Davlekanovo, the cultural and economic center of the former Mennonite settlement in the Russian province of Ufa, was located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains on the Dyoma River. The first Mennonites settled near Davlekanovo about 1890, coming from South Russia and from Samara, the province adjoining Ufa. In 1893 there was already a small congregation in Gortchakovo, which by 1914 had grown to several hundred members. At Berezovka another congregation was organized, which had a Mennonite school with a boarding house for poor children (Armenschule) and a large church in which general harvest festivals, song services, missionary meetings, and other events were held. More and more families settled alone or in small groups on separate farms (Khutor) around Davlekanovo at the beginning of the twentieth century; others formed villages (Karanbash, Morozovka, Udryak, Golyshevo, etc.). Some of the isolated farms were the scene of violent attacks by robbers, who wiped out entire families.
About 1900 some Mennonite families settled in the Russian Tatar village of Davlekanovo. which was situated on the railroad. In a few years two fairly large congregations were organized here, one each of the Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Brethren. A seven-class Zentralschule for boys and girls developed under the leadership of Franz C. Thiessen and J. P. Perk into a nine-class secondary school, attended by about 200 Mennonite students, and in 20 years became a cultural center for the entire settlement around Davlekanovo.
Until the outbreak of World War I the colony enjoyed an extraordinary economic growth. Several large mills powered by steam or water power, business houses and warehouses, factories and shops were owned by Mennonites. Until the Revolution of 1917 half of the village bore a German and Mennonite character with its large school, church, and many beautiful homes surrounded by thriving gardens.
The war and the Revolution brought catastrophe to the prosperous Mennonite settlement. Repeatedly hordes of the "Reds" and the "Whites" flowed through the settlement, plundering and finally communizing the enterprises. In 1920 and the following year many villagers fell victim to starvation and typhus. In 1923-1925 numerous families emigrated to the United States and Canada, while others were banished to North Russia or to Siberia. To avoid compulsory collectivization many fled in 1929 and reached Moscow, but the larger part of them were forcibly transported back to the East. Very few were able to return to Davlekanovo. -- GH
In addition to the Armenschule, founded by Jacob Martens, an evangelist, Karl Friedrichsen, a teacher in the Zentralschule, operated a small Bible school in 1923-1926 (see Mayak Bible School). In 1926 the Mennonite population was 1,831, distributed over nineteen "villages" and estates, farming nearly 30,000 acres of land. -- CK
Der Praktische Landwirt. May, 1926: 2.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-evangelische Mennonitische Bru?derschaft in Russland, 1789-1910 in Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte [microform]. Halbstadt: Raduga, 191: 717.
Quiring, Jacob. Die Mundart von Chortitza in Süd-Russland: Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde der philosophischen Fakultat (1. Sekt.) der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität zu München. München: Druckerei Studentenhaus München, Universität, 1928: 37.
Cite This Article
Hein, Gerhard and Cornelius Krahn. "Davlekanovo (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 13 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Davlekanovo_(Ufa,_Bashkortostan,_Russia)&oldid=94306.
Hein, Gerhard and Cornelius Krahn. (1956). Davlekanovo (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Davlekanovo_(Ufa,_Bashkortostan,_Russia)&oldid=94306.
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