Executive head of many New England enterprises, Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer has been a distinguished figure in the industrial life of this section for well over a quarter of a century. He was born at Boston, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1874, a son of Rudolf Frederick and Katherine (Burkhardt) Haffenreffer, both natives of Germany. The father, whose death occurred in 1929, was a farmer on a large scale, and president of the Haffenreffer Brewing Company of Boston.
Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer received his preliminary education at the Chauncey Hall School, in Massachusetts, and later entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, class of 1895. Thereafter he undertook postgraduate work at the Polytechnicum Institute, Stuttgart, Germany, and upon his return to the United States, became associated with the Haffenreffer Brewing Company of Boston. He had received a thorough training as a chemist, and it was in this capacity that he began his active career.
But Mr. Haffenreffer soon extended the range and extent of his interests. In 1895 he went to Fall River, Massachusetts, where he established the Old Colony, King Philip, and Enterprise brewing and ice plants, and also, at New London, Connecticut, the New London brewing and ice plant. He has continued as executive head and manager of these plants ever since. In 1917 Mr. Haffenreffer also became president and managing director of the Utah Apex Mining Company, at Bingham Canyon, Utah, and in 1924, with a number of associates, he purchased the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island. Those who are connected with him in this venture are: George Nichols, Junius Morgan, Harold S. Vanderbilt, Arthur Curtis James, E. W. Clark, of Philadelphia, Thomas Slocum of New York, and Harry Tiffany of New Bedford. Boating and yachting have always been hobbies of Mr. Haffenreffer, and consequently he has been particularly interested in building up the famous old Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which occupies a unique place in American yachting history. All his enterprises, however, owe much of their success to his able direction of their affairs. Mr. Haffenreffer is also owner of the Mount Hope Farms of Bristol. Farming is another of his special interests, and he derives a great deal of pleasure from his management of this property.
In politics Mr. Haffenreffer is an independent voter, but this is not with him, as in many cases, merely an excuse for the evasion of civic duties. On the contrary he is keenly interested in the problems of government and civic progress. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Fall River Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. For twelve years Mr. Haffenreffer was chairman of the Wattupa Water Commission of Fall River. He is now a member of the American Mining Congress, the United States Conservation Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, and holds membership in many clubs, including the Fall River Technology Club, of which he is president, the University Club of Boston, the Bristol Yacht Club, of which he is rear commodore, the Quequechan Club of Fall River, the Warwick Club, and the Fall River Yacht Qub. Mr. Haffenreffer has spent much time in study of the Indians and the collection of Indian trophies. He owns one of the finest private Indian collections in the United States today.
In 1902, Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer married L. Maude Munroe, who was born at Boston, Massachusetts. They are the parents of two children: 1. Rudolf Frederick, 3d. 2. Carl W.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.