Fredrick John Litchfield founded Litchfield and Sons in Blenheim and was the town’s first mayor, appointed on June 2, 1869.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand describes him as “one of the most public spirited men associated with the early history of Blenheim”. Mr Litchfield was born in Cambridge, England, in 1820. He learned the drapery trade in London and in 1853 came to New Zealand, landing in Nelson.
He farmed for a few years then became a schoolmaster in Motueka, before moving to Blenheim in 1858, after being commissioned by John Symons to open a branch store in Blenheim. After a few years, Mr Litchfield established his own firm, later to be called Messrs F. J. Litchfield and Sons, which ran for more than 20 years.
Mr Litchfield was replaced as Mayor by Mr Dodson in 1870, but remained on the council.