E.C. (Emil Cornelius) Wehrfritz was born April 14, 1847, at Schwabhausen, Germany, near Bingen-on-the-Rhine. He came to the United States, where he resided in St. Louis, Missouri. Following the death of his brother Charles Edward Wehrfritz, who was naturalized at St. Louis in 1858, E.C. married Charles’ wife Elizabeth Berloing on July 4, 1868. In the spring of 1876, Wehrfritz moved to Little Rock with Elizabeth, Elise (Elizabeth's daughter by Charles), and their four children, Edward Charles, Emelia Kate, Alexander Ferdinand, and Emil Cornelius Junior.
In July 1885, E.C. opened the Union Machine Works located between Markham and Second Streets in Little Rock. He became a naturalized citizen at Little Rock on September 25, 1906. Wehrfritz served several terms on the city council and ran unsuccessfully for mayor. He was a member of Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Honor, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He also was president of the Little Rock Turnverein (German-American gymnastic union) and director of the Mechanics' Loan and Building Association. E.C. Wehrfritz died at Little Rock on April 7, 1910, leaving his business in the hands of his son, Alexander Ferdinand Wehrfritz. A newspaper report indicates his wife contested his will. Elizabeth died at age 76 on August 22, 1917.
Black and white Image of Emil Wehrfritz holding a rifle.
Image, 4" x 5 1/2"
German community; Business people; Immigrants;
Little Rock, Pulaski County. (Ark.)
MS.000173 Box 2, Scrapbook, Item 3
Arkansas's Multicultural Heritage
Arkansas State Archives
Rex F. Wehrfritz papers, MS.000173, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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