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F.O.H.R. Farwerck (1856-1930)

Here and there I have information about the Pater Familias but not yet a text solely dedicated to him.

The photo above is from 1929. From left to right you can see Carl Wilhelm Farwerck, Otto Hans Farwerck, Franz Otto Heinrich Richard Farwerck, Willem Arnoud Farwerck and Johanna Farwerck-Borrius.

The man we are talking about is ‘grandpa’. His baptismal names vary a bit. Sometimes his initials are F.O.H.R., sometimes F.O.R.H. and sometimes F.O.H.

According to a family genealogy that I got Franz Otto was born on 24 February 1856 in Schöppingen, Germany, only a few kilometers passed the Dutch border. Other sources, such as the public archives from Amsterdam, have him listed as being born on 25 February. Franz’ Otto’s father was also called Franz. The name runs in the family! For all Franz’s goes that every once in a while the writing Frans is used. (For senior one time Frantz, but I think this is a setting error.)

According to Hans Hoogenboom (1) Franz Otto had moved to the Netherlands in 1897 and “made fortune” in brown coal and briquettes in Rotterdam. This factory Farwerck sr had with a certain Kemper and Kemper’s address in Nieuwendijk (to the Southeast of Rotterdam) is listed as senior’s staying address.

The document above is from 1877 20 years before the year that Hoogenboom notes.

Moreover, the article Die Auswanderung aus Schoppingen im 19. Jahrhundert und ihr sozialer und wirtschaftlicher Hintergrund (about people leaving Schöppingen) (2) has Farwerck moving to Amsterdam in 1872.

The Amsterdam records have seniors registration starting in March 1889, the month that Franz Eduard was born. I have yet to find out where he lived in the meantime.

On 19 January 1888 Franz Otto married Elise Dorothea Struve (or as you can see on the right, sometimes called Theodora Elise Struve) who was born on 1 May 1850 in Varel in the North of Germany. The marriage seems to have taken place in Amsterdam.

In 1912 senior seems to have bought the villa in Hilversum at an auction. Amsterdam has the family only registered as moving to that place in 1914.

Franz Eduard seems to have moved to Rotterdam in 1904 where he became director of the briquette factory of Johann Anton Kemper (1847-1909) with whom senior has lived when he came to the Netherlands.

I ran into a somewhat weird case involving Franz Otto and Kemper who was naturalized in 1886 and lived in Rotterdam. Kemper also seems to have had factories in Germany. In 1891 Kemper (“merchant and shopkeeper”) was appointed guardian (tutelage) of three underage children of Juliane Scheelje, the widow of Bernard Gerscher. Franz Otto was appointed surveying guardian. I suppose Franz Otto and Kemper were business partners and quite likely in Rotterdam.

The public archives of Amsterdam have Franz Otto living at Westerdokstraat 9, a street which seems to no longer exist. Nowadays there is a Nieuwe Westerdokstraat (‘new’), which is very close to the central railway station.

Another document from the public archives of Amsterdam has a few addresses:

Left top seems to say: “naturalized” 28-4-04″ and then we have four addresses and three dates of moving, all after Franz and Willy were born, so the likely address for both is Westerdokstraat.

Hoogenboom says that Franz Otto moved to the Nieuwenstraat in Amsterdam when he moved to the Netherlands, but that address isn’t in the image above.

In 1898 Franz Otto and Max Keller started a company “Zürcher en co.” for “manufacturing in the widest sense of the word”. The original Dutch sounds as vague as this translation. The company was located in Amsterdam, but appears to have made electric trams all over the country, including Hilversum where the family Farwerck would move to later.

In 1909 Franz Otto officially gave permission to another manufacturer to produce his products.

Hoogenboom suggests that Franz Eduard was rapidly made ready by his father to take over business and when he was around the age of 25, the entire family moved to Hilversum to start a carpet factory there. This appears to be a too simple rendition of the events as Franz Otto himself had a carpet factory at least before 1915. That is to say, in 1913 the company “Eijlardi & Farwerck” built a steam weaving factory in Hilversum. It is unclear to me if this is senior or junior. Whatever the case, I think both had something to do with it.

In 1930 the carpet factory where Franz Otto and Franz Eduard (and likely Carl Wilhelm and Johanna) worked celebrated its first centenary. This event gave me the only ‘civilian’ photo of Franz Eduard and a photo of Franz Otto. The news was big enough for the papers, so I also have some history of the factory.

In 1830 a hand-weaving factory was founded in Hilversum. In 1848 H. de Wit joined the company. In 1860 the transferred to a nephew of the founder Tijmen de Wit and the factory was renamed. Many years later steam powered weaving factories made a rise and Tijmen de Wit had a hard time competing with their manual machines. Franz Otto Farwerck had such a steam powered factory and in 1915 the Tijmen de Wit and Farwerck factories merged. Apparently Franz Otto’s factory was smaller, as the new name became “steam weaving factory Tijmen de Wit and sons”. F.O.H.R. Farwerck became president-commissioner and at the age of 74 (in 1930 at the anniversary) he still worked full-time! He was knighted at 2 August 1930 and passed away on 19 september of the same year.

Not all newspaper articles mention Franz Eduard, let alone Carl Wilhelm or Johanna. Since there appear to be several factories owned by the family it is not always clear to me what is what, but -as mentioned- another article has a photo on which both Franz Otto and Franz Eduard can be found.

What is of some interest is that a family genealogy that I got mentions that Franz Otto converted to Protestantism. I had indications that the Farwercks were Protestant and this adds to the idea.

Franz Otto Richard Heinrich Farwerck passed away on 18 September 1930 at 10pm leaving two sons and two grand children.

(1) Tapijtfabrikant en Dominee (‘Carpet manufacturer and clergyman’) by Hans Hoogenboom in Eigen Perk (‘Own perk’) 2015/3, a publication of the Hilversumse Historische Kring (‘Historic circle Hilversum’). The text is available online (PDF) when I write this.
(2) Die Auswanderung aus Schoppingen im 19. Jahrhundert und ihr sozialer und wirtschaftlicher Hintergrund (‘Emigration from Schoppingen in the 19th century and its social and economic background’) by Von Werner Frese, year unknown. Available online when I write this


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