Fiftieth Anniversary

of the

Frohsinn Singing Society

February 20, 21 and 23, 1914

Altoona, Pennsylvania




1864 - 1914


A Project of Blair County PA USGenWeb Archives



The Golden Wreath of German Song


While fifty years of time have sped,
We cheerfully our path have tread;
Though many joyous songs were sung,
And singers dear from us were wrung,
We've tried our best; - God's will be done -
To do our duty - one by one.


THE FROHSINN SINGING SOCIETY is this day celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of its founding. Fifty years! A half century; only a drop in the ocean of time - appearing almost endless in the life of man, yet, like the destiny of man, seems to us the origin and growth of the society today. In reflection upon the past the members will remember the ups and downs passed through by the society-they can exclaim with pride and joyful hearts: "IT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED." Though the road from the modest room, where the first rehearsals were held, to the present mansion, has been long and weary, all this has long since been forgotten. After a long journey we rest at the fiftieth milestone - contented, and yet looking back with silent sorrow into the past - but with a cheerful trust and hope can we look into the future. The twelve apostles of German congeniality who fifty years ago proclaimed in Altoona the gospel of German song certainly never anticipated from this small number such a large membership, the object of their founding the society being simply amusement, like in any other place of the earth, for where our Germans settle even in the remotest part of the world, they organize a singing society. This well known tendency of the Germans is often ridiculed; yet the German song - together with the German press - is the strongest factor of Germanic civilization.


The trifle yet remaining in this classical country of Puritanism - of German customs and language - is the German song. The crude materialism of our dear cousins is bearing more luxuriantly its evil fruit, threatening to crowd out German idealism. This noble plant, transplanted to a foreign soil, requires a firm support; thus this tender plant, seeking and finding protection, will romp upon the columns of German song; against the billows of hatred to aliens and hypocrisy the German song still stands like a rock in the sea. The existence and growth of the German song could not be doubted, were it not for the decrease of the German immigration. Our kind mother Germania now has need for all her children at home, and with renewed tenderness she keeps all her sons and daughters on her native soil. With tearful eyes GERMANIA had to see her flaxen-haired sons emigrate by the 100,000 from their native land, never to return again.


We do not grudge Dame Germania, the noble sufferer, for having all her children around her, but to us this decrease of German immigration is a great loss, a fact with which the Frohsinn must reckon even at this day. We have frequently been reproached for having too many non-German members, but we fear that ere long many other societies will have to share this reproach. In order to illuminate the course made by this society since its organization we would be obliged to write a book; such a book, a biography of the Frohsinn Society, would simultaneously contain the history of our local German population, which was formerly most closely in touch with our social life, but we must limit our description to most important dates and episodes.
The natal day of the society - figuratively speaking - was the 22nd day of February, 1864. On this day echoed for the first time in our sylvan bordered town the German glee. Twelve men, teeming with enthusiasm for song, assembled at the school house of the German Catholic church with the laudable object of fostering sociability and the German Folk Song. They resolved upon organizing a society and "christened" it, giving the young scion of German poetry, the beautiful and euphonious name "Frohsinn" (cheerfulness), but whether the scion was christened with water or wine is not mentioned in history. Of only one thing we are informed - that the rejoicing was of brief duration.

The goddess of war entered into our peaceful valley, dispersing the bards. The country - their second home - called them to arms, and being good, brave German-Americans, they responded to the call. Thus the young society, aroused by the RUMORS OF WAR, temporarily ceased to exist, and was dormant.


Two years later energetic men revived it, but only after many disappointments and ten years of battling and struggles these new men succeeded in building a home of their own. In this home, the old FROHSINN HALL, they sang, played, danced, laughed and - probably WEPT; for notwithstanding its merrily sounding name the Frohsinn has likewise seen gloomy days. In the place dedicated to mirth often Dame Care showed herself immoderately bold.
On the 10th of August, 1891, the hall of the society became a prey of fire. Steps were immediately taken for the rebuilding of the hall and in the following year the society could move into its new building. Not taking into account the possession of a spacious hall and the number of members, if we measure the efficiency of a society from an ethical standpoint, we come to the conclusion that the Frohsinn Society has reached and passed its climax in the 80's. The then numerous immigration was keenly felt by us, new blood reinforced our singers, and we made great exertions to bring the song to a higher standard. A dramatic section was formed, the stage enlarged and for four successive winters performances were given. Today the stage is deserted, sadly Dame Thalia departed from the space dedicated to her.


