and Michael Asmus. The present new church was built in 1875. The first minister was Julius Crommel.

The German Evangelical Church was dedicated in 1875 and its first minister was Pastor William Jungk.

Alden Center

is situated in the center of the town and also populated by Germans mostly. In 1850 Michael Killinger opened a grocery store and saloon; in 1855 George Holland built a hotel, which soon after that passed into the hands of Jacob Sandmann. The first postmaster of the village was Christopher Strecker, who was succeeded by Michael Killinger. A second hotel was opened in 1865 by George Schank.

A Catholic church was built in 1850, and a new one in 1861. Its first priest was Father F.X. Tschenhens.

Mill Grove

is situated in the north-west corner of the Town of Alden. The first house in this village was built in 1817 by Moses Case, who established the first grocery store in the village in 1848. His son, Hugh Case, was the first postmaster.

The first German Lutheran Church was built in 1867. Previous to that time the congregation worshipped in the schoolhouse. The first minister was Pastor Julius Crommel.

Wende Station

is a station on the New York Central Railroad, and is situated about a mile south-east of Mill Grove. The first settler was Henry Gehm, who settled there in 1848. He was followed in 1849 by H.A. Wende, who established in 1950 a planing mill on the Eleven-mile Creek, and which was in use until 1876. In 1857 Michael Killinger opened the first grocery store.

Caption under picture at center reads First Presbyterian Church

[1] The German text spells the name Billiar. Return to text


Peters Corners

is situated between Mill Grove and Crittenden. Among the first settlers were: Parker Marshall, E.B. Banks and John Stonebraker. In the years from 1830 to 1840 many German immigrants settled here.


is situated on the New York Central Railroad, three miles north of Alden. In 1848 Benjamin Arbuckle built the first house in this village, which was later on used as a hotel by A. Bump.

Town Lancaster

According to trustworthy authorities the first settlement of this place dates from 1803. The names of the pioneers were: Asa and James Woodward, who were followed by Warren Hull, Mathew Wing and Joe Parmalee. In 1811 Ahaz Allen built the first feed mill. Rev. John Spencer, better known under the name of "Father Spencer", was the best known among the first ministers of the town. After the war many settlers came to the town. They cultivated the fruitful soil with industry and patience, and raised sheep. At that time it was nothing unusual for them to be visited by the wolves, and they had to defend their sheep against them. About 1830 many more settlers, mostly Germans, came, and they built the first German Lutheran Church in 1835. The first supervisor of the town was John Brown.

Lancaster Village

Soon after Ahaz Allen in 1811, as mentioned before, had established the first mill in the Town of Lancaster, Joseph Carpenter built a hotel there. This was, so to speak, the birth of the village. For a long time the village did not grow very fast, but after the opening of the Erie Canal there was a marked improvement. In 1849 the village was incorporated, and the first officials were elected. The names of these were: Trustees: John McClean, John Berger, Charles Kurtz, D.R. Osgood, and Ira Slepper. Assessor: E.M. Safford. Collector: John M. Safford. Clerk: Henry L. Bingham. Treasurer: William H. Grimes. In the same year many Dutchman settled in the village. They had quite a little money, and a raise of land values soon took place, from $50 to $75 per acre being paid. In 1865 Lancaster was thrown into

Caption under picture at center reads Power House, Niagara Street


quite a little excitement through the rumor that oil wells had been discovered. Different trials were made to use the wells, but the result was of so little value that further trials - as elsewhere in Erie County - were soon abandoned. About this time a German established an organ factory, which was later conducted by William H. Grimes on a large scale. The first German Evangelical Church was organized in 1835. We have not been able to get further dates in connection herewith, except that C.L. Knapp was minister of it in 1847, and served the congregation for a good many years. In 1875 the congregation built a handsome massive church.

The German Methodist congregation in Lancaster was at first not very large, but grew when the Lutheran church was bought in 1874. We have not been able to get the names of the first officials of this church.

Until 1850 a Catholic priest came every Sunday to Lancaster, but in that year the building of a church was started, it being finished in 1852. At that time Father Sergius Stchonlepnikoff was the priest of the catholic congregation. He was followed by F. Stephen Ulrich.[1]


This village is, as mentioned before, really the oldest in the Town of Lancaster. James and Asa Woodward were the first settlers. In 1811 Benjamin Bowman bought the already existing feed mill, and through him the village got its name.

Town Line

is a very small village with about forty or fifty houses, three churches, two hotels, and several stores.

Town Cheektowaga

Town Cheektowaga borders north on Amherst, east on Lancaster, south on West Seneca, and west on Buffalo. It is five and one-fourth miles wide from east to west, and about six miles long from north to south. The first settler was Apollos Hitchcock. He came there in 1808. He was followed a few years later by Samuel Le Seur, Major Noble, Roswell Hatch and others. Bears and wolves were numerous

Caption under picture at center reads View of Part of Delaware Avenue

[1]The German text spells the name "Uhrich". Return to text


at that time, even panthers showed themselves at different times, but deer were seldom to be found. In 1815 Jesse Munson opened the first tavern in the town. On April 10th, 1818, the territory of Cheektowaga became a part of Amherst. In 1826 a large part of the Buffalo Creek Reservation was bought from the Indians. To this territory belonged a strip of land, about three miles in length, which forms today the north-west corner of the present town of Cheektowaga. This strip was at once opened for settlement, and in 1830 so many Germans came there, that at present the town is populated by Germans mostly.

Cheektowaga was separated from Amherst on March 20th, 1829, and incorporated as a town by itself. As a proof how strong the Germans were in the town, even in the earlier years, we give below a list of the town officals elected in 1883: Friedrich Stephen [1], Supervisor; J.H. Stock [2], Town Clerk; Daniel Reiser, Joseph Dueringer and William Brennan, Justices of the Peace; A.M. Dunn, Assessor; Joseph Groell, Collector; Anthony Pfohl, Highway Commissioner; John Prefert, Overseer of the Poor; George Neyerlein, Peter Baumler and Michael Lauther, Jr., Constables; Charles H. Storck, Edward Ernst and Frank Zubrick, Inspectors of Election; A.G. Nagle and Edward Monin, Excise Commissioners.

Town Marilla

This town is situated in the center of the eastern border of Erie County, and is six miles long from north to south, and nearly three and three-fourths miles wide from east to west. In the north it borders on Town Alden, west on Elma, south on Wales and east on Bennington, Wyoming County. In August, 1826, the Ogden Company bought of the Indians, besides other lands, a strip of land, three and one-half miles long and one mile wide, situated in the eastern part of the Buffalo Creek Reservation. This territory contained that part of the Town Marilla, which now lies east of the "Two Rod Road". In the spring of 1827 Jesse Bartow settled in the southern district of the town, but he soon sold the settlement to John M. Bauder. Soon after the land sale of 1826 two roads were surveyed. One ran from Portersville to the Village of

Caption under picture at center reads "High School, Franklin Street"

[1]The German text spells the name "Stephan". Return to text

[2]The German text spells the name "Storck". Return to text

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Go on to Pages 222 - 226

Revised April 24, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks