The Ancestors of June Wargo Coyle

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Jeannette Greiner and Stephen Wargo wedding photo, 1930.

The Wargos

page from Wargo Family Bible.

Julius Wargo was 26 years old when he arrived at the Port of Baltimore in 1904.

He was born Gyula Varga to Janos Varga and Agnes Molnar in Kisbodak, Hungary in 1878.

He married 17 year-old Erszebet Kotis in New York City in 1906. She was born to Istvan Kotis and Maria Revay in Ricsikatanya, Hungary in 1889.

The couple spent the next several years moving from mining job to mining job in Pennsylvania. Their only son, Stephen Julius Wargo, was born in Elizabethtown, PA in 1909.

Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Kotis Wargo and Gyula (Julius) Varga (Wargo) wedding, 1906

The family moved to Abby Street in South Buffalo. It was right behind the Republic Steel plant where Julius worked until he died suddenly in 1919, leaving Elizabeth with six kids between the ages of 10 and four months.

Wargo family after the death of Julius, c.1920

Elizabeth worked as a servant and laundress to support her family. She died in 1962.

Stephen Wargo was 21 when he married 16 year old Jeannette Greiner in 1930.

The Greiners

Grandma Coyle’s mother, Jeannette Greiner-Wargo, belonged to a family which first arrived in Buffalo in 1827.

Casper Greiner was born in Vinningen, Rhineland in 1788. With his wife Maria Anna Goeller and their five children, they boarded the “Catherine” in Le Havre and landed in New York City in 1827.

In the year Buffalo became a city, 1832, the Greiners’ daughter Catherine was among the first children baptized at the original log-hewn St. Louis Church in Buffalo.

Sophie Pirson Greiner

Casper settled in Bush, which is part of the Town of Tonawanda today. He died in 1830, and is buried in the cemetery on Englewood Drive behind St. John’s Church.

Casper’s son Peter was a justice of the peace and Supervisor of the Town of Wheatfield in the 1830s, before he too settled in Tonawanda and married Sophia Pirson in 1837.

The Pirsons
Sophia Pirson-Greiner arrived from France with her parents Johannes and Marie in 1830.

John and Marie Pirson

The Pirsons were one of the major founding families of the Town of Tonawanda, helping to build the chapel that is now the Tonawanda Historical Society. Their graves are prominent just behind the small brick church on Knoche Road.

Peter Greiner briefly served as a Union officer in the Civil War, and then the family moved around— spending time in Ontario and Wisconsin.

Peter Greiner, Company H, 3rd Battalion, US Infantry and son. 1861

Sophia Pirson-Greiner died in Wisconsin in 1879. Peter Greiner died in the Veterans Home in Bath, NY in 1884.

Peter and Sophia’s son Joseph Prentiss Greiner was a sailor and longshoreman, and after several years at sea, made Liverpool, England his home port.

Joseph Prentiss Greiner, Mary Atkinson Greiner and family.

There, he married Mary Atkinson and they had six children. In 1894, they moved from Liverpool to the city Joseph had known as a boy, winding up on Buffalo’s German a East Side in the area today known as the Medical Campus.

Joseph Prentiss Greiner death listing, 1918
Sgt. Fred W. Greiner, US Army Infantry

He was among Bufffalo’s first electricians— a job he learned at sea. He died in 1918, Mary died in 1919.

Joseph and Mary’s son, Fred W. Greiner, was born in Liverpool in 1882. He worked most of his life in Buffalo’s brewing industry as a bottler at Iroquois Brewery.

Fred married Jeanette Loewer in Buffalo in 1905.

The Loewers

The Loewers came to Buffalo from Hesse Cassel Germany in the late 1860s. Jeanette’s grandfather John and her father Conrad were tailors in Germany and then in Buffalo as well.

Conrad Loewer (face obscured) and Josephine Weigand Loewer
Henry Loewer, 1905

Jeanette Loewer was only 10 years old when her father died, and she and her siblings were raised first by their uncle— a Buffalo morning court judge, Henry Loewer, and then by their oldest sister, Kate Loewer Heid.

Fred Greiner and Jeanette Loewer Greiner has seven children, including Jeannette Sarah, in 1914.

Frederick W. Greiner death listing, 1949

Jeannette Sarah Greiner was 16 years old when she married Stephen Julius Wargo in 1930.

They had four children, three survived to adulthood. The only girl, my grandma June, was born in 1931.

June Wargo-Coyle with her grandmothers, Eilzabeth Wargo and Jeanette Greiner, 1944

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.