The old Born Brewery
The old Born Brewery which eventually came to be owned by Gerhard Lang.

Fire Destroyed Born's Brewery

BUFFALO TIMES-1926

It used to be said, in jest of course, that the city firemen "loved to run to brewery fires," and I possess a comic picture of a fanciful scene at a brewery fire,- certainly as jolly as an old-fashioned husking bee or barn-raising.
The "remains" of the old Born Brewery at the southwest corner of Genesee and Jefferson were recently razed and removed.
I remember going out there in the early' 80's with Alex W.Bohne, to see good old Nicholas Bohne and his lamented son Sig (both long since dead), in the then newly-installed bottling works of the Lang Brewery, for Mrs. Philip Born was then dead and Gerhard Lang, her son-in-law, was then running the brewery. That was before the big brewing plant at Jefferson and High Streets was started. As a matter of fact I was an occasional visitor there. and the handsome and athletic young book keeper was Edwin G.S. Miller. who shortly married one of Mr. Lang's worthy daughters and later became the very popular and successful head of the greatly enlarged brewing plant.
At the time, I was greatly interested in the daily feat of the heavyweight collector employed there and I wrote a story about him in the Sunday TIMES, of which I was then city editor. This old time collector weighed 300 pounds and boasted that he consumed a one-eighth keg of beer every day. This was confirmed by the brewery attaches and Mr. Miller laughed when he told of the man's folly. It was apparent too, that the collector was "as sober as a judge" and I never saw him "under the influence of any intoxicating beverage." But one day, not long after my introduction to this brewery freak, the unfortunate man dropped dead. The doctors said it was from fatty degeneration of the heart.

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Now, let me give you a bit of history. When Philip Born was running it, 'way back in 1858, there were many incendiary fires here, and on the morning of January 13, 1858, Born's Brewery was destroyed by fire and it communicated to a large copper shop adjoining, which made a fierce and dangerous fire. The loss was over $30,000 and the firemen had to get their water at Spring Street, for there were no water service pipes beyond Spring Street at that time.


"I was greatly interested in the daily feat of the heavyweight collector employed there ...This old time collector weighed 300 pounds and boasted that he consumed a one-eighth keg of beer every day..."


It was stated that a firebug started the fire and Mayor Timothy T. Lockwood, M.D., offered a reward of $250 for the arrest and conviction of the firebug, but the reward was never claimed. The brewery was rebuilt.
Gerhard Lang became one of our foremost citizens. In 1878, when Solomon Scheu was mayor, Mr. Lang was a 6th ward alderman, his ward colleague being August Baetzhold, the veteran distiller of Michigan and Cypress streets. Later he became chairman of the Erie County Democratic general committee and a mighty fine and popular leader he proved to be. It was at that time that he bought and occupied the splendid Brayley mansion at the southwest corner of Main and Tupper streets, and that immensely valuable property is still owned by the Lang estate. Without a doubt the property is worth ten times what Mr. Lang paid the James Brayley estate for it.
Long before James Brayley built that mansion (now looking a bit weather-beaten) Judge Samuel Tupper, in the first decade of the 19th century, bought the lot at the southeast corner of Main and Tupper streets for $5 an acre. Tupper Street is named in honor of the pioneer judge.

 

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