ALL NEW AGAIN! From 1934 and our continuing translation efforts we bring you an all new biography from the pages of the fabulous Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!
This story brings us an award winner from the membership of the Association of Czechoslovak Engineers in America and spans the globe from Bohemia to the United States!
Enjoy another remarkable story about a remarkable Czech!
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®
“On the 10th of April, 1932, the Association of Czechoslovak Engineers in America celebrated 10 years of its existence and successful activity. On this occasion one of the honorary members of this association, Mr. Wensel Morava was decorated with the Czechoslovak Order of the White Lion. The Czechoslovak Consul, Dr. Smetánka, presented the honor to the celebrant amid heartfelt applause. No one present at the celebration expected that the life of the celebrant was growing short. Half a year later on the 13th of October 1932 Mr. Wensel Morava died.
The order was given to Mr. Morava in recognition of his achievements in the strengthening of business and technological relationships between Czechoslovakia and the United States. Even though he was educated completely in America and lived his whole life here, Mr. Morava remained faithful to the country of his fathers, and after the overthrow he would undertake a journey to Czechoslovakia every year.
This very interesting and multi-faceted biography of Mr. Morava , was already published in the 1918 Amerikán Kalendář, and so we are bringing here, today, only an excerpt.
Mr. Morava was raised in this country without the necessary school education, which he later received in evening study, as well as in day attendance of school, and he was the first graduate of Czechoslovak origin at the University of Illinois. In spite of many obstacles and difficulties, he became outstanding in his specialization, and he gained an excellent reputation in specialized circles throughout the country.
Václav Morava was born on the 12th of September 1853 in Poříčí by Pelhřimov, and at the age of seven he came with his parents, Václav and Marie, maiden name Zápotočná, into this country. They settled on a farm not far away from Muscoda, Wis. His parents stayed on the farm for four years, and the only education Václav had, consisted of the basics of addition, reading, and writing, which he received from one the farmers who taught small children in the evenings. It was only when his parents moved to Chicago in 1865 that the boy received the opportunity to attend school, which he attended until 1868, when he was forced to abandon it, to go to learn the trade of cabinet-making. He stayed in this profession for several years, but during this time he attended evening schools. He went to business college at Bryant and Stratton and when Chicago was overcome, and the biggest part destroyed by the historic fire, the young countryman was compelled to finish his studies during the day. After his graduation, he received employment with an insurance company for a royal sum of $25 per month. He stayed with this employment until 1874 and, meanwhile, he was rigorously preparing for exams, so that he could get into the university. He attended the state university of Illinois for the following four years, from which he graduated in the spring of 1878 with an excellent grade point average and with debt for the last year of study.
The whole country was still burdened with the consequences of the panic in 1873 and it was difficult to get work.”
Stay with us tomorrow as we offer the conclusion to the exclusive English translation of the story of one Czech immigrant to America thanks to the foresight of the publisher and editors of the Czech-American annual, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!
Onward To Our Past®