Września district history

The history of Września District dates back to the year 1818 when it was established by the occupational Prussian authorities. Since then, the county had incessantly been in existence until 1975, namely for 157 years. During the course of these 157 years the political status of the area changed significantly several times: one hundred years of the Partitions period, twenty-one years in the independent Second Republic of Poland, six years of German occupation during World War I, and finally 30 years of the People’s Republic of Poland. During all that period the territory of the county underwent various changes and therefore, in order to present its history and the history of the administrative situation of the area prior to the establishment of the county, it is advisable to introduce the concept of Wrzesińska Land, even though it is not justified historically.

The district as an administrative unit appeared in Poland in 14th century. Neither then nor within the course of the following four centuries until the collapse of the Polish Commonwealth, did Września stand any chances of becoming the county town since bigger and more important towns of Gniezno, Pyzdry and Środa were located in its close vicinity.

On the basis of the preserved records administrative status of Wrzesińska Land can be described precisely since 16th century. Wielkopolska Province was then divided into two voivodships: Poznańskie and Kaliskie. Two neighbouring districts: Gniezno and Pyzdry belonged to Kaliskie Voivodship. Wrzesińska Land and even the town of Wrzesnia itself within its contemporary boundaries were divided between these two counties. The major part of Wrzesińska Land, including Zawodzie and Opieszyn that belong to the town nowadays, comprised Pyzderski County, whereas the town itself and a small area north of it belonged to Gnieźnieński County (within the area of today’s Września the border between the counties was drawn from Psary along the river Wrześnica to Miłosławski bridge and further along Miłosławska, Warszawska and Słowackiego streets). This division remained unchanged until 1768, when Gnieźnieński and Kcyński Counties were separated from Kaliskie Voivodship and they constituted a new Gnieźnieńskie Voivodship. Since then Wrzesińska Land and Września itself belonged not only to two different counties (Pyzderski and Gnieźnieński), but also to two separate voivodships (Kaliskie and Gnieźnieńskie). This modification of county borders in Wielkopolska Province resulted from the first Partition of Poland in 1772, although Wielkopolska Province itself was not incorporated into Prussia at that time yet. Several villages near Września, including Zawodzie and Opieszyn, were attached to Gnieźnieńskie County and Gnieźnieński Voivodship. In 1791 Pyzderski County was subject to further division and a new Średzki County was made up of a part of its land. This new county comprised among others Miłosław, which formely had belonged to Pyzdry.

In practice, this divisin did not come into effect due to Targowicka Confederation and in 1793 Wielkopolska Province was taken over by Prussia after the Second Partition. Prussian authorities introduced new administrative division of Wielkopolska Province, called South Prussia then. The major part of Wrzesińska Land and the town of Września were included in Pyzderski County again, smaller parts of the land remained in Gnieźnieński and Średzki County, and some area was attached to the newly established Powidzki County. Thus, the territory of the contemporary Wrzesiński County was divided between four counties then. This situation remained unchanged throughout the times of the Dutchy of Warsaw (1807-1815). After 1815, when Września together with the whole Wielkopolska Province came back under Prussian jurisdiction, the town obtained a great chance of becoming the county town. The Prussians once again altered county borders including Września and the territory north of the town in Gnieźnieński County. They also preserved Średzki and Powidzki Counties, however the area south of Września belonging to the former Pyzderski County was excluded from this division. Initially, so called Nowopyzderski County was set up, however its capital Pyzdry was located outside the borders of Prussia, in the Kingdom of Poland, under Russian jurisdiction. This situation called for changes. The authorities were considering several solutions, establishing a new county with its seat in Miłosław among them, but finally they decided to choose Września as the county town. There were several arguments supporting that choice. The town possessed buildings big enough to house county offices (Miłosław did not), moreover it was the fourth biggest town (2,341 inhabitants) in Bydgoska Regierungsbezirk (a German administrative unit; Wielkopolska was divided by the Prussians into two of them, Poznańska and Bydgoska), and finally it was situated far from the state borders, which made the location more favourable. On 12th March 1818 Prussian authorities set up a new county, and the final decision on locating its seat in the town of Września was made on 10th August 1819. The new county had the area of 730km˛ and three other towns apart from Września, Miłosław and Żerków and 143 villages were included within the borders of this ‘first’ Wrzesiński County. The first landrat (German counterpart of county head) of Wrzesiński County Adam Moszczeński was Polish, later the office was held only by the Germans.

The borders of Wrzesiński County were modified significantly in 1886 since several new counties were established that year in Wielkopolska Province. The area south of the Warta river, that is the area of Żerków, was separated for the county and therefore its territory shrunk to 562km˛. Within its borders 2 towns (Września and Miłosław), 84 communes and 74 manor landed estates were left.

This territorial shape given to Wrzesiński County then remained unchanged for over 30 years, until the restoration of the independent Polish state. In all the period described (1818-1918) Wrzesiński County was a border territory. It was situated along the Prussian (German)- Russian border, and that is why Września was housing, apart from such typical county institutions as county head office, county court and county police forces, also regional customs office in the town itself and field customs offices in border villages of Strzałkowo, Borzykowo and Nowawieś Podgórna. Since 1902, probably due to increasing tension in European affairs, a garrison of the 3 Battalion of the 46th Prussian Infantry Regiment was stationed in Września.

