Date Original



This collection contains correspondence, business and financial papers, printed ephemera, photographs, scrapbooks, and information related to the Wehrfritz family of Little Rock, Arkansas, and the E.C. Wehrfritz Machinery and Supply Company. It also includes a series of postcards from a tour of Little Rock citizens who visited Europe and the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Biographical/Historical Note

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 (born circa 1867), Emelia Kate (born circa 1869), Alexander Ferdinand (1871 January 12-1913 May 1), and Emil Cornelius Junior (1873-1954 January 6). In July 1885, E.C. opened the Union Machine Works located between Markham and Second Streets. He became a naturalized citizen in 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 Turn-Verein 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. Alexander Ferdinand Wehrfritz married Mattie Viola Graves (1875 April 29-1930 September 17) of Gurdon, Arkansas. The couple had three children who lived to adulthood: Ray Alexander Wehrfritz (1897 March 4-1981 March), Rex Ferdinand Wehrfritz (1898 November 27-1970 July 28), and Julius Graves Wehrfritz (1902 April 11-1992 March 31). After Alexander's death, Mattie Viola married D.O. Kirkland on August 6, 1914. Following his death, she married Charles Edwin Forrest, a native of Connecticut at San Diego, California, on May 24, 1923. In 1924, the marriage ended. A notice in the Arkansas Gazette December 5, 1924, records that a divorce was granted. Rex Ferdinand Wehrfritz (1898 November 27-1970 July 28) graduated from Little Rock High School in 1917. His mother presented him with a scholarship to Draughon's Business College in Little Rock. He owned Rex Clothing Store. He married Edith Elroy Cortrecht (1905 January 14-1974 August 26) on May 7, 1925. The couple had two children: Evelyn Wehrfritz and Rex Ferdinand Wehrfritz Junior (1929 July 4-2000 June 5).

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.)





Resource Type



Rex F. Wehrfritz papers, MS.000173


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Rex F. Wehrfritz papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History