Made One Society

H.L. Mencken

Baltimore Morning Herald/April 6, 1899

Germania Maennerchor and Old Liederkranz Combine.

All Veteran Singers

Members of the Two Organizations, Through a Joint Committee, Agree to Merge Issues—Sketches of Each.

At a general meeting of the Germania Maennerchor held last night at the Clubhouse, Lombard street, near Paca, it was decided to accept the offer of the Baltimore Liederkranz to consolidate the two societies.

This action was in ratification of the decision of a joint committee of Maennerchor and Liederkranz members appointed some time ago to consider the proposition and to arrange the details. By the terms of the agreement the members of the latter organization are to be received in a body into membership in the Maennerchor, the name of which is to remain unchanged. The Liederkranz thus loses its identity after an active existence of more than 62 years.

Organized December 30, 1836, by German residents of Baltimore, prominent among whom was the late Rev. Dr. Henry Schieb, pastor of Zion Church and founder of Zion School, it made rapid progress artistically and grew steadily in membership and reputation. As the oldest German singing society but one in the United States, it occupied a prominent position, and at every Saengerfest was reckoned among the leaders.

Of late years, however, there has been a marked decrease in membership, and about a year ago a majority of the young members resigned and organized a new society, the Young Leiderkranz, the clubhouse of which is on Lexington street, near Pine. This loss, and the lack of interest, which seemed to balk the efforts of those who remained, made it appear advisable, in the opinion of the management, to dissolve the society and seek membership in an organization of larger numbers and consequently greater strength.

Acceptable to Members.

The resultant consolidation with the Germania, it is said, will prove entirely acceptable to the old Leiderkranz members and advantageous in many ways to the Maennerchor.

The latter society, since its organization in 1856, has always been considered one of the largest and most successful singing societies in the country. Since 1871 the building on Lombard street has been owned by a stock company composed of members, and the financial difficulties which at times have so seriously beset similar organizations in Baltimore have never disturbed the Germania Maennerchor. About a year ago extensive improvements were made in the clubhouse and $3,000 worth of bonds were issued. Twelve hundred dollars have already been secured as a sinking fund with which to meet this indebtedness, and members holding these securities have been notified that redemptions to the latter amount will be made on demand. The consolidation will affect neither the constitution nor present officers of the Maennerchor.

The following members constituted the joint committee which made the arrangements: Liederkranz, August Steman, Conrad C. Rabbe, S. Junger, A. Steinmann and Edward F. Leyh: Germania, Jacob Klein, William F. Schultz, O. L. Shilling, A. Haupt, John Hoffmeister, H. A. Klempe and George Bunnecke.


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