Business among the Mennonites of Russia

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Among the Mennonites in Russia business started when they found themselves producing cattle, horses, eggs, butter, ham, grain, etc., without the benefit of convenient markets. Some of the Mennonites, such as the young Johann Cornies, began to take produce to the markets of Sevastopol, Kertch, Taganrog, Berdyansk, Kharkov, and Ekaterinoslav. Returning, these small merchants took with them cloth, groceries, tools, machinery, etc. With the growing wheat production, Mennonite wheat dealers could be found in all settlements. Berdyansk was outstanding in this respect.

Lumber yards operated by Mennonites were found in Einlage near Chortitza. Popularity of the dairy cows produced by the Mennonites caused many to go into export business. The same must be said about the farm machinery produced in Mennonite factories. A number of business schools prepared young men for business.

This growing interest in business caused many Mennonites to establish businesses in non-Mennonite communities and cities. This trend became very strongly noticeable just before World War I. In 1908 there were 576 Mennonite business enterprises and industries valued at 5,494,878 rubles. Some of the major centers of Mennonite industry and business enterprise were Chortitza, Alexandrovsk, Halbstadt, Berdyansk, and Ekaterinoslav.

See also Agriculture among the Mennonites in Russia and Industry among the Mennonites of Russia (and Prussia)

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Business among the Mennonites of Russia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 Sep 2020.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1953). Business among the Mennonites of Russia. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 September 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 484-485. All rights reserved.

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