History of the mill

17.-18. Jh
– After the economic and social devastation of the 30-year war, people were gradually able to get used to normal ways of life again and to occupy themselves with the things that are normally important for a life in peace. This includes, just like today, making life a little more comfortable and perhaps building up some wealth.

– This was also the case with the inhabitants of Westernkotten, when they presented themselves to the Archbishop of Cologne in 1746 and expressed the wish to be allowed to build a mill. This Archbishop Clemens August, a very powerful man, was not only Archbishop of Cologne, but also of Münster, Paderborn, Osnabrück and Hildesheim, and of course, in addition to his episcopal activity, he was also the ruler of each of these countries.
Among the privileges of the then rulers was also the right to dam and mill. One was reluctant to give up this important sovereign right, because it formed the backbone of the imperial finances. In addition, the granting of the respective rights was an important means of imperial politics.
Clemens August now publicly announced the construction and operation of the mill. The contract was awarded to the Count of Kaunitz-Rietberg in exchange for an annual concession fee of 140 Reichstalers.

– The count was looking for a suitable location in Westernkotten and was already conducting preliminary negotiations regarding the purchase of land. The price for the property was 350 Reichstaler in cash. Before he could start building, he had to gather a certain number of ‚agrarians‘ who agreed to have their grain ground in his mill. For these arable citizens the so-called mill obligation prevailed. This meant that they were not allowed to go to another mill, even if it was closer, cheaper or better. High penalties were imposed for violation of the mill compulsion.

– There were 78 agrarians who signed a contract to this effect in 1748, a copy and translation of which can be seen in the mill’s home room. Most of them could neither read nor write at that time, and therefore simply signed by one or more crosses.
In this year 1748 the construction of the mill was started and as far as we know it was completed. The mill was initially – for 20 years – run by the owner and then leased.

– The first tenant, Franz-Josef Schnitger, takes over the business. The mill in the neighbouring farm to the east was leased at the same time. Mr Schnitger immediately made some extensive structural changes. He raised the whole building by a certain amount, as water probably ran into the mill more often. The date 1768 was immortalized on the lintel, which was originally assumed to be the year of construction.

Francis Joseph died. His wife continued to run the mill until 1791, when she found the lease too expensive or the work too difficult, so that the lease was publicly advertised. For about 10 years the mill was then operated by other tenants.

the son Johannes Schnitger took over the lease.

– Count von Kaunitz-Rietberg sells all his estates located in Westphalia, including the mill and the farm to the east. Before that the time lease was converted into a ground lease. The buyer was the Count of Fürstenberg.
It must still be mentioned that since the beginning of the 19th century the freedom of trade was extended. This included the ban on mills -and the mill obligation- which were gradually abolished. A consequence of the von Stein reforms in Prussia.

– The annually payable river money was abolished, but the tenant renounced certain privileges, namely the ban on mills.

– Death of Johannes Schnitger and takeover of the mill by his first-born son Friedrich. The younger brother Karl was granted the ground lease by contract for a certain period of time – until 1839. Then the contract was changed back into a normal time lease.

– Death of Karl Schnitger. He left behind two daughters. the older one married in …

…Wilhelm Tiemann the miller.

The lease and the complete inventory was transferred to him.

– Friedrich Schnitger died and the ownership of the mill passed to his daughter, who was married to the owner of the farm ‚Hof zur Osten‘, Ludwig Marx.

– Ludwig Marx became owner of both mills.

– Wilhelm Tiemann acquired the Schäferkämper water mill together with the associated plots and inventory for 13000 Reichsmark.

– Wilhelm Tiemann died. The mill was taken over by son Ludwig. In the course of time he equipped the mill with a locomobile, so he could grind independently of the water.
The times became rougher, the electrification slowly took hold. A photo from around 1910 showed the mill with a power pole. However, Westernkotten was not electrified until after World War I.

– Ludwig died. They say he was helped by a rope. His wife continues to run the mill. The electrification made the situation more difficult. Now it was also possible for the farms themselves to build small beating mills to grind their own grain. There was less and less to do in the mill, on average it must have been about 300-400 kilos of flour per day. There were only about 5-12 mill guests.
Moreover, the work was too hard for the woman, so that she hired a mill servant at times.

– The mill ceases operation. In the German Empire, mills were developed and promoted, but they had to have a certain minimum water supply, which was not provided by the Schäferkämper mill.

– Death of the mother.

– Death of the sister.

– Death of the last miller’s daughter and resident Lina Tiemann. At that time Bad Westernkotten was an up-and-coming spa. Thus the idyllically situated mill had been in the sights of construction companies and speculators for a long time. This was an abomination to the daughter all her life, she wanted to preserve her property as she knew it herself. So she bequeathed all her property to the Mother Teresa Foundation.

the foundation was the owner of the mill. However, the Order of Mother Teresa had no longer any interest in the property and wanted to sell it again. On the other hand, the friends of Bad Westernkotten were very interested in acquiring or using the mill. The contact to Mother Teresa was established at that time by a student councillor from Lippstadt, Mrs. Gösselke, who was in constant letter contact with Mother Teresa.

the mill was sold to the North Rhine-Westphalia Foundation and given to the local history association for use under strict conditions. The price was 110,000 DM for the entire site, and another million DM for the restoration, which was, however, largely carried out by the local association itself. The work was financed by donations and the taxes from the scratch cards.

– Ceremonial reopening of the mill.