Luyken Family Association

Walter Luyken (1901-1970)
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  On Walter Luyken:
Picture gallery

Ludwigshafen, 19.12.2013

Walter Oskar Luyken, Generation 11, Ref.Nr. 11-113 (BK0948) Branch WB-O

Born: 28.9.1901 in Hemmern near Lippstadt (Germany)
Died: 25.5.1970 in Mexico City (Age: 68 years)

Occupation: Farmer, real estate trader

Father: Hermann Luyken
Mother: Julie Hinsen

Spouse: Elisabeth Hülsmann
Married: 4.10.1929 in Veracruz (Mexico)

Hermann Luyken (*1930)
Hans Luyken (1933-2013)
Walter Luyken (1936-1969)
H. L. (*1941)

Background: Hermann, Hans
Foreground: Walter jr., Elisabeth, H. and Walter sr.

Stammbaum Walter Luyken

Hendrich Luyken
(ca. 1550-1607)

Hermann Luyken

Johannes Luyken

Daniel I Luyken

Daniel II Luyken

Daniel III Luyken

Arnold Luyken

Hermann Luyken

Otto Luyken

Hermann Luyken

Walter Luyken

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Biography Walter Luyken

Walter was born in the farm of his father Hermann in Hemmern near Lippstadt (Germany). The farm was set afire by a servant so the family had to move to Vohwinkel in Wuppertal where Hermann's father-in-law lived. He went to school in Wuppertal- Elberfeld.

Walter as "Bursche" in the corporation "Agronomia" During World War I, when he still was a child, he was often raised from bed to play horn as the youngest menber in a band that went playing through the streets when there were victory news.

After school he went to Bonn to study agronomy at the university. He became member of a student corporation named Agronomia where it was custom to fight with a sable. He later became president of the corporation and had pipes built in the meeting room through which beer was pumped to every place at each table to avoid the nuisance of serving.

In Bonn he fell in love with his filia hospitalis, Elisabeth. During the first dinner with his hosts and later parents-in-law he cut the plate through while trying to cut the meat. When he was asked how the meal was, he answered it was good but could have been better and more.

Because of the difficult situation during the recession he had to give up university and worked thereon as a farmer, a transporter and as a businessman. He founded a poultry farm which he named "Grossgeflügelhof Bergisch Land" and which he later on leased. He selled straw for the horses that worked in the coal mines. The business relation came to beeing because of a Luyken relative who held a high ranking position in the mine. After he couldn't find any more straw he founded together with his cousin and civil engineer Walter Ehrenberg an engineering company. The city was one of the company's customers.

The company was engaged for building a supporting wall and the city agreed on stuffing the land behind the wall, which was not done. The wall collapsed. The company was sued and Walter Ehrenberg emigrated to Mexico while Walter Oskar fixed the affair. After that he also emigrated to Mexico as the economic situation in Germany was very difficult. The cousin had written a letter saying that there was a lot of work in Mexico.

Before he emigrated to Mexico he wanted to say good-bye to Elisabeth. This was during a ball. When Walter came into the ball room he saw that Elisabeth, a passionate dancer, was dancing with another man. Walter turned and went away. Before he left the country he went to the barber to have his hair cut. At the barber's there was a cartoon depicting a Mexican band with the inscription "Please do not shoot at the band, it is doing its best". The barber asked apalled if he really wanted to emigrate to Mexico. Thereafter he went to eat some Sauerkraut and Eisbein, as he thought he wouldn't be able to eat that soon again, not knowing that he would spend the better part of his life selling it later.

Walter in the ship from Germany to Vercruz, Mexico To Mexico he went 1929 by ship. He arrived at the port of Veracruz. The authorities demanded the presentation of 20 pesos gold in order to get into the country. Nobody had that sum with him. So the money was raised among all. Each one produced the same 20 pesos as he left the ship. In Veracruz Walter met his cousin, who took him to the state of Oaxaca. The last part of the trip had to be ridden on horse. Walter Ehrenberg worked there as a measuring engineer. While on the trip Walter Oskar became thirsty and asked his cousin for water. He stopped at a puddle and told him to drink from it. Walter answered horrified that even frogs would live in it. The cousin answered that as long as the frogs lived he could drink the water.

