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A Brief History of the Hutterian Brethren 1755-1879

By Evan Eichler, Ph.D.

© copyright 1997 Evan Eichler, all rights reserved

15 September 1755: Exile of Carinthian religious dissidents to Siebenburgen begins (Transport XV). Included among these exiles are the founders of the future Hutterite families Glanzer, Hofer, Kleinsasser, Miller, Waldner and Wurz.

1755: Carinthian exiles arrive in Rumes, Siebenburgen (Romania) and are forced to overwinter among the Saxons and native Wallachians of this village.

October 1756: Carinthians settle in Grosspold. Carinthians begin to work as daylabourers in nearby villages. A few members come into contact with the Hutterite Church of Alwinz. The are forbid by the Catholic bishop and Lutheran magistrates to return to Alwinz.

January 1757: Mathias Hofer and Rosina Pichler are imprisoned in Hermannstadt for returning to Alwinz to meet with members of the Hutterite church. A few weeks later, Johann Amlacher and Michael Hofer are likewise imprisoned.

27 March 1757: The Carinthian families of Ehrgarter, Gurl, Resch, Miller, Hofer, Glanzer, Waldner, Wurz, Kleinsasser, Plattner, Innerwinkler are dispersed and forced to settle in different villages of Stein, Deutschkreuz, Henndorf, Grossschenk, Grossailisch

1760 -1763: Carinthians begin to slowly congregate in two villages, Stein and Deutschkreuz. Here, under the guidance of the Hutterite Church of Alwinz, two new churches are established.

1761 - 1763: Jesuit Johannes Theophilus Delphini begins to persecute the Hutterite Church.--forced conversion of Hutterites in the villages of Sabatisch, Leware, St. Johann and Trentschin. These Catholic converts are the forefathers of Habaner of Romania. Those who refused to convert were beaten, imprisoned and threatened with an exile in which their children would be placed in orphanages.

16 January 1763: Johannes Kleinsaser is appointed "Diener des Wortes" for the Carinthian Hutterite Church

03 October 1767: Carinthian Hutterite families (Glanzer, Gurl, Hofer, Kleinsasser, Miller, Nagler, Pichler, Waldner, Innerwinkler, Wurz) and old Hutterite families from Alwinz (Kuhr, Stahl, Wipf, Tschetter and Zuelch) flee at night in secrecy, crossing the Carpathians and arriving in Ciogirla, Wallachia

27 November 1767: (78 indviduals: 52 adults and 26 children younger than 15 years of age).

July 1769: Hutterites establish a new colony at Prisiceni, Wallachia.

24 November 1769: Robber bands and mercenaries sack the Prisiceni colony. Peter Miller, Josef Kuhr, Josef Kleinsasser, Lorenz Tschetter and Christian Hofer are beaten and tortured with hot irons. Peter Miller later dies from his injuries

10 April 1770: Under the threat of continued attacks from Turks, robber bands and Cossacks, the Hutterite brethren (66 individuals) flees to Russia (Ukraine).

01 August 1770: Wischenka colony established

16 October 1779: Hans Kleinsasser dies. Josef Kuhr appointed elder of the Church.

1781 - 1795: Seven missions are undertaken by Johann Stahl and Josef Kuhr to establish contact with family members in Siebenburgen and Wallachia.

1781: Andreas Gross and his wife Christina and son Jerg join the colony.

1782: Els Dekker from Franztal with sons and Lisset Knels with sons from Pschehofka

July 1783: Jakob Tschetter joins the Hutterite Church.

1783: Johannes Waldner elected "Diener des Wortes" (DW)

August 1783: Andreas and Mathias Stahl arrive in Wischenka

15 August 1783: Andreas Wollman (Waleman), Zacharias Titel and Paul Mandel arrive at Wischenka

Summer 1784: Paul Tschetter, Katherina Tschetter Wolmann, Jakob Wollman, Andreas Koller Maria Wirth, Hester Sahl and daughters Magdaelna and Susanna, and Janno Stern

1784: Remnants of Sabatisch brotherhood join the Wischenka colony

1790: Elisabeth Strauss-Pildner daughter Liesl Pildner and niece Julianna Lausner (daughter of Christina Strauss) from Hermansstaudt and Josef Kuhr the grandson of Joseph Kuhr from Alwinz.

2 May 1794: Joseph Kuhr dies.
1748 - Diener des Wortes in Winz.
From 1767-1779 - served as Diener des Wortes of Ciorgirla / Prisiceni / Wischenka.
1779-1794 - served as Elder of the Church.
1793: Johannes Waldner elected Aeltester (Vorsteher).

1796: Count Pjotr Nikolajewitsch Rumjanzo-Za-Dunaisky (landlord of the Wirschinka colony) dies

12 March 1801: Jakob Walther and Johannes Waldner petition Czar Paul I to settle on Crownland. Granted each family 65 Desjatin (1 065 Ha), must pay 45 Kopecks per Desjatin as tax. In turn granted right to non-conscription in military service and autonomous government

20 March 1802: Hutterites began to dismantle the Wischenka colony

1802: Raditchewa colony estabilshed with 44 families (99 men and 102 women). Supposed to receive 2,860 Desjatin (3065 Ha) but only received 453 Desjatin and 312 on other side of the river Desna

20 May 1810: Andreas Wurtz, Diener des Wortes (DW - 18 years in position), dies

29 May 1810: Jakob Walther, son of Jakob Walther, elected DW with 8 votes in favor

1810 - 1817: Colony members begin to experiment with private ownership

1817: Jakob Walther and brother Darius Walther leave the colony and build their own homes outside the colony (settlement called Malenki). Several other families begin to leave Raditchewa and join the Walthers in Malenki Two groups form 30 families (143 individuals, 69 men 74 women) in favor of private ownership. Each family demands from the Government liquitdation of their portion of the colony

1818: Josef Kleinsasser elected DW.

