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  The village Gnadenthau was founded on December 10, 1857 by colonists re-settled from Franzosen, Grimm, Merkel, and Dietel.

From Franzosen came 1 family comprised of 2 males and 3 females. From Grimm came 1 family comprised of 1 male and 1 female. From Merkel came 1 man. And from Dietel came 1 family comprised of 5 males and 4 females.  This made a total population on 10 December 1857 of 17 souls.

These first 17 settlers were joined on January 23, 1858 by 402 colonists re-settled from Galka, Shcherbakovka, Stephan, Müller, and Schwab.    This made a total population as of 23 Jan 1858 of 419 souls.

According to Dr. Igor Pleve, data from the church records for Gnadenthau for births and deaths are preserved almost without any gaps for the period from 1860 until 1920.

Names for this village include:  Gnadentau, Rosnoye, Sobachii Kolonok, Verkhnij Jeruslan, Verkhniy Yeruslan and Gnadenthau.  Following the deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941, the settlement was renamed Verkhnii Yeruslan (Upper Jeruslan.)

Gnadenthau became a lead parish in 1876. A brick church building was constructed between 1884-1888. The congregation was disbanded by the government in 1938. The church building was then used as a granary and barn.  On October 29, 2004, the church building was reconsecrated to hold worship services. Restoration of the building continues.

In 1892 a home for the elderly and orphans was established here called the Bethel House of Mercy.  By 1910 the village had a Lutheran church, 2 schools, a creamery and 3 windmills.





Volga Relief Society Records - We purchased this information from Samuel Sinner who obtained it for us from the Nebraska Historical Society.
  • As of 25 May 1922 - some individuals received financial aide through the Volga Relief Society totaling $80.00



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