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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

The Pastor’s Living Quarters and the First Pastor Salaries

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

   The first parsonage was constructed in 1860 from the massive school and teachers' apartment built three years before.  The whole alteration depended on the room being promptly boarded up and the school hall would later be divided into two rooms.  This school also had three windows facing the yard.  One had to be fixed since the teacher Karl Burg shot a robber who fled through an exit in the parsonage yard. In the apartment there was a front room, an open kitchen which soon had to be covered, a second room and two spaces which were built from the school hall. A wide corridor ran along the whole building and three steps led up to it. The street front of the building was always whitewashed and had eight windows which stood very high.  The church building sacrificed the first room as a substitute for a kitchen on the yard side of the corridor.  From the space of the first kitchen there was the pastor's chancellery which had been paneled a decade ago and now the supported ceiling made a wretched impression.  Yet amazingly everyone moved neglected-looking old house and after more sweat and several more days work the walls were demolished.  No fewer than 40,000 useable bricks could be borrowed.

   The new parsonage already should have been built by 1915, unfortunately this decision was not carried out because of the outbreak of the war.  However due to war loans and devaluation the capital that existed for this purpose was lost.  The parsonage and the school existed under one roof until the church was large enough.

   So in 1927 the congregation was brought together a second time to build a parsonage from their own strengths and money although there were many difficult relationships as before the war.  In the Spring of 1927 the congregation accepted the plan of the local building contractor Johann Schwebler.  The plan was produced according to the wishes and instructions of the local pastors.  The work details could be assigned.  The masonry work was done by Jakob Morell, Johann Müller, Peter Ortag, Johann Schwebler Peter Staudt, and Karl Stroh - for 73, 821 Dinars.  The cabinetry work was done by Peter Freitag, Friedrich Peter, and Philipp Wagner for about 46,000 Dinars.  Together with the executive committee of the church elders, church treasurer, and three old gentlemen who were entrusted as the building commission, all of the construction workers were independently managed and supervised.  The elders were therefore relieved of the responsibility.

     The bricks were acquired for the community and paid for by Jakob Gutwein at 630 Dinars per thousand, 500 Dinars per thousand was paid for roof tiles.  The lumber was supplied by Philipp Schwebler's lumberyard.  During the construction of the parsonage the pastor's

     The Evangelical Parsonage family lived in the beautiful hospitable home of WW. Anton Scherer.  1,000 Dinars was paid for it with warmest thanks.

   The parsonage is separated from the church building by a 6 meter long iron bar with an entrance door.  There are 4 windows on its 18 meter long street front, of which two are three-winged windows and all have wooden blinds.  The building, 12 meters wide, has four living rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a bathroom, a veranda, and a cellar besides the chancellery.  It is provided with electric lighting and a water main.  The whole building required a total sum of 204,000 Dinars from the community.  However many thousands of useable bricks from the old building were used for it.  It was 6 fathoms across the yard to the neighboring building.

   At the end of September 1927 the parsonage was completely finished and the pastor's family could quietly move into it.  The local pastor reported on the completed building as follows: "Now we have reached our goal with God's help and we are so thankful for the gentlemen who were gracious enough to help us through it!  The willing sacrifices that this little community made is praiseworthy.

The First Pastors' Salary

   From 1819 to 1835 the Evangelicals of Feketitsch received pastoral services from the pastor of neighboring Sekitsch.  And so Rev. Samuel August Weinrich served until 1827 and from 1827 on Rev. Josef Skultethy served. The church invoice from 1827 signed Skultethy as Evangelical Lutheran pastor of Sekitsch and Feketitsch.  Whatever salary the pastor was paid at the time was not decided, but it was acquired, also according to the same sort of signature as above, as it was in Sekitsch because most of the Evangelicals came from there.

   In 1835 the community concluded a contract, as branch community, with Rev. Josef Skultethy of Sekitsch in the presence of the executive notary Johann Skultethy from Vrbas.  According to this agreement each couple paid 2 Guilders.  Besides that each farmer paid ½ Pester Metzen of fruit and just as much oats and small homeowners and property owners paid 1/3 Pester Metazen of fruit and just as much oats.  (Stolarien?) as in the parent community.  If the branch community should receive a half session or a whole session of field, the clergy should receive enjoyment from half of it and the school teachers should receive enjoyment from the other half and the farmers as well as the small homeowners would only have to pay as much as they could afford.  Rev. Josef Skultethy offered to hold the church services in the early hours for the next two Sundays but on the third Sunday, for his recovery, he did not show up.  For the church services he came on his own horse, to all other functions he had a load to carry.

   Rev. Ferdinand Hamel's salary was the following:  an apartment consisting of two rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a cellar, a stall, and yard space.  Twice a year, besides the necessary repairs, it was whitewashed.  From each couple 1 Guilder in Austrian currency (Stolarien?): 1 Guilder for wedding ceremonies, 1 Guilder for corpses, 50 Kreuzer for small corpses, 50 Kreuzer for baptisms, and 50 Kreuzer for confirmation instructions.  The farm couple has to pay ½ Pester Metzen of fruit and just as much oats.  Out of the container which held the children's fortune, they paid half just as the couples did.  For over 60 years each member has been free of the pastor's fee.  Every year two fathoms of straw, 1 fathom of oats, and 3 fathoms of firewood (in addition it is noticed that in 1882 there were 4 fathoms of firewood which were fetched from Karaboga in which the wood cost 37 Guilders and the delivery fee was 39 Guilders.)  Marriage, as much as its use was necessary.  In case the community, by regulation, received the estates of the pastor's field the payment for the marriage was 3 fathoms of straw.  If the pastor only receives the (Hutweide) meadow jurisdiction, the above payment remained.  The pastor set up in each case the payment of all the taxes for which he had enclosed estates.  All official loads such as the 12 (Vorspann?) credit loads yearly for private use in the surroundings of the executives.  These achievements are only reported from the Feketehegy occupants and not from those who have their house and field here, but don't live here.  Feketitsch, on the 13th of November 1859."  It stayed at this salary unless the meadow was divided.  Then the pastor received 6 chains of agricultural land as meadow jurisdiction.  Straw and (Vorspann) were later removed for 60 Guilders.

[Published at 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]

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