1818: Walthers group leaves Raditchewa and settles in Chortitza among the Mennonites...20 families remain with Waldner to practice community living. Raditchewa forced by government to pay each departing family 400 Rubel for their portion of the colony.

1818: A fire breaks out in the blacksmith shop in Raditchewa, completely razing the colony. The colony does not have the resources to rebuild and divides the land among 25 famlies and enters privateownership. The new settlement is called Neudorf each family receives only 4 Hektar.

1819 - 1820: Jakob Walther group returns. Walther begins to baptise members (the purvue of Johannes Waldner) Between 1820-1824 Walther becomes acting Aeltester or Vorsteher of colony.

1820: Andreas Miller, Mathias Miller and several children of Abraham Knels remain at the Mennonite Chortitza colony. They and their descendants join the Mennonite Church.

20 June 1822: Georg Waldner (son of Johannes) and Jakob Hofer elected to DW.

14 December 1824: Johannes Waldner dies embittered.

10 January 1825: Georg Waldner and Jakob Hofer placed in office by Jakob Walther

1839: Josef Kleinsasser dies. David Hofer chosen DW

1842: Hutterthal Colony established. Hutterites abandon Raditchewa and move to the Taurien region near the Mennonite colony of Molotschna...continue to live in private ownership. Each family received in Huttertahl 65 Desjatin from government, paid a total of 15,000 Rubel

1846: Jorgele Waldner confirmed Vorsteher of Hutterthal by Jakob Walther

1852: Johannesruh established. Due to expansion of the colony 17 families leave Hutterthal and establish a new colony 4 km north of Hutterthal. Colony named after Mennonite benefactor Johann Cornies.

1855: Jakob Walther dies in Hutterthal

1856: - 37 families given permission to re-establish community living under leadership of Georg Waldner. Sell their land, pool the earningss of the land, purchase 1500 Desjatin and establish the colony of Kutschewa.

1857: Georg Waldner dies. Brotherhood community of Kutschewa dissolves. Martin Waldner and Jakob Wipf elected DW for Huttertal and Joerg Hofer, Michael Waldner and Darius Walther elected in Johannesruh.

1859: Schmiedeleut sect formed...Michael Waldner (1834-1889) a grandson of Johannes Waldner, of Hutterdorf along with Jakob Hofer (Huttertal) and Joerg Hofer from Hutterdorf establish a communal colony with several families...called the Schmiedeleut.

1860: Dariusleut sect formed. Darius Walther (1839-1903) a Diener des Wortes of Hutterdorf and grandson of Jakob Walther form a second communal colony in Hutterdorf. Followers of this leader called the Dariusleut.

1864: Lehrerleut...Several families from Huttertal and Johannesruh adopt communal living under the leadership of Martin Waldner a teacher in Huttertal as well as David Hofer, Peter Hofer, Samuel Kleinsasser , and Jakob Wipf.

1868: Communities of Johannesruh and Huttertal dissolve and private ownership is re-adopted. Only the Schmiedeleut maintain community living. They attempt to sell all their belongings and set up a new colony in Scheromet...David Hofer and Samuel Kleinsasser move with their family to Scheromet at this time.

1868: New Huttertal established.

1870: Under Russification program of Alexander II, Hutterite exemption from military service revoked.

14 April 1873: Paul Tschetter and his uncle Lorenz Tschetter are sent as emissaries for the Hutterites to search for new potential settlements in North America. They return 27 July 1873 to the colonies. He suggested that the Hutterites settle in America.

14 May 1874: Schmiedeleut under Michel Waldner of Scheromet immigrate to America. Dariusleut and Lehrerleut follow shortly thereafter.

1874: Schmiedeleut settle first in Lincoln, Nebraska, but due to outbreak of an epidemic they move to Yankton County, South Dakota where they establish the Bon Homme Colony (the mother colony of the Schmiedleut).

1874: Dariusleut under Darius Walther overwinter in Silver Lake district and build in 1875 the Wolf Creek Colony by James River South Dakota.

1876 - 1877: Lehrerleut under Jakob Wipf and preacher David Hofer found the Elmspring Colony in Hutchinson County, South Dakota.

1877 - 1879: Prairieleut--Hutterites who refused to adopt communal living immigrate to America primarily during these years.

1874 -1879: Immigration to America (last group departed in 1879). Aboard the following ships:
S.S. Hammonia depart Hamburg and Havre: arrival July 17, 1874, New York
S.S. Suevia arrival Nov. 6 1874, New York
S.S. Main depart Bremen: arrival Sept. 4, 1875 New York
S.S. Pomerania depart Hamburg and Havre: arrival July 3, 1877, New York
S.S. Lessing depart Hamburg and Havre: arrival July 17, 1878, New York
S.S. Mosel arrival July 21, 1879 New York