Welcome back to 1894 and the Czech genealogy and Czech history publication, Amerikán Národní Kalendář. We now complete this set of fabulous biographies of Czech immigrant settlers from across America as reported in their own words in 1894.
Enjoy this story of one immigrant who moved throughout the Midwest and Southwest.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1894, Volume XVII
S 68 obrázky vážného i žertovného obsahu.
With sixty-eight images plus serious and funny content
Edited by Josef Jiří Král
Paměti českých osadníků v Americe
“The Memoirs of Czech Settlers in America”
“A report on the first settling activities of our fellow countrymen and the situation in Czech colonies”
“Jan Skořepa. Some of our fellow countrymen travel through a great number of states until they get permanently settled and Jan Skořepa is one of them. He was born in 1840 in Pečky, the district of Čáslav. His father settled later in Vienna where little Jan learned the needlecraft, too. But he grew weary of sitting all day and wished to return to his birthplace. In Pečky he worked in a sugar factory, but soon he came to the conclusion he would never do much better this way. So he was thinking of what to do and decided to go to America. He did so in 1863, travelling via Brehmen to New York. He did not like it though because he longed to live in the country: so it did not take long and he left for La Crosse, Wis. He worked in the city for a year and then he set out to travel around Minnesota where he wanted to settle down. He traveled for three months there and then moved on to Iowa. And then, we finally meet Skořepa at Cedar Rapids where he and his business partner established a grocery shop and a saloon. But the results of the business were not considerable. He gave it up and took a job as a foreman at La Grand Quarry, Marshall County, Iowa while his wife ran a large restaurant, so they both earned good money.
After his contract expired he moved to Bond Borrow. He started to trade land but lost a great amount, so he occupied a stake to become a farmer. But it did not take long and he sold the land to the North Western Chicago Railway Company and had to move out immediately. He started to sell out all the farming equipment; however, people did not have much money then and he was forced to sell on credit which has not been repaid yet. Very frustrated, he left for Nebraska. He occupied 80 acres in Saline County and worked very hard. Suddenly a good buyer appeared and Skořepa decided to sell again. Then he went to Sommer County, Kansas and bought a government stake and some other land until he owned a half of a section. He ran a farm and bred livestock making good money. He had a large herd but also lost a lot. It happened once that he lost livestock for seven hundred dollars in one day.
When Oklahoma opened he sold out all his assets and left to try his luck there. And he finally found it buying land in the center of Kingfisher City, the price of which has risen high these days. He built houses there and collects fair rent. He also built a nice house for himself to live his old age comfortably. But still he has a plan to buy more government land when the Cherokee Strip is opened to the public.”
We hope you have enjoyed and learned from this amazing set of biographies of Czech immigrants from 1894 and before!
Stay with us for future translations! We are already hard at work on our newest!
Onward To Our Past®