The Villa of the von Campe Family

The Villa of the family von Campe 2016 Photo: Stefanie Waske

The von Campe family originates from a family of landed gentry from Hildesheim, whose main residence was in Deensen near Stadtoldendorf. August von Campe (1835-1896) was co-owner of the glass factory in Boffzen-Brückfeld since 1871. He emigrated to the USA as a young man and fought in the American civil war as an officer. He married late and lived in the Brückfeld with his wife and six young children until he died at the age of 60.

The company owner, Otto von Campe, bought his first luxury car in 1909; the other picture shows his car in 1928 Photos: Elisabeth Pophal

The former authorised manager Max Eugen Noelle (1861-1946) then became managing director. August’s oldest son, Otto (1876-1936), studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University in Aachen, did his military service and joined the company in 1901. The von Campe villa was built in 1905 in the immediate neighbourhood of the co-owner Max Eugen Noelle. It was a villa typical of entrepreneurs, spacious and prestigious. That is where Otto von Campe lived with his wife Luise and his six children.

August von Campe (left) and his son and successor Otto von Campe Photos: Elisabeth Pophal

With the First World War troubled times began: Otto was called up 1914 as an officer of the reserve. Noelle & von Campe suffered under the lack of orders and the scarcity of coal. Even after the war was over, it was necessary to close the company down sporadically. In September 1931, the Noelle company in Lüdenscheid had to declare itself bankrupt. The Noelle Brothers quit the company in 1932 due to severe financial difficulties. During the next few years the family struggled to keep the company viable, which became even more difficult after Otto’s stroke in 1932 and the subsequent further deterioration of his health. However, in 1934, thanks to investment by companies in Holzminden and by private individuals from Höxter and Boffzen, it became possible to restart the business.

Family photo from 1927, from the left: Eyla, Gord, wife Luise, Erika, Rudolf, Otto-Wilhelm, husband Otto von Campe and the youngest daughter Ursula, standing in front of her mother, Luise Photo: Elisabeth Pophal

Luise von Campe and her children continued living in the villa after Otto’s death, and also her son Rudolf and his family moved in. Luise von Campe died in 1965, Rudolf in 1966. His son Burckhard von Campe inherited the house which he then rented out.

External view of the villa from 1914 Photo: Elisabeth Pophal