1904 America again! Another new biography of a Czech immigrant, which describes their life, times, and experiences.
Thankfully the details are often rich and wonderful in these stories saved for posterity by the forward thinking and concerned editors and publisher of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
Our first three have been terrific and today’s addition is no different!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1904, Volume: XXVII, Pages:
“The Memories of Czech Settlers in America”
[picture of FRANTIŠEK CIPRA)
“FRANTIŠEK CIPRA from Austin, Minn. was born on the 2nd of December 1863 in Dlouhá Lhota near Zbirov in the Prague district where his parents owned a farm.
He received school instruction in the grammar school. When he finished it his parents, following the rule that a trade is a potential gold mine, sent him to a locksmith apprenticeship. However, somehow they could not strike gold in Bohemia, and therefore our beloved friend decided at the age of 17 to go on a pilgrimage where many others had left for already with hopes – to America.
On the 5th of May 1880 his eyes saw the shores of America from the deck of the ship, ‘Baltimore’ for the first time and after he left the ship in a New York port he went to see his brother Josef who had already settled in America, in Hayward, Minn., on a farm where František then spent several months.
For lack of more permanent work he worked, as did many other beginners, on a farm during the summer and for the railroad company in the winter, mostly in Austin, Minn. In the year 1886 he got married, taking for a wife Miss Kateřina Švejkovská, the daughter of a well-regarded old settler in Oakland, Minnesota. There he stayed until April of 1887, after which he moved to Austin, Minnesota.
He got work in the local brickworks and he stayed in it without interruption for 10 years. The work was year around with a break of about two months in the winter. In 1897, however, the brickworks burned down and all the machinery, the presses and machines were destroyed and the company that owned the brickworks decided not to rebuild it. That was the moment when Mr. Cipra’s original trade of locksmith came in handy. He started to install water and build sewage drainage systems in Austin as well as in the countryside which he enjoys.”
Tomorrow we continue with our 1904 exclusive translation and bring more of these amazing stories of America’s earliest Czech immigrants to life and to English for the first time!
Onward To Our Past®