Our newest exclusive translation continues today as we bring you the second installment of the story of our Czech settler to Chicago in the 1800s.
It is another marvelous story found only in the pages of the Czech-American annual editions of Amerikán Národní Kalendář! If you missed our first installment of this story you can click here to catch up!
We know you will enjoy this story!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: LVII, Year: 1934, Pages: 187-213
FROM THE MEMORIES OF OLD CZECH SETTLERS IN AMERICA
Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
František Mašek (Continued)
“That year there was the founding of the organization of Czech Free Thinkers called the Unity of the Taborites and there was an organized older congress of the Czech Slavonic Support Association [Č.S.P.S = Českoslovanská Podpůrná Společnost] in Chicago. This activity agitated the Catholic circles, in particular the priest of the parish on Allport Street in “Pilsen” that was increasing in population. In attacks from the pulpit, the parish priest Čok did not know any limits to his attacks on the audacity of Godless people. As a consequence two enemy sides arose, especially among the countrymen that on any occasion were mercilessly attacking each other. The “Mice” vs the “Tom Cats” (that is the clericals and the godless ones) could both be heard in the street. It was not hard for young Mašek to decide which side he should join. He became a member of the Order Praha, no. 13 Czech Slavonic Support Association [Č.S.P.S = Českoslovanská Podpůrná Společnost] on the 19th of August 1880 and it was in this organization that he used his convictions and his energy and worked in offices and on boards until the end of his life.
From 1880 to 1885 Mašek worked as an able and practical brick layer for the building entrepreneurs of that time. In the year 1885 two honest souls joined together and started to build small, medium, and even large houses (whatever was possible) with limited capital. Because these two people worked honestly, even after 45 years of common entrepreneurship they did not get rich. The friend, Mr. John Haizman, a carpenter contractor, and former partner of Mašek’s, now in Fox River Grove undertaking modern beekeeping, answered my questions about the building that he undertook together with Mašek : “Our first common work was a tailor shop on Zion Place for a Mr. Přepejchal, and several small buildings. Our financial conditions were miserable. Also worthy of mention are the bigger buildings built later for Mr. Hlinský on 19th and Throop Streets, Mr. Max Kirschman on 12th Street and for Mr. Hladovec on Fisk Street. In the following years we built a nice number of buildings, although we did not get rich from it. Among the bigger ones was a school, “Ladimír Klácel” and the building of The Daily Herald [Denní Hlasatel]. In the year 1886 we built two-floor houses for ourselves on 19th Street, near Western Ave.”
Countryman Frank Mašek got married in the year 1882 with Miss Kateřina Bouzková, daughter of a well-known progressive family, who came to this country with her parents in 1879. Cruel fate reached into this happy family in the year 1909 with the death of the beloved wife, mother of four children, Frank, Adéla, Ella and Rudolf. All of them now have their own families, as mothers and fathers, bearing a noble legacy from their parents for the good and progress of general humanity. Adéla married Martin Kršek; Ella married Karel Volenc.”
Tomorrow this fabulous story continues right here from Onward To Our Past® Genealogy & History Services Company!
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