to Neu Odessa: Germans from Russia Who Settled in Odessa Township,
Dakota Territory, 1872 - 1876
By Cynthia Anne Frank Stupnik
Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Maryland, Second Edition, 2002, 118
pages, maps, illustrations, surname index, softcover
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to provide
this second edition of Steppes to Neu Odessa. This latest
edition of this biographical and genealogical sketchbook of Plains'
pioneers includes many new family connections.
Dominic and Margaretha (Kost) Stoller,
parents of Heinrich Stoller. Photo courtesy of Della Kiesz.
In the late 1700s and 1800s, the Russian government encouraged
hardworking people from Western Europe to settle Russia in a number
of locations, including St. Petersburg, along the banks of the Volga,
and near the Black Sea. Along with inhabitants from other countries,
thousands of German citizens answered the call.
Determined to maintain their own culture and nationality, many
of the Germans eventually decided to relocate. The first three groups
of German-Russians from the Black Sea area arrived in the United
States in 1872. In the spring of 1873, they sent scouts to search
for land they could settle as a group.
The scouts found rich homestead land about twenty miles northwest
of Yankton, Dakota Territory [now SD] that was similar to the farmlands
they had left in Russia. They sent encouraging letters back to family
and friends in Russia, which resulted in a flood of German-Russians
to America. Their numbers were estimated at one hundred thousand by
the end of the century.
Depot in Yankton, Dakota Territory,
where many German-Russians arrived.
In many cases the biographical sketches in this volume include
the settler's date of settlement, occupation, place of birth, death,
and burial, and names of parents, spouse, and children. Sometimes
the biography is supplemented with newspaper excerpts. The surnames
included are Auch, Bohrer, Dux, Engel, Frank, Friemark, Freier,
Hermann, Horst, Jassmann, Kost, Kusler, Mind, Mueller, Mutschlknaus,
Reister, Rude, Sayler, Schaefer, Schamber, Schorzman, Schramm, Serrr,
Sieler, Stoller, Ulmer, Vaatz, Weber, Weidenbach, Werner, Winter,
and Ziegele. The author's sources have come from various German-Russian
historical works, newspapers of the Dakota Territory, and German-Russian