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Vol. 6 No. 6 December 2018 - January 2019 Issue Complimentary

Buffalo commemorates German-American history, Samuel Helm

by Daniel Schwarz located just a few doors away from 1820 became Main Street in the Michael Riester, trustee; Daniel Schwarz, treasurer; Erich Reidell,
the marker. City of Buffalo. chairman; and Linda Schmieder, secretary of the Samuel Helm
On Nov. 1 this year, The Unit 144 of Buffalo.
Samuel Helm Unit 144 of The text of this historic marker This land and much more in
Buffalo, NY accom- reads as follows: Western NY was owned by a large Rain didn’t dampen the spirit of those who came out for the
plished a project that had started conglomeration of Dutch land in- dedication of the historic marker.
almost five years ago. A historic SAMUEL HELM vestors, and sold properties under
marker was placed and unveiled the name of “The Holland Land
during a public dedication cere- A GERMAN-AMERICAN Company.”
mony in the City of Buffalo, NY.
It commemorated Samuel Helm, SETTLED NEAR HERE IN 1809 Helm’s lot was considered part
earliest known German-American of the outer lots from the center of
landowner in Buffalo. KILLED DURING BRITISH RAID the village. He purchased this prop-
erty for $70, which was a huge sum
Through a generous grant IN WAR OF 1812, NAMESAKE of money at that time, and built his
from the William G. Pomeroy home there. However, for a cost
Foundation for the full cost of the OF STEUBEN SOCIETY UNIT 144 comparison, a mature milking cow
marker, and donations from the at that time cost about $10.
unit members and friends for its WILLIAM G. POMEROY
installation, this two-sided NY The War of 1812
State style pole mounted historic FOUNDATION 2018 It was no big surprise to Helm
marker is now placed at 695 Main that the United States and specifi-
St., Buffalo. This is presently the The steps leading up to this cally Western New York would feel
site of the Buffalo Police Station – marker commemorating the legacy the impact of the declaration of war
District B, and is in the busy of Samuel Helm, began by the new that U.S. President James Madison
downtown theater district, where Unit 144 in Buffalo, NY, shortly signed in June 1812, against the
it will be seen by many. after being chartered by the Steu- British Empire.
ben Society of America on Nov. 9, It was not until late in 1813 that
The ceremony began with 2013. The new unit selected Samu- Helm heard that the British started
Daniel Schwarz, the historic el Helm as their unit’s namesake, destroying villages along the Amer-
marker project chairman welcom- and the number 144 for this new ican side of the Niagara River lead-
ing the crowd and thanking those unit from the lot number of his ing towards Buffalo. Helm became
who helped make this project pos- homestead in the Village of Buffa- very concerned at his position as a
sible. This was followed by the lo, as Buffalo was known at that civilian landowner. It was late in
unveiling of the historic marker by time. December 1813 that he became
the unit officers: Erich Reidell, aware that the British would eventu-
chairman; Linda Schmieder, sec- Who was Samuel Helm? ally be coming to Buffalo.
retary; Daniel Schwarz, treasurer; With assistance of the Buffalo
and Michael Reister, 1st trustee. History Museum’s Historical Soci- continued on page 2
ety’s staff with researching the life
As the crowd saw the marker and times of Samuel Helm, Grego-
for the first time, unit member ry Witul, the pro tempore first vice
Rev. Donald Reidell gave a prayer chairman of the new unit and his
for this special event. As the committee took the first important
crowd was now able to read the steps in learning more about Samu-
marker text, Erich Reidell talked el Helm.
about “Who was Samuel Helm?” It was learned that Samuel
Helm emigrated from the Palati-
At the conclusion of the cere- nate (Pfalz) area of lands now
mony, all were invited to a cele- known as Rhineland-Palatinate,
bration reception that was hosted Germany. He immigrated first to
by Buffalo Place, Inc., an organi- Lancaster Country, PA, and even-
zation dedicated to improving the tually in 1806 to the Village of
economic health and quality of Buffalo.
life in downtown Buffalo. Their Helm must have learned farm-
community room and offices were ing in Germany, because as soon as
he was able to purchase land in the
Village of Buffalo, he started his
own market garden of produce. He
purchased Lot 144 on Dec. 22,
1809, which was located on Van
Staphorst Street that later around

51st annual German Mass

to be celebrated at Canisius College

Canisius College will host its 51st annual German Christmas Mass
at the college’s Christ the King Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. A
Christmas performance by the German-American Musicians will pre-
cede the Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the chapel and a breakfast reception will
follow at approximately 11 a.m. in Grupp Fireside Lounge located in the
Richard E. Winter Student Center.

Rev. Daniel P. Jamros, SJ, professor of religious studies and theology
at Canisius College, will preside at the Mass, which will be celebrated in

The Religious Studies Department at Canisius College will sponsor
this year’s Mass.
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