Building of the Headquarters of the Economic Council of the Hrubieszów Agricultural Society
The building is one of the still discernible traces of the Hrubieszow Land Society, founded in 1816. Society for Joint Rescue in Misfortunes (commonly known as the Hrubieszow Agricultural Society). Established on the initiative of Rev. St. Staszic, it was the first agricultural organization of its kind in Europe and a forerunner of cooperative and self-governing institutions, aiming to develop agricultural culture, education, social welfare, in addition to improving the lives of peasants. According to the law of the Hrubieszov Agricultural Society, peasants were exempted from serfdom and received the right of hereditary ownership of land. From its inception, the foundation was cooperative in nature and was an autonomous institution under the protection of the state, thus forming a territorial municipality within the meaning of the administrative system of the Kingdom of Poland.
The building located on St. Staszica Street (formerly Mostowa Street), which has survived to the present day, was the site of the headquarters of the Economic Council of the Hrubieszów Agricultural Society.
It is worth mentioning that the Society had a strictly defined organizational structure, headed by a chairman who simultaneously served as a village head. The law introduced heredity of the office of chairman through the person of Joseph Grotthus and his descendants according to the principle of primogeniture. The Society’s organizational structure also included a 6-member Economic Council, composed of representatives of the Society’s members, elected by indirect vote.
The Society’s activities were also based on the so-called “common property,” which included mills, ponds, sawmills, brickyards, forges, breweries, vodka and other liquor factories in Hrubieszow, as well as inns and forests. The income generated from it was earmarked for the general welfare and used, among other things, to run schools, employ doctors or care for orphans and the elderly. One of the Society’s initiatives was also the opening of a loan bank in Hrubieszow, which provided financial assistance
in improving agriculture, establishing factories, running merchants or erecting not wooden, but brick buildings in the town.
The Hrubieszow Agricultural Society included the villages of Białoskóry, Bohorydyca, Busieniec, Czerniczyn, Dziekanow, Yaroslavets, Pobereżany, Putnowice and part of Szpikos, as well as the suburbs of the city of Hrubieszow – Podzamcze and Wójtostwo. In creating the above organization, Staszic was guided by a noble goal, which, in the clash with the changing political situation, had no chance of continuing to function. As a result of World War I, the Society’s territories suffered significantly, and the new authorities of the Society, appointed by the Austrian occupiers, did not properly secure the surviving property. In the interwar period, it was not possible to regulate the Society’s legal form or return to the Staszic Law. During the Nazi occupation, the Society’s activities were suspended, while in 1951, under the Bierut decree, the Society was dissolved, and the foundation’s assets passed to the Treasury
Location: ul. St. Staszica 9