We continue!  This is an amazing story of the life and times of one very successful Czech patriot and Czech-American from the 1800s!  His is a story that reaches from the prisons of Bohemia to the vineyards of California and from rags to riches!

Enjoy as we continue this wonderful exclusive right here for you at Onward To Our Past®

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

Year: 1921, Volume: XXXXIV, Pages: 264-283

“Memoirs of Czech Settlers in America”

He fought for the freedom of our nation in 1848 – and lived to see it in 1918

 1921 Korbel image


Died in Prague, on the 1st of January, 1920, at the age of 89 years

“He also left a great heritage.

We also need to remember our compatriots abroad, especially our American Czechoslovaks, because he was one of their greatest representatives, he had great pride in them, and of us, too.”

It is not easy to find better words to honor his memory than were written here.

Regarding the last few years of Korbel’s life, here is what we know: In 1918 František Korbel was stricken with pneumonia.  This almost pushed him to the grave before the struggle for our national independence was finally achieved. But fate was merciful to our old patriot and allowed him to survive to see the day when the nation took its sovereignty back into its own hands, and when the powerful tyranny of Austria had fallen apart.

In 1919 Mr. Korbel, as some news reports said, was attacked by apoplexy and partially paralyzed.  Other rumors said he was quiet healthy up until just 3 days before his death, when he finally had to take to his bed.

Bechyně. Birthplace of František Korbel.

Bechyně. Birthplace of František Korbel.

Miss Marie Zaruba, daughter of the deceased sister of Mr. Korbel, who was responsible for his personal affairs until his death, wrote in her letter to America the following:

“We are sorry for the fact he has left us, not only as a member of our family, but as a true Czech, who until his last moment was always interesting in public affairs, in politics, and business too.

The proclamation of Czech independence, fulfilled his lifelong wishes and ideals and let there be no doubt that tears of happiness appeared upon his face.  He was sure that the nation, which lived under the Hapsburg’s yoke of lies and hypocrisy, could change itself when it finally shook off its chains of the slavery.  He believe that children had to be educated at home and at school, to be a people freed from the demoralization that was brought down upon them by this foreign rule and the five years of war.

He died on New Year Day, 30 minutes before noon.  He lied in bed for only three days, he was not attacked by apoplexy, unlike someone’s letter sent to America has stated.  He was healthy mentally, by last week he felt a physical tiredness and weakness, and lost his taste for food.  He knew that his closing was coming and he did not trust the physicians who denied it.”

After the death of Mr. František Korbel, disputes started on both sides of the ocean regarding his inheritance, which will last for a much longer time it seems.

About these affairs the Chicago newspaper “Svornost“, reported shortly after death of Korbel the following news, which originated from the witness of a credible person: To the large number of his friends in America, as well as in the Old Country, František Korbel claimed, some years ago, that he will left a large part of his inheritance for public purposes.  He even said that in this case he will do more than the well-known benefactor, Hlavka.  Several years ago he wrote a testament in Prague, actually.”

Tomorrow we conclude this amazing story of one Czech immigrant whose name has become a household world in many of the homes in America today!

Onward To Our Past®

A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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