Immigration had ceased. Members came and left, some remained, others moved farther away, eternally seeking their fortune. It is the, old song of the heritage of our ancestors, the German WANDERLUST!


There are good and bad people in every society, and the singing society is no exception to it. The Society Frohsinn - alas - suffered much by the only too drastically existing disharmony of the Germans. There were kickers and dissatisfied members; twice these quarrels led to separations of members from the society, but it kept on its march of progress quietly and without malice to others, surmounting all the crises and obstacles, following the order of the day. May it ever flourish and thrive.


The society this day is celebrating its birthday; on this occasion it beseems all members to remember with gratitude and veneration those who fifty years ago founded the society, but the others, too, who were supporting the society twenty and thirty years ago, should be preserved and held in grateful memory - passive members who were ever ready to sacrifices and active members who upheld the German song, but are now silent for ever.


The names of members no longer dwelling amongst us are: Christian Hauser, Sr., Jacob Rink, --- Olmes, L. Plack, C. Stahl, J. B. Hickey, Sr., Gust Klemmert, Martin Hoelle, Phillip Wolf, Ed. Zemsch, Stephan Raible, Jacob Faist, David Koch, Carl Metzger, Leopold Ingold, Albert Schult, Reinhold Schimminger, Lawrence Epple, Jacob Oeffinger, Adam Seitenspinner, Jeremiah Laubs, Wolfgang Huber, Ernest Ibsen, Emil Thieme, E. Pietsch, Herman Siegel, Jacob Gruhler, Ignaz Brunner. They all rest in the hospitable soil of the county which had become their second home, far away from the forests and haunts of their native land - where they had spent their early life.
Who knows when the last of these bards - arriving at the end of his earthly pilgrimage - will lay down his wandering staff! and what then?


Then it is the place of our young generation to preserve and continue rearing what the father's had accomplished, and when some day immigration will be revived, there might be a possibility of the Frohsinn celebrating its hundredth anniversary; then would be brought to light once more all the events attending this day's festivity; then would a coming generation remember us with veneration, just as we think today of those who were the supports of the society.


The Frohsinn Singing Society was founded on the 22nd day of February, 1864. The names of the founders are: Rev. Father Kirchner, Carl Hauschel, John Stehle, Casimir Riegel, Albert F. Hess, Conrad Kiesel, Paul Hurm, Peter Vetter, Magnus Bender, Michael Fischer, Fr. Flach, Phillip Faddle.


In the year 1864 the society numbered twelve members - today - after 50 years, it has 650.


The society was incorporated in 1883, the charter being signed by the following officers:


President - Oscar W. Hanson.
Vice President - Max Schlegel.
Secretary - Carl Glock.
Treasurer - Carl Ingold.
Trustees - Casimir Riegel, Christ. Hauser, Sr., Peter Moore, A. Scheeline, Ignaz Brunner.


The first president of the society was Rev. Father Kirchner - his successors in office were Louis Kiefer, C. J. Stahl, E. Zemsch, M. Schlegel, O. W. Hanson, H. Sabathne, H. Kunzig, Stephan Raible, Jacob Faist, H. Sabathne, Chas. Wiesingsr, John Marx, H. Sabathne, Albert Pietsch, H. Kunzig, H. Sabathne, J. Marx, William Reifsteck, John Steindel, the present incumbent.


The first director (vocal) was Carl Hauschel - his successors were Joseph Knoellinger, E. Bauer, Fr. Falkenstein, Fred. Maeder, A. Fasolt, Fred. Ehredt, O. W. Nelson, Julius A. Tetsch, H. Faber, William Schoeb, Fr. Herkert, C. W. Clouck, O. W. Nelson, O. Kochenbach, Christ. Clemens, William Schoeb, F. Gipprich, Gottleib Baer, J. Baer, Alfred Koller.


The first secretary of the society was the president, Rev. Father Kirchner - his successors were: A. F. Heess, Max Schlegel, George Lehrsch, Fr. Maeder, H. Runzig, G. Hausser, C. Wolfsberger, C. Glock, And. Gruhler, H. Sabathne, Max Schlegel, J. Marx, L. Epple, Leonard Gieg, John Schimminger, Karl Kaltschmitt, J. Marx, Clemens Mauch, Fr. Schlatter, Clemens Mauch, the present incumbent.


The treasurers of the society were: Rev. Father Kirchner, John Stehle, C. Riegel, Jacob Rink, C. J. Stahl, L. Ingold, Jacob Gerhardt, A. Stolzenfels, Reinhold Schimminger, M. Furrer, A. Pietsch, Math. Stehle and John Marx, the present incumbent.




