Frederick Augustus Ronstadt (1868 - 1954)

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Nicknames: "Federico José María Ronstadt"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Las Delicias, Sonora, Mexico
Death: Died
Managed by: Tina
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About Frederick Augustus Ronstadt

A business and cultural leader in Tucson, Arizona's early 20th century, Federico Ronstadt founded the F. Ronstadt Hardware and Machinery Company which became the largest business of its kind in southern Arizona.

He was born Federico José María Ronstadt in Las Delicias, Sonora, Mexico in 1868. His German father, Friedrich Ronstadt, became a naturalized Mexican citizen. Friedrich was a highly educated man who for much of his life enjoyed considerable political influence and social prestige. His mother, Margarita Redondo, was Mexican and a member of an extended family whose forebears had arrived in Sonora in the first half of the eighteenth century and who had acquired land and attendant wealth. They respected and fostered literacy and education among their children, and they did their best to provide them with the skills and intellectual tools needed to succeed in their chosen endeavors.

In 1882, Ronstadt came to Tucson to learn the blacksmithing and wheelwright trades. He eventually formed the F. Ronstadt wagon and carriage company, which later changed its name to the F. Ronstadt Hardware and Machinery Company.

Though he declined many invitations to run for high political offices, Fred was an active community leader. He served a two-year term on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, was Chairman of the Water and Agricultural Committee of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Tucson Rotary Club, and supported numerous political campaigns and causes.

Even with Fred's engagement in so many civic activities, music was essential to his life. A guitarist and vocalist, he founded what was probably Tucson's first professional orchestra, the Club Filarmonico Tucsonense in 1896. In the mid-1920's Fred was among the organizers of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and he directed a production of Victor Herbert's Red Mill.

Music and stories always filled Fred's home and inspired his children and grandchildren. His daughter, Luisa Espinel, and granddaughter, Linda Ronstadt, became internationally acclaimed singers. Each paid tribute to their creative family tradition by publishing works entitled Canciones de mi padre (Songs of my Father).

Ronstadt remained active in business, writing, and music up to his death in 1954. The City of Tucson dedicated its central transit terminal to Ronstadt on March 16, 1991 for his early contribution to the city's mobility which included six mule-drawn streetcars delivered in 1903-04. The Tucson Musicians Museum is dedicated to the legacy of Federico Ronstadt for his fundamental contributions to Tucson's unique cultural identity.

Sources: Wikipedia, University of Arizona

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Frederick Ronstadt's Timeline

1868
January 30, 1868
Las Delicias, Sonora, Mexico
1892
1892
Age 23
1904
February 14, 1904
Age 36
1909
1909
Age 40
1911
1911
Age 42
1916
April 12, 1916
Age 48
Pima, AZ, USA
1954
1954
Age 85
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