Today we are pleased to conclude our exclusive translation of “Allegheny-Pittsburgh” as found in the 1879 edition of the Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář. This edition brings you more than a dozen Czech family names from Western Pennsylvania in the late 1800s so read carefully!
Enjoy this great conclusion!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1879, Volume: II, Pages: 124-130
Written by Max Kirchman
“All this is being asserted with such a self-interest. As sure as two and two are four, I do not want to say that in the ranks of these associations there are found only the model of society. To assert this would be foolish. However what is sure is that there are also men in them who look at this world philosophically and when the “other time” comes they will depart with the knowledge that they did not live in vain.
They represented a good father and loving friend. Their thinking and deeds were ruled by reason and sympathy for their fellow-sufferers. All in all human society was better from their living. Just let such a member be criticized from anywhere in any way, and if there is still a just God in the highest places, a God who does not demand for salvation only belief in the impossible, such as the narrow-minded bigots wish for themselves, but rather through his voice stronger than nature proclaims:
“Do good and you will be saved!” Then the hallow criticism is so without purpose like a dog barking at the moon.
In April a new member of the Czecho-Slavonic Fraternal Organization (Č. S P. S. Česko-Slovanský podpůrný spolek) of the Order of Vlastimil, no. 28, was founded and it was introduced on the 2nd of June into the fraternal circle of the Main Order – Pennsylvania. If only our Vlastimil would become an orderly branch on the already powerful tree of Czecho-Slavonic Fraternal Organization (Č. S. P. S. Česko-Slovanský podpůrný spolek)
What we are missing here the most is a Czech school. Already twice on the Catholic side there were attempts to keep up such a school, but these lasted only a short time and then perished. If there were a successful reaching of understanding of both “sides,” then after all a Czech school could flourish here. We have here more than 200 Czech children that attend school, however, it could not be in any other way, unless the dogmatic teaching is completely excluded. This, the party of believers, or more specifically their spiritual caregivers, will not permit it, because by any view, they are most of all Roman Catholics and only then – Czechs. It is pitiful to have a look at the loss of ethnicity of our youth. If only the born countrymen finally saw that school is supposed to be secular and the church only the space to take care of affairs beyond the grave! Justice is most of all slapped in the face, there, where people fallaciously believe they are defending it. It is now on the ranks of the Czecho-Slavonic Fraternal Organization (Č. S P. S. Česko-Slovanský podpůrný spolek) and the national association, “Slávoj” to try to at least form Sunday schools. The avoidance of that is misplaced. This timidity and despair has to be overcome by a solid step. This indecision is the curse of the free-thinking party. Step forward and it starts to grow pale and move back. Supposedly it is impossible to resist a lion set free. Step manly forward and if he is not tied, tie him yourself. No backing up, always forward! should be the motto.
[Picture in the middle of the page 129 is] Czech church of St. Wenceslaus in Allegheny city.
Besides the local Czechs that were identified in last year’s calendar by the correspondent, I would like to note additional ones:
In Idlewood Station, about 7 miles from Pittsburgh, live 15 families who are mostly employed in the local lock factory.
Irving Station 75 miles from Pittsburgh has 75 Czech miners. Coal Bluff has two Czech miners, Mr. Toman, and Mr. Vrbský.
Sharpesburg, 7 miles from Pittsburgh has Czechs who are employed in iron works, Misters, Kořínek, Hůlka, Smola, etc.
Plum Creek, 9 miles from Pittsburgh has 2 Czech families of miners, Mr. Kovářík and Mr. Malý.
Verner Station, 10 miles from Pittsburgh, there is one Czech widow, Mrs. Žižkovská.
Freedom Station, 18 miles to the west from Pittsburgh has one Czech farmer, Mr. Praxl, born in Prachatice.
Braddock Field has one Czech miner, Mr. Pašek from Plasy.
Bennett Station, 4 miles to the east of Pittsburgh has 8 Czechs and these are: – 3 brothers Vokáč and Mr. Wohnfahrt (Funfár), employed in a rolling mill, 2 tailors, Misters Fučík and Suchý and one gardener, Mr. Rosenkranz.
Lafayette has one Czech, Mr. Karl, a former Czech teacher at this parish of St. Wenceslaus.”
The End – page 130
This concludes our 1879 exclusive translation of ‘Allegheny-Pittsburgh’ originally found in the pages of the wonderful Czech-American journal, Amerikan Národní Kalendar.
Tomorrow we begin a new Czech genealogy adventure so be sure to stay with us!
Onward To Our Past®