Neufeld, Abraham A. (1862-1909)
Abraham A. Neufeld, a Mennonite teacher in a secondary school in Ukraine, Russia, was born 15 March 1862 at Fürstenau in the Molotschna Mennonite settlement, the child of simple Mennonite farmers. His industry and gifts moved his father to send him to the Zentralschule in Ohrloff, where he completed the three-year course in two years. Then he entered the Gymnasium in Berdyansk, and refusing the scholarship offered him in favor of needier students, he supported himself by giving private lessons and later, when he was married, by journalistic work. In 1883 he took a philological course at the University of Odessa. During all his school years he showed an unusual capacity for and love of work. He was not satisfied merely to follow the lectures of the professors, but was inspired to independent study. After three years at Odessa he attended the University of Berlin for two years, where one of his professors was Theodor Mommsen, and then returned to Russia.
Now Abraham Neufeld's public work began. He devoted all his energy to Mennonite education. For a few years he served as a secondary school teacher in Berdyansk and Bachmut, and from 1890 for 15 years as principal of the Chortitza Zentralschule. His influence on the Chortitza school constituency was profound. The church conference and the teachers' association entrusted to him the supervision of the elementary and secondary school system. The higher school authorities also held him in high esteem. To provide educational facilities for his children, Neufeld moved to Berdyansk and founded a secondary school with the rights of a government school. At the same time he was considerate of the rights of other Mennonite sons, and tried to build for them a school characterized by honor and thoroughness. After a short period of successful work he died at Berdyansk on 9 January 1909. Neufeld had many offers of high positions outside the Mennonite constituency, but he remained faithful to his people. Neufeld's lecture, Die Chortitza Centralschule 1842-1892, given at the time of its 50th anniversary, was published by H. Ediger (Berdyansk, 1893).
Epp, H. Mennonitisches Jahrbuch (1909): 128-131.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga,” 1911.
Goerz, H. "A. A. Neufeld, Erinnerungen." Mennonitische Warte II (1944): 49-55 (personal reminiscences concerning Neufeld).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 849. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Braun, Abraham. "Neufeld, Abraham A. (1862-1909)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N48421.html.
APA style: Braun, Abraham. (1957). Neufeld, Abraham A. (1862-1909). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N48421.html.