In German known as Chodschesen, Choziesen, Colmar or Kolmar in Posen. A town in the Chodziez district, in the Duchy of Posen and in the county of Bydgoszcz. Its geographical position is 52° 59’ latitude north and 34° 53’ longitude east of the isle of Ferro. It borders the Rataj lake (river Bolemka?), not far from the navigable part of the river Notec. The area is hilly and fertile.
It is made up of three parts 1) Chodziez town 2) Koenigswiese a suburb and 3) Koniecznik another suburb. It has 2912 inhabitants. In 1871, there were 3092 people living in 272 homes. Of these 1274 were Protestants, 1020 Catholics, 3 non- conformists and 795 Jews. Emigration to America caused the decrease in population. The majority is German but speaks both languages and some use the local dialect “plattdeutsch.” The main employment is found in the cloth industry, farming, grain trade and small shop keeping. It is the seat of the Landrat, or chiefs of the district, including district authorities, district tax collector, district builder, cadastre controller, physician and veterinarian. As of 1879, the district courts, which are a part of the manorial courts in Pila (Schneidemuehl), are also in the town. Earlier, it was the seat of the court commission, which belonged to the district court in Pila. There is a Catholic parish church, which belongs to the Czarnkow deanery, a Protestant church, which belongs to the Chodziez diocese and a synagogue. The elementary school has several classes. There are 707 illiterate people. There is a library, reading room and a printing house. The presence of dying plants, a large faience factory, a sawmill, a flourmill, a brewery, a brick factory and a German lending company speak for the state of industry. Moreover, there is a post office, a third class telegraph office, a postilion point and postal delivery to Pila and Rogoz. The Posen- Belgard train stops here, too. The national route Berlin-Bydgoszcz links Chodziez with Czarnkow and Wyrzyski. The provincial route goes to 1) Wagrowca and Wyrzysk, 2) Walcz and Wyrzysk 3) Walcz (Deutsch Krone) 4) from Pila through Ujscie and Chodziez to Obornik. For a number of centuries the city belonged to the Potulicki – Grzymala crest- family and in the XVII century it became the property of the Grudzinski family bearing the same crest. It is unknown when the Catholic Church was founded and by whom. Judging from the visits made by important visitors it already existed in the XV century. During Zygmunt August’s reign, the Potulicki family converted to Protestantism and returned the church to the coreligionists. It was only when Jan Potulicki, the Santok castellan, converted back to Catholicism that the church was returned to its original owners. There are no historical monuments in the church although it belonged to famous families. In his writings on the history of churches in the Posen diocese, Lukaszewicz believes the tombstones were removed after the fire in 1798. Only two effigies remain: 1) an unknown convert with a Latin script, 2) Rydzinski, Bishop of Chelminsk and priest in Chodziez who died in 1814. There used to be two further churches in Chodziez: St. Barbara’s and the Holy Trinity.
In 1811, there were 268 houses and 2986 inhabitants, in 1837 there were 200 houses and 2925 people of which 1863 were Christians and 1062 Jews. There has been no population increase in the past forty years.
To the north, the Chodziez district borders with districts from the Kwidzinski Walecki and Zlotow region, to the east with the Wagrowiecki district, to the south with the Obornicki district and to the west with the Czarnkowski district. It covers an area of 19865 sq. miles or 109436 hectares. The county is flat except for the area around Rzadkow, Kaczor and the Olesnicki forests, which give rise to hilly land. Three quarters of the land is semi fertile, a sixth is light and the remainder is muddy. Only one larger river flows through the county, namely the Notec. For three miles it divides the Chodziez district from the Wyrzyski one. In the Chodziez district it flows from east to west, under the town of Ujscie and not far from the Nowie grange it enters the Czarnkowski district. The right tributary, the Glda (Kueddow), which comes from the Kwidzinski area joins it here and then for a mile it divides the Chodziez district from the county of the same name. It continues through the district till it reaches Pila from whence it is navigable and near Ujscie it enters the Notec. The Glumiu, which begins in Kwidzinski county near the village of Borki (Borkendorf) flows through part of the Chodziez district and is a left tributary of the Glda. There are numerous lakes in the area, the largest of which are Zelgniewo, Brody, Kaczory, Worowo, Niewimko, Margonin, Rataje and Zbyszewice. In 1875 the population of the district was 54328 of whom 20563 lived in the towns. In 1871 it was 52750 of whom 25653 were male, 27097 female, 31259 Protestants, 18693 Catholics, 102 non-conformist and 3696 Jews. There are approximately 2700 people per sq. mile. The Chodziez district is one of the less populated in the Posen duchy. There are 129 communities (by 1875, 4 more manorial ones were added): 6 town communities, 89 country communities, 34 manorial communities, (by 1875, 4 more were added making 38) and 5178 houses (5366 in 1875). The German population by far outweighs and, in fact, in the cities it predominates. The district towns are: Budzyn (Budsin), Chodziez (Kolmar and P.), Margonin, Szamocin (Samotschin), Pila (Schneidemuehl) on the Glda, (Kyddow), Ujscie or Usc (Usch), where the Glda enters the Notec. In 1871, these towns had a joint population of 18711 people. The main occupations in the rural areas are water related ones on the Notec and