Josef Cosack

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Caspar Josef Cosack (born June 19, 1801 in Neheim , † September 18, 1879 in Karlsbad ) was a German entrepreneur and industrial pioneer.


Josef Cosack, painting by Josef Bergenthal , 1848

He was the son of Josef Cosack, a farmer and innkeeper, as well as rent master of the Barons von Fürstenberg in Neheim and comes from a family of landowners and industrialists that has been established in southern Westphalia since the 14th century and has had its headquarters in the Neheimer Burghaus Gransau since 1763 . The mother Franziska (née Amecke) was the daughter of an innkeeper and city councilor from Menden .

After the death of their father in 1818, the family was heavily in debt. The attempts of the young Cosack to be successful in family farming were unsuccessful. A turning point in 1831 meant his partnership in the colonial goods wholesaler and oil mill owned by Friedrich Wilhelm Brökelmann . Through his marriage to Franziska Schelle he came into possession of a similar business in Arnsberg . In Ramsbecker Mining is committed Cosack strong, so that it was almost the sole shareholder in the 1832nd He began to modernize the promotion of the Ramsbeck union and to consolidate the scattered mining rights before he sold the union to the Rheinisch-Westfälischer Bergwerkverein.

In 1839 he founded a puddling plant Joseph Cosack & Comp together with Brökelmann and Wilhelm Overbeck . in Hüsten , which is considered to be the first industrial company in Hüsten . This first attempt to gain a foothold in the iron industry failed. In 1845 Cosack founded the combined fresh, rolled and tinplate factory Hüstener trade union in the same place . This foundation proved to be permanent and brought Cosack a considerable profit. In Arnsberg he built a representative villa in which the South Westphalia Chamber of Crafts is based today. After the death of his first wife, he married Lisette Weiskirch from Attendorn in 1846 .

Because of the better connection to the railroad, Cosack, Brökelmann and two merchants from Hamm founded a puddling, rolling and wire plant Cosack & Co. in Hamm in 1853. Organizationally, this was innovative in that it included all production steps from the production of puddle iron to the end product united. In 1865 he became the sole owner. In 1873 he sold his factory in Hamm, which at that time employed around 2500 people. It became the core of the Westphalian Union AG for the iron and wire industry.

Cosack later began to acquire land on a large scale. In 1871 he acquired the Mentzelsfelde manor near Lippstadt, the Wormeln monastery near Warburg in 1873, and the Schweckhausen manor near Soest in 1875, of which the first two are still owned by his descendants. In this way the Cosack family became one of the largest bourgeois landowners in northern Germany. He also leased the Westhemmerde house .

Cosack was one of the founders of the Arnsberg Chamber of Commerce and was its first president. Between 1851 and 1853 he was a member of the Prussian House of Representatives . Together with the Reichensperger brothers and other Catholic representatives in the second chamber, he helped found the Catholic parliamentary group .

He also made a name for himself in church matters by having the St. Joseph's Church built in Hamm in 1864/65. Josef Cosack, himself a devout Catholic, founded the first new Catholic parish in Hamm since the Middle Ages. This was mainly necessary because the Catholic population of the city had grown rapidly due to the expansion of his plant in Hamm.


  • Wilfried Reininghaus , Georg Korte: Trade and commerce in the districts of Arnsberg, Meschede, Brilon, Soest and Lippstadt (1800–1914). In: Karl-Peter Ellerbrock, Tanja Bessler-Worbs (Hrsg.): Economy and society in south-eastern Westphalia. The IHK zu Arnsberg and its economic area in the 19th and 20th centuries. Society for Westphalian Economic History, Dortmund, 2001, ( Studies on Economic, Social and Technical History 20), ISBN 3-925227-42-3 , pp. 132-173.
  • Adolf Schill:  Cosack, Kaspar Josef. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, ISBN 3-428-00184-2 , p. 273 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • German gender book. Volume 38. Genealogical Handbook of Bourgeois Families. Pp. 83-132. Goerlitz 1922.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Chronicle Andreasberg ( Memento of July 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on August 7, 2012
  2. ^ Dieter Pfau: The Olpe District and the Development of the Center Party in Southern Westphalia 1852–1871. In: Südwestfalenarchiv 16/2016 p. 245