|Anton Benitz||Page last modified:
Anton was born in 1803, in Endingen, Baden, Germany, the son of Anton Böniz(master cooper) and Maria Anna Wagner. In his application for naturalization (District Court, Allegany Co., Pennsylvania) he claimed to have arrived in the U.S. in 1838. Soon after he settled in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) where he died in 1858. He was one of three Benitz siblings who lived in Pittsburgh during that period. The others were his brother Johan Evangelist Benitz and sister "Nany" Benitz (married to Urban Mahrer). Nany and her husband are both buried in Pittsburgh.
In the census of 1850, Anthony Bennetz is listed as a 46-year-old brewer and inn-keeper from Germany living in Pittsburgh. According to that same census, his wife (May, age 45) was born in Germany and their children were all born in Pennsylvania, which suggests he and his wife arrived in Pennsylvania on or before 1840. Also, in 1852 his brother Wilhelm wrote to him there.
In the Pittsburgh City Directory of 1859-1860, there are listed Mrs. A. Benitz (beer hall) and John Benitz (brewer) residing at the same address. John was very likely Anton's brother Johan Evangelist Benitz. It is also likely Anton had died (see below) and Mrs. A. Benitz was his widow.
In May, 1852, Anton copied Wilhelm's letter to their brother Thaddaeus in Germany and included the following: This last year I have built a new brickhouse and had two cellars opened up, which now are filled with barrels of Lager-beer, as good as in Munich. I am doing quite well, and my family is healthy; there are 2 boys and 2 girls, and one couple died.
Anton seems to have done well but had health problems, because in March, 1855, his brother Wilhelm writes to Thaddaeus: A short time ago I received the first letter from our brother Anton, saying that he had been ill for a long time, and wants $2.000.- from me, which under the present circumstances is impossible. I heard he is very well off.
UPDATE: We have much more about Anton, see Benitz Queries for April'02 e-mails (Kamala James & James Bell).
Meantime, please also see his brief summary, button: Ohio/Penn.
[There is a fair amount of material on John J. to be included, his Civil War records, mention in newspaper articles of the time, and a list of descendants.]
Pittsburgs Leading Baritone Expires This Morning (June 17, 1887)
John J. Benitz , the well-known basso and vocal teacher, died at 7:30 A.M. at his home, No. 19 Gum street from a complication of indigestion, heart disease and Brights disease of the kidneys . Mr. Benitz had been ailing for several months, and had been confined to the house for nearly three weeks. He leaves a wife and one son. The latter is about fifteen years of age.
Mr. Benitz was born in Pittsburg in 1842 and remained here until eleven years of age, when he entered the school at St. Vincents Monastery, Latrobe. Here his vocal powers were first discovered and the sweet alto that he then possessed was one of the charming of the Monastery choir. After leaving school he went into business with his father, which he continued until the spring of 1861, when he volunteered and entered the army as a private. His bravery on the field soon made him noticeable and it was not long until he was promoted to a second lieutenancy. He continued in the army until 1864, when he was mustered out, again going into business in this city, where he continued until 1870, when he went to Munich and took a course of vocal lessons from some of the noted teachers there. He then returned to this city and began his work as a vocal teacher. This he continued with success until 1875 when an excellent offer was made him to join the Caroline Riching Bernard Opera company. With this company he remained for two seasons when he joined the C.D. Hess Opera company. The season of 78-79 he was with the celebrated Seville Opera company and joined the Rice Bijou Opera company in 1880, remaining with it until the company was merged into DOyly Cartes enterprises in 1881. Since which time he has remained in this city and acquired an excellent reputation as one of the best vocal teachers in the state. He has long been noted as leading baritone singer of the city. For a long time he was connected with the Gounod club, and has sung in the choirs of St. Philomenas and St. Peters church, and also in the Cathedral choir. At the time of his death he was the leading singer of the Jewish synagogue on Eighth street. He was also the originator and member of the Rigoletto quartet, of this city, of which Mrs. Schaarschmidt, Miss Agnes Vogel and Joseph Vogel were the other members.
[The rest of the article is missing. It is not known which paper published this.]
[Kamala James has provided loads of information to be included - in particular descendants tree.]
MORE TO FOLLOW....
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)