Wendt Family in Buffalo, NY

Bio - Margaret L. Wendt

Margaret L. Wendt was the daughter of William and Mary Geis Wendt. Her father was one of the founders of the Buffalo Forge Company. Educated in the public schools and at the Buffalo Seminary, she graduated with honors in Latin and Mathematics in 1903 – the heart of the “City of Light” era.

When her father left the company he had helped to establish, he purchased a farm near Lockport, NY and young Margaret became a manager and developed her skills as a businesswoman.

In the early 1940s, Margaret sold the Lockport farm and purchased a beachfront property in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she built a summer home. Margaret became a familiar fixture there, socializing and walking her Irish setters. She always had a dog. 

Margaret Wendt was a very private person, interested in serving without publicity, finding a channel for her faith in meeting specific needs. She loved music, she loved her church, she loved to travel and she loved her city.

Chiefly, she expressed her concern for the community through the Lutheran Home, the Niagara Lutheran Home and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. During the 1940's and 1950's, she met regularly with her pastor, Dr. Ralph Loew, discovering a multitude of ways by which she could quietly meet community needs. Through her involvement in the management of her farm, she became intensely interested in a variety of related environmental causes as well as demonstrating an astute financial ability.

During her lifetime, Miss Wendt participated in a number of community activities but her greatest contribution to Buffalo and the Western New York Area was her vision that saw a major lifetime gift and ultimately her family fortune becoming a major social and cultural force in the years that followed her death. The Foundation which bears her name is a private, grant-making entity, established in 1956 and dedicated to charitable and public-service purposes in the Western New York area.

- Source: Wendt Foundation, 2015

Margaret Wendt aound the time of her graduation from Buffalo Seminary in 1903.
Photo reprinted with permission of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

Margaret Wendt with her dog Michael.
Photo reprinted with permission of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2015
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