This particular Village History was published in the English form in Joseph
S. Height's book "Homesteaders on the Steppe".
Copyright 1996, GRHS, 1008 E Central Ave, Bismarck ND 58501, (701) 223-
1. The immigrant settlers began the establishment of the colony of Freudental
in 1806, and it was completed in 1807 with the arrival of a second group of
2. The colony was laid out on the north bank of the Baraboi river, about 30
versts from Odessa. The steppe assigned to the colonists was rich grassland,
with a layer of black humus about 8 vershok(1) deep and a sub-
clay mixed with saltpeter and lime. The south bank, which has several lofty
hills, provides the colony with some very fine building stone.
Since the population of the colony has more than doubled in the course of 42
years, it has become necessary, with the advent of the second generation, to
plow the fields more often and to graze more cattle. As a consequence, the
pastures are often bare, and the denuded soil is no longer as productive as it
was in earlier years. Since land beyond the south bank of the river has a
large gravel content, it is unsuited for grain and hay. However, near the
village the colonists have planted vineyards and woods, wherever the stone
quarries permitted such plantations. The trees are thriving quite well and in
time can contribute to the enhancement of Freudental.
3. The colony of Freudental got its name from one of the first settlers, a
certain Heinrich Herth, who reached this healthful eminence on the Baraboi
river after his long and arduous journey.
4. In the beginning, only 36 families who had arrived from the Kingdom of
Hungary were established here. However, since the government had intended to
settle 78 families here and allotted 5,830 dessiatines to the colony (75 dess.
per family), 42 additional families from Hungary were directed here in 1807.
At that time the land apportioned to Freudental exceeded that of any colony in
the Liebental area. For that reason the colonists of Grossliebental lodged a
complaint with the authorities and at a meeting convened in Grossliebental,
the officials of Freudental agreed to accept the same quantity of land as the
neighboring colonies. After a new survey was made, the land of Freudental was
reduced, so that at the present it owns only 3,829 dessiatines, which means
about 49 dess. for every farm proprietor.
5. Like most of the settlers, the immigrants from Hungary did not come here in
organized groups, but independently and without any leaders.
6. The steppe which was assigned to these immigrants by Duc de Richelieu, who
was at that time the Governor, was not inhabited when the settlers arrived. It
was used by the Tatars as pastureland for their flocks, and only a small part
was cultivated. The colonists found only 20 unfinished dwellings, consisting
of 4 wooden walls devoid of a roof.
7. Like the other colonists, the settlers of Freudental were exempt from taxes
for the first twenty years and given both food money and a government loan to
purchase the needed farm equipment. The interest-
rubles. The money brought by the colonists from abroad is estimated at 31,200
rubles. Although the colony of Freudental provided the funds for its own
prayer hall, parsonage, school, and other communal buildings, it was also
assessed 41,886 rubles for the churches, parsonages, windmills, etc., that
were constructed in several of the earlier colonies with the help of Crown
loans, so that its total Crown debt rose to 83,771 rubles.
8. The events that had harmful effects upon the development of this colony
a. Since the founding of the colony there have been several fires which
destroyed 10 houses and caused other damage.
b. In 1831 the ice of the Baraboi river caused damage amounting to 1,527
c. In 1845 the valley was flooded, causing a loss of 262 rubles and bringing
death to a man named Nikolaus Kappel.
d. Two earthquakes. The first occurred in November 1828, the second in 1838.
Neither caused any damage.
e. In 1831, 103 people became ill of cholera, but only two died. Several
livestock epidemics, crop failures, grasshopper plagues. Bugs and rodents
inflicted many a bitter loss on this colony.
9. But regardless of all these setbacks, the economic and physical well-
of this community improved steadily, for which we are indebted, next to God,
to the eminent benefactor His Majesty Alexander of glorious memory and the
reigning Czar Nikolaus, as well as to the former chief of the Welfare Office,
General von Inzow, and its present chairman, Councilor of State von Hahn, and
indeed to the Welfare Office of Foreign Settlers; and finally to the loyal
efforts of the present worthy members of the laudable district administration
at Grossliebental. To be sure, also the colonists' obedient acceptance of the
wise enactments of the authorities, their industry and hard work must not be
overlooked. And now that the former lack of preachers and teachers has been
remedied, there has been a notable improvement in present-
The original was signed by:
Assessors: Forch and Jaeger
Village clerk: Joh. Ehnis