Moritz & “Jetta” Freund and the Freund Baking Company of St. Louis, Missouri from 1856

Moritz and Jetta Freund

Values Codes I – E – L


Moritz Freund

Moritz Freund was born in 1807 in what is today the Central Bohemia Region of the Czech Republic.

Jetta (Henrietta) Freund  was also born in Bohemia, in 1821.

In Bohemia, Moritz Freund was trained as a baker.

Moritz and Jetta Freund left Bohemia for America in 1853, arriving at the port of New Orleans on the ship Leontine.


St. Louis

When they first settled in St. Louis, Moritz Freund worked as a dry goods peddler.

Around 1856, the Freunds lived at 913 Soulard, a home with a wood burning stove.

What began as the daily chore of baking bread for her family, turned into a bakery business called the Freund Baking Company.

They sold “Old Tyme Rye” bread — a Bohemian-style rye — in St. Louis grocery stores and, later, countrywide.

The bakery was located at their Soulard home for more than 60 years.

Freund Bakery Logo

In the beginning, the wood for their oven was supplied by a struggling farmer, Ulysses S. Grant.

During the Civil War, General Grant, commissioned them to sell their bread to the army at Jefferson Barracks, which they did until the post closed after World War II.


Freund’s Rye Bread was featured in every pavilion of the St. Louis World’s Fair.

In 1921, the Freunds opened a new bakery at Taylor and Chouteau.

The Freund Baking Company remained family-owned for 4 generations, until it was sold to a large food corporation in 1972.

Freund Baking Co. Adv 100 years.

Freund Baking Co. advertisement, 100 years


The Freunds were charter members of B’nai El Temple.



Moritz and Jetta Freund had seven children: Leopold (1845-1914), Simon (1848-1931), Caroline (1850-1922), Laura (1853-1868), Siegfried “Fred” (1857-1917), Emelie “Emma” (1859-1869), and Bertha (1862-1891).


Jetta (Henrietta) Freund passed away in 1863. Moritz married her sister, Anna “Nannie” Steiner, in 1866. Anna died in 1891 in St Louis.

Moritz and Anna had two children: Carl (1869-1869) and Martha “Mattie” (1873-1940), who was born months after Moritz died (December 1872).



  • Walter Ehrlich, Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis, Volume 1 (Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press, 1997).
  • Ellen Jane Freund Schwartz, Freund Family Chronicles (St. Louis, MO: 1992).
  • “Freund’s Bakery – Kosciusko Neighborhood Sign,” St. Louis City Talk (2020),
  •  Gladis Barker, “The Bakery Born in a Kitchen Oven – Freund Baking Company,” St. Louis Stories: The Jewish Americans (2008),
  • Andrew Schwartz, “Descendants of Berl Freund” (2021),

Thank you to Andrew Schwartz for providing updated information.

Samantha Silver is curator of this Moritz & Jetta Freund exhibit.