from Jürgen Gürtzgen and Ilse Gürtzgen, née Neu
4th November 2008
I will gladly report on "Löhrhof Estate", also called "Löhrshof".
But before that I would like to introduce myself and then to report on the family of my wife.
My name is Jürgen Gürtzgen, I am almost 64 years old and lived in Wesel
at the Brüner Street until I was 55. My grandfather and my father had an electrical appliance shop at the
said Brünner Street which led after 2 km to Ruhof Estate. Besides the house was also a butchery.
My grandfather often worked for Prof. Dr. Walter Luyken
at Ruhof and I well remember the professor and his wife. Then, after
World War II, I always admired the sir professor and his elegant wife with quite some awe when they came
shopping at Kriedemann's butchery or to our workshop to get some repairs done or to order something. Now I have browsed
a little in the Luyken Website and learned that Mrs. Luyken was English. So that is the reason for her elegant
For us children the way to the water lock Bären (bears), which lead through the "Luyken bush", was always
very exciting. We bathed in the river Issel and there of course we learned to swim. We always were attracted to the
crypt though, which could be seen from the path. The forest was surveilled and more than often we were
chased away from this eerie palce. The dentist Dr. Josef Schepers seems to have had the shooting right.
As a 14 year old boy I frequently worked for him and his friend, sawmill owner Thier, as a beater. Both were
very old then and no real danger for the small game judging by their shooting capabilities, but mainly for the
foregoing beater, which was me!
Now I want to report on Löhrhof Estate as well as I can. For that purpose I will use the Luyken pedigree. The teller
now will be my wife, Ilse Gürtzgen, née Neu, (* 1945), whom I have been married to for 42 years.
Löhrhof Estate and her parents' home were 500 m far away.
According to my father's tellings, Fritz Neu, born 1903 in Löhrhof as the 10th of 11 children, this estate
had been leased and managed more than 200 years long by the Neu family. Not until 1962 did my father quit
working as a farmer. The estate proper was no longer viable because of it beeing too small, even as the
forebears had attained good fortune and esteem because of the good management. My father frequently told me the story about
his father counting the gold coins on the table after selling the harvest and that there were many coins.
My grandfather also signed bonds of war by the beginning of World War I which of course all were lost. One night he
couldn't sleep and was very anxious so his wife asked him why he couldn't sleep. He then talked about his financial
losses and his wife answered: "If it is nothing else then turn on your side and go on sleeping."
Where does "Löhrhof" come from?
The estate came to the Luyken family after Christina Gerthrutha Löhr
married Daniel III Luyken. Probably the estate was already
leased to the Neu family by this time and managed by them. After my father's telling our family came from France
(Hugenots) and originally were named Ney. The estate later was inherited to the family of
Carl Sehte and my father knew
Marie Sethe, married Voswinkel, as during her youth she seems to have
visited the estate often or maybe even lived in the forefront manor. But I don't remember his words exactly.
Later senior public prosecutor Karl August Sethe got the
estate from his aunt. Mr. senior prosecutor died 1955 at Löhrhof. I myself kann remember him clearly. Always
when I brought eggs to her housekeeper I had to say "good morning" to Mr. senior prosecutor. He probably was almost
blind by this time and he felt my arm and prompted me to eat well so that my arms would become thicker. Shortly
before his death he married his housekeepr Miss Stadler who then lived as usufructuary at the estate. After
the death of Mr. senior prosecutor Sethe his niece, Mrs. Reußner, inherited the estate. Often I played
with the two grandnieces of the senior prosecutor, who were about as old as I.
Concerning the painting of Löhrhof Estate, which was painted by my
father's brother, master saddler Agust Neu, about 1940. The painting shows the estate from the west. On the
left side is the barn and the remise (carriage house). On their right the path lead to the leaser's house
which here on the painting was bordered by saplings that later became gorgeous trees. You can see here two red brick
houses which were the stables for the cattle. A large courtyard led to the back of the manor where we had our
On the front at the right side in front of the stables was our garden, surrounded by a hornbeam hedge. In the manor
(here as a white house) senior prosecutor Sethe lived while other tenants lived in the upper quarters. On the right side
of the manor, which had an own gateway, was a large park. Here I played often as a child. On the back side an
orchard adjoined which probably was laid by my great-grandfather. The meadow in front also belonged to Löhrhof
which had a total of about 65 acres (16 ha) of land.
After my father quit farming a new leasee came to the estate, but he wasn't there for long. After that the buildings
had several uses. I don't know who the actual owner is, as I left Wesel with my man many years ago. I know though by
tellings from relatives that the actual appearance of the estate no longer is the same as the former one.
With kind regards
Ilse and Jürgen Gürtzgen