The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Mr. Louis Ehrenfried
Mr. Louis Ehrenfried, whose name was well known throughout New Zealand (but more particularly in the Auckland and Thames districts, where he founded his prosperous business as a wine and spirit merchant in 1868), was born at Hamburg, and emigrated with his brother Bernard to Australia over forty years ago. After a stay of some years in that continent, the brothers decided to try their fortune in New Zealand, the Colony having come into prominence owing to the outbreak of the Dunstan gold “rush” in Otago in 1862. The brothers went into various business ventures, and commenced packing stores to the goldfields. They acquired a valuable station property at Mataura, but later on were obliged to dispose of it, in consequence of having to meet a guarantee for a friend, for whom, without any consideration whatever, they had made themselves liable. When they left the district for the West Coast goldfields, the residents presented them with a piece of plate and an address expressive of regret at their departure. On the West Coast they page 333 experienced the usual ups and downs of a goldfield, and their want of commercial success made it impossible for them to meet all their claims. Nevertheless, when they closed the business on the West Coast, Mr. Ehrenfried resolved that, sooner or later, he should meet all his engagements, amounting to several thousands of pounds. This he succeeded in doing in late years, and the creditors, in token of their appreciation of his highly honourable act, made him a handsome presentation. In 1868, the Ehrenfried Brothers came north and went to the Thames, where they established a brewery and laid the foundation of what has turned out to be one of the most successful businesses in the colony. On the death of his brother in 1869, Mr. Louis Ehrenfried continued the business and launched out into other districts, extending his operations to Auckland. In 1885, he purchased the well-known and old-established business of Messrs R. Whitson and Sons, Queen Street. The trade continued to increase, and Mr. Ehrenried's well-directed enterprise brought him the success which deservedly followed. He was ably assisted by his nephew, Mr. Arthur M. Myers, who managed the business for the last fifteen years of his uncle's life, and who is now its managing director. In 1897, on the 26th of February, Auckland lost one of its most respected citizons in Mr. Ehrenfried, who died at his residence in O'Rorke Street, from a complication of diseases, which defied successful treatment by his medical attendants, Mr. Ehrenfried was a generous, open-handed man, ever ready to assist any deserving case irrespective of denomination. He was a liberal supporter of the Hebrew synagogue, being a member of the Jewish faith. Rarely in the history of the Colony has there been seen such a spontaneous tribute to the excellence of a departed citizen, as that witnessed at the funeral of Mr. Ehrenfried. Thousands of citizens of all denominations assembled at the cemetery to pay a last tribute to the man who was so well loved by his fellows. When at the Thames, he served as a councillor for some years, and in 1880, was mayor of the borough. He filled other public offices and was made a justice of the peace. He was a member of the order of Foresters, and as a bowler was vice-president of the Auckland Bowling Club. The chief characteristic of Mr. Ehrenfriod was his well-known philanthropy; he not only gave, but gave gladly. In his death, Auckland suffered a great loss, for he had proved himself a good and worthy citizen.