Second Half of the 19th Century
Trading in Kremenchug was successfully developing due to a few factors: a) the Dnipro river is an important transport thoroughfare, b) a suitable ferriage via the Dnipro, which linked the South part of Russia with the central and the North ones, c) peculiar talent of the Jews of Kremenchug, who managed to establish a masterly trading working in the city till the middle of the 19th century, and a famous Russian supernumerary Y. Yanson wrote all about that in his work “Labors of the expedition equipped with free emperor company of the Economical community to explore cereal trading and production in Russia”. — Spb, 1870.-vol. 2, ISS. 1.-s. 79-117.
“…The main doers here (in Kremenchug – auth.) as everywhere in the South-West are Jewish people…For all their enterprise, performance and famous merchant sharpness they take up the most various operations and care for capital to circulate as fast as possible. Salt, alcohol, cereal, official contracts, distilling and selling forward that is what a Jew takes on…”
In the "Background and address book of Kremenchuk of 1875" you can find data on Jewish schools, a hospital, artisans and manufacturers. Interestingly, the calendar in this book consists of two parts: the Christian Orthodox and the Jewish one. There are also some short historical facts about Jews in the city of Kremenchug. According to this book in early 1874 there were 64 male students at the official 1st rank Jewish college; there were 86 melammeds and 668 male students at the Jewish headers. For one school melammed there were at about 8 students. In 1875 the caretaker of the official Jewish college was Kh. Bromberg. The teachers were L. Horenshtein and I. Farber. Hereinafter there were founded 2 class primary school, private primary school (honorary citizen A. B. Lybin) and gratis professional women college, communities aids for poor Jewish children, 7 women and 8 men Jewish colleges, both Jewish women and men grammar schools.
There is some quite detailed information about Jewish hospital of Kremenchug in the publication “The agenda book and the court-guide of Poltava province of 1892”. It says: ”The Jewish hospital of Kremenchug was founded in 1887. The hospital has an aim to lend a hand to sick Jews both males and females of the city and the county of Kremenchug, in a case of availability of untaken bunks to provide help to the Jews from other cities. Some free medical advice also can be given to sick people, who for some or other reasons can not be admitted to hospital or don’t need fulltime care at doctor’s option. The set of the hospital consists of 12 bunks but can be expanded in the nearest future. There is a hospital drugstore without sales right. People who were admitted to hospital are fully provided with food, clothes, footwear, bedclothes and medicine.”
According to directory of Poltava province the Jews were craftsmen of all trades: cobblers, coopers, blacksmiths, owners of shag factories, wholesale business, doctors, teachers, dancing teachers among others, owners of wine, grocery, haberdashery and many other stores. The Jews were owners of printing houses and libraries. All in all the Jews of Kremenchug worked and achieved headway in all the spheres of city’s life.