Frederick Christopher Martin Lautz
Research by Thomas Kinney
Friederich Christopher Martin Lautz
The son of Wilhelm and Elisabeth Lautz was born on March 5, 1846 in
Rimhorn, Hessen-Darmstadt, where he also received his early education.
He was seven when his father brought him to America. During the Civil
War he served with the 81st New York Volunteers.
the war he entered his father's firm of which he is now a member. Mr.
Lautz is also a co-founder of the Niagara Starch Works, the Onyx
Polishing Works of the Lautz Company and the Niagara Stamping and Tool
He is a
life-member of the German Jungmanner-Gesellschaft, whose president he
was from 1881-1884. He is a life-member of the Historical Society, the
Free Arts Academy and the Orpheus, the founder and a member of the
Buffalo Catholic Institute and a trustee of the Buffalo Homeopathic
Hospital. His life-long interest in music led Mr. Lautz to found the
Buffalo Symphony Orchestra in 1880 and to devote to it much of his time
and energy. He is also the founder of the Buffalo Musical Association,
a co-founder of the Ellicott Square Building, Vice-president of the
Ellicott Square company and President of the shaker Heights Land
Company, which turned over to the city of Cleveland 297 acres of land,
valued at $400,000.00 for the establishment of a park. He was an ardent
advocate and sponsor of the Pan-American Exposition, one of its
directors, and chairman of the Music Committee and president of the
local committee on arrangement that planned the thirtieth Songfest of
the North American Sangerbund, held in Buffalo in 1901. He is
co-founder and one of the first directors of the Ellicott club and a
director of the Buffalo Club.
he married Miss Amelia K. Trageser from New York. Their Marriage was
blessed with three daughters Augusta J., Emma M., and Elsa C. Lautz.
- History of the Germans of Buffalo and Erie County,
Published 1898, translated from German to English by Professor Pseffer
of the German Department of the University of Buffalo, 1952
Frederick Christopher Martin Lautz
Son of William and Elizabeth (Hiemenz) Lautz, was born in
Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, March 5, 1846, and when he was seven years
old came with his parents to Buffalo, where he received a public school
education. During the Rebellion he served in the 81st N. Y. Vols.
Afterward he engaged in the soap business with his father, in which he
has since continued, being now a member of the Lautz Brothers &
Co., one of the largest and best known soap manufacturing concerns in
the United States. Mr. Lautz was also one of the founders of the
Niagara Starch Works and of the onyx works of the Lautz Company, and is
a member of the Niagara Stamping and Tool Company.
He is a life member of the German Young Men's Association, which he
served as president from 1881 to 1884, and under his administration the
first music hall was built, and after that was burned in 1885 he was
instrumental in erecting the present structure. He has been one of its
real estate commissioners since 1883, and for five years was chairman
of the board. He is also a life member of the Buffalo Library, the
Buffalo Historical Society, and the Fine Arts Academy; one of the
organizers and a life member of the Buffalo Orpheus; an organizer and a
member of the Buffalo Catholic Institute; and a trustee of the Buffalo
Homeopathic Hospital. His chief characteristic, however, is his earnest
and generous devotion to music. He is pre-eminently the patron of the
Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, which he started in 1888, and which has
since been maintained through his liberality. In fact, he has made up
deficits year after year in the accounts of the organization, and has
been to Buffalo what Colonel Higginson has been to Boston. He is gifted
with a fine voice, has been the solo barytone in St. Paul's church for
many years, and on many public occasions of a patriotic nature has sung
"The Star Spangled Banner." He was also an organizer of the Buffalo
He is president of the Ellicott Square Bank, was an originator of the
Ellicott Square Building and is vice-president of the Ellicott Square
Company, and is president of the Shaker Heights Land Company, which
presented to the City of Cleveland, Ohio, 279 acres of land, valued at
over $400,000, for park purposes. He is also a promoter and the
treasurer of the Pan-American Exposition for 1899, an organizer and one
of the first directors of the Ellicott Club, and a director of the
Buffalo Club. In every capacity Mr. Lautz has exhibited marvelous
ability, great energy, and enterprise, and unyielding integrity and
He was married in 1874 to Miss Amelia K., daughter of John and Augusta Trageser, of New York city and they have three daughters.
