Ames Immigrant Stories - Germany

Immigration to Ames

Reinhard Friedrich emigrated from Germany in 1924. He settled in Ames, where his half brother, Fred Fischer, was an established builder and contractor. In 1925, Reinhard’s wife, Wella, and son, Bob, joined him. Another son, Reiny, was born in Ames.

Reinhard worked for Fred for awhile and then founded the Friedrich company in 1927. The first Friedrich home was built at 2107 Country Club Boulevard. Reinhard’s reputation for quality work and integrity became firmly established and his services became more and more in demand.

Colonial Village

Most of Reinhard’s education came directly from experiences, but he also had an exceptionally sharp mind and read a lot of books. He read about and became fascinated with colonial architecture, thus influcencing the style of the Friedrich company’s first subdivision. Colonial Village was developed in 1939-1940 near Gaskill Drive and Friley Road. It is still recognized as one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in central Iowa.

Continued Success

In the decades after World War II, the Friedrich company enjoyed a great growth period, building many houses and apartment complexes. In 1966, a joint team was created with other building and construction companies. The joint team developed Parkview Heights, Northwood, Spring Valley, and Northridge Parkway Subdivisions. The Friedrich offices moved around until 1976, when the current office was purchased at 6th Street and Duff Avenue.

R. Friedrich and Sons

Reinhard’s sons, Bob and Reiny, both graduated from Ames High and then from Iowa State College. Both worked in the company and served in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Bob and Reiny were charter members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ames.

In 1962, the company was incorporated as R. Friedrich and Sons, Inc. The name was changed to Friedrich Iowa Realty in 1990 when the company purchased the Iowa Realty franchise for Ames and vicinity. Besides realty, the company also includes insurance services, apartments and commercial rental, construction, and land development.

Reinhard passed away in 1990. His sons and their sons continued managing the company.