1. Overture, Lucia di Lammermoor by DONIZETTI
Address in German
2. a. Star Spangled Banner by VALENTINE FRANK
b. Wacht am Rhein by KARL WILHELM
Chorus with Orchestra
3. Address in English
4. Waldmorgen by F. KOLLNER
6. Die Ceiden Zeiserl
6. a. Lied Margaretta's
b. Lied Werner's by W. PETERSEN
7. Clarinet Solo, Valse Caprice by MAYEUR
T. W. Findley
8. Fruehling du gold'ne Zeit by P. ENGELS KIRCHEN




9. Overture Il'Travatore by VERDI
10. Gondellied by F. SCHMOELZER
11. Baritone Solo
S. B. Hare
12. Unterm Lindenbaum by W. STURM
13. Trombone Solo with Orchestra
Evening Star from Tanhauser by WAGNER
14. Waldgesang by F. SCHNEEBERGER
16. March - Echoes from the Fatherland by HENNEBERG


Frohsinn Society Singers.




Fuenfschilling, Fred.

Klausmann, Franz.

Kazmaier, John.

Koelle, Ed.

Furrer, Ed.

Conrad, A. M.

Steckeler, Ant.

Gressler, Michael.




Limber, C.

Mann, Carl.

Nickola, Fred.

Schillig, Aug.

Greiner, Ant.

Vetter, Adolf.




Ehret, Ed.

Mlekus, L.

Kuhn, Georg.

Muller, Fred.

Koller, Alf, Jr.

Bollenbaker, Otto.

Dangel, Carles A.




Wertzberger, W. Ludg.

Huber, Ferd.

Ehret, Georg.

Nicola, Alb.

Rossler, Martin.

Keller, John.

Schlatter, Fred.

Schomberg, John.


Frohsinn Aid Society


Founded July, 1884 with 100 members


Benefits Paid $10,526.00

In Treasury $475.00


Present Officers


N. S Schuh, President

C. Schmauder, Vice-President

O. W. Hanson, Secretary

M. Schlegel, Treasurer




G. Breisacher

Ph. Dosch

M. Roessler


Officers of the Society


John A. Steindel, President

Phillip Klobetanz, 1st Vice-President

August Schillig, 2nd Vice-President

John Marx, Treasurer




Vince Foster

Harry Braunlinger

Martin Roesch

Nick Langguth

John Geisler




Joseph Hammers

Phillip Dosch

Leonard Geig




Photos are presented in alphabetical order by last name, not as they appear in the book.


S. O. Adler

James Bell

George Bleiler

W. Bloedel

Otto Bollenbaker

Harry Breuninger

Al. Conrad

Charles A. Dangel

Philip Dosch

G. L. Dwyer

Ed. Ehret

Rudolph Farbaugh

David Fields

Charles W. Filer

A. E. Fleischer

Vincent Foster

Fred. Fuenfschilling

Ed. Furrer

John Geisler

Arthur D. Goldschmid

Henry N. Goldschmid

Andy Greiner

Michael Gressler

John Haller

Oscar Hanson

John Hauser

W. B. Hicks

Ferdinand Huber

John Kazmaier

John Keller

Philip Klobetanz

Ed. Koelle

Alfred Kohler, Sr.

A. Koller, Jr.

George Kuhn

Henry Kunzig

Nicholas Langguth

C. Limbert

      Nat Love

Frank Luppa

Carl Mann

William Maroney

John Marx

Clem. Mauch

John McGuire

William McNellis

Nicholas Mervine

Louis Mlekus

Fred Muller

R. W. Nash

Albert Nickola

Fred Nickola

Mathias Oeffinger

Wm. R. Ramsey

William Reifsteck

George Rigel

Martin Roesch

Martin Rossler

Thos. Rutherford

Aug. Schillig

Andy Schimminger

George Schimminger

Reinhold Schimminger

Fred. Schlatter

Max Schlegel

Charles Schmauder

Herman Schmidt

Prof. W. Schoeb

John Schomberg

Louis Sigrist

Ant. Steckler

John Steindel

Anton Steuer

Adolf Vetter

Ludwig Wertzberger 

Geo. J. Wilhelm




V. A. Oswald Brewery, 4th Avenue and 13th Street, Home of "Old Bull Stout"

Schmitt House, Fred K. Thieme, Proprietor, Thirteenth Street, Near Pennsylvania Railroad Station

The Colonnade, Wm. S. Shelly, Proprietor, 924 Chestnut Ave.

