Onward To Our Past® is pleased to present installment #4 of our exclusive English translation of the 1878 tour de force from the Czech-American annual journal 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.)”
In 1878 in an effort to document the Czech immigrant population across America, Amerikán Národní Kalendář undertook a project to contact Czech immigrants and document their town and its Czech inhabitants. We began 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 Connecticut and the Dakota Territory. In Installment #3 we began our tour of rural Illinois. Today we continue our travels conclude our trip across rural Illinois and begin our tour of the great state of Iowa.
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.)
“Jerseyville, Jersey County, has 3,500 inhabitants and in the town lives only one Czech family, but in the rural areas there are about ten Czech farmers. Among the earliest settlers here were Jan Bilek, Jos. Ptak, Ant. Knicel, Fr. Komarek and Jos. Kalal. During the last 5 years five Czech families have moved away from this place.
Morris, Grundy County, has 3,000 dwellers and among them live only two Czech settlers: Mr.. Jos. Veverka and Jos. Mudra who have been here since 1874.
Peoria, Peoria County, has 30, 000 dwellers including about 125 Czechs. Nine of them have their own business: two cigar-makers, two innkeepers, two shoemakers, one grocer, two dry goods keepers, de facto Polish ones. A lot of craftsmen work for others here. There are around 45 Czech school children. However there are no Czech organizations and no Czech celebrations here. Among the earliest Czech settlers, who arrived twenty years ago, were the Kalistas, the Kuceras, and Charvat. Rather than growing, the number of Czechs is decreasing as they move to the west.
Pittsburg, Belleville County, has 30 inhabitants, which includes 11 Czechs, who work as coalminers. The first Czechs arrived here in 1862 and were Josef Stastny and Vac. Dubac. The settlement is not permanent because the houses all belong to the coal-mining company. The number of Czechs here is not increasing.
Ramsey, Fayette County, has among its 120 dwellers just one Czech, but four miles to the west from town live seven Czech families, who are all the farm owners. The earliest ones arrived in 1867, namely: Jan Vojtak, Josef Krakora, and Fr. Fuks.
Winzer, Richland County, has 200 voters including eight Czech ones. Two of them are cattle ranchers and six are farmers. The first Czech who came here, in 1868, was Fr. Sucha.
Booneville, Dallas County, has among its 26 settlers 1 Czech: Ignac Leach.
Carroll, Carroll County, has about 1,000 inhabitants. In the town these Czechs have their businesses: Mr. Jiri Egermajer a saddlemaker and Mr. Ignac Smutny, a joiner. There are also three famers. Not very far away, in Saque County live two more Czech farmers and in Crawford County Mr. Alois Smutny owns a brewery, in the town of Vail. The earliest settlers here were Kicperger and Egermayer, and the number of Czechs is increasing because the families here have 32 children.”
Join us tomorrow as we continue on across the state of Iowa and much, much more about the Czechs in America in 1878!
Onward To Our Past®