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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Economic Development

by Stefan Schmied
Translated by
Gerald "Jerry" Thomas Boyle

      The lord-farmer relationship in the settlement was regulated by a contract. For example, on April 24, 1780, an agreement was made between the count's prefect, Anton Minaric 21 hectare for their private use. In addition, forests and fields were shared by the whole town.

      The number of homes in Scheindorf was 139 at the turn of the century. By 1940, this number had risen to 241. 163 houses belonged to Swabians, 68 to Romanians, and 10 to various other families.

      The Swabians, renowned for being hard-working and competent, were soon able to make the land fruitful just like their friends in the other towns. They mostly planted wheat, rye and corn. The wheat and rye they used for bread, and the corn mostly for cattle feed.

      The size of the farms and homes did not change as long as the settlers were under obligation to the count. The law stated that the estate would be left to the oldest heir undivided. This policy was in effect until the First World War. This was a safeguard against splitting up farms into small parcels of land. Division of the land had a bad effect, unless new land could be bought or acquired. For example, in Martingen and Petrifeld in 1937, 83% and 69%, respectively, of farmers owned from 1 to 12 acres. In Scheindorf, the percentage of small farms was probably larger. As a result, many families could not make a living off their small farms and hired themselves out as laborers on larger farms. Laborers reached agreement with the employer for a percentage of the yield. A cutter would receive 1/11 to 1/12 of the yield; a harvester 1/3 of the yield.

[Published at 29 Sep 2006 by Jody McKim Pharr]

Heritage Collections Boyle Schmied