Balthasar Kreischer

Balthasar Kreischer

Birth
Hornbach, Landkreis Südwestpfalz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death 25 Aug 1886 (aged 73)
Charleston, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Hands-Around Monument, Section 25, lot 3440
Memorial ID 8183096 · View Source
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Entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist and immigrant born in Hornbach, Germany (Bavaria) where he learned the mason, building and brick-making trades from his father. He arrived in New York on June 4, 1836, the year after the Great Fire which burned over a third of New York City, and went into the brick-making business. Starting in 1845, his specialty was bakers' ovens but after discovering rare clay beds in New Jersey and Staten Island, he began manufacturing fire bricks, a product in high demand and only imported from England. B. Kreischer & Sons Fire Brick Manufactory became a huge financial success making him a millionaire quickly. By 1873 the factory was moved from Manhattan's Lower East Side to the far eastern shore of Staten Island where he discovered the coveted rare clay bed. After the quick and exponential growth of the factory, the town was renamed Kreischerville. Kreischer begat seven children; sons Edward, George and Charles continued the business which operated until about 1927. His daughters were Fredericka, Caroline, Catherine and Louisa, the last of whom married Albert Steinway. But for Balthasar Kreischer's entrepreneurial nature, Steinway & Sons, the famous German-American piano makers, would likely not be known today as he gave a then-unknown Henry Englehard Steinway $75,000 to start a piano manufactory. Kreischer was one of the promoters and directors of the Staten Island Railway Company, a member of the first German Masonic Lodge established in the US, an original Trustee of the Dry Dock Savings Bank and an active member of the Association of Improving the Condition of the Poor of New York. In 1883 he built and gave to the congregation St. Peter's German Lutheran Church in Kreischerville (now Charleston), Staten Island. The contribution he made to building and fire safety in New York City during the Industrial Revolution is as durable as the very bricks he made. Buildings cloaked in his product exist today in Staten Island, Astoria and Ridgewood, New York.
Balthasar Kreischer is buried in historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn with his wife and their descendants in one-sixth of a large plot he bought with his dear friends and fellow immigrants on September 21, 1849, each of whom met success fortified only with entrepreneurial spirit and German tenacity: Peter Kauth (flour and coal), Andrew Schilling (spirits), Philip Schaefer (beer), August Finck (beer) and Franz Ruppert (beer).
--- K. Jacob Ruppert, New York/New Orleans.



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  • Created by: K. Jacob Ruppert
  • Added: 14 Dec 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8183096
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Balthasar Kreischer (13 Mar 1813–25 Aug 1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8183096, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by K. Jacob Ruppert (contributor 46512274) .