Welcome back! Today we continuing our tour through the United States and the Czech communities that existed in 1878. This census of sorts was conducted by the Czech-American annual journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář. The was the best known of all the Czech-American publications as it ran for 59 years.
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. Installment #12 featured six communities in Michigan. Click on any of the links and you can catch up if you missed portion of this wonderful Czech genealogy and history article.
Today we complete Michigan and begin our tour of the North Star State, Minnesota.
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.)
“Niles, Berrien County, among its 5,500 dwellers has only one Czech family, that of Mr. Jos. Skala, who, with his 6 children, who arrived and settled here in 1854.
Petersburgh, Monroe County, has among its 700 inhabitants two Czech families, who are both farmers. Jos. Haman arrived here in 1866. Jos.Svehla along with Frant. Svehla arrived later in 1873. Another Czech who lived here sold his properties and moved further out west.
Traverse City, Traverse County, has 1,800 dwellers and among them live 60 Czechs. Some of these Czechs have their own businesses: there is one tailor company “Red Star” of Vilem, Oliva, and Company with 6 workers; one paint works for wagons and coaches, one grocery store, four inns, two brewers, one butcher, four shoemakers, and two joiners. Czech social life is very strong here, especially for the Freethinkers, because there is a “Svobodna Obec” Society with sixteen members who are Czech patriots. Three times a year they host Czech celebrations and dances and balls. The first Czechs arrived here in 1857. They were Fr. Kratochvil, Ant. and Jos. Wilhelm, Jos. Kyselka, and Fr. Lada. The number of Czechs is continuing to increase at this time.
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, has about 6,000 inhabitants of which six are Czech families. As to who was the first Czech settled here it was Vac. Dusek in 1866 who had lived from 1854 in Canada and later in Detroit. Two of his sons fought in the last war and the older one was killed, there. V. Dusek is a joiner. In 1871 arrived here Ant. Vacha, a shoemaker with three sons, two of them are married. Next came Fr. Marik and Jos. Klika, both in 1874. Four of the Czechs work in the paper-mill.
Chatfield, Fillmore County, has among its 1,400 inhabitants, twenty Czechs families, who began to move here in the years 1855 to 1857. Still more Czechs continue to settle in this area at this time. The first Czechs were: Fr. Andrlik, Fr. Pavelka, Fr. Jelinek, Jan Cermak, Fr. Setka, Jos. Kadlec, Ant. Stransky and Fr. Novotný. Fifteen of the local Czechs are farmers and there are two joiners, one brewer, one bricklayer, one carpenter, and one grocery store shopkeeper.
Hart Township, Winona County, has 186 Czechs. Namely 73 adults and 113 children. Among them are also four Czech ladies who married Germans. They have 26 children all together and all of them speak Czech. All of the Czechs are farmers who also know some craft and they use it as their second occupation. There are 31 farm owners and together they own 3,900 acres. There are also one brewer (Jakub Pfeifer in Rushford), two joiners, three tailors, one blacksmith, and one shoemaker. The first Czechs settled here in 1859 and they were Jan Fr. Steinbauer with his family, from Trhove Sviny, Budejovice kraj, Bohemia. The number of Czechs is increasing still at this time.”
Stay with us as we continue our tour of 1878 Czech settlements across America tomorrow!
Onward To Our Past®