Messer

Names: 
Messer
Ust-Solicha
Ust-Solikha
Ust-Zalikha
Ust-Zolicha
Ust-Zolikha
Мессер
Усть-Золиха
Усть-Залиха
History: 

Messer was founded as a Reformed colony on 7 July 1766 by the Government on the Zolicha River, near its confluence with the Goloi Karamysh. The 85 founding colonist families came from the Palatinate, Hesse, and Prussia. A government decree on 26 February 1768 gave Messer its official Russian name of Ust-Solikha.

Today, what remains of the former colony of Messer is known as Ust-Zolikha.

Church: 

Originally, Messer was the lead congregation in a group of Reformed parishes that included Moor, Kutter, Kautz, Anton, and Balzer.       

A new church building was constructed in an early form of the Kontor Style. It was completed in 1835 and built of wood. A new brick church in the Neo-Classical style was built in Messer in 1912. The ruins of this building stand today.

Pastors & Priests: 

The following pastors served the congregation in Messer:

  • 1767-1777 Aloysius Jauch
  • 1778-1799 Johannes S. Janet
  • 1804-1818 Josua Graf
  • 1820-1823 Johann Samuel Huber
  • 1823-1850 Immanuel Grunauer
  • 1855-1891 Jakob Friedrich Dettling
  • 1889-1891 Liborius Herbord Behning
  • 1894-1896 Johann Kaminsky
  • 1897-1898 Ernst Althausen
  • 1899-1909 Eduard Seib
  • 1909-1914 Woldemar Lankau
  • 1917-1929 Eduard Hermann Eichhorn

The following served as vicar in the Messer parish:

  • 1897 Johann Romann
Population: 
Year
Households
Population
Total
Male
Female
1767
92
308
 
 
1769
85
329
175
154
1773
87
397
206
191
1788
84
581
287
294
1798
86
619
327
292
1816
112
960
513
447
1834
193
1,828
941
887
1850
190
2,704
1,340
1,364
1857
259
3,327
1,663
1,664
1859
198
3,403
1,712
1,691
1886
359
3,102
1,574
1,528
1891
326
4,260
2,152
2,108
1894
348
4,627
2,305
2,322
1897
 
3,403*
1,702
1,701
1905
 
5,057
 
 
1910
 
5,196
 
 
1912
 
5,295
 
 
1920
611**
4,344
 
 
1922
 
3,425
 
 
1923
 
3,200
 
 
1926***
649
3,716
1,765
1,951
1931
 
3,706****
 
 

*Of whom 3,375 were German.
**Of which 605 households were German.
***Of whom 3,712 were German (646 households: 1,764 male & 1,948 female).
****Of whom 3,703 were German.

Sources: 

- Amburger, Erik. Die Pastoren der evangelischen Kirchen Rußlands (Lüneburg, Germany: Institut Nordostdeutsches Kulturwerk, 1998): 137.
- 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): 351.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- List of Settlements in the Russian Empire in 1859, vol. 38: Saratov Province (St. Petersburg, 1862): 59.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898): 1068-1072.
- 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): 622.
- 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): 319.
- Preliminary Results of the Soviet Census of 1926 on the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Pokrovsk, 1927): 28-83.
- Schnurr, Joseph, Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen - Evangelischer Teil (Stuttgart: Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1972).
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 19.

Map showing Messer (1935).

Old Messer Church (built in 1835).
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 1972.

Old Messer Bell Tower.
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 1972.

Messer Reformed Church built in 1912.

Interior of Messer Reformed Church.
Source: Steve Schreiber

Messer church and congregation.

Messer church (ca. 1913).
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 2005.

Ruins of the Messer church in 2001.
Source: Steve Schreiber.

Ruins of the Messer church in 2001.
Source: Steve Schreiber.

Messer Volost adminstrative office (ca. 1930).

Messer street scene.

Architectural renderings of the Reformed Church in Messer.
Source: Jorge Bohn.

Latitude: 50.229167
Longitude: 9.112500
Latitude: 49.472870
Longitude: 8.654302
Latitude: 49.707951
Longitude: 7.666639
Latitude: 50.218889
Longitude: 9.041667
Latitude: 50.218889
Longitude: 9.041667
Latitude: 50.294255
Longitude: 9.029714
Latitude: 50.296124
Longitude: 9.072247
Latitude: 50.294255
Longitude: 9.029714
Latitude: 50.315278
Longitude: 9.067778

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