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

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Trade Association's of Mercydorf

by Peter Schiff
(Mercydorf 1734-1934
Translated by Brad Schwebler

    A sign of an intellectually worthwhile life of a village are always the social and cultural associations.  The oldest association of our community is the Trade Association, frequently also called Zunft (Guild), Innung (Guild), or Meister (Master Craftsman) Association.  It was already established in Mercydorf in 1852 and had a special upswing under the experienced leadership of “Raseur” master craftsman Jakob Schiff, who was the head of the association from 1897 to 1902.  It was a beautiful entertaining life that the association led, at different formal events, but especially at the annually held general assembly where all the fellow shopkeepers were met by the guild master with village music and after the assembly they were accompanied back again by all of the members of the association with music.  It also happened this way when the master craftsman held a ball.  This association is already 82 years old today and presently stands under the goal conscious leadership of master craftsman Ferdinand Wick and honorary president Dr. Ad. Blasowics, pastor.  Concerning the development of our oldest association we gathered from the speech by the present day foreman Ferdinand Wick, who at the 82nd celebration of the association said the following: “At the establishment there were 28 members including: Jos. Debler, shoemaker; Jakob Kade, blacksmith; Peter Pletsch, landlord; Mathias Wick, cabinetmaker; Mich. Griech, Kammacher?; Jöh. Schäffer, cabinetmaker; Joh. Wachinger, wagon maker; Claudius Eß, cabinetmaker; Joh. Spitzikel, barrel binder; Peter Krauß, Riemer?; Joh. Schauß, blacksmith; Jak. Hübchen, butcher; Joh. Krauß, butcher; Franz Ferch, wagon maker; Joh. Schag, barber; Georg Szenetra, blacksmith; Adam Berweiler, shoemaker; Joh. Blau, barber; Joh. Mullar, barber; Wendel Zotter, blacksmith, whose handiwork has existed for 5 generations; Jak. Heblinger, carpenter; Nik. Schipper, blacksmith; Mich. Keller, miller; Veith Schiff, barrel binder; Jak. Kolocsar, mason; Ant. Schöninger, blacksmith, whose handiwork has existed for 4 generations.”  The first foreman was: Josef Dobler who immigrated from Germany and also played an outstanding role in political life.  The association – called Zunft (Guild) in the beginning issued apprentice and master craftsman letters, but lost its privileges in 1867.  It remained, however, under the name as a social association until 1877, then it operated until 1897 as Association of the Business Enterprises.  At the time Jakob Schiff was elected to the boards of directors, who purchased 4 state lots now and then for the association, so the association also bore the name “Losgruppengesellschaft” and remained so until 1914.  From 1914 to 1919 there was no association activity.  Then it existed recently under the name Trade and Commerce Association which from 1924 to the end of 1929 was overheard to be the Iron Ring Trade Association until finally on the 15th of January, 1930 it became connected as the local group of the German-Swabian Trade and Commerce Association.

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr]

Heritage » Collections » Schwebler