Transcribed from The Golden Jubilee of German-Russian Settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1926

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FIRST COLONISTS ARRIVE AT HAYS

On February 21, 1876, fourteen of the families mentioned above arrived at Hays. The day following they moved to the present site of Liebenthal, section 21, township 16, range 18 west, in Rush County.

On March 1, 1876, the five families from Katharinenstadt (Bissing, the three Karlins, and Koerner), arrived at Hays, where they remained one month and seven days. Each morning they drove to their homesteads, where Catherine now stands, and worked at constructing their homes. Their building operations completed, they moved into their new dwellings on the eighth of April, 1876.

Representatives of the Herzog contingent of immigrants had originally chosen land near Hog Back. This choice, however, did not satisfy the men who later inspected it, and they in turn chose section 1, township 14 south, range 17 west as the site of their colony.

On April 8, 1876, twenty-three families came to Victoria and erected their first dwellings on the east bank of the Victoria Creek, a little west of the present town.

Influenced, no doubt, by the glowing accounts of the colonists in America, a large group of settlers from the western side of the Volga left Saratov on June 23, 1876. Only three settlements, Pfeifer, Kamenka and Semenowka, were represented in this contingent. The names of the families coming from Pfeifer were: Andrew Desch, George Etzel, Anton Holzmeister, Gottlieb Jacobs, Mathew Jacobs, Michael Jacobs, Joseph Jacobs, George Schmidt, John Schmidt, Joseph Schmidt, Jacob Schoenfield, John Breit, Valentine Schoenfeld, Peter Breit, and George Dome. From Kamenka came the families of John Meder, John Schlieter, and Matthias Vogel. From Semenowka were George Seitz and Casper Seitz.

The following day, June 24, the following left Katharinenstadt: John Karlin, Karl Koerner, Frederic Meis, Mrs. Meis, Andrew Schmidt, Jacob Schmidt, John Schmidt, Peter Schmidt, Mrs. Schueler, Mrs. A. Schuetz, Henry Staab, Karl Staab, August Walter, Frederic Walter, Jacob Walter and Jacob Welz.

On June 25 they overtook the first group and continued on together as far as Orel. Here the latter party left in advance of the former, but they met again at Eydtkuhnen. George Schmidt and John Meder here joined the group from Katharinenstadt and went with them to New York by way of Hamburg. They reached Hays on July 26, and Catherine the day following. The other party sailed from Bremen, and arrived at Topeka on July 23. From here most of them went to Hays on August 20 (or 23), and to Pfeifer the next day.

Map showing section of Russia from which Immigrants came. They came from the Kantons Marxstadt (Katharinenstadt), Tonkoschurowka (Marienthal) on the east side of the Volga River and Kamenka on the west side.

Transcribed from The Golden Jubilee of German-Russian Settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1926

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Golden Jubilee of the German-Russian Settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas

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