Charles W. Filer, Drayman, 1810 Fourth Avenue

The Shaeffer Studio, Photo Studio, 1117 Eleventh Avenue

Wm. J. Friday & Co., Fine Whiskies

Brant House, John Schenk, Proprietor

Henry Doerr, Butcher, 407 Fifteenth Street

Wurttemberger Hof, Gust Hirt, Proprietor, Nos. 503 and 507 Fourth Ave.

Styleplus Clothes, Goldschmid Bros., Goldschmid Building, 11th Avenue and 12th Street

Hotel Bingham, W. P. Schenk, Prop.

Mathias Orffinger, Foreign and Domestic Groceries, 1310 Thirteenth Street

Kazmaier Brewery, John Kazmaier, 1808-12 Ninth Avenue

Meet "Ed" at the United States Hotel, Hollidaysburg

Aldine Hotel, Louie Keller, 11th Street next to Orpheum

Gamble Theater, Finest Moving Picture Theater in the City, Ask Baldy - Who Knows

A. Abelson, Scrap Iron, Steel and Metals, 1713 Margaret Ave.

United States Hotel, J. W. Gromiller, Proprietor, Hollidaysburg

Louis Lippman, Jeweler and Optician, 11th Avenue and 13th Street

G. L. Dwyer, Registered Plumber, 609 Twelfth Street

Monarch Sanitary Dairy, J. W. Bardsley, 316 Eleventh St.

Victoria Hotel, P. F. Burke, Proprietor, Corner 15th Street and 9th Avenue

N. A. Stevens, Funeral Director, 1619 8th Ave.

Bavarian Hof, Gustave Fischkorn, Propriator, Corner 2nd Ave. and 16th St.

H. W. McCartney, Stationery, Wall Paper and Blank Books, 1107 Eleventh Ave.

Waldorf Hotel, Jacob Ackers, 1819 Eighth Ave.

John Haller, Kleen-Maid Bread, 1208 Fifth Avenue

J. W. Elder, Electrical Contractor, 406 26th Street

Logan Laundry, 1419 4th Ave.

John Dughi, Confectioner, 9th Ave. and 12th St.

Hotel Phoenix, Paul Just, Prop., 4th Avenue and 3rd Street

Blair House, Wm. F. Reifsteck, Prop., 1804 and 1806 Fourth Ave.

Crystal House, Formerly Magee Hotel, Jacob Lusch, Jr., Proprietor, 1023-25-27 Green Ave.

Mulch Brothers Contractors, Hollidaysburg

Boyd Glenn Co., Rugs, 1210 Eighth Ave.

New LeRoy Hotel, Opposite Poste Office, Keane

W. B. Hicks, Insurance and Steamship Agency, Orpheum Theatre Building, Second Floor

Hotel Belmar, S. A. McGough, Prop., 1501 Fourth Ave.

Wilhelm, Schimminger & Ramsey, Brewers

Altoona House, Adolph Koehle, Proprietor, 1001-1003 Bridge St.

Hickey & O'Neill, Funeral Directors, 1122 Eleventh Avenue

H. M. Singiser, Cor. 4th Ave. and 17th St.

Altoona Feed Mills, S. O. Adler & Sons, Proprietors, 6th Avenue and 31st St.

Commercial Hotel, Chas. E. Ehret, Prop., 912 Eighth Avenue

Hotel Schilling, Henry J. Gleichert, Prop., 7th Avenue and 10th Street

Merchants' Hotel, G. P. Ramsey, Prop., 1320-22 Tenth Avenue

Sixth Ward Dairy, J. W. Wood, 1801 First Ave.

Hotel Savoy, J. T. Malligan, Proprietor, 5th Ave. and 7th Street, Juniata

Greg Cockerille, Cigars, Tobacco, Pipes, Etc., 1111 Eleventh St.

Herman Schmidt, Butcher, 903 Fifth Avenue

F. Pross, Merchant Tailor, 520 Fourth Street

Otto Kampmann, Butcher, 1524 Second Avenue

Anton Steuer, Butcher, 1810 Fourth Ave.

Philip Klobetanz, General Contractor and Builder, 1928 Fifteenth Ave.

W. J. Degenhardt, Roofing, Heating, 1031 Second Avenue

Paul Vetter, Lauter Piano Agent, 1206 Eighth Ave.

R. W. Nash, Fine Groceries, 400 Cherry Avenue

John Hauser, Butcher, 606 Seventh Ave.

H. Sabathne, Tinner, Heating, 708 Eighth Avenue



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