Glda, farming and cattle breeding. In the towns you find trades, industry and factories are even springing up, especially in the largest town, Pila but also in Chodziez less distant from the rest. The district is divided into 4 smaller areas or “commissariats” Chodziez, Szamocin, Pila and Budzyn. The town of Chodziez is the seat of almost all the authorities, the Landrat, tax collection, building and cadastre controller, physician and veterinarian. The district barber-surgeon and school inspector are in Pila. As from 01 October 1879, the district courts are to be found in Pila, Margonin, and Chodziez. They come under the manorial court in Pila. Up until the reorganisation of the courts, the district collegiate court, with branches in Chodziez and Margonin, was in Pila. The Chodziez district has 10 Catholic parishes and 6 branch churches. The parishes in the Posen diocese are: Budzyn, Chodziez, Margonin, Pila, Pilka and Ujscie; the branch churches are in the villages: Biala Gora (Grosse Wittenberg), Daleszewo, Lubionka, Pokrzywnica (Krummfliess), Zawada (Springberg), Wyszyna (Wischin). The Gniezno diocese has the following parishes. Zon, Jaktorowo, Morzewo, Smielowo; the Protestant parishes making up the Chodziet diocese are: Chodziez, Sokolowo (Jankendorf), Margonin, Pila (Schneidemuehl), Ujscie (Usch), Zachas (Zachasberg), Wielki Mierkowiec and two in the Wagrowiecki district, Wagrowiec and Golancz. The high schools, philological and the government school for ladies are in Pila (nearby). The schools in the smaller towns and villages are under the supervision of the district inspector, whose headquarters are in Pila. In 1871, there were 11654 illiterate people amid a population of 52750 and 14540 children under the age of 10. The district has 6 libraries, 3 reading rooms, and 2 printing house. The entire district covers an area of 428418 Magdeburg morgs. The greater part, which is privately owned covers approximately 183150 morgs and also includes 50473 morgs of crown lands. Since 1848, 14752 morgs has left Polish ownership. Presently, only two family estates covering 31990 morgs remain in the hands of Polish owners: Pruchnowo, in trust, to Count Potulicki and Wyszyna, heir, to Count Raczynski. The government properties are divided into amts, tax- economical in Pila and amt Podstolice. The government owns the extensive forests near Podanin and there are privately owned forests near Zelgniew, Dziembow, Chodziez, Olesnica, Margonin, Szamocin and Jablonowo. There are distilleries in: Pietrunki (Pietrunke), Jaktorowo, Postolice, Dziewoklucz (Siebenschoesschen), Prochnowo, Wyszyna, Jablonowo, Dziembowo, Szamocin, Strelice (Strelitz), Lesnice, Nikelskowo and Rzadkowo; breweries in Pila, Rekawice, Chodziez, Szamocin and Margonin; mills in Chodziez, Pila (3) and Szamocin; sawmills in Chodziez, Nadolnik, Pila (3) and Szamocin; brickworks in Chodziez (3), Budzyn, Lucienhof, Szamocin, Pila (4), Aschenfort, Sypniewo, Jablonowo, Weglewo, (Kahlstadt, Lesnice, Strzelice, Borowskie Oledry, Brody (Brodden), Morzewo, Rzadkowo (2) Smielowo, (Schmilau) (2), Stewy (Stoeewen), Ujscie Nowa Wies (Uschneudorf), Ujscie Oledry (Usch Hauland) and Notec mill (Wilhelmshoehe); lime kilns in Szamocin and Margonin; dye works in Pila, Ujscie manor, Chodziez (2) and Szamocin; vinegar factory in Szamocin and Pila; meal factories in Zelniewo and Pila; faience factory in Chodziez manor; glass factories in Dziembowo and Neufriedrichsthal; iron works in Zelazna Huta (Auerbachshuette). The upkeep of the roads is the responsibility of the government: the Berlin-Bydgoszcz road connects Chodziez with Czarnkow and Wyrzyski and passes through Pila; the road from Wagrowiec through Margonin, Szamocin, Bialosliwie, connects Chodziez to Wagrowiec and Wyrzyski and is maintained by provincial funds; the road from Walcz (Deutsch Krone) to Chodziez; the road connecting Chodziez with Oborniki passes through Pila, Ujscie, Chodziez and Budzyn. Rail roads: the east rail (Ostbahn) has its main station in Pila; smaller stations in Kaczorz (Erpel), Skorka (Schoenfelde) and Stewy (Stoewem). The Posen-Belgard railway going from Posen to the seaside town of Belgard runs through the district for 60 km. stopping in Budzyn, Chodziez and Pila. There are first class post offices in Pila and third class ones in Budzyn, Chodziez, Margonin, Szamocin and Ujscie; a post agency in Smielowo (Schmilau) and a second class telegraph office in Pila. There are telegraph stations in Chodziez, Margonin, Szamocin and Ujscie. The greater part of the Chodziez district, 1036 sq. miles, used to belong to the former Posen province with the towns of Pila, Ujscie and Budzyn. The smaller part, 9,5 sq. miles, belonged to the former Gniezno province with Chodziez, Margonin and Szamocin. In 1831, the Chodziez district population was 33430 with 1660 people per sq. mile. The town population was 11735, the country 21695, Catholics 12386, Protestants 18283, Jews 2761. In that same year, the Catholic town population was 4214, the country 8172, Protestant town 13387, country not quite 5000. There were 2725 Jews in the town 2725 and 36 in the country. In 1837, the population was 37859, i.e. 1880 heads per sq. mile; town 12584, country 25275, In six years there had been a population increase of 13,25%, town 15,75% country 16,5%. In that same year, there were 1251 town dwellings and 2397 country ones: so about 3648 and in 1837 there were 4000.
Archaeological excavations in Jablonowo and Miloslaw near Ujscie, in Laskow by Szamocin, in Szamocin, Ujscie, Zelgniewie and in Zon by Margonin have brought many interesting items to light.
Source: Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1880, vol. 1, pp.613-615]
This translation, by Jola Jurasinska, is used by permission.