Pfeifer

Names: 
Faifer
Fajfer
Feifer
Gnilushka
Gniluschka
Gnilyshka
Gvardeiskoye
Gvardeyskoye
Pfeifer
Pfeiffer
Гвардейское
Гнилушка
Пфейфер
Файфер
History: 

Pfeifer was founded on the right bank of the Ilava River on 15 June 1767 by the Government as a Roman Catholic colony. Pfeifer is 117 versts from the provincial capital of Saratov, 65 versts from the district capital of Kamyshin, and 6 versts from the local administrative center of Kamenka.       

From the beginning of the colony, there was parochial education available in Pfeifer. The students were taught reading, writing, and religion by a local schoolmaster under the supervision of the parish priest. In 1888, a government school was constructed in the colony.       

From 1860-1864, 23 families resettled to daughter colonies in the Samara Province. Between 1877 and 1886, 64 families immigrated to South America.

Today, what remains of the former colony of Pfeifer is known as Gvardeyskoye.

Church: 

In 1846, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Pfeifer was built of wood in a neoclassic style. The building contained a high altar, side altars, and an organ that came from the South Tyrol. The upper half of the interior walls was whitewashed whereas the lower half was finished in light blue.       

Pfeifer became an independent Catholic parish in 1871.       

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is no longer standing.

Pastors & Priests: 

The parish of Pfeifer was served by the following priests:

  • 1869-1877 Michael Haag
  • 1877-1878 Sebastian Wolf
  • 1878-1880 Philipp Dorzweiler
  • 1880-1894 Johannes Burgardt
  • 1887 Peter Müller
  • 1897 Josef Hein
  • 1897?-1898 Josef Paul
  • 1904 Alexander Staub
  • 1905 Joseph Gütlein
  • 1905-1909 Johannes Fix
  • 1911-1913 Joseph Beilmann
  • 1914-1918 Nikolaus Maier
  • ?-1921 Emanuel Simon
  • 1921-1928 Leo Weinmayer
Population: 
 
Year
Households
Population
Total
Male
Female
1767
104
328
179
149
1769
80
317
175
142
1773
95
393
213
180
1788
89
507
270
237
1798
94
591
297
294
1816
123
825
427
398
1834
193
1,518
799
719
1850
229
2,250
1,134
1,116
1857
230
2,322
1,179
1,143
1859
230
2,345
1,199
1,146
1886
357
2,617
1,265
1,352
1891
348
3,566
1,781
1,785
1894
349
3,785
1,913
1,872
1897
 
2,847*
1,426
1,421
1904
 
 
 
 
1911
 
3,104
 
 
1912
 
4,870?
 
 
1920
484
3,422
 
 
1922
 
1,904
 
 
1926**
414
2,437
1,208
1,229
1931
 
2,821
 
 

*Of whom 2,841 were German.
**Of whom 2,434 were German (411 households: 1,205 male & 1,229 female).

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): 352.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898): 156-158.
- 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.
- Pfeifer Village History (Rosemary Larson)
- 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 - Katholischer Teil (Stuttgart: Selbstverlag Joseph Schnurr, 1980): 251.
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 18.
- Work Paper of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, No. 16 (December 1974).

Map of Pfeifer (1935).

Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Pfeifer, Russia.

High Altar of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Pfeifer, Russia.
Source: Rosemary Larson

Latitude: 50.275000
Longitude: 9.371944
Latitude: 49.901055
Longitude: 8.844496
Latitude: 50.044870
Longitude: 9.999474
Latitude: 50.965633
Longitude: 7.157032

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