- Our County and Its People, A Descriptive Work on Erie County, New York" Volume II, pages 431-432, Edited by Truman C. White, The Boston History Company, Publishers 1898
Frederick C. M. Lautz
Prominent manufacturer and public
spirited citizen of Buffalo, N. Y. was born in Reinhorn,
Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, March 5, 1846, and came to Buffalo with his
parents when seven years old.
He was educated in the public schools and then entered the employ of
his father, who was a manufacturer of soap. From this concern grew the
immense soap manufacturing house of Lautz Bros. & Co., with its
world wide business. Mr. Lautz was one of the founders Of the Niagara
Starch Works; is interested in the Lautz Marble & Onyx Works, the
Niagara Machine & Tool Works, the Ellicott Square Company, and is a
member of the Ellicott Club, the Buffalo Club, the Buffalo Orpheus, the
Buffalo Saengerbund, the Buffalo Catholic Institute, the Buffalo Public
Library, the Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy,
Buffalo Merchants' Exchange, and a trustee of the Buffalo Homeopathic
Hospital. He was president of the North American Saengerbund
Saengerfest held in Buffalo in 1901; has served as a member of the
Buffalo Park Commission, and was an active member of the Board of
Directors of the Pan-American Exposition Company, and chairman of the
Committee on Music. Mr. Lautz is a veteran of the civil war and in all
respects one of Buffalo's most prominent and honored citizen.
- History of the Catholic Church in Western New York, Diocese of Buffalo,
by Rev. Thomas Donohue, D.D., Buffalo Historical Publishing Co., 1904,
available in Canisius College Library in Buffalo, New York
F. C. M. Lautz Subject of the Third Sketch
As the founder and backer of the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, he has
done more perhaps, for the musical taste of the city than any other one
Although Fred C. M. Lautz is a musician, it is not as a performer, but
as a promoter of music that he is most distinguished. He is the
Maecenas of Buffalo. What that noble Roman was to poetic art in the
Augustan age, Mr. Lautz is to the musical art of this age. Mr. Lautz is
to the musical art of this country, at least for musicians to become
the personal stipendiaries of any individual, yet musicians must live,
and if expensive musical enterprises are to be undertaken, money must
be had to pay for them. Mr. Lautz's good taste and executive ability,
as well as his fortune, have done so much for musical art in this city
that to omit him from the series of sketches of local musicians would
be an unpardonable defect.
Fred C. M. Lautz was born on March 5, 1846, on an estate
at Rimhorn, Hesse-Darmstadt, of which his father was superintendent.
Both of his parents were Germans, but Mr. Lautz is an American by
instinct and education, for all except the first seven years of his
life have been spent in this country. In 1853 the Lautz family came to
America and located in Buffalo. Young Lautz was educated in the public
schools and then entered his father's manufacturing business, which is
now the house of Lautz Bros. & Co. Fred C. M. Lautz is at pres...
of the Queen City Bank and... local business enterprises.
One of the most important social organizations in Buffalo is the German
Young Men's Association, which has built two Music-hall structures. The
present one is a temple devoted to music and is a noble institution,
such as few cities in the United States can boast. Mr. Lautz was
president of the German Young Men's Association from 1881 to 1884,
during which time the first Music Hall was projected and built. Since
1883 he has been one of the real estate commissioners of the
Association, and for the last eight years has been chairman of the
board. Mr. Lautz was equally zealous in the erection of the present
Mr. Lautz is a life member of the German Young Men's Association, and
of the following organizations as well: The Buffalo Library, the
Historical Society, the Fine Arts Academy, the Buffalo Catholic
Institute and the Buffalo Orpheus. In the latter society which is
devoted primarily to the cultivation of male chorus singing, he is
second on the list of organizers and is an active member. Although Mr.
