Franz and Schröder (Halbstadt, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine)

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Franz and Schröder was a manufacturer of farm machinery and an iron foundry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The company was established in 1874 in Halbstadt, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Russia, by Heinrich Franz (1847-1894), a teacher from the Zentralschule in Halbstadt, and his brother-in-law, Peter Peter Schröder (1844-1911). Their decision to open a factory came at a time when a large expansion of available crop area had resulted in an increased need for farm implements, and several other factories were established at about the same time. After the first factory was established in 1860, the industrial element in the Mennonite settlements developed rapidly.

When their company first opened, Heinrich Franz and Peter Schröder used buildings which had formerly been part of a silk factory to establish an iron foundry and a manufacturing plant for agricultural machinery. By 1911, Franz & Schröder was the sixth largest Mennonite manufacturer in Russia, with 153 employees and an annual production rate of 209,190 rubles. Together, the eight largest agricultural machinery companies, all run by Mennonites, generated 6.2% of Russia’s annual production, with a value of over three million rubles per year. Heinrich Franz died in 1894 and Peter Schroeder in 1911 but the company continued to operate after their deaths.

Like the other manufacturers in the area, Franz & Schröder produced a variety of agricultural machines, including reapers, mowers, threshers, and plows. By 1916, however, some of the factories formerly owned by Peter Schröder were manufacturing artillery shells for the First World War.


Ehrt, A. Das Mennoniten in Russland. Berlin und Leipzig: Julius Beltz, 1932.

Mennonitische Geschichte und Ahnenforschung Chortitza. "Fabrik ‘Franz & Schroeder’ (Neu-Halbstadt, Molotschna)." 2006. Web. 16 May 2012.

Rempel, David G. The Mennonite Colonies in New Russia: A Study of their Settlement and Economic Development from 1789 to 1914.  Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1933: 275-289.

Urry, James. "Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth and the Mennonite Experience in Imperial Russia." Journal of Mennonite Studies 3 (1985): 7-35.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published May 2012

Cite This Article

MLA style

Huebert, Susan. "Franz and Schröder (Halbstadt, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2012. Web. 14 Jul 2020.,_Molotschna_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=131191.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (May 2012). Franz and Schröder (Halbstadt, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 July 2020, from,_Molotschna_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=131191.

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