This was taken from a book on New Iberia.
August Erath, one of New Iberia's most successful business
men, was born in Switzerland, March 18, 1843. He received a
public school education and came to America in 1860, landing in
New Orleans, October 31, of his year, being seventeen years of
age. In 1862 he returned to Europe, and in 1866 he again crossed
the ocean and located in New Orleans. He was book-keeper in the
principal breweries of New Orleans until the spring of 1876,
when he removed to New Iberia and erected a brewery, and later
added a soda and seltza water factory, in both of which he was
successful. In 1884 he entered the hardware trade at this place
and since that time has carried on a successful business. His
business at the present is the largest of the kind between New
Orleans and Houston, Texas. Mr. Erath has been the head of many
of the public enterprises of this place, among which may be
mentioned the prominent part he took in the building of the
opera house and Masonic Hall, both of which are ornaments to the
town. He has just contracted for the construction of an ice
factory of the latest improved pattern, which he hopes to have
in operation by April 1891. The factory is to be of sufficient
capacity to supply the wants of the people from Opelousas to
From 1885 to 1887 Mr. Erath served as a member of the town council. Re-elected in 1887 he was honored by his fellow councilmen in being unanimously chosen mayor. during his administration the streets of the town were put in first-class order, new ones opened, and other substantial improvements made. On his retirement, in 1889, the finances of the town were sound and healthy state.
Mayor Erath organized the first regular Board of Health in New Iberia, which has been instrumental in the accomplishment of much good. he is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias, and the Teche Club, and is one of the oldest members of the Mutual Benevolent Society of this place.
Mr. Erath was married in New Orleans, January 1874, to Catherine Becht, of that city. They are the parents of three children -- all girls.