G. A. Klassen & Neufeld was a manufacturer of farm machinery in Sofijevka, Borozenko Mennonite Settlement, Russia. The company first began in 1865 when G. A. Klassen (likely Gerhard Abram Klassen, 1832-1908) and his son-in-law, Heinrich Neufeld, took advantage of the recent increase in available farmland to establish a factory producing agricultural machinery such as threshers, reapers, and mowers. By 1911, the company had an annual production of 200,442 rubles with 140 employees working at the site. In addition, the company owned three large flour mills in the nearby city of Melitopol, with a capacity of 6000 puds daily.
Much of this new industry followed from innovations in transportation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The development of steam-powered boats made river travel easier, while the expansion of rail lines in the area, especially a new link completed in 1904, eased the burdens of land travel. Beginning with Lepp and Wallmann in 1865 and closely followed by G. A. Klassen & Neufeld, many Mennonites took advantage of the new situation, establishing factories in the Molotschna and Chortitza Mennonite settlements, as well as some in other areas. Many of these factories were nationalized following the Russian Revolution.
Mennonitische Geschichte und Ahnenforschung Chortitza. “Fabrik J. A. & W. J. Classen (Kisiar, Taurien).” 2006. Web. 29 May 2012. http://chortiza.heimat.eu/UntU.htm.
Rempel, David G. “The Mennonite Colonies in New Russia: A Study of their Settlement and Economic Development from 1789 to 1914.” PhD dissertation, Stanford University, 1933: 275-289.
Urry, James. “Growing up with Cities: The Mennonite Experience in Imperial Russia and the Early Soviet Union.” Journal of Mennonite Studies, 20, 2002, 123-154. Web. 29 May 2012. http://jms.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/jms/article/viewFile/1089/1088.
Urry, James. “Through the eye of a needle: wealth and the Mennonite experience in Imperial Russia.” Journal of Mennonite Studies, 3, 1985, 7-35. Web. 29 May 2012. http://jms.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/jms/article/view/42/42.
Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "G. A. Klassen & Neufeld." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2012. Web. 12 Feb 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=G._A._Klassen_%26_Neufeld&oldid=81106.
Huebert, Susan. (2012). G. A. Klassen & Neufeld. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 February 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=G._A._Klassen_%26_Neufeld&oldid=81106.
©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.