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Von Krogh family in Trondheim



The information here is from the Norwegian language "History of Trondheim", a six-volume city history. It was revised in the early 1990s for the millennial celebration of Trondheim in 1997). Also included is informayion from City of Trondheim's Byleksikon, issued in 1996.

In volumes 2 and 3 of the History of Trondheim there are numerous references to the family, "von Krogh."

The first reference found was to "Bernt" von Krogh. This is the "Bernardus" von Krogh located at the root of the von Krogh family tree. Eventually, the family descending from Bernardus von Krogh produced many high ranking military men.

Bernt had, on 15 January 1661, close to a monopoly on selling Rhine wine, Spanish wine and liquor in Trondheim. He took over these sales right from the City Council, which until then had the right to sell such merchandise from the city's town hall. He lost this monopoly to serve wine and liquor in 1670, when the postmaster of Trondheim got the competitive right to also serve wines. He also had the privilege as an innkeeper in Trondheim, to run inns outside the gates of the city in the direction towards Ilen and the Leer bridge (now called: Leirbrua - the clay bridge). These inns were for travelers, who because of bad weather or the closing of Trondheim's gates in the evenings, could not get into Trondheim. It is also probable that Bernt von Krogh was responsible for organizing "parrot shooting" at his inn at Ilen. This was a competition where the competitors were shooting at a bird figure on the top of a pole. This competition had a long-standing tradition in Trondheim (more than 200 years), and was considered a major part of Trondheim's entertainment at festive events. Bernt von Krogh was a Captain, later a Major, in the "Citizen Guard" which was established as part of the defense of Trondheim in the middle of the 17th century.

The son of Bernardus, Georg Friedrich von Krogh (1653-1721) became a Colonel and Head of the Bergenhus National Infantry Regiment. This son, Colonel Georg Friedrich, had the three sons who became the starting points for the  main branches of the large von Krogh family tree.

The third son of Georg Friderich, was Thomas (1700-1784) who produced the last major branch of the family tree. He is the least known of the Norwegian progeny.

The first son, Colonel Christoph von Krogh (1685-1752) generated the progeny of one branch emanating from Bernardus and his son Colonel Georg Friedrich is the source branch for the Nielsen family of La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

Two of Colonel Christoph von Krogh's sons included the Major Generals Søren de Fine von Krogh (1725-1795), the  Neilson family's branch and Arnoldus Christina von Krogh (1738-1814).His third progeny was Bernhard Wilheim Gustav (1776-1836).

The second son of Georg Friderich was, Lieutenant General, Commander of Trondheim, Georg Friedrich von Krogh (1687-1768) who generated another branch

The most famous of the offspring of the Lieutenant General (Georg Friedrich) was his son General Georg Friedrich von Krogh (1732-1818). This son was first married to Elisabeth Schøller, the daughter of Cicilia Christina Schøller.  Who was then married to Sti Tønsberg Schøller, who was probably the richest man in Trondheim when he died in 1769. Much of Scholler's riches were created through sawmill operations and lumber trading throughout Norway. He also participated in the early mining operations located at Røros, Norway during its best years. He also inherited considerable money from his first marriage to Elisabeth Angell, herself from one of the richest families in Trondheim (sister of Thomas Angell, who created charity legacies, which are still, to this day active). Elisabeth died in 1742, and Sti Tønsberg Schøller inherited her fortune. After her death he remarried this time to Cicilia Christina Frølich in the same year. She probably did not bring much wealth into the marriage.

The only child of Sti Tønsberg Schøller and Cicilia Christina was Elisabeth, who eventually  married Georg Friedrich von Krogh in 1760, by then a Colonel. Elisabeth died giving birth (in 1763,) to their son Sti Tønsberg Schøller von Krogh. 

Sti Tønsberg Schøller (Senior) died in 1769, and Cicilia Christina Schøller inherited the family's entire fortune. The heritage, which befell her, was about 500,000 riksdalers. This was at a time when the highest paid officials in Trondheim had an annual income of about 1000 riksdalers, and wages for working people was probably about 60
riksdalers per year.

Cicilia Christina used her huge fortune to build two grand buildings in Trondheim. The most famous is Stiftsgården finished in 1777, at a cost of about 7400 riksdalers. This is the largest wooden palé (palace) in Trondheim; the living area was 1500 m2, built over two full floors, with a height of 4.3 meters between the floors. The building is one of largest wooden buildings ever built in Norway.

The true architect of the building is unknown, but it is possible that it was Commander, Christian Lerche (because of resemblance with the Lerche family's palé in Copenhagen). 

