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) 223-6167


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-layer of yellow

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-free loan amounted to 41,885

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-being

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-day morals.

The original was signed by:

Mayor: Jauch

Schoolmaster: Schweyer

Assessors: Forch and Jaeger

Village clerk: Joh. Ehnis


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