Lautz could have held any office within the gift of the Orpheus, he has
preferred to remain in the ranks. In addition to membership in the
organizations mentioned, Mr. Lautz is a trustee of the Buffalo
Besides being a patron of music, Mr. Lautz is a
practicer of the art. He is gifted with a fine barytone voice and is a
prominent local singer. Among his teachers were Carl Adam and James
Nuno. Mr. Lautz entered a church choir when he was 16 years old, and
since that time he has done church singing almost continuously. For 13
years he was solo barytone of St. Paul's church choir. Mr. Lautz's
singing of "The Star-spangled Banner" has been one of the features of
almost every public gathering of a patriotic nature. Among these
occasions were the Pan-American Congress in Buffalo and the
inauguration of the free Niagara State Park. Mr. Lautz is chairman of
the music committee of the Music Association of Buffalo, an
organization formed in 1884 by 25 prominent citizens of Buffalo,
chiefly for the promotion of the larger musical enterprises, such as
festivals, oratoric performances and the like.
Although, as already shown, Mr. Lautz has been connected with many
musical, benevolent and educational enterprises, his chief claim for
distinction rests upon none of these. It is as the founder of the
Buffalo Symphony Orchestra that he takes a higher rank than any other
promoter of music in Buffalo. It is not purposed to go into any
detailed history of the Symphony Orchestra at this time. It is
sufficient to say that when the organizers of the old Philharmonic
Orchestra became discouraged after a year or two of the band's
existence, Mr. Lautz came to the rescue of musical art in its highest
forms in Buffalo. He generously assumed financial responsibility for
the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, whose first concerts were given in the
season of 1888-89. Mr. Lautz knew that for several years of its
existence an orchestra with a large payroll, presenting only
first-class works to a public not then musically advanced, must be a
losing concern. And so it has proved. Musicians who are capable of
playing the works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelsohn and Saint-Saens
are men who can command high salaries. And, while the audiences have
grown from year to year until now the patronage, though not as large as
it should be, is still very liberal, there has never yet been a season
when there was not a large deficit to be made good. Mr. Lautz estimates
his investment in the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra at $30,000. This small
fortune he does not expect to get back and does not want to get back.
Whatever occasional surplus is shown by the receipts of any concerts is
immediately invested in the orchestra itself. All that Mr. Lautz
desires is to make the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra a self-sustaining,
permanent, successful feature of the music life of this city. He could,
no doubt, get other men to share with him the burden of sustaining the
Orchestra, but experience has shown that enterprises of this kind
are... Mr. Lautz feels that it would be a delicate matter to go about
among his friends and ask them for their share in making good the
deficits, and so has preferred to bear the burden alone.
Mr. Lautz also very frankly confesses that he
takes a peculiar satisfaction in having the sole control and management
of the orchestra. It is his pet project and so long as the public and
not himself reaps the benefit of it, no one will begrudge him the
pleasure of being sole owner. It is well, for certain reasons, that
there is only one man who is supreme in the Buffalo symphony Orchestra.
This is one of the few instances in which democratic methods are
inferior to autocratic. The history of several orchestral and other
musical concerns has shown that when the conductor has been obliged to
endeavor to please a large number of men associated in the management,
disorganization and failure have been the result. How capable Mr. Lautz
is of occupying the position he holds is demonstrated by the artistic
success of the Orchestra.
It is only fair to observe that in all Mr. Lautz has
done he has made no effort to gain glory for himself. His loses he has
borne uncomplainingly, and he has never appeared before the public in
the attitude of an alms-seeker. All he asks is that Buffalo shall
simply, and for its own good, take advantage of the opportunities for
musical culture which are offered by the Symphony Orchestra Concerts.
