Bezenchuk (Samara Oblast, Russia)
Bezenchuk (Безенчук) is a station on the Trans-Siberian R.R., about 33 miles (55 km) from Samara (called Kuibyshev from 1935 until 1991) and 30 miles (50 km) from Syzran, near the long bridge over the Volga. In 1897 a group of 10 young Mennonites of the Alexandertal colony came to Samara in quest of land, and applied there to the imperial authorities, who accommodatingly granted them a 36-year lease on an area of about 5,400 acres located about five miles (eight km) from Bezenchuk. At the end of this period they could either purchase it or rent it again. The land was level prairie, with soil suitable for wheat raising. The settlement was begun in 1898. The settlers were Johann Epp, Bernhard Thiessen, Bernhard and Abraham Rahn, Peter Harder, Julius Harder, Gerhard and Heinrich van Riesen, Heinrich Nickel, and Heinrich and Johannes Wiebe. After the difficulties of the pioneer years they built substantial farm buildings, laid out large gardens, in general prospered. The settlement was called Pessotchnoye. A factor in its growth was the government agricultural experimental farm located near Bezenchuk, which imported new varieties of wheat from Sweden. The settlers were thus in a position to distribute the wheat. Pessotchnoye had its own dairy and a German school. The settlers belonged to the Mennonite Church at Alexandertal and were served by that church; they also elected a preacher of their own from their own membership. The colony numbered about 15 families with 75 persons. This thriving settlement was liquidated by the Communist government and the settlers banished to the White Sea in the north of Russia.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 200.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 321. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Harder, Bernhard. "Bezenchuk (Samara Oblast, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4980.html.
APA style: Harder, Bernhard. (1953). Bezenchuk (Samara Oblast, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4980.html.