Fürstenland, a daughter settlement of the Chortitza Mennonite settlement in Russia, was founded 1864-1870 and consisted originally of six villages known by the following numbers and names: No. 1, Georgstal, 30 farms; No. 2, Olgafeld, 28 farms; No. 3, Michelsburg, 35 farms; No. 4, Rosenbach, 18 farms; No. 5, Alexandertal, 23 farms; No. 6, Sergeyevka, 20 farms. In 1923 the village Karlovka with 10 farms was added. Each farm consisted of approximately 175 acres. This land was rented from the Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevitch, hence the name "Fürstenland," and was located south of Chortitza in the Melitopol district, Taurida, volost Verkhne-Rogatchik. The settlement consisted of approximately 19,000 acres, which was originally rented at the price of one ruble and 25 kopecks per desiatina, which by the time of World War I was raised to 14 rubles per desiatina (ca. $2.75 per U.S. acre).
The land was under the administration of Moritz Schumacher at Grushevka and had been rented through the mediation of Peter Dyck, a chairman of the Chortitza Agricultural Society, who became the Oberschulze of the settlement. Each village had a school at which worship services were also held. Before the emigration to Canada in the 1870s, the Fürstenland Mennonite Church was independent. After Elder Johann Wiebe emigrated to Canada in 1875, with about one thousand persons, Isaac War-kentin was leading minister and the congregation was again a subsidiary of the Chortitza Mennonite Church. In 1910 the Mennonite Brethren at Olgafeld erected a meetinghouse with a seating capacity of three to four hundred. Johann Enns (1850-1934) was leader of the Fürstenland Mennonite Brethren Church for 40 years. The membership in 1914 was 63. The settlement developed some industries, such as two flour mills and factories of which the Jacob Niebuhr factory was most outstanding.
After the Revolution, in 1924-1926, the majority (about 160) of the families of Fürstenland sold their property to families coming from Volhynia and emigrated to Canada, leaving only some 14 Mennonite families in the villages. Soon the collectivization of agriculture was carried through. Before the German invasion of the Ukraine in 1941 some men had been exiled. During the German retreat the Mennonites of Fürstenland made their trip westward on covered wagons; some of them were forcibly sent back by the Russians; the remaining reached Canada and South America.
Jacob Niebuhr Questionnaire.
Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 21.
Mennonite Weekly Review (22 February 1951): 6.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Fürstenland Mennonite Settlement (Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 5 Aug 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=F%C3%BCrstenland_Mennonite_Settlement_(Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=94785.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1956). Fürstenland Mennonite Settlement (Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 August 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=F%C3%BCrstenland_Mennonite_Settlement_(Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=94785.
Herald Press website.
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