We continue! As you know we are in 1904 America and following the biographies of several Czech immigrants who had their stories published in that year’s edition of the great Czech-American journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
We conclude our third 1904 biography today with more details on the life and times of our Czech immigrant compatriots!
Enjoy today’s installment!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1904, Volume: XXVII, Pages:
“The Memories of Czech Settlers in America”
“After 12 days of sailing and on the 1st of November 1875 he reached New York and after only the most necessary delays he rode to follow his wife to Pittsburgh, where she was waiting at the home of Mr. Funfár.
In Pittsburgh at that time there was no work and so, on the advice of his sister, Anna, who had settled earlier in St. Louis, he went to her place. In St. Louis he did get work in the coalmines. When, however, he was almost killed by a falling boulder in the mines, he left on a ship, first to McGregor in Minnesota and then on the railroad to the farm of Mr. Funfár close to Austin.
In the beginning he and his wife lived in whatever way they could manage. During the summer he worked on the farms. She worked in a hotel in Austin as a cook.
Finally he was successful and found work with the railroad and then on a press for baize cloth at the ‘North Star Woolen Mill’ in Minneapolis Minnesota.
There he stayed a full 20 years until the year 1900: towards the end he was in charge of the overseeing of four press machines. “On each press” Mr. Straka wrote to us, sometime ago, “there are four pieces of cloth and I work them to a certain width. I make from wide ones narrow, and from long ones short, and often also from short ones longer, so that it would have the appropriate weight per yard.”
Before he left this work he bought a farm of 100 acres and settled there. Reportedly his wife is still angry about why they did not stay in the town, however, Mr. Straka likes the farm much more than the stinking mill. His oldest son Richard who was half-a-year old upon their arrival to America is now married and is settled in Everett, Washington as a machinist. His daughter Emma is also married and their other children, Edward, Otakar, Zděnka, Jaroslav and Žofie are unmarried.
In his contribution Mr. Straka enjoys that he is one of the representatives of our periodical and he expressed himself in a flattering matter concerning our enterprise. Mr. Straka is involved in the life of the Czech association and he follows the news assiduously. He belongs to the Order of the Czech Lion (Český Lev) number 10 of the Z. Č. B. J., the Czecho-Slavonic Supporting Association (Česko-slovanská Podporující Jednota), and the Czech Reading Club.
He has not been involved in politics and he has not been nominated to any office since he devoted himself to a quiet family life.”
Tomorrow we begin an all new biography from yet another Czech immigrant from the 1904 edition of the Czech-American journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
Onward To Our Past®