Frank

Names: 
Frank
Krestvoi Buyerak
Medeveditskii Krestovyi Buyerak
Medveditzkoi Krestovoi Buyerak
Medwedizki Krestowoi Bujerak
Medveditza
Франк
Крестовый Буерак
Медведицкий Буерак
Медведицкий Крестовый Буерак
History: 

Frank, a German Lutheran colony, was until October 1918 the Township center of the Frank Township, Atkarsk Region, Saratov Province, 110 versts from the city of Saratov and 94 versts south of the county town of Atkarsk. Frank was founded as a Crown colony on 16 May 1767 by 117 families from Mecklenburg, Palatinate, Saxony, and Darmstadt-Isenburg. In an edict dated 26 February 1768, Frank was given the Russian name of Medeveditskii Krestovyi Buyerak because of where it was located on the river.      

As of 1859, there were in Frank a Lutheran church (built in 1842), a parochial school, a market, 3 oil producing factories, and one mill.      

Colonists from Frank helped to found the daughter colonies of Brunnental in 1855 and Langenfeld in 1859. In 1859, 120 colonists moved to the Samara Province on the Wiesenseite.      

Emigration to America began in 1870. At that time, 30 people left.      

A Regional government school was founded in 1871 with both governmental and private funds. Books and other supplies are provided by the government. Tuition has been set so that all can afford to attend: full payment 11-14 rubles; only 6 rubles for the poor.

Today, what remains of the colony of Frank is known as Medveditza.

Church: 

Frank was set up as an independent Lutheran parish in 1768 and the pastor was resident there.

Pastors & Priests: 

The parish headquartered in Frank was served by the following pastors:

  • 1768-1770 Johann Friedrich Mittelstädt
  • 1771-1776 Johann Friedrich Heitzig
  • 1778-1782 Laurentius Ahlbaum
  • 1782-1786 Samuel Traugott Büttner
  • 1788-1817 Franz August Flittner
  • 1818-1820 David Flittner
  • 1820-1837 Franz Bernhard Hölz
  • 1838-1868 Jakob Würthner
  • 1867-1878 Ernst Theophil David
  • 1879-1882 Samuel Petrus Dittrich
  • 1884-1901 Karl Rudolf Roos
  • 1901-1914 Michael Somelt
  • 1917-1920 Arthur Julius Kluck
  • 1925-? Konrad Staab
Population: 
Year
Households
Population
Total
Male
Female
1767
117
335
 
 
1769
115
425
215
210
1773
115
525
282
243
1788
109
704
367
337
1798
138
861
443
418
1816
191
1,415
768
647
1834
305
2,552
1,344
1,208
1850
314
3,775
1,905
1,870
1857
412
4,620
2,343
2,277
1859
303
4,684
2,383
2,301
1885
 
4,682
 
 
1897
 
5,080*
2,595
2,485
1905
 
5,454
 
 
1912
614
4,592
2,281
2,311
1920
654**
4,872
 
 
1922
 
4,999
 
 
1923
 
5,129
 
 
1926***
861
5,374
2,612
2,762
1931
 
5,485****
 
 

*Of whom 5,072 are German.
**Of which 643 households were German.
***Of whom 5,288 (2,561 male & 2,727 female) were German living in 832 households.
****Of whom 5,467 were German.

Sources: 

- Beratz, Gottieb. The German colonies on the Lower Volga, their origin and early development: a memorial for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers on the Volga, 29 June 1764. Translated by Adam Giesinger (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1991): 349.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- The German Settlements in the USSR before 1941 [in Russian] (Moscow, 2002): 125.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898).
- Orlov, Gregorii. Report of Conditions of Settlements on the Volga to Catherine II, 14 February 1769.
- Pallas, P.S. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs. Theil 3,2, Reise aus Sibirien zurueck an die Wolga im 1773sten Jahr (St. Petersburg: Kaiserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1776): 623.Pleve, Igor R. The German Colonies on the Volga: The Second Half of the Eighteenth Century, translated by Richard Rye (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2001): 318.
- Schnurr, Joseph, Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen - Evangelischer Teil (Stuttgart: Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1972): 344.
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 18.

Map showing Frank (1935).

Satellite view of Frank. The red box marks the spot where the church used to be.  The yellow box marks the current cemetery (constructed after the 1941 deportation of the Volga Germans).
Source: Maggie Hein

Lutheran Church in Frank.

Lutheran Church in Frank. School is visible in the background.

Map of Frank (1900)
Source: David Eisenach.

Church in Frank (2006).

Worship service in Frank.

School in Frank.

Winter in Frank.

Grain storage building in Frank.

Current cemetery in Frank (constructed after the 1941 Deportation).

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