Biography of Charles Lautz
Erie County, NY Biographies


Lautz, Charles, Buffalo. A worthy example such as that which is presented in the history and career of Charles Lautz, member of the firm of Lautz Bros. & Co., manufacturers of soap and glycerine, the product of which finds its way into almost every hamlet in the United States, is certainly one worthy the consideration and imitation of the young men of the present day and generation, being as he is a central and prominent figure in the industrial, commercial and financial history of Buffalo. Mr. Lautz was born in Dieburg, Germany, and emigrated to this country with his parents when he was about eleven years of age. His education was obtained by taking a thorough course of study of private tuition after his routine duties of the day were completed. When, in 1853, the small acorn of the present business was planted, and which has since grown to a gigantic oak, or rather, one of the most formidable of its kind, he was assigned to a most responsible position over which to exercise his judgment. That he proved himself adequate to the occasion is best illustrated by his subsequent success in commercial life. Aside from the above firm, whose name has become a household word, and his multifarious duties, he is one of the original members of The Lautz Company, extensive workers in foreign and domestic marble. A new departure was recently introduced by this company which promises to become one of the largest industries among those of our commercial pursuits, namely, the execution of interior work in marble of large public and private buildings. A member of this company is now scouring the lands of Italy and Africa in quest of rare and unique marble. The Niagara Stamping and Tool Works, a large and flourishing institution for the manufacture of tinners' tools, is another worthy example of enterprise into which he has been instrumental in creating life. Besides doing a large and lucrative home trade, the company is steadily attaining an extensive exporting business. The Niagara Starch Company, of which Mr. Lautz was one of the original projectors, and which has been merged into The National Starch Manufacturing Company, of which he is a director, is likewise a living monument to his indefatigable efforts. He is vice president of the National Soap Makers' Association, to which he was twice elected; is a director and chairman of the finance committee of the Buffalo Metropolitan Bank, where his counsels and advice are always warmly welcomed by his associates in that institution's affairs. He is president of the Niagara Heights Land Company, president of the Long View Driving Park Land Company of Cleveland; a member of the National Association of Manufacturers of the United States and a member ofthe Buffalo Board of Trade. He is also a director and was one of the prime promoters of the Buffalo and Williamsville Electric Railway; is a life member of the Buffalo Catholic Young Men's Institute, in which association he has filled the executive chair with great satisfaction. The Ellicott Club, composed of most prominent citizens and merchants of this city, likewise has a claim on him as a member. He is a director of the Buffalo Business Men's Association; a life member of the Fine Arts Academy; life member of the German Young Men's Association; charter member of the Buffalo Orpheus Singing Society, and a member of several others. Last but not least is his effective church work, to which he is ardently attached and by whose members he is held in the highest estimation. He is president director of St. Louis parish, and has filled that honored position time and time again with great promptness and satisfaction to all. After the old edifice was destroyed by fire, which was ignited by the burning of Music Hall, he was one of the visiting committee to various cities on a tour of inspection, to obtain plans, etc., and was largely instrumental in the construction of what is really today one of the handsomest structures of its kind in this State. Just so in all public spirited movements, he has always been among the first to respond, and in matters where liberality is essential he is never backward. The benevolence bestowed upon the poor orphan and those in the humbler walks of life is never forgotten. In addition to Mr. Lautz's many enterprises, considerable attention is devoted to his country home known as the "Amherst Villa "-which is unquestionably, and expressed by those having visited it, to be among the finest, best equipped and thoroughly managed farms of its kind. The tract of land, which covers about 300 acres, is pleasantly located, and is situated in the historical village of Williamsville, about ten miles from the city of Buffalo. When he purchased this property it was in a very crude state, but through his untiring efforts he has made it a paradise of farms. Besides his handsome private summer residence, there are between sixteen and eighteen other buildings upon the grounds. These are used for dwellings, stables for cattle and horses, storage and dairy house. Upon this latter he takes just pride For cleanliness and sanitary arrangements it is unsurpassed and worthy of admiration. Among his stock, well fed and carefully housed, is a beautiful herd of full blooded, registered cattle. In order not to allow his stock to diminish or become below the standard, he is endeavoring to concentrate one of the most complete herds that can be brought together. For this purpose he has dispatched an agent to the Island of Jersey, off the northeastern coast of France, with instructions to purchase without regard to cost, the finest and best stock obtainable. Mr. Lautz resides at 394 Linwood avenue, an elegant, roomy mansion, where all the pleasures and comforts of city life may be taken advantage of to its fullest extent. In early manhood Mr. Lautz was married to Miss Susanna Bensler. She is an estimable lady whose association in life has given him more genuine comfort than words of ours can consistently describe. Mrs. Lautz is unostentatious in her demeanor and is imbued with the same hospitable traits that characterize her devoted helpmate. For want of space we can but sparingly touch upon the many salient points of the history and career of Mr. Lautz, but we think enough has been said to class him among Buffalo's self made men. In short he added materially to the growth, welfare and repute of the manufacturing and mercantile interests of this, "The Queen City of the Lakes."

Our County and it's people
a descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Trumen C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898

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