John Greiner, Jr., a prominent and successful Buffalo businessman, was born February 13, 1823 in Hunaweier, Upper Alsace, France, near Strasburg. The son of a baker, he emigrated to Carlisle, Pennsylvania with his parents at age 8. There he attended local school, and apprenticed as a type-setter at a newspaper his father founded.
He moved to Buffalo in 1836, and became a compositor with the Buffalo Demokrat, a newly founded German language newspaper. In 1840, he left his trade, and joined the grocery business of A.D.A. Miller. His dedication and loyalty to his employer was rewarded in 1848, when he was made a partner in the business. The firm continued to grow into a very successful wholesale grocery and produce business known as Miller, Greiner and Company. Mr. Greiner was a key figure in the construction of the Buffalo Music Hall, and he was a member of the Orpheus and Leidertafel singing societies. He was also an active Mason.
Mr. Greiner was a Republican elector who voted for Lincoln in 1860, and a delegate to the national Republican convention. In addition to his work with the Park Board, from 1887 to 1889, he was Chairman of the Buffalo Civil Service Commission. He also served the city on several ad-hoc committees, including the committee which was established to construct the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at Lafayette Square.
He died quite unexpectedly on a downtown Buffalo street corner on July 7, 1891, the victim of an apparent heart attack.