Franz Haniel

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Franz Haniel , painting by Max Volkhart

Johannes Franciscus "Franz" Haniel (born November 20, 1779 in Ruhrort ; †  April 24, 1868 there ) was a German entrepreneur and namesake of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH .


Haniel's first residential and commercial building in Ruhrort , built in 1756. Franz Haniel lived here from 1779 to 1868.

Franz Haniel was the youngest child of Aletta and Jacob Wilhelm Haniel . He was born on November 20, 1779 in the packing house in Ruhrort. His father died before his third birthday.

The main impetus of his childhood came from his mother Aletta. She attached great importance to comprehensive education and so Franz was - as he later noted himself - "was taught reading, writing, spelling, geography, French, dance, flute, violin in Ruhrort when he was a boy of 5–10 years". He didn't mention arithmetic, perhaps he learned it more in his mother's office than in school.

During the French Revolution, which brought the House of Haniel massive orders from refugees, the 15-year-old had to do without school and help out in the office. From 1796 Franz Haniel was employed there, as was his brother Gerhard Haniel .

Franz Haniel deepened his interest in forwarding, which he had already awakened in Ruhrort, during a further training course at the Mainz trading company J. Hr. Weingärtner's son . He started this at the age of 18 in January 1798.

In March 1799, at the request of his mother, he ended his training early and returned to Ruhrort.

Since 1806, Franz Haniel was married to Friederike Christine Huyssen (1785–1867), a daughter of the Essen councilor Karl Isaac Arnold Huyssen (1751–1834).

In 1808, together with his brother Gerhard and his brothers-in-law Gottlob Jacobi and Heinrich Arnold Huyssen, he founded the Hüttengewerkschaft und Handlung Jacobi, Haniel & Huyssen in Sterkrade, from which the Gutehoffnungshütte later emerged, although there were serious tensions in the run-up to the establishment . These were based on Huyssen's approach in negotiations with Helene Amalie Krupp about the sale of the “Gute Hope” hut in Sterkrade . Huyssen was actually supposed to conduct the negotiations on behalf of the Haniel brothers and their brother-in-law Gottlob Jacobi. They wanted to merge the “Gute Hope” hut with the “ St. Antony ” and “ Neu-Essen ” huts , which they already owned, in a union in order to end the unfavorable competitive situation. Huyssen then bought the hut for himself. He made the assignment of the "Gute Hope" hut to the newly founded union dependent on his acceptance as a partner. Franz Haniel carried this procedure after him until the end of his life.

In addition, Franz Haniel ran a forwarding agency, a coal merchant and a shipping company that owned several Ruhr and Rhine ships, as well as a number of other shops. During the time of the continental blockade , he took part in the extremely lucrative grain smuggling to England. Like almost all of his businesses, he succeeded in doing this with great success.

Under his leadership, in 1834 it was possible for the first time to penetrate the coal overburden ("marl cover"), which had previously been considered impenetrable. This achievement revolutionized hard coal mining in the Ruhr area and is still seen today as the birth of the classic Ruhr area. In 1847 Franz Haniel opened the coal mine " Zeche Zollverein " in Essen.

Franz Haniel received numerous honors for his services. In 1845 the royal family appointed him a councilor of commerce, and in 1856 a secret councilor of commerce.

In 1842 he was awarded the Red Eagle Order IV class.

In 1864 he received the Order of the Red Eagle III. Class.

The Haniel couple celebrated the rare feast of the diamond wedding in 1866. Franz and Friederike Haniel had ten sons and one daughter. However, only five sons and the daughter survived their parents. His son Hugo Haniel succeeded the company.

Franz Haniel died a few months after the death of his wife on April 24, 1868 in the house where he was born in Ruhrort.


Franz Haniel monument by Waldemar Otto.
  • A grammar school in Duisburg-Homberg was named after Franz Haniel, as was Franz-Haniel-Platz in Duisburg-Ruhrort and Franz-Haniel-Straße in Moers.
  • A Franz Haniel memorial designed by Waldemar Otto has stood in the Rheinpreußenpark in Duisburg-Homberg since 1992 .
  • The Franz Haniel colliery in Bottrop and the associated Haniel dump were named after Franz Haniel.
  • The vernacular interpreted the acronym GHH der Gutehoffnungshütte as Belongs mainly to Haniel .


  • Haniel Museum (ed.): Franz Haniel. Short biography . Duisburg 1999.
  • Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (Ed.): Haniel . Duisburg-Ruhrort 1956.
  • Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (Hrsg.): Haniel 1756–2006 - A chronicle in data and facts . Duisburg 2006.
  • Bodo Herzog:  Franz Haniel. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-428-00188-5 , p. 616 f. ( Digitized version ) ..
  • Wilhelm and Gertrude Hermann: The old collieries on the Ruhr (series The Blue Books ). Langewiesche publishing house, Königstein im Taunus, 6th edition 2008, ISBN 978-3-7845-6994-9 , pp. 48–54.
  • Bodo Herzog, Hans J. Mattheier: Franz Haniel. Materials, documents and studies on the life and work of the industrial pioneer Franz Haniel, 1779–1868 . Röhrscheid, Bonn 1979, ISBN 3-7928-0423-9 .
  • Michael Knieriem (Ed.): "Michels Awakening". Emancipation through insurrection? Studies and documents for the exhibition . Schmidt, Neustadt an der Aisch 1998, ISBN 3-87707-526-6 , pp. 221-225.
  • Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff, Hermann Strasser : Heads of the Ruhr. 200 years of industrial history and structural change in the light of biographies . Klartext Verlag, Essen 2009, pp. 34–39.
  • Hans Spethmann : Franz Haniel. His life and works . Haniel, Duisburg 1956.
  • Daniela Stemmer-Kilian: Franz Haniel - from merchant to large industrialist . In: Origins and Developments of the City of Oberhausen , Vol. 9 (2010), pp. 227–246.
  • Ernst Werner: The Haniel Bridge between Ruhrort and Duisburg . In: Duisburger Forschungen , Vol. 17 (1972), pp. 101-164.
  • Heinrich Zähres: History of the "Haniels Krankenstiftung" Duisburg-Ruhrort 1862–1977 in documents . In: Duisburger Forschungen , Vol. 37 (1990), pp. 87-162.

Web links

Commons : Franz Haniel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Haniel 1756–2006: a chronicle in data and facts ; Duisburg 2006; P. 68ff.
  2. a b Haniel Group: A global player in family hands | Retrieved April 20, 2019 .
  3. Ruhr area regional studies. Retrieved April 20, 2019 .
  4. ^ Martin Krampitz: The Haniel statue in the Rheinpreußenpark Homberg . September 19, 2017 ( [accessed December 17, 2017]).