Johan Peter Suhr, a grandson of the oldest Danish member of the Suhr family, started his apprenticeship in 1728 with a flaxshopkeeper whose shop was on Gammeltorv, right where the Suhr estate is located today. Johan Peter Suhr married the flaxshopkeepers daughter and at the death of his father in law in 1749 he took over the business, which for the next 150 years was known as the commercial house of "J.P. Suhr & Son".
After the estate burned down during the great fire of 1795, the present building on Gammeltorv was constructed.
The commercial house suffered great losses at the national bankruptcy in 1813, but later became one of the greatest commercial houses of the time under the management of Johannes Theodorus Suhr. In the1850's he acquired the estates of Bonderup and Merløsegård among others.
Johannes Theodorus Suhr had no descendants of his marriage with Caroline Falch and decided that a major part of his fortune was to be tied up in a foundation primarily in the form of real estate.
The Suhr Foundation activities started in 1859