Today, Onward To Our Past® and genealogical historian, Scott Phillips, bring you our next installment of the 1878 census of Czech immigrants and their communities across America as conducted by the awesome Czech-American annual journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
This installment brings us four new Czech communities not previously surveyed. We have one state, four communities, at least a dozen surnames, and a multitude of wonderful details about life for these wonderful Czech immigrants.
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.)”
“Kossuth Town, Manitowoc County, has among its 140 families, 80 Czech ones. Czechs here have one physician, three grocery shops, six inns, two dry goods stores, two brewers, three butchers, six shoemakers, eight tailors, two blacksmiths, five joiners, nine tinners, four millers, and two cattle ranchers. In the Czech school Mr. V. Harous serves as a teacher for about 40 children. There is also a church of St. Augustin, where the worship services are provided by Mr. P. Jos. Maly. There is also a Czech insurance society. The earliest settler here was Vaclav Vrany, who has been here since 1856. The number of Czechs is still increasing here.
Krok Town, Kewaunee County, has among its 60 families, 40 Czech ones. The remaining families are Poles and Germans. Here the Czechs have one grocery stop, one inn, one dry goods store, one shoemaker, and 1 blacksmith. The rest of the Czechs here are farmers. There are about 100 children, but they are without a Czech school yet. A Czech church of St. John Nepomuk has been built here and it is visited occasionally by the priest Mr. P.V. Cipin. Its congregation has about 40 members. In 1856 started Czechs to settle here and among the first ones were: Jos. Hvezda, V. Horak, J. Kucera, and followed by many others. There is a good chance to establish Czech or Czech-English school in this county, when the locals find that it is the right thing to do.
La Crosse, in the county of the same name, has 13,000 inhabitants and this includes 600 Slavic Czechs. In general area of the county and in Vermont live 100 Czech farmers. In the town several Czech craftsmen work, but only three of them have their own shops. They are one butcher, one shoemaker, and one flour shop. Czech social life is a sad situation, despite the big number of Czechs here, because even the church society does not help, rather they are adverse. There is a Czech church and a Czech school. The church is built from bricks and number of children attending the school is over 50. However, the priest, P. Baumwort, is a German and athe teachers are all English Sisters. Therefore the Czech language cannot be heard in school, nor in the church. There is only one society based on the Czech language: St. Vaclav Roman Catholic
Supporting Society. And a Czech Hall? “A voice of man calling in the desert”. Accordingly, for Czech celebrations, which there are four times per year, are just an opportunity for dancing and drinking*). The first Czechs who settled in the town came in 1856-57, namely: Josef Lukas, Jan Kuchar, and Jan Debner. Then later in 1859 Vac. Kocanda, Mat. Jelinek, Fr. Beranek, Jak. Dvorak and Fr. Krasa arrived. Out in the country settled the Nedvideks, Lusk, Brazda, Sedivy, the Bezpalecs, and others. The number of Czechs is increasing since those early times.
Medford, Taylor County, is a town established 2 years ago, and among its 600 dwellers live 10 Czech families. One of them is a farmer, two are blacksmiths, one is a joiner, and rest of them work at the saw-mill. The newcomers are mostly poor, but they believe in better future.”
Stay with Onward To Our Past® as we continue this wonderful 1878 look at Czechs across America. We are the only website actively translating and posting new translations from Amerikán Národní Kalendář!