Today we continue with our exclusive translation of the 1878 article “STRUČNÁ STATISTIKA: ad, 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.)” This article was originally published in Czech in the wonderful Czech genealogy and history annual journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
Installment 1 included the states of Arkansas and California. Installment 2 included Connecticut and the Dakota Territory. Today’s installment begins our trek across the state of Illinois with seven separate communities and the Czechs in those towns.
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Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: II, 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.)
Alton, Madison County has a population of approximately 1,100 dwellers and only 3 Czechs among them. They have been living there for several years. By name they are: Vinc. Hajek, Jos. Cerny, and Jan Karel.
Bellville has 12 Czech families. One is a milkman, one is a shoemaker, and the rest are farmers.
West Bellville, St. Clair County, has a population of 1,300 dwellers and this includes 13 Czech families. One Czech is a renter of a coal mine, one is milkman, and one works as a farmer. The rest of the Czechs are coal-miners. The earliest settler here was Mr. Josef Votava.
Galesburg, Knox County, has 19,000 inhabitants. There are just two Czech families both being of the Charvat brothers and both of them are furriers who moved there in 1867 and 1868.
Braidwood, Will County, has 6,000 inhabitants, which includes 450 Czechs. Nine of them have their own businesses: There are four innkeepers, two grocery owners, two shoemakers, and one tailor. The rest of the Czechs work as coalminers. The Czechs have following organizations here: the Czech National Supporting Society and the Coalminers Union. On 19 June they celebrate the anniversary of the supporting organization. The first Czechs arrived here in 1869 and were Jan Fort, F. Zima, Vac. Sinkula, and Fr. Levy. The year 1877 was a very difficult one for the Czech coalminers and traders as they suffered a lot from the coalminers strike and as a result the poverty was terrible.
Collinsville, Madison County has 2,200 dwellers and this includes 52 Czech families. Fifteen of them have their own business as follows: six dry goods shop owners, five grocery owners, two innkeepers, two butchers, one baker, two tailors, one blacksmith, one belt maker, two joiners, two farmers, two lawyers, two cooper workshops, two dyers, and most of the remaining Czechs are coalminers or coopers. The Czechs have a church named St. Josef with Parson Mr. P. Frant. Trojan, but only a few of Czechs are churchgoers. The church is attended also by other nationalities. There are 2 Czech Societies. A singing society “Slavoj” and Lodge number 4 “Svatobor” of Č.S.P.S. There are organized dances, balls, and trips. The first Czech arrived in 1851 and this was Jos. Kalina. The next ones followed him and more Czechs are still arriving to this day.
Edwardsville, Madison County, has 300 dwellers and this includes eighteen Czech families totaling 68 persons. Eight Czechs have their own business: there are t wheelwrights, two innkeepers, two blacksmiths, one belt maker, one joiner, two clerks, and the rest of the Czechs are mostly coalminers. There is a lodge number seven, “Rolnik”, of the Č.S.P.S. There they have organized dances, balls and trips. The first Czech settler here was Vaclav Stis in 1865, but in the rural area among the many Czech farmers (at Bluff) the first Czech was Vac. Smola who had already arrived in 1851.”
Tomorrow we continue across Illinois with this wonderful attempt at a Czech census across America.
Onward To Our Past®