Previously published in PGS-CA Bulletin (Issue #45, April 1999)
Translated from the Słownik Geograficzny (1890-1902)
by Helen Bienick
Grzymałów (with Zamurze and Kąty), now known as Hrymalov in Ukraine, is located 2 miles south of the city of Skałat. It lies on the road, which runs from Smykowiec through Skałat, Grzymałów, Chorostków, ending in Suchostawa, where it joins the highway to Tarnopol. The Gniła river flows through the town where it forms a large pond. The pond supplied water for the steam mill, constructed in the late 1800’s by the owner of the town, Count Leonard Piniński. This was the second largest such mill in Eastern Galicia, the first one being in Przemysl.
The folwark and manor property of Count Piniński covered 2269 morgen of land, and 307 morgen of forests. The remaining area covered 3645 morgen of land, whose soil was very fertile. On its north side, Grzymałów is bordered by the Miodogory or Miodobory mountain chain, covered heavily with trees, that protects the town from the northern winds. To the west lies a plateau with a few thousand inhabitants, scattered throughout a large area. On the south, lies Chorostków, and expansive, wealthy area, once the property of the Lewicki and Sieniawski nobles. Both Grzymałów and Chorostków form a boundary, which separated the cold northwest Podola from the warmer climate to the southeast, the location of the villages of Pokucie, Bukowina, and Moldo-Woloszczyzna. In the late 1890’s, the population numbered 3995. There were 556 Roman Catholics, 1160 Greek Catholics, and 2279 Israelites. In 1609, Count Wojciech Ludzicki organized the Roman Catholic parish in the village of Hlibów. Later invading infidels destroyed it. When the Muslims and Tartars departed from Podola, Adam Mikołaj Sieniawski transferred the parish to Grzymałów in 1716. A church was built in 1752, and dedicated in 1827, under the name “Blessed Trinity”. It was still in existence at the time of this writing. The church belonged to the diocese of Lwow and served 15 villages, namely, Bucyki, Czechowa, Hlibów, Kałaharówka, Kozina, Leżanówka, Łysagóra, (AKA Eleonorówka) Mazurówka, Okno, Ostapie, Pajówka, Podlaś, Poznanka-hetmanska, Wolica, Zarubińce. These villages combined had a population of 5088 Roman Catholics, 8 agnostics, and 3290 Israelites. A chapel erected in 1818 stands on the cemetery, a gift of Konstancya Lubomirski.
The schools in these villages belonged to the school district in Tarnopol. Grzymałów had a two room school for boys, with two teachers. Most of the other schools had mainly one-room schools. Grzymałów also had a school for girls. It was maintained by the Felician Sisters who came to Grzymałów in 1871 from the village of Iwanowka. The Greek Catholic Church also was part of the Diocese of Lwow. Its member villages were Podlesie, Mazurówka and Eleonorówka.
On a small hill overlooking the pond, stood a castle built by Adam Mikołaj Sieniawski, whose portrait was preserved on the premises. It was an attractive building with a steeple and a turret. In the late 1800’s, the defense walls were removed, and a beautiful English Garden was built; the castle itself was remodeled into a beautiful and livable palace. Grzymałów was the business hub of more than 30 Podole villages and 2 towns, Touste and Tarnoruda. Originally owned by the Sieniawski family, it was passed on to the Lubomirski family, and later to the Rzewuski family, all noblemen. The mother of Wacław Rzewuski, who was called “The Goldbearded Emir”, lost her fortune. The lawyer, who handled the bankruptcy and liquidation of her assets, received as his honorarium the village of Touste, Krasze, Stawki, and Sadzawki. Other nobles and gentry purchased some of the villages at auction. One village was claimed by a laundress from Vienna and given to her as overdue salary. Grzymałów and its folwark “Popławy” was purchased by Antym Nikorowicz. After his death it passed on to his son, Karol, who sold it to his brother-in-law, Count Leonard Piniński.
The Jewish settlement in Grzymałów was a thriving business. They carried on a very prosperous trade in grain, threads and yarns, eggs, vodka, and flour. There were 3 trade fairs per year, and outdoor markets every Thursday. The lending bank had a capital of 405 złotys and 72 cents.
The exact date of the town’s founding is not certain but reportedly was during the reign of Władysław Jagiełło (1386-1434). The name of the town is also a mystery, since its origin is not known. Perhaps it was taken from a family surname or a coat of arms.