Later on Walter founded together with a hacienda owner, who brought the capital, a poultry farm in the state of Guerrero. The business didn't catch on as there were lots of bugs. The many scorpions bit the hen dead when these tried to eat them. The hacienda, of which the poultry farm was part of, was very remote. It could be reached only after a day's horseride. Walter had to build a hut by his own to live there. He felt very lonely and had to think a lot of Elisabeth. So he wrote her a letter and asked her to marry him. He promised her enough water to drink as he didn't have anything else. Following that Elisabeth too emigrated to Mexico. They married after she arrived in Veracruz.

The young couple went then to the poultry farm, part by train, part by bus and part on horse. There there was not so much to eat so Walter went frequently hunting. When he complained with the hacienda owner that there was not enough to eat he was shown all the edible plants that surrounded them and he pointed at a mango tree, which they did not know. Later they caught malaria while Elisabeth was pregnant. The farm was separated from the hacienda's main building by a river that grew up a lot during the rainy season. Once they went out of quinine, which then was used to treat malaria. To stock up Walter had to cross the river which almost cost him his life. Because of that they decided to move to the capital which meant a one day's horse ride for pregnant Elisabeth.

In Mexico City Walter first worked for a German at a diary. After a short time they overtook the subsidiary of a deli which belonged to another German and was named "Bavaria". The business was succesfully operated by both and after a while Walter could found another poultry farm which was meant to supply the deli with eggs.

Elisabeth gave birth to five children, one of which died shortly after beeing born. As the business left very little time for the children it was sold. The couple lived of the poultry farm and of a diary. A hacienda was also acquired where chicks where raised until they where able to lay eggs and also was used for farming. First of all agave plants were raised for the production of pulque (an alcoholic beverage). Pulque was the national beverage in Mexico until it was substituted by beer.

Shortly after World War II Elisabeth and Walter chose to live appart without being divorced. After a short time the poultry farm had to be closed because the city sprawled relentlessly. The premisses of the farm were parted and sold as land for building. The earnings allowed Walter to retire. With time he got badly sick with arthritis which tied him increasingly to bed. He had to use crutches and once fell so badly that he died of a cerebral bleeding. His remains were cremated and buried according to his own will in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel (Germany) in the tomb of his parents.

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Picture Gallery Walter Oskar Luyken

ca. 1903

Hermann and Walter
ca. 1906

Julie, Hermann sr.,
Hermann jr., Gertrud and Walter

Walter and ?

Walter front row, 4th from right

ca. 1917

Walter? with Horn
Familienabend 16.9.1917

As "Bursche" in the corporation "Agronomia"
Winter semester 1928/1929

Walter? far right

ca. 1929?

Bonn, ca. 1929
Walter in the front row
5th from left

In the ship from Germany to Veracruz, Mexico

First living place? in Mexico
Guerrero, Mexico
ca. 1929

Mexico City, 1.1.1931
Simona Hinsen, Walter and Elisabeth

Mexico City
Near the "Bavaria"

Mexico City, 1.3.1931
Elisabeth, Hermann jr. and Walter

Mexico City, 23.7.1933
Elisabeth, Hans, Walter and Hermann

Mexico City, 3.1937
Mrs. Henkel, Walter, father Hermann
Hans and son Hermann

Mexico City, ca. 1949

Mexico City

Mexico City

Mexiko City, 1958
Walter, grandson Robert and son Hans

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Links Walter Luyken

Internal links
• Census, family bulletin 1927, page 345 (German)
• Adress change, family bulletin 1928, page 406 (German)
• Adress change, family bulletin 1929, page 419 (German)
• Wedding announcement, family bulletin 1929, page 451 (German)
• Report "Unknown Mexico", family bulletin 1954, page 45 (German)
• Money transfer to the family cash box, family bulletin 1956, page 135 (German)
• Obituary, family bulletin 1970, page 320 (German)

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