It is therefore a pleasant duty to present, though inadequately, the
noble work of a man who has done more than any other for the
cultivation of musical taste in Buffalo
- Mr. Fred C. M. Lautz. (from a Buffalo Newspaper)
Frederick Christopher Martin. Lautz
Anecdote about "Fritz": As chairman of
the Music committee for the Pan-Am Expo., he was on the committee to
purchase the organ for the Temple of Music. He promised the organ to
St. Louis' Catholic Church after the expo was over. The organ however
went to the Elmwood Music Hall - the organ was scrapped in 1942. Fritz
purchased a Kimball Organ for the church and also donated some marble
Part of this story is from a librarian who works with the archivist at
St. Louis' and another part from the music librarians at the Buffalo
and Erie County Public Library.
- Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks, email@example.com, January 2003
Frederick Christopher Martin Lautz
Fourth son and fifth child of William Lautz, was born in Germany,
March 5, 1845, died in Buffalo, December 22. 1905. He came to the
United States with his parents and was educated in the public schools.
He engaged with his father in candle manufacturing and later with his
brothers in soap manufacturing, being a member of Lautz brothers &
Company. He had other extensive business interests; was interested in
The Lautz Company (marble and stone), and in the Machine and Tool
Works. He was a director of the Commonwealth Trust Company, and of
other corporations of Buffalo. Fle was a successful man of business and
held high position in the city.
He was under twenty years of age when in February, 1865, he enlisted in
Company E, Eighty-first Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry. He
served with his regiment through the closing campaigns of the Army of
the Potomac, facing both victory and defeat in many of the hard-fought
battles of the war. He was honorably discharged and mustered out of the
service, August 31, 1865, at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
He was a member of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament (Roman
Catholic). He was an accomplished musician, and organized the Buffalo
Symphony Orchestra, which he maintained for twelve years, and which,
while entirely successful along artistic lines, proved a most costly
venture for Mr. Lautz, who expended upon it the large sum of $100,000.
He possessed a beautiful voice, finely trained, and he was for fifteen
years and until nearly the close of his life principal solo singer in
St. Paulis Cathedral and the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.
He was a member of the Buffalo Club and the Country Club. He was a Republican in politics.
He married, April 22, 1874, Amelia Katherine,
born May 23, 1854, in New York City, daughter of John Trageser, who was
born in Bavaria, Germany, July 25, 1822, died in New York City, October
23, 1891; he came to the United States where he became a successful
copper manufacturer. He married, April 12, 1841, Augustine Kramer, born
January 28, 1826, died June 20, 1907. Children of Mr. and Mrs.
Trageser: 1. John, born March 11, 1845. died September 5, 1902, at
Sacramento, California. 2. Adelaide, married Edward E. Welcke;
children: Edward, William R., Adelaide and Lester. 3. Lester
(deceased). 4. Augusta, married Joseph J. Werrick, whom she survives
without children at Mt. Vernon, New York. 5. Amelia Katherine, married
Frederick C. M. Lautz. 6. William Celestin, born May 19, 1857: a
resident of New York City. 328 West 87th street: he married Marie
Williams, of Buffalo : two children : Thecla M., Emma M. 7. Albert
Ferdinand, born March 16. 1860; married Bertha Heidt; resides at 305
105th street, New York City: three children: Grace, Gertrude and
Albert. 8. Emma Marie, married Samuel J. Taylor, resides at Mt. Vernon,
New York; three children: Augusta, Samuel J. and Matthew. Children of
Frederick C. M. and Amelia Katherine Lautz: 1. Amelia, died in infancy.
2. Augusta Joan, married George A. Austin; children: Frederick C. M.
Lautz and Spencer Trageser Austin. 3. Emma Matilda, born April 16,
1878, died September 6, 1902. 4. Elizabeth Caroline. Mrs. Frederick C.
M. Lautz survives her husband and continues her residence in Buffalo.
- Google Books: Genealogical and family history of western New York: 1912, Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter
Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2010
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