Gottfried Offermann

Frank J. Offermann
1876-1935








Frank J.  Offermann
Reprinted from Find A Grave
(online Jan. 2017)

Created by: B. Townsend


Birth:   Sep. 6, 1876, Buffalo, NY
Death:  Feb. 3, 1935, Buffalo; United German and French Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY

Personal Note:

His mother, as noted above, was "Genofeva Barth" German for Genevieve. His father, Gottfried Offermann, who emigrated from Koln, Germany when he was 16 to Buffalo, NY.

Mr. Frank Offermann Sr.'s first wife, Gertrude Doerfel, died in 1922 and they had no children.

He then married Isabel Marie Cole on 10/18/1923 @ Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Buffalo, NY and they had 4 children.
  • Jeanne Offermann Lawless (1924-2015)
  • Francis. J. "Frank" Offermann, Jr. (1926-2013)
  • Paul V. Offermann
  • Karl P. Offermann (1931-2010)

In addition to his printing/advertising business, "F.J. Offermann Art Works" at 299 Broadway, he also was an owner of the Buffalo Bisons Baseball Club in Buffalo, NY. and an Erie County Sheriff in Buffalo, NY 1933-35

Offermann Stadium formerly Bison Stadium was renamed in his memory upon his early death.
 
 Parents:
  Gottfried Offermann (1846 - 1914)
  Genevieve Sarah Barth Offermann (1848 - 1935)
 
 Spouses:
  Gertrude Doerfel Offermann (1879 - 1922)
  Isabel Marie Cole Offermann (1895 - 1988)
 
 Children:
  Francis J. Offermann (1926 - 2013)
 
 Siblings:
  Anna Offermann Morbusch (? - 1940)
  Magdalena Offermann Schunk (1870 - 1951)
  Frank J. Offermann (1876 - 1935)
 




Frank J. Offermann
Reprinted from "Buffalo and Its German Community
(Online Jan. 2017)
Copyright 1912 by Jacob E. Mueller

Buffalo's well known printing shop owner, Mr. Frank J. Offerman, is a child of Buffalo. He was born on September 6, 1876 as the son of Mr. Gottfried Offermann. His father came from Cologne on the Rhine and settled in this city in 1863. His mother, born Geneva Barth, first saw the light of the world in Williamsville, N.Y.

Young Frank received an excellent education. After graduating from the famous Canisius College he became a clerk at the Lake Shore Railroad Office. He spent 2 years there. Then for 5 years he ran a wine and beer business. After this time he established a printing shop which mainly produced yearly calendars and advertising novelties for commercial establishments. His immense talent and untiring drive led Mr. Offermann to build an important business.

Mr. Offermann is a member of St. Mary's Church and he belongs to many social groups such as the Elks, the Eagles, the Moose Lodge, the Orpheus, the C.M.B.A., the Buffalo Automobile Club, and the Wine and Liquor Dealers Association.

On October 6, 1898 he married Miss Gertrude Dörfler. He lives with her in a pleasant home at 296 Hickory Street. His place of business is at 301 Broadway.




Frank J. Offermann
Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
(Online Jan. 2017)

Anyone with a passing interest of the history of baseball in Buffalo knows the name Offermann, as in Frank J. Offermann. The owner and president of the Buffalo Bison Baseball team from 1928-1935, Offermann was a marketing expert for the baseball team, increasing the popularity of the franchise in Buffalo with his promotional genius and astute baseball sense.

Offermann utilized technology to increase the team’s popularity. He brought night baseball to the Queen City in 1930, five years before the Cincinnati Reds of the Major Leagues did so. Night games allowed fans with day jobs to attend games, keeping the team afloat during the depression era. Under Offermann’s leadership, the Bisons were also one of the first minor league teams to broadcast games on the radio, further connecting the team to its fans.

Offermann was a master promoter and was one of first owners in baseball to utilize game day giveaways as a way of attracting children and new fans to the park.

So beloved was Offermann that when he passed away in 1935 a vote by the Board of Governors unanimously agreed to re-name the stadium from “Bison Stadium” to “Offermann Stadium,” the ultimate show of respect given to an owner.

He was an inaugural inductee of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.





Excerpts

Buffalo Base Ball Park and Offermann Stadium
Deadball Baseball
(online Jan. 2017)


Professional baseball was played at the corner of East Ferry and Michigan Avenue in Buffalo, New York, for 72 years beginning in 1889, through the end of the 1960 season.


Originally known as new Olympic Park (old Olympic Park housed Buffalo baseball teams from 1884 to 1888 at the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Summer Street), in 1907 the ballpark was renamed Buffalo Base Ball Park. The original wooden ballpark structure was raised in 1924 and replaced with a concrete and steel structure, and renamed Bison Stadium. In 1935 the ballpark was renamed Offermann Stadium, in honor of Frank J. Offermann, the recently-deceased former owner of the Buffalo Bison.



The site’s primary tenant was the International League Buffalo Bison, who played there from 1889 to 1960. According to Philip Lowry’s Green Cathedrals, Major league baseball also was played at this site for one year in 1890 when the Buffalo Bison of the Players League played their home games at new Olympic Park. The Negro National League New York Black Yankees played games at Offermann Park as a neutral site in the 1940s. The Negro American League Indianapolis Clowns played some games at Offermann (neutral site) from 1951 to 1955. Professional football also was played at the site, including National Football League Buffalo franchises (the All-Americans from 1920 to 1923, the Buffalo Bisons from 1924 to 1925, and 1927 to 1929, and the Buffalo Rangers in 1926).

The ballpark faced Southeast towards the intersection of Masten Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue. Center field was located on the northwest corner of that intersection. After the ballpark was demolished in 1962, Woodlawn Junior High School was constructed on the site.






Special thanks to Barbara Townsend for her assistance in 2017.
Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2017
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