Faifer, Fajfer, Feifer, Gnilushka, Gniluschka, Gnilyshka, Gvardeiskoye, Gvardeyskoye, Pfeifer, Pfeiffer
50º39' N 45º24' E
Pfeifer was founded on the right bank of the Ilava River on 15 June 1767 by the Government as a Roman Catholic colony. Pfeifer is 117 versts from the provincial capital of Saratov, 65 versts from the district capital of Kamyshin, and 6 versts from the local administrative center of Kamenka.
From the beginning of the colony, there was parochial education available in Pfeifer. The students were taught reading, writing, and religion by a local schoolmaster under the supervision of the parish priest. In 1888, a government school was constructed in the colony.
From 1860-1864, 23 families resettled to daughter colonies in the Samara Province. Between 1877 and 1886, 64 families immigrated to South America.
In 1846, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Pfeifer was built of wood in a neoclassic style. The building contained a high altar, side altars and an organ that came from the South Tyrol. The upper half of the interior walls was whitewashed whereas the lower half was finished in light blue.
Pfeifer became an independent Catholic parish in 1871.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is no longer standing.
The parish of Pfeifer was served by the following priests:
1869-1877 Michael Haag
1877-1878 Sebastian Wolf
1878-1880 Philipp Dorzweiler
1880-1894 Johannes Burgardt
1887 Peter Müller
1897 Josef Hein
1897?-1898 Josef Paul
1904 Alexander Staub
1905 Joseph Gütlein
1905-1909 Johannes Fix
1911-1913 Joseph Beilmann
1914-1918 Nikolaus Maier
?-1921 Emanuel Simon
1921-1928 Leo Weinmayer
**Of whom 2,434 were German (411 households: 1,205 male & 1,229 female).
- Beratz, Gottieb. The German colonies on the Lower Volga, their origin and early development: a memorial for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers on the Volga, 29 June 1764. Translated by Adam Giesinger (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1991): 352.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898): 156-158.
- Pallas, P.S. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs. Theil 3,2, Reise aus Sibirien zurueck an die Wolga im 1773sten Jahr (St. Petersburg: Kaiserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1776): 623.
- Pfeifer Village History (Rosemary Larson)
- Preliminary Results of the Soviet Census of 1926 on the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Pokrovsk, 1927): 28-83.
- Schnurr, Joseph, Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen - Katholischer Teil (Stuttgart: Selbstverlag Joseph Schnurr, 1980): 251.
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 18.
- Work Paper of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, No. 16 (December 1974).
Last updated 18 May 2015.