Dreherthalerhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)

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Dreherthalerhof, a large estate, was once the location of a settlement of Huguenots and Mennonites. Today it a hamlet near Otterberg in the government district of Kaiserslautern. It has an interesting connection with the Mennonites of Krefeld and of the Palatinate. The Heydweiller family, which later became prominent in the Krefeld Mennonite Church, settled at Otterberg in 1579 as religious refugees from Antwerp. Duke Johann Casimir, who again made Calvinism the state religion, settled about 100 families here, most of whom were weavers. Extensive commerce reaching Holland and England made them prosperous. In agricultural lines their contribution consisted in introducing clover seed into the Palatinate, and deep plowing with an iron plowshare.

The descendants of the refugee Heydweiller also excelled in agriculture, but were more prominent as cloth merchants. His great-grandson Johann Heinrich H. (1657-1724) was a

wool-weaver, merchant, and master glassmaker, and in 1697 erected a factory of his own on the Dreherthalerhof, which had been in the family as a hereditary lease since 1579. Franz Heinrich Heydweiller (1720-1795) moved to Krefeld, married Sibilla von der Leyen (1740), and built an independent knitting mill for the manufacture of silk stockings. In 1770 his brother Johann Valentin Heydweiller (b. 1734) followed him to Krefeld and also engaged in the manufacture of silk materials, businesses which contributed to the growth of Krefeld.

The Dreherthalerhof, with more than 2000 acres of land, was then devoted to agriculture. Johann Jacob Heydweiller, the youngest brother of those who went to Krefeld, died in 1772 as the last of the family. The Palatine Mennonite census list of 1773 lists a family of seven, named Höfli (Höfle, Hefli),as living on the Dreherthalerhof. For his progressive methods Hans Höfli received several public awards in the 1770s from the Kurpfälzisch physikalisch-ökonomische Gesellschaft.


Beckerath, Gerhard von. Die wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Krefelder Mennoniten und ihrer Vorfahren im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert : Abhandlung ... Diss. Bonn, 1951.

Correll, Ernst. "Die ersten Heydweiller in Krefeld . . . ," in Die Heimat, Mitteilungen des Vereins f. Heimatkunde in Crefeld II, 1922: 75-77.

Hege, Christian. Beiträge zur Geschichte rheinischer Mennoniten : Festgabe zum 5. Deutschen Mennoniten-Tag vom 17. bis 19. Juni 1939 zu Krefeld. Weierhof (Pfalz) : Herausgegeben vom Mennonitischen Geschichtsverein, 1939, No. 2 of the Schriftenreihe.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 473 f.

Author(s) Ernst H Correll
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Correll, Ernst H. "Dreherthalerhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 17 Aug 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dreherthalerhof_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=119239.

APA style

Correll, Ernst H. (1956). Dreherthalerhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 August 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dreherthalerhof_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=119239.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 98-99. All rights reserved.

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