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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Postal Traffic

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

     In comparison to today, traffic nearby and in the distant surroundings was very little in the old days.  In good weather there was work in the field.  In rainy weather the roads were, and still are today, generally not drivable.  Frequently the wagon broke at the axle in the muck, mainly at the end of the village where the roads went out of the village.  The roads driven on the most were those to Novi Vrbas and Kula.  There on the canal the grain was transferred to the merchants.  Much of the grain was not necessarily for sale.  One also did not need much cash, taxes were paid in kind, and claims were small.  The relatives from the surrounding neighboring villages looked forward to attend Kirchweih or a good toboggan trail in the winter time, to go merrily from Crvenka to Feketitsch, from Sekitsch to Schowe, etc.

     There was already postal traffic in the old days.  Up to the year 1856 the mail was delivered only twice a week.  However this route did not pass Feketitsch but delivered from Subotica (Maria Theresiopel) over to Topola, Mali Idjosch, Novi Vrbas, and on to Neusatz.  The mail carriage driver drove this way with the mail carriage which also served as passenger transport for travellers.  At each postal station the horses were changed so it could continue on.  The mail carriage always had to be accompanied by well-armed soldiers because the mischief of robbers flourished in incredible numbers.  Until 1870 Feketitsch was part of the Mali Idjosch postal district.  One could only send or receive money in Peterwardein, Sombor, or Subotica.  Postage was high and had to be paid in cash.  Besides that the mailman received 2 Kreuzer for a letter and 1 Kreuzer for a card or a newspaper.  There have been postage stamps since 1850.  In 1855 the Mali Idjosch post office received 10 newspapers a day for three communities.  The riding messenger brought the mail to the community.  The church servant, Friedrich Roß, had to carry the mail for the church chancellery to Mali Idjosch.  In 1870 Feketitsch received its own post office.  The opening of the railway made the postal traffic ever more brisk.  Before the World War the mail came twice a day and was delivered morning and afternoon.  Today we receive the mail once a day. - Our post office is the telephone and telegraph station at the same time.

   Today 70-100 German daily newspapers were read in Feketitsch and besides that there were 25 German weekly newspapers and 15 German journals and magazines.  260 letters and cards are received daily.  In 1935 around 260 letters were registered.  There were 101 radio reception sets at the time, and seven people owned telephones.

   The retailer of the German newspapers is Filipp Peter.  The railway, which celebrated its first 100 years in 1925, gave traffic a tremendous push.  However it wasn't until 1870 when the first stretch of rail was placed in the Batschka from Subotica over to Sombor.  The Subotica - Novi Sader Line was opened in 1883.  This train actually should have gone to Srbobran and the Feketitsch station was to be in the vineyards next to the village.  This was also the shortest way.  However Werbaß obtained it, so a second railway was planned which passed through our village on the west side from there to Old Verbaß.  Also there was discontent because the train went up to the back door of Neu Werbaß with the help of their representatives while our train station lay 4 kilometers from the village.  Of course, our station could have been brought closer by the historical management of negotiations and the great sacrifices of the community.  However, one saw the advantage that the railroad clearly still did not offer enough.  Feketitsch paid 5000 Guilders for the train and 11 1/3 chains of field were still needed for the train to proceed through our "Hotter" (border meadow).  Mali Idjosch paid about 7000 Guilders, but Sekitsch gave no Kreuzer for it.  Instead they kept it in case they had to pay for something if the original plan was carried out.  Neuverbaß paid 26,000 Guilders.  Mali Idjosch had the train station next to the village with it (which was of course 5 kilometers away until 1914).  Sekitsch is 3800, Feketitsch is 4200 meters on the summer way.  On the 5th of March, 1883 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon the opening train steamed into the station.  The train, decorated with wreaths, was received by a crowd of a thousand people from the three communities.  The station was called Kisch-Hegyes, was changed to Hegyes-Feketehegy after a year.  After that Mali Idjosch received its own station and after all the changes in names were made, today our station is called "Feketic-Sekic."

[Published at 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]