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J. A. & W. J. Classen was a manufacturer of farm machinery and equipment in Neu-Halbstadt, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Russia. One of the first companies to be established in the region, J. A. & W. J. Classen was founded in 1886 by three brothers, Jakob, Abram, and Wilhelm Classen, to help meet the demand for farm machinery following a large increase in available land. By 1897, the company had an output of 168,640 rubles, which grew to 241,000 in 1911, with 145 workers employed at the factory, making it the fifth largest Mennonite company at the time. Other important companies were Lepp & Wallman, J. G. Niebuhr, J. J. Neufeld,  J. A. Klassen, and Franz & Schroeder.

In the 1911-1912 year, about two hundred people worked at the J. A. & W. J. Classen factory, but the number had declined slightly by 1914. Like other companies in the region, J. A. & W. J. Classen produced a variety of agricultural machines, including reapers, mowers, winnowers, and harrows, as well as smaller implements. Altogether, the eight largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery had an output of more than three million rubles in 1911.


Ehrt, Adolf. Das Mennonitentum in Russland von seiner Einwanderung bis zur Gegenwart. Berlin und Leipzig: Julius Beltz, 1932: 92.

Mennonitische Geschichte und Ahnenforschung Chortitza. "Fabrik J. A. & W. J. Classen (Kisiar, Taurien)." 2006. Web. 29 May 2012.

Rempel, David G. "The Mennonite Colonies in New Russia." PhD dissertation, Stanford University, 1933: 275 ff.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published 2012

Cite This Article

MLA style

Huebert, Susan. "J. A. & W. J. Classen." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2012. Web. 28 Feb 2015.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (2012). J. A. & W. J. Classen. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 February 2015, from

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