(By Angela Keppel) Woltz Avenue is a street running about three-quarters of a mile between Walden Avenue and Broadway in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. The street is named after a family that had three generations who all held public office in the City of Buffalo!
Woltz Avenue is technically named for Charles Woltz, who was on the Council at the time when the street was named. The street was originally named Bowen Street. The German residents of the neighborhood would confuse Bowen with Bone, so many of them called the street knoche, which is the German word for bone, leading to confusion. So while Charles was president of the Council (1893-1895), a petition was drawn up to change the street name, however the petitioners failed to give suggestions for what to name it. When the Council granted the petition, they opted to name the street after their President.
Charles was born in Alsace-Lorraine in 1853. When the Germans acquired that territory in 1870, he came to America because of his aversion to German militarism. Years later, when he returned to visit his brother, he was immediately thrown into jail for evading compulsory service in the German army. His brother effected his release, however Charles never returned to his homeland again.