After the defeat of Germany in World War I and until the outbreak of Wielkopolskie Uprising Kazimierz Grudzielski was a Polish advisor of the last German landrat Egon von Haber. Franciszek Czapski was appointed first Polish county head of Wrzesiński County in the Second Republic.

The territory of the county did not change on the threshold of the reborn independent state. In the north, it bordered on Gnieźnieński and Witkowski counties, the latter established to replace Powidzki one, in the east on Słupecki, and after its liquidation in 1932 on Koniński County, in the south on Jarociński and in the west on Średzki Counties.

During the period of the Second Republic the limits of the county were modified three times. The greatest change took place in 1927 and was connected with the liquidation of Witkowski County. 46km˛ of its area were incorporated in Wrzesiński County, whose territory expanded to 608km˛. The second, relatively smaller change occured in 1934 when the region of Zberek was excluded from Średzki and included in Wrzesiński County. The third, still less significant change took place in 1939, when after the territorial exchange with Gnieźnieński County in Barczyzna region Wrzesiński County lost nearly 5 km˛ of its total area.

Initially the county parliament called sejmik constituted a local government organ of the county. In 1934 its function was taken over by county council of 30 and then 14 members. In 1935 Poland introduced a new administrative system resulting in a new division of the county: its 224 towns and villages were organised in 5 municipalities and 68 communes. Due to the reform, the council members were elected by one hundred-person board of local authorities representatives and by twenty-one-person board of town councillors and municipal administration.

The executive organ of county council was called County Department and its members were elected by the County Board. This executive unit was headed by county head who was a civil servant, so he was not elected by neither of the above.

Only one of the county heads in the Second Republic times was actually based in the region: Franciszek Czapski (county head 1918-1921) was the owner of a manor estate in Bardo. The others came from all over the country. While holding office they were provided with an official residence, so called ‘county head villa’. In August 1921 Adam Charkiewicz of Galicja Province (county head 1921-1929) was appointed Wrzesiński County Head and held office the longest of all the Second Republic heads. He retired in 1929 and was replaced by Bronisław Chodakowski, who had been the head of Kowl county in Wołyńskie Voivodship. In 1932 he left for the post of county inspector in Lwow. The following head Leon Gallas did not hold office long because in 1934 at his own request he was transferred to Żdaczów in Stanisławowskie Voivodship to take office there. Zygmunt Kowalewski (county head 1934-1939) was his successor, however a few months before the outbreak of World War II on 1st March 1939 he was transferred to Oborniki Wielkopolskie to replace the so far Obornicki county head. During the times of German occupation between 1939 and 1945, Wrzesiński County in its pre-war shape was incorporated in the administrative structures of the Third Reich. In January 1945, after the Russian army had marched in, the Provisional National Board which was an extension of the State National Board for the county was formed. Until the summer 1945 two heads Jan Beess and Jan Ociepka were appointed.

Between 1945 and 1950 the structure of the local government was based on the pre-war legislation (however modified) as far as executive organs were concerned, and on the National State Council decree of 1944 for council boards. In 1950 the People’s Republic authorities carried out an administrative reform which liquidated the post of county head in Września and county head Władysław Kołodziejczyk stopped holding office. The new body called County National Board became a local government unit and its executive organ called Presidium was led by chairman. Stefan Tuhy was its longest presiding chairman in the years 1969-1973. Until 1954 National Boards members were not elected, they were delegated by political parties and social organization. The first elections to National Boards were held in 1954

During the times of the People’s Republic of Poland there were two modifications of the county territory. In the first post-war years, similarly to the pre-war situation, the county covering the area of 608km˛ consisted of two towns: Września and Miłosław and five municipalities: Września North, Września South, Miłosław, Borzykowo and Strzałkowo. In 1948 the town of Pyzdry and the municipalities of Ciążeń and Dłusk were attached to the territory and the area of the county expanded to 812km˛. The following change occurred in 1956 when the municipalities of Strzałkowo and Ciążeń were joined to Słupecki county and the municipality of Nekla, formely in Średzki County, was included in Wrzesiński County. Due to these changes the area was reduced to 704km˛. This shape was preserved to 1975. On 1st June that year an administrative reform liquidating counties and dividing the territory of the country into forty-nine new and considerably smaller than the previous ones voivodships came into being. The territory of the former Wrzesiński County was divided between two new voivodships: a larger part of its area entered the new, smaller Poznańskie Voivodship, a smaller eastern part including Pyzdry became a part of the new Konińskie Voivodship. This division remained in force till the end of 1998.

The county reappeared on the Polish administrative map on 1st January 1999 as a result of the reform conducted by the authorities of the Third Republic. The elections to the 30-person county council were held in Września in the autumn of 1998 and the council elected Krzysztof Wojciechowski county head. Four years later, in accordance with the new regulation, the new 19-person council was elected in the autumn elections. Then the council appointed a newcomer, Dionizy Jaśkiewicz county head.

After the above mentioned administrative reform, the county is situated in the centre of the new Wielkopolskie Voivodship and it is surrounded by Gnieźnieński, Słupecki, Jarociński, Pleszewski, Średzki and Poznański Counties. Its territory covering 704km˛ corresponds to the territorial shape it had in the years 1956-1975 and is divided into five municipalities: Września, Kołaczkowo, Miłosław, Nekla and Pyzdry.

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