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Kaisers were regional leaders in the energy business

These pleasant autumn days GREGORY Fraternal Order of the Eagles No. his son Martin F. Kaiser took over ordering, and appealing to Wash-
are getting shorter, while WITUL 46, dabbled in real-estate and was as president of Kaiser-Barnett. ington when needed.
the chilly nights are getting a partner in the W. H. Meyer &
longer. Many of us stay warm at while Martin began working with Co, a wholesale candy company During the Second World War On April 30, 1951, Charles A.
night with a gas or electric furnace. his father as soon as he was done on Broadway. To keep the family Kaiser-Barnett did all they could Kaiser passed away. Buried as a
Others find wood the best way to at School 2. Their lifelong educa- business safe from the other ven- to support the war effort. The firm third degree Oriole and member of
stay toasty and even a few house- tion at their father’s feet would tures, Charles and Martin orga- as a whole purchased war bonds Uncle Sam's Republican Club,
holds around Western New York soon be put to the test as in the nized C. A. & M. Kaiser in 1916 at and many employees joined the Kaiser Fuel honored their chair-
use coal for their heating needs. winter of 1890. While crossing the 47 Virginia with Martin serving as armed forces, with coal handler man by closing down May 3rd in
For generations, one of the most Nickel Plate tracks near Athol treasurer and Charles as president. Robert T. Boyd making the ulti- Charles’s memory. With Charles
trusted families in Buffalo’s coal Springs, Karl Kaiser’s buggy was mate sacrifice. Members of the A. gone, Martin F. Kaiser was in
trade were the Kaisers and their struck by a locomotive, killing the In March 1923 the firm was Kaiser family also served in the full control of the company with
company Kaiser Fuel. industrialist instantly. incorporated with Charles and Navy. Charles M. Kaiser serving as vice
Martin bringing their sons, Charles president.
In 1879 German immigrants With the loss of Karl, the sa- Jr. and Martin F. Kaiser, on as In January of 1944, the last
Karl and Margaret Kaiser pur- loon, boarding house, and the con- partners. The business would stay member of the Barnett family re- While still supplying coal to
chased 30 Virginia St., near down- struction company fell to the within the German family for two tired and sold off their interest in the schools, Kaiser Fuel began to
town Buffalo, and made it into wayside, but the fuel business years. In 1925 the C. A. & M. the coal company. With that the sell Mobilheat fuel oil and tanks
their own tavern and boarding overseen by Charles and Martin Kaiser Company joined forces board of directors, led by chairman for home use. For his part Martin
house. Karl was the embodiment thrived. With their father gone the with James R. Barnett’s Coal & Charles A. Kaiser, renamed the furthered his involvement in the
of the entrepreneurial spirit and brothers renamed the firm, the C. Coke Company and became the firm the Kaiser Fuel Corporation. Buffalo Better Business Bureau
had his fingers in many pies. He A. & M. Kaiser Company. Kaiser-Barnett Coal & Coke Cor- and was elected to the board of
soon started a delivery service, poration, with Martin Kaiser serv- After the war, the company directors in 1953.
blacksmith shop, and contracting The Kaisers did well over the ing as president of the new firm. was back with full force, taking on
company all run out of his Virginia course of the 1890s and even pur- large contracts again. The Buffalo As the 1950s wore on Martin
Street tavern. chased $100 worth of stock in the Moving to 126 Delaware Ave., Municipal Housing Authority, began to lose interest in the busi-
Pan-American Exposition Compa- Kaiser-Barnett began picking up City Courts, and School System ness. In May of 1955 he decided to
Having a team of horses and ny, in support of the 1901 event. large and small contracts alike. were soon ordering thousands of liquidate the corporation, selling
dealing with tons of coal as a As a prominent businessman Huge orders would come from the tons of coal with new customers the fuel oil and anthracite coal ac-
blacksmith, Karl was soon in the Charles took an interest in Repub- Erie County Welfare Department coming on as housing boomed. counts to Charles M. Kaiser, the
fuel trade. To help with his many lican politics. He served as a local who would take a few hundred Kaiser used its profits to support bituminous-coal accounts to Better
endeavors, Karl taught his sons and state delegate for the party and tons at a time to the Buffalo local sports teams and was the lo- Service Fuel Co, and taking a job
Charles A. and Martin all about even represented the Republicans School District, whose orders cal sponsor of the Boston Blackie as vice president at Van Hoesen’s
metallurgy and anthracite. By the as the 1903 nominee for Buffalo would range anywhere from 600 to radio show on WKBW. Paints and Wallpaper. Charles M.
middle of the end of the 1880s the Board of Supervisors for the 19th 25,000 tons of coal a winter. Buy- Kaiser would run his business as
younger Kaisers were running the Ward, but would lose the election ing in such bulk allowed Kaiser- The firm also proved to be a Kaiser Fuel until 1959, ending an
day-to-day operations of the enter- to Democrat James Wilson. Barnett to pass on substantial sav- regional leader during the coal 80 year history of the Kaiser fami-
prise. ings to the home heating custom- shortages of the late 1940s, insti- ly in the fuel business.
Through the early part of the ers, who could select from tuting rationing, promoting early
Charles, the older brother was 1900s Charles was active in the Susquehanna Hard, Ambricoal,
educated at St. Peter's Lutheran and Semet-Solvay brand coals.
School, at the corner of Genesee These discounts helped many fam-
and Hickory streets, and Bryant ilies during the Great Depression.
and Stratton Business Institute,
Kaiser-Barnett suffered a dev-
astating loss with the passing of
president Martin Kaiser. His ab-
sence was also felt by his fellow
members at the Automobile Club,
Royal Order of Jesters, and Ismail-
ia Shriners. With Martin’s passing,

February-March October - November 2017 •

Oktoberfest Guide

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