Meyer Friede: Early Jewish Pioneer of St. Louis & First Jewish Legislator of Missouri

Meyer Friede

Values Codes I – E – L


Meyer Friede was born in 1821, in Kassel, Germany.

In 1838, Friede journeyed to America, at the age of 17.


St. Louis

In 1844, Meyer Friede settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where his sister, Mariana, lived with her husband, Louis Bauman.

Meyer Friede joined the L. Bauman Jewelry Company firm.

In 1883, Friede entered into a partnership with Morris Eisenstadt and Benjamin Altheimer to create the Eisenstadt Jewelry Company.

Friede was President of this company until his death in 1888.



From 1859 to 1862, Meyer Friede served in the Lower House of the Missouri General Assembly.

He was an abolitionist, who spoke out in support of the Union’s opposition to slavery.

Friede was the first Jewish legislator in State of Missouri.


During the 1870s, Meyer Friede served as Commissioner of the Municipal Charitable and Penal Institution.



In 1847, Friede became a founding member of Congregation Emanu El, which eventually became B’nai El Congregation.

Friede was on the Board of Trustees and also served as President.



Meyer Friede was also a high ranking Mason.


Meyer Friede died in 1888.

He is buried in the New Mount Sinai Cemetery and Mausoleum in St. Louis.



  • Walter Ehrlich, Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis, Volume 1 (Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press, 1997).
  • Ellen Jane FreundSchwartz, Freund Family Chronicles (St. Louis, MO: 1992).

Samantha Silver is Curator of this Meyer Friede Exhibit.