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Christian Oscar Lenzner, Sr.

Male 1825 - 1897  (72 years)


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  • Name Christian Oscar Lenzner  [1
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born 14 Feb 1825  Leubetha, Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 1 Apr 1897  Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Letter from Walter Gramble (1938), reprinted in The Way It Was, publication of The Cass City Historical Society:

      "Then came Oscar Lenzner and his furniture store and factory, his wonderful family of boys, his ingenuity and his music, his glowing tales of far away Austria and its glittering capital Vienna, which he very properly insisted was 'Wa-en-a'. he made furniture, he made musical instruments and could play them. His banjo-guitararina, invented, made and played by himself was worth a chapter in the history of Cass City."

      Cass City Enterprises
      Vol. XVI. No. 17
      April 1, 1897.
      Page One

      Just before noon to-day, Franklin Lenzner went into his father's shop at his residence on Oak Street and was startled to find the old gentleman fallen upon his face. He was at once cared for and medical aid summoned but all efforts failed to resuscitate him. Oscar Lenzner, Sen., was a native of Germany, but has resided here for many years and has a wide circle of friends, his reputation as a manufacturer of stringed musical instruments being widespread. He was about seventy-three years of age and has been quite active up to the time of his death, being still able to make the very finest inlaid work. Further particulars will be given next week. The cause of his death was paralysis.

      Cass City Enterprises
      Vol. XVI. No. 18
      April 8, 1897.
      Page Eight

      A Sudden Call

      As stated in our last issue, Oscar Lenzner, Sr., suddenly expired on Thursday, the 1«sup»st«/sup» inst., from a stroke of paralysis. Between the hours of ten and eleven that morning, his son, Franklin, was at work at the turning lathe at their workshop on Main Street, and had nearly completed the job he was at when he felt a sudden impulse to go to his father's. Making an excuse to his brother, he went to the house and meeting his mother at the kitchen door, asked if his father was in the shop. His mother replied that he was and they went towards the door which stood open and before entering they saw him lying face downward on the floor. It seems that Mrs. Lenzner had stepped outside a few moments previously for a pail of water and it is thought he must have fallen while she was out. His forehead struck against some coarse chips which cut quite an ugly gash. The doctor was at once summoned but life was extinct. He had three strokes of paralysis previous to this time and it was feared he would go in this manner.

      Deceased was born Feb. 14«sup»th«/sup», 1825, in Leubetha, Saxony, Germany. There he learned the art of making violins and he had ever since taken a special pride in the manufacture of stringed instruments. In the year 1849 he came to America, taking up his residence at Lancaster, N.Y. On June 20, 1853, he was married to Susanna Striffler and came to Cass City in June, 1873. He conducted the furniture store on Main Street, until in more recent years his sons have managed it. Samuel and John are now in Detroit, while Oscar and Franklin are still in the business started by their father. Some years ago deceased secured a patent on a musical instrument called the banjo-guitarina and has since paid especial attention to its manufacture. He also invented what is known as "Kings David's harp" and made guitars, banjos, dulcimers, autoharps, etc. His mechanical ability was of a high order, his ideal of work being that of the true artist:--"Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well." Into every bit of work he did he put his heart. He has spent twenty-five years in this community and we will not again see his equal. Besides the four sons, already mentioned, a widow and daughter survive.

      The funeral services were held at the house Sunday morning and were conducted by Rev. B. J. Baxter, of the Presbyterian Church assisted by Rev. B. F. Wade, late of the Evangelical Church, Elkton. The services were attended by a large company of relatives and friends many of whom also followed the remains to the Elkland cemetery. He will be missed, not only by our citizens, but by many others, especially amongst the commercial travelers, who were in the habit of visiting his home when in town. He is gone, but the sweet strains of music he has produced still ring in the souls of hundreds.

      (Transcribed by Melinda McLemore Strong, January 2008)
    Person ID I24238  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Family Susanna Catharina Striffler,   b. 6 Aug 1823, Kirberg, Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, Imperial Territory Of Alsace-Lorraine, Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1905, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married 20 Jun 1853  Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Christian Oscar "C.O." Lenzner, Jr.,   b. 30 Oct 1854, Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jun 1927, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     2. Franklin H. Lenzner,   b. 30 May 1859, Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1940, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     3. John B. Lenzner,   b. 8 Oct 1856, Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Oct 1932, Gagetown, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     4. Samuel B. Lenzner,   b. 30 Jun 1861, Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1926, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
     5. Emma Lenzner,   b. 28 Jan 1863, Lancaster, Erie County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jan 1945, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 27 Apr 2007 
    Family ID F8092  Group Sheet,  Family chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Feb 1825 - Leubetha, Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 20 Jun 1853 - Erie County, New York Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Apr 1897 - Tuscola County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents
    Lenzner, Christian Oscar's Patent design for his banjo-guitarina, with his profile superimposed
    Lenzner, Christian Oscar's Patent design for his banjo-guitarina, with his profile superimposed
    Christian Oscar Lenzner was born Feb. 14, 1825 in Leubetha, Saxony, Germany. There he learned the art of making violins and he has ever since taken a special pride in the manufacture of stringed instruments. C.O. secured a patent on a musical instrument called the banjo-guitarina and has since paid especial attention to its manufacture. He also invented what is know as 'King David's harp' and made guitars, banjos, dulcimers, autoharps, etc. His mechanical ability was of high order, his ideal of work being that of the true artist: -- 'Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.' Into every bit of work he did he put his heart.

    Cass City (Michigan) Evangelical United Brethren Church, late 1950's
    Cass City (Michigan) Evangelical United Brethren Church, late 1950's
    The original frame EUB church was built on the corner of Ale and Pine Street in 1883, and completed in 1884, with membership numbering around fifty. There was a Sunday school and preaching, initially in German, each Sunday. Trustees were John Benkelman, Fred Krapf, Oscar Lenzner and Adam Benkelman. In 1910 the church was remodeled and brick veneered. In 1958 the west wing was remodeled to add classrooms and an annex was added on the south side to provide a nursery.

  • Sources 
    1. [S498] Marchetti, Ruth Marie (jmarchetti@acsalaska.net) "Marchetti" Ver. Oct 31 19:05:54 2001 ; http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:1505327&id=I70122389.