Online Exhibits - From Far Away Russia, Part 3
Russian-Germans in Kansas
Early Years in Kansas
Before long we will be obliged to class them as among our best citizens. Encourage them to come.
--Hays City Sentinel, April 5, 1876
Railroads sometimes provided temporary housing until Russian-Germans could purchase land and depending on what time of year they arrived in the Midwest.
A communal house shelters Mennonites in the illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, March 20, 1875 (top, right).
Temporary dwellings sprang up on newly purchased lands in central Kansas. These temporary houses were constructed at the Mennonite colony north of Newton, pictured in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, March 20, 1875 (center, left).
Early Russian-German structures in Kansas often echoed European styles. Sometimes the families did not live on their own farms, but clustered their homes together in central villages.
Substantial Homes and Farms
Within a few years, though most families moved into standard frame houses made by local builders. The earlier structures were abandoned or used as farm buildings.
Here the Werth family, who were Volga Germans, pose in front of their house near Schoenchen, Kansas (bottom, right).