Federico José María Ronstadt

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Federico José María Ronstadt
Born 1868
Las Delicias, Sonora, Mexico
Died 1954
Nationality US
Occupation Business
Known for Public figure in early 20th century Arizona
Spouse(s) Maria Guadalupe Agustina Dalton

Federico José María Ronstadt (1868 - 1954) was a business and cultural leader in Tucson, Arizona's early 20th century.

Life and career[edit]

Ronstadt born in Las Delicias, in the municipality of Banamichi, Sonora, Mexico in 1868, the son of Margarita Redondo Y Vasquez and Friederich August Ronstadt. He came to Tucson in 1882 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 and became the largest business of its kind in southern Arizona.[1]

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.[1]

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.[2] In the mid-1920s Fred was among the organizers of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and he directed a production of Victor Herbert's The Red Mill.[1]

Music and stories always filled Fred's home and inspired his children and grandchildren. He was married to Maria Guadalupe Agustina Dalton, who was of one quarter English and three quarters Mexican ancestry.[3] Their 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).[2]

Fred Ronstadt remained active in business, writing, and music up to his death in 1954.[1][2] 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 1903-1904.[4] The Tucson Musicians Museum is dedicated to the legacy of Federico Ronstadt for his fundamental contributions to Tucson's unique cultural identity.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Borderman: The Memoirs of Federico José María Ronstadt, The University of Arizona Library
  2. ^ a b c James S. Griffith.Tucson's Ronstadt Family, The University of Arizona Library
  3. ^ "Descendants of Gonzalo Zamorano." www.familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Transportation Research Board, TRID Database
  5. ^ Federico José María Ronstadt. Tucson Musicians Museum