William was active in Cape Girardeau city and county public affairs, having served on the City Council for more than 25 years. From 1861 until just befoe his death in 1903, he was Chairman of the Republican County Committee.
Edward was a prominent Republican leader in Cape Girardeau, the state of Missouri, and was a delegate to Republican national conventions. During the time William H. Taft was campaigning for the presidency (1908), Ed Regenhardt accompanied him across the state and a friendship sprang up then that lasted for the rest of Ed's life.
Edward named his threes sons after men who would later become president: William McKinley Regenhardt (b. 1894), Theodore Roosevelt Regenhardt (b. 1900), and Edward William Taft Regenhardt (b. 1908).
In 1908, Edward was nominated for State Senator, 21st District, but lost the election.
In 1909, Edward went to Washington DC to persuade his friend, President Taft, to make a stop in Cape Girardeau as part of his October 1909 tour down the Mississippi River. The stop was approved, and Ed Regenhardt served as the Chairman of the Committee arranging the President's visit to Cape.
Politics and his friendship with President Taft played a major role in Edward becoming the U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri.
This article is from the Cape Giradeau Daily Republican newspaper in 1911:
Cape Girardeau has its full share of distinctions. It was in this very neighborhood where the white settlers began the development of the vast territory west of the Mississippi and since that time many wonderful things have happened. When a citizen of Cape Girardeau announced a year or so ago that he wanted to be United States marshal for the eastern district of Missouri, most every fellow in town laughed at his nerve. There are only two such marshals in the entire state, and for a citizen of Cape Girardeau to ask for such a position was considered simply a big piece of nerve. But when the fellow said he wanted the place he meant it and went to work to get it. Fortunately he was personally acquainted with the president and so when the time for making the appointment came along President Taft told Senator Warner that Edward F. Regenhardt was the man for the place and the appointment was made. President Taft had been made acquainted with Mr. Regenhardt's way of doing things. When he sets his mind on a task he does it with all his might and the president realized that he would make a federal official who would be a credit to his administration. No man in Cape Girardeau has worked harder for the upbuilding of the city and no man says more nice things about the town than Big Ed Regenhardt.
From "Men of Affairs of St. Louis", this Newspaper Reference Library book, containing portraits, biographies, and cartoons of progressive men of St. Louis, who have helped in the development and history making of St. Louis:
Edward Franz Regenhardt can be justly called the original rock ribbed Republican. His sons are named after three presidents; McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft. Cape Girardeau people hunt him out whenever they come to the U. S. Court House where he reigns, six feet six, as United States Marshal.He is a strong, rugged man; a man who started in the Lutheran Schools and hewed his way out to success with his two hands; descendant of sturdy German stock, born March 24, 1867 at Cape Girardeau and known everywhere. When President Taft sent into Missouri to know who was wanted as U.S. Marshal, he expected a host of candidates. Some people recommended Franz, some Edward, and some Ed., but one and all gave the last name as Regenhardt; and Regenhardt got it. And since then he has earned the respect of the bench and bar for his sterling honesty, his willingness to give everyone a square deal, and his ability to make good. Up and down, sideways and across, through and through he is just what he appears to be ─ a native born Missourian and a credit to his state.
1921 - Field Manager for the Southeast Missouri Agricultural Committee
From the Hayti Herald, Hayti, Missouri, April 14, 1921:
Advertising S.E. Missouri at St. Louis
Edw. F. Regenhardt of Cape Girardeau, a former U.S. Marshal, but now field manager for the Southeast Missouri Agricultural Bureau, with headquarters at Sikeston, was here Monday and Tuesday.
Mr. Regenhardt met with the Chamber of Commerce Monday night and explained the program as outlined by the Bureau.
The plan of the Bureau is to solicit pledges for a certain amount from business, professional men and farmers over the eight counties comprising Southeast Missouri. This money is for a yearly payment for a period of five years. The Bureau has contracted for a large room in Union Station in St. Louis for a period of five years, and there will make exhibits of Southeast Missouri products.
The plan as outlined is a good one and if like the immigration statisticians say, will double the population of this part of the state in five to ten years by pointing out to the tourists and home seekers the untold advantages of Southeast Missouri.
His interviews with ot people gave him a 100 per cent subscription and he left with a feeling that Hayti was alive and wide-awake.
1921 - Field Agent for the Constitution Association of Missouri
From the Columbia Evening Missourian, Columbia, Missouri, December 2, 1921:
Need for New constitution Explained
Speaking at Commercial Club Luncheon, E. F. Regenhardt Says Document Will Be Big Event
"The new constitution is the most important thing that Missouri has faced in the last half century." said Edward F. Regenhardt, of St. Louis, field agent of the new Constitution Convention Association of Missouri, at the luncheon given at the Daniel Boone Tavern by the Commercial Club in honor of the board of directors of the Boone County hospital.
Mr. Regenhardt is here in the interest of the revision of the Missouri constitution and in his speech he told of what the new constitution means to Boone County.
"The main idea is that we want our borrowing powers increased so that we can make needed improvements. No municipality has all of the improvements that it actually needs. For myself I want to see this university the best in the United States," he said.
Mr. Regenhardt went further to explain that the association has submitted twenty-one names fifteen will be chosen as the commission. To hold down expenses they are to be called by convention rather than by election.
There have been no politics in selection of the delegates and every effort is being made to make it nonpartisan, as possible.
1922 - nominated for Postmaster of Cape Girardeau, but did not get the job.
1923 - Incorporated Regenhardt Construction Company