Abram Abram Unrau: a Mennonite leader in the Chortitza settlement of South Russia; was born 14 June 1856, the oldest of the six children of Abram Unrau (30 April 1813, Kronsweide, Chortitza, South Russia – 28 October 1890) and Agatha (Heese) Unrau (17 November 1823, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia – 17 December 1883). He married Gertrude Thiessen (16 May 1856 – 15 September 1902, New York, Ignatyevo, South Russia), daughter of Peter Heinrich Thiessen (1826–1906) and Helena (Kaetler) Thiessen (1823–1900), in August 1876. Abram and Gertrude had 16 children: Peter, Abram, Agatha, Helena, Gertrude, Johann, Wilhelm, Anna (d. young), Maria, Katarina, Cornelius, and Magaretha; four others died in infancy. His second wife was Mrs. Maria Hildebrand, widow of Isaac Hildebrand.
Abram was educated at the Chortitza Zentralschule. After their marriage, Abram and Gertrude lived in Chortitza until 1878 and then moved to an estate at Roppov-Gauchur, where they lived until 1889. In 1888 the mother colony of Chortitza had purchased land from Count lgnatiev and established the Ignatyevka Mennonite settlement. In 1889 Abram Unrau moved from his Hochfeld estate to New York in the Ignatyevka Mennonite settlement. Here he became an excellent farmer who made the best possible use of his land. The Unraus at first lived in the Count's former residence, which also served many others as a dwelling place until they had built their own homes. Later, this residence also housed the three classes of the newly established Girls School until a new school was built in 1907. The Central School was built two years earlier in 1905.
Abram was ordained as a minister on 8 June 1890, and as elder on 16 June 1900 in New York.
For twenty years Elder Unrau was widower. Around 1920-1922 he married Maria, the widow of minister Isaac Hildebrand, and moved from New York to Ekaterinovka (No. 1), Ignatyevka Mennonite settlement. When his health began to fail, his daughter Katharina went to take care of him. At that time many people from New York were immigrating to America. When the emigrants gathered in Konstantinovka, Elder Unrau, lying in his wagon, had himself driven there so he could take leave of them.
Abram was a wise leader and was well read. He died 30 August 1930, at New York, South Russia, where he was interred in the local cemetery.
GRANDMA = GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.00 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2006: #199044.
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||May 2007|
 Cite This Article
Paetkau, David and Richard D. Thiessen. "Unrau, Abram Abram (1856-1930)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2007. Web. 25 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Unrau,_Abram_Abram_(1856-1930)&oldid=103560.
Paetkau, David and Richard D. Thiessen. (May 2007). Unrau, Abram Abram (1856-1930). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Unrau,_Abram_Abram_(1856-1930)&oldid=103560.
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