Welcome to Onward To Our Past’s exclusive English translation of the wonderful Czech genealogy article from the 1878 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář titled “STRUČNÁ STATISTIKA: Osad, míst a okresů ve Spojených Státech Čechy obydlených (Jak daleko nám bylo možno letos dopátrati se dál. Budoucího roku budeme pokračovat)” translated as “BRIEF STATISTICS: Of settlements, towns and counties at United States, inhabited by Czechs (As far as we were able to find this year. Next year we will continue.)”
Today we take you further afield in the state of Michigan to the City of Detroit and five additional, smaller communities across the state as Amerikán Národní Kalendář attempted to conduct a census of the Czech immigrants and their communities all across America in 1878. We might add the fact is they did a tremendous job!
As you may know, we began this exclusive translation from 1878 with a primer on the world as it was in 1878. Then in Installment#1 we ‘visited’ the states of Arkansas and California. In Installment #2 it was on to Connecticut and the Dakota Territory. In Installment #3 we began our tour of rural Illinois and Installment #4 concluded this tour of Illinois and we moved on to Iowa. Installment #5 we continued with our travels in Iowa. Installment #6 featured more towns and rural Czech communities in Iowa as did Installment #7 and Installment #8. Installment #9 saw us complete the state of Iowa as well as begin our tour of the great state of Kansas. Installment #10 included seven new Czech communities in Kansas and Installment #11 finished Kansas, included Massachusetts, and began Michigan. Click on any of the links and you can catch up if you missed portion of this wonderful Czech genealogy and history article.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: I, Year: 1878, Pages: 97-108
STRUČNÁ STATISTIKA: Osad, míst a okresů ve Spojených Státech Čechy obydlených (Jak daleko nám bylo možno letos dopátrati se dál. Budoucího roku budeme pokračovat)
BRIEF STATISTICS: Of settlements, towns and counties at United States, inhabited by Czechs (As far as we were able to find this year. Next year we will continue.)
“Detroit, Wayne County, the largest city in Michigan, has 115,000 inhabitants. One thousand five hundred of them are Czechs. They first began to settle here in 1853 and the very first Czechs in the area were Pospisil, Hudila, A. Bauer, Jan Hropik, Ig. Melzer, V. Hess, Hulanek, V. Kulicek, Jos. Nosek, Jefitovsky, Ant. Cinadr, Fr. Herman, Simon, Hosna, Nemecek, and V. Bluma. The number of settlers is increasing since the time of these first settlers. Czechs prosper well here: 52 of them have their own business here, namely: two grocery store shopkeepers, thirteen innkeepers, one dry goods shopkeeper, six butchers, three shoemakers, two tailors, one joiner, one tinner, one painter (fresco), one portrait-painter, one clockmaker and goldsmith, and nineteen farmers. The religious life of Czechs is administrated by St. Vaclav Church. Its parson is Mr. P. Frant. Tichy. The church is attended by 32 families. There is not any Czech school here yet, but we hope that will be established soon. Czech social life is represented by eight organizations. Their names are: Slovanska Lipa, Budivoj, Svornost, Č.S.P.S. Lodge number 5 “Havlicek”, The Catholic Society of St. Vaclav, a Singing Society, Sokol, and two workers’ unions. Czech theatre performances are played here about three times per a year, trips are organized four times per a year and dancing balls are held very often.
East Saginaw, Saginaw County, has among its 19,000 dwellers, 322 Czechs. Eight of them are farmers, one innkeeper and two shoemakers. The very first Czech here was Fr. Kafka, who settled here in 1856. Very good works are done by the only Czech organization here, the “Readers Society”. It serves not only as an education organization for adults, but also provides opportunities for children to learn to read, to sing, and to count at Sunday school. Meetings of this Society are taking place at house of Mr. Vanek.
Fayette, Delta County, has among its 300 dwellers, four Czech families. One is a railway engineer and the rest of the Czechs work at a smelting factory. The whole area is the property of the railway. The very first Czech who settled here was Mr. A. Benysek in 1869.
Good Harbor, Leelanau County, has in its surrounding area 26 Czech families. All of them are farmers, with exception of Jan Krubner, who is a carpet-maker. He was the first Czech here and arrived in 1855. The same year he was followed Ant. Kucera, Karel Vyskocil, Fr. Krajc, V. Musil, F. Musil, Jos. Krubner, and Jan Kulanda.
Leland, Leelanau County, has in the surrounding area 26 Czech families. All of them are farmers, but now one lives at Chicago and another one now lives in Detroit. There is almost no Czech social life here. However, some of the Czech citizens try by their personal example to encourage rest to avoid assimilation.
Menomonee, in the county of the same name, has among its 2,000 dwellers two Czech families, and approximately twenty young workers, who after the season ends in the winter usually move out. The first Czech here was Mr. Vaněk, who works as a saddle maker and has been here since 1876.”
Join us tomorrow as we continue across America finding all the Czech communities from 1878!
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