Today we complete (with this the third installment) our wonderful biography of one of the ‘Old Czech Settlers in America’ as headlined in the pages of the 1934 edition of the Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!
If you haven’t been reading this story it is easy to catch up to today’s installment. If you missed the first installment of this biography, click here. If you missed the second installment, click here.
Enjoy today’s wonderful conclusion to this exclusive translation and get ready for more exclusive stories tomorrow as this fabulous article keeps on giving!
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®
“This heavy loss, the death of a wife and mother, dealt a blow to the family 7 months after their moving to the new building on Fairfield Ave., close to 22nd Street, after the sale of the first house behind the cement plants. As a widower in a new home, Mašek tirelessly continued in his noble program and there he finished his fruitful journey through life at the age of 76 years on the day of the 25th of December 1932. His remains were cremated on the 28th of December in the