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Colony Movement

Katharinenstadt (Baronsk), Russia

 Katharinenstadt (Baronsk), a German Catholic colony, was established on the "Wiesenseite"  or "meadow side" of the Volga River on the 27th of June 1766. The colony was founded by Baron Caneau de Beauregard.

In terms of religious confessions, Katharinenstadt was a mixed community. Between 1803 and 1810 it was one of nine Volga area missions of the Jesuit Fathers. The founding of its deaconate might well have coincided with the establishment of the Tiraspol Diocese. The following belonged to the Katharinenstadt (Marxstadt) Deaconate were: Katharinenstadt (Marxstadt), along with Boregard, Obermonjou (Ober-Monjour), Luzern (Remmler, Michailovska), Zug (Gattung, Mariyinskoye), Schönchen (Paninskoye) and Solothuun (Wittmann, Solotoye). The Marxstadt Deaconate had essentially the same constituency in 1928, even though the settlements at least in part had different names: Marxstadt, Remmler, Zug, Schönchen, and Witmann. 

Parishes of the Deaconate as of 1928:

            Marxstadt         Deacon and Pastor, Ehrenkanonikus Georg Baier

            Remmler           Pastor August Gabel

            Zug                     Curate Johannes Herrmann

            Schönchen        Pastor Peter Riedel

            Wittmann          Exulant [?] Florian Schulz 


Deacons of the Katharinenstadt Deaconate: Pastor Raimund v. Andressheykovich, 1856 – 1876; Anton Johannes Zerr, 1876 – 1878; Nikolaus Mitzig, 1880 – 1881; Georg Rieβling, 1881 – 1904; Philip Becker, 1904 – 1906; Johannes Beilmann III, around 1909; Raphael Loran, around 1911; Georg Baier sr., 1911 – 1928 (and later as well?).


The Katharinenstadt (or Marxstadt) Parish (Yekaterinenstadt/Bronsk)

Founding of the Settlement: June 27, 1766 (5); number of residents: 283 in 1766 (5), 4,654 in 1859 (28), 11,962 in 1912 (5).


Origin of the Settlers

Founding of the Parish: ? A branch of Boregard. Registered parishioners: 2,100 in 1887 (35), 2,348 in 1912 (28), 2,910 in 1919? (6). The Lutheran community was roughly three times than the Russian Orthodox community and, similarly, than the Catholic community. After World War I these relative numbers may have shifted strongly.

Chronological order of the clergy [with gaps, and overlap with a list above]: Pastor Johann Baptist Richard, SJ [a Jesuit], March 1803   April 4, 1812; Pastor Johannes Guillemaint, April 4, 1812 – Sept. 1820; P. Raimund v. Andressheykovich , 1856 – 1876; Anton Johannes Zerr, 1876? – 1878; Nikolaus Mitzig, 1876 – 1881; Vicar Franz Scherer, 1879 – 1884?; Georg Rieβling, 1882 – 1904; Philip Becker, 1904 – 1906; Johannes Beilmann jr., 1909; Vicar Martin Fix, 1909? – 1910?; Raphael Loran, 1910 - 1911; Georg Baier, 1911 – 1928 (and later as well?).



Parish church, erected 1815 in the neo-classical style. According to Bishop Keβler, it was the last church from the Jesuit era [The Tsar expelled he Jesuits around 1820 – Tr.]. By 1882 the church was an empty, unadorned house of God (17). So that badly needed heating (three iron ovens) could be added, two double windows and double doors first had to be added as well. The thirty-year-old altars were gilded, and the old altar paintings were replaced with new ones. For equipping the church properly, Pastor Rieβling spent around 6,000 rubles during his entire term of service. In 1903 he acquired two kneeling angels from the art institute of Stuflesser (60 cm [ca. 2 feet] tall), which cost 100 rubles (37). Also added were: beautiful statues of the Mother of God, the Apostles Peter and Paul (at the main altar), Corpus Christi for the Holy Sepulcher, and a large crèche as part of the Holy Sepulcher side altar. It is not certain whether these items of sacred art came from Stuflesser or from the Vogel Company in Hall near Innsbruck. Pastor Rieβling also had the altar area walls decorated with paintings (funds were insufficient to do the same for the nave) and added two large chandeliers. In 1908 the parish acquired from Stuflesser a Romanesque tabernacle and a throne, costing a total of 200 rubles (37).

According to Bishop Zerr, the Catholic community of Katharinenstadt had a pretty (new) stone church, a school building and residence for the Küster [sexton]-teacher, and a fine pastoral residence. (9, cf. p. 161).

Stone Chapel in the Cemetery.

The Boregard branch parish had a prayer house made of wood. 

The pastorate was a wooden building adjacent to the church.

Cemetery [God’s Acre]: Deacon Rieβling paid special attention to the cemetery and had it enlarged and planted with flowers.

 From the book, "Die Kirchen und das Religiose Leben der Russlanddeutschen" Katholischer Teil by Joseph Schnurr;

Translated by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

The Scouts

Photograph from the collection of the Kansas State Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Scouts Peter Stoecklein, Jacob Ritter, Nicolaus Schamme, Peter Leiker and Anton Wasinger

This photograph was published in the Hays Daily News, November 11, 1929, with the following caption: Here is a group picture of the five pioneers who came to Ellis county, Kansas, from the Volga region of Russia in 1874. These five men were delegates sent to America by the Volga colonies for the purpose of seeking a location to establish new settlements, as many of the Germans of the Volga region were determined to leave Russia and migrate either to North America or South America. This picture was taken of those men shortly before they left Russia bound for America. Reading from left to right are Peter Stoecklein, Jacob Ritter, Nichlas Schamne, Peter Leiker, and Anton Wasinger. They fulfilled their mission successfully, having come as far west as Nebraska. On their return to their home towns they made a favorable report, on the strength of which the first emigrants left Russia in the year of 1875. Four of the five delegates backed up their judgment by coming to the United States themselves, namely: Peter Leiker, Peter Stoecklein, Anton Wasinger, and Nichlas Schamne. The first three named here remained until they died, while Nichlas Schamne returned to Russia. This photograph published for the first time today, was procured through the efforts of Mr. A. D. Wasinger who, knowing of its existence, corresponded with his sister in Russia, who sent it to him. It is a valuable addition to the historical data covering the history of the early settlements of this colony.

The Katharinenstadt Lutheran Church
Taken September 2009 by Kevin Rupp

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The Catherine Statue taken in September, 2009
in the Catherina Platz, Katharinenstadt, Russia
Taken by Kevin Rupp

Resarch Material Available for Katharinenstadt, Russia
Archival Records Available & Where

Census Books

First Settlers List

1834 Census

(Partial List)



1873 Family List

1882 Family List

(Not Complete)

Birth Records



Marriage Records


1883 - 
(Not Complete)

1886 - 1887
(Not Complete)

1897 - Complete

Death Records

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