Note: Christian Lerche became Georg Friedrich von Krogh's second father in law when he married Margarethe Lerche.) Christian Lerche was Chief of the Enrollment for the Norwegian Navy in Trondheim beginning in 1752. In 1773, he acquired (leased) a mansion, which was, renamed "Lerchendal". He left Norway and returned to Denmark in 1777. Later Christian Lerche became a Contre Admiral in the Danish Military.

The mansion Lerchendal gave name to the area of Trondheim where it is located. The mansion is now owned by the Norwegian University for Science and Technology, and is currently used for representation and hospitality. The Lerchendal name was given to the sports stadium across the road from this famous old mansion. "Lerkendal" Stadium, is the home base of Rosenborg Football Club, which has been Norway's best football team for many years.

Cicilia Christina Schøller also desired an amusement palé, and bought an estate outside of  Trondheim (Nedre Stavne), which she renamed Cicilienborg. She sold this place after 10 years after having spent an enormous lot of money on it.

Cicilia Christina Schøller left Trondheim for Copenhagen in 1783, she died there in 1786. The son-in-law, General von Krogh lived in Cicilienborg for some years. Cicilienborg, renamed Stiftsgården after the real heir, Sti Tønsberg Schøller von Krogh, who also wanted to go to Copenhagen. In 1800 he sold Stiftsgården to the king for 10000 riksdalers. 

This building was for a very long period used as the residence of the "amtsmann", the King's representative to Trondheim. Stiftsgården is currently the residence of the Norwegian King when he is in Trondheim.

Sti Tønsberg Schøller von Krogh's branches of  the von Krogh family all, became noblemen in Denmark.

In 1788, General von Krogh bought the estate Leira (then referred to as "Leeren"), from his son, who had inherited it from his mother when she died in 1786. (Note: This estate included the Leer bridge, where his great grandfather Bernardus had one of his "inns").

The General developed the Stiftsgården mansion to become suitable for representation and festivities. It has a grand park with fish ponds, decorative bushes, tree lined alleys (streets/ways) on the side of the main building, and a long double alley facing in the direction of the tower of the cathedral of Trondheim.

General von Krogh controlled Norway's sawmills and other profitable assets including Lillegården just outside Trondheim. General von Krogh was the Commander-In-Chief for the area north of Norway's mountains. He was the loyal man of King Fredrik IV of Denmark in the area, and hit hard at anything that would threaten the good relationship between the Danish King and his subjects.

In 1807, Denmark-Norway was drawn into the napoleonic war on Napoleon's (French) side. The General mobilized 3000 soldiers from the Trondheim region. He outfitted them in colorful although not very practical uniforms, giving
them prestige although no actual war actions took place in Trondheim, it suffered greatly from the British blockade, their only military action against Denmark-Norway in the Trondheim area.

The General was the dominant person in Trondheim both in military and civilian life during the war years 1807-1814. He was, at the outbreak of the war over 75 years old. He had very wide sweeping authority, and towards the end of the war, was almost sovereign in the area. His unyielding attitude to defend the region's allegiance with the
Danish King produced numerous enemies within the ranks of people who wanted changes. Finally, King Fredrik IV, relieved him of his post on 5 January 1814. This done officially on the General's own request. He was by this time, 82 years old. The General was also highly regarded by the new Swedish King, Carl Johan (who was one of Napoleon's generals).

However, Georg Friedrich von Krogh's political role was over before the peace accords in Kiel, which settled matters after the war.

In the 8-10 years period after 1814, an economic crisis hit Norway, and the wealth and fortunes of General Georg Friedrich von Krogh, and his son of the same name, Colonel Georg Friedrich von Krogh (1777-1826) had, to a large extent, eroded away.

The Colonel had invested heavily in a shipyard and a brick factory at Bakklandet, and a copper rolling mill at the Leira estate. The heavy investments consumed a large part of the family fortune, and with the economic crisis, the value of the investments was by and large wiped out, eliminating most of their fortune.

Famous children of the Colonel Georg Friedrich von Krogh (1777-1826)
included:

The publicist, George Frederik von Krogh (1802-1841) was notable in many ways. He played a significant role' in the Students' Society in Oslo. He also proposed in 1824, that the 17th of May be celebrated as the Norwegian
"Independence Day, (only 10 years after the constitution was signed in 1814.) He also actively participated in the "Market Place Battle" ("Torvslaget") in 1829. He was a writer in liberal political newspapers, and a close friend of the Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland, who made him a memorial in one of his most beautiful poems. Camilla Collett, the sister of Henrik Wergeland, used traits from him to model Lorentz Brandt in her novel "Amtmandens Døtre".

Contre Admiral Frederik Ferdinand von Krogh (1806-1890), whose son was Vice Admiral Georg Frederik von Krogh (1843-1901).

And finally, Captain Johan Christian Wibe von Krogh (1820-1899) who was once the Auditor of the Bank of Norway.


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