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A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

The New Buildings

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

   Still at the time Rev. Jung made a speech that a new parsonage and a new church should be built.  Then we saw through the purchase of a house a new parsonage should be acquired, but it was just stopped.  The community knew that in any case they had to provide a large part of the necessary materials for the construction themselves.  After much advise from the elders and the community assemblies an extraordinary tax for two years was proposed by Daniel Giese and was finally decided on the 25th of April 1926 for which each couple paid 37.50, the homes divided in 3 fathoms, 37.50, 25 and 12.50, the business trades up to 3 fathoms- 125, 100, or 37.50, the store people - 500 and 300, 1 chain of field - 25, a threshing machine - 62.50 Dinar.  On the 25th of January 1928 the community assembly decided unanimously at the suggestion of Johann Wei▀mann on another 2 years written down in the same balance.  In the same year construction was to be begun but the opinions over the "how" were greatly varied.  On the 25th of March the community assembly was not capable of making a decision, a second meeting could not be arranged, so the elders came up with the construction plans completely independently.  On the 10th of April the building commission was elected to include church father Jakob Hoffmann, Heinrich Hunstein, Daniel Giese, Karl Eng, Philipp Schwebler and Heinrich Brauchler.  The old parsonage behind the church was demolished in April, and on the 22nd of April the bricklayers and the carpentry workers were assigned for the construction of the choirmaster's apartment and the first school halls.  This was accomplished in the same year.

   On the 17th of February 1929 the community assembly decided unanimously to build a second school and a new parsonage after which it would not cost much more than if the old school had been rebuilt to be a parsonage.  The building commission consisted of church father Jakob Hoffmann, Jakob Wei▀mann, Georg Kern, Michael Blum, Johann Wei▀mann, Martin G÷ttel, Wilhelm Bellmann, and Peter Kern.  The responsible authorities did not approve the submitted construction plan for the second school and another had to be presented that cost considerably more and also spoiled the uniformity of the buildings.  But at the time there was no other plan.  Today one could ask why the community built the schools altogether where they maintained no schools themselves?  But at the time the state did not regulate the school fortunes of the congregations so the community had to meet the demands of the school authorities.  Because of this trouble, only the foundation of the parsonage could be built.

   In 1930 the construction of the parsonage was permitted and it all came under one roof.  The community assembly also decided to institute the extraordinary tax this year.  With the constant fall in grain prices the construction was prevented.  On the 15th of February 1931 it was decided at the suggestion of Johann Hubers with a majority of votes to keep the extraordinary tax for another year.  However in March the community had to take out a loan of 20,000 Dinar from the Seniorates' treasury.  In March 1932 the cabinet makers were assigned to the parsonage and the community assembly decided unanimously to continue the extraordinary tax again for 1932.  It also remained so in 1933, but with the modification that the owner would be exempt from this extraordinary tax by which the growing deficit on the 1st homes and 2nd class, on fields and trades spread.  For 1934 the extraordinary tax was cut in half and continued until today so the construction could continue in 1933, windows and doors were fixed, after that electric light was installed, and the room was covered with floor boards.  The parsonage is still not completely finished, so the cost estimate for 1936-37 was intended to be the total necessary for completion.

   All of the masonry work was done by Jakob and Johann G÷ttel, the carpentry work by Karl Eng and Peter Schock, the cabinetry work by Peter and Karl Spangus, and the glass work by Daniel Giese.  So far about 200,000 was spent for the whole construction.  Also the "Karl Bincze Fund" was raised, so that one could say that Bincze's work in part contributed to the building of the community.  Most community members did half of the construction with unskilled laborers, wagons and horses, and they were given many directions.  Community members donated 5,744 Dinar and 50,300 bricks to the construction.  But the community also received good financial aid from outside for the construction.  From the state church the community received a total of 19,195 Dinar which was mainly at the time the Senior, thanks to Bishop Alexander Agoston at the time.  From the Swiss of the "Swiss Association for the Evangelicals in Austria and the succeeding states" through the negotiations of Rev. Berger and partly from him the community also received a total of 17,327.50 Dinar from the Gustav-Adolf Association from Germany, 3,929 from the state church, and 200 Dinar from a citizen of the German Empire.

Choirmaster's apartment, 2 school rooms, parsonage, German Reformed church and the Hungarian Reformed church

   However, with the completion of the parsonage the construction plans were still not completely carried out; on the site of the present church a new one should be built.  "So the Lord wants and we live." (Jak.4.15).

[Published at DVHH.org 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]