University of Arizona

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Ronstadt Family Collection

San Ignacio de Caborica Mission, 1894

A prominent pioneer family of Tucson, AZ; the Ronstadts of Tucson originated with Frederick J.M. Ronstadt's arrival in Tucson from Mexico in 1882 to work as an apprentice in the Dalton and Vasquez Wagon Shop. In 1888, he opened his own shop, serving as a blacksmith and custom wagon maker. The business grew to include leather goods, and eventually automobiles, farm machinery, and hardware goods. The F. Ronstadt Co. remained in business as a hardware store in Tucson until the 1980s, carried on by Ronstadt's sons Edward and Gilbert Ronstadt.

Frederick J.M. Ronstadt was active in Tucson civic life, including the Elks, Rotary, and Knights of Columbus. He was an early member of the Tucson Pioneer Historical Society, now the Arizona Historical Society. The Ronstadts are also known for their contribution to the cultural growth of Tucson. Frederick Ronstadt founded the Club Filarmónico de Tucson in 1889, and that musical tradition was carried on by his daughter Luisa Espinel and granddaughter Linda Ronstadt.

The Ronstadt Family collection contains family papers and materials  relating to the F. Ronstadt Co. hardware store. Series I: Business Records consists primarily of financial and administrative documents, including store credit applications, merchandise inventories and ledgers, and organizational history of the Tucson hardware store. Series II: Family Papers is organized by individual/subject and include biographical information, correspondence, diaries, personal notebooks, and publications. Series III: Photographs contains family and business images.