Idaho County Free Press

Thursday, September 14, 1911

PIONEER PASSES – Aaron Freidenrich, Pioneer Business Man of City Died Saturday

PROMINENT IN BUSINESS LIFE – Public Spirited and Enterprising – Was Self Made Man

The necrological history of Idaho county for the past few weeks shows a startling mortality among the fast diminishing ranks of the Pioneers.  Is the last days of June, George Riebold died at the home of Frank Smith on the south fork of Salmon river, near Warren, and within a few days his nephew, Jacob Riebold, died at his Clearwater home, to be speedily followed by the death of the venerable Mrs. Isabelle Robie.  On August 9, Henry Kribs departed this life.  In the first days of September Mrs. Nettie Hanson (nee Fenn), passes away, and on Saturday, Sept 5, the community was again shocked by the sudden death of Mrs. Ella Evans (nee Jones).  On Saturday, Sept. 9, the news was flashed from Portland of the sudden death of the well known pioneer merchant, Aaron Freidenrich, of heart disease.

Less than a month since Mr. and Mrs. Freidenrich were in Grangeville visiting friends and looking the picture of good health.  Mr. Freidenrich had been subject to heart disease for some time, and had been ailing a few days prior to his death, but a fatal outcome was unlooked for.

It is a mistake to touch that death is something dark and dreadful and to be feared.  Rather should we regard it as a maiden from heaven piloting us to a peaceful anchorage on the shores of eternity.  There is nothing dreadful in entering the door which all must pass and which leads from darkness to light.  It is wrong to sit in dread and bind our brain with the ignorant and superstitious fear of death.  The truest and best and bravest philosophy of life is so to live that we are prepared to meet the end come when and where and how it will.  Death has its own consolations.  Ecclesiastes taught that a good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.  Lord Bacon said:  “Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame and extinguisheth envy.”  Death is the end of care and opens the gate to a better and truer life in the work to come.  The just and upright man fears it not.

Aaron Freidenrich was born in Urspringen, Bavaria Feb. 23, 1850.  At the age of 16 he went to Warren, then a flourishing mining camp in this county and was associated with Joseph Alexander in the mercantile business.  Here he resided until his removal to Grangeville in 1879, then a mere hamlet, where he opened the store of Alexander & Freidenrich in the old Grange hall, and in the fullness of time built up an establishment that has become a credit to the city and state and an enduring monument to his ability as a merchant prince.  Mr. Freidenrich conducted this growing business until the great fire of September 14, 1905, when it was incorporated under its present name of Alexander-Freidenrich Co. Limited with Mr. Freidenrich as one of its principal stockholders, and then he retired from its active management and removed to Portland making annual visits to Grangeville and taking life easily.

As a business man Mr. Freidenrich was always progressive, liberal and far-sighted.  Every matter tending to promote the up building of this community with Grangeville as its commercial center, had his unvarying support.  Wagon roads, telephones, churches, schools, railroads and all civic improvements found in him a warm adherent and advocate.  Very much of the growth of Grangeville is founded upon the very-liberal subscriptions donated to public enterprises by Mr. Freidenrich.  He was always a man of unfailing cheerfulness who never wronged nor spoke ill of any one of good habits and generosity, the kindest of husbands and fathers, and what he was to his colleagues and associates was attested by the universal closing of the business establishments of the city during the funeral hour.  Such is the brief resume of the active and useful life of Aaron Freidenrich.  Farewell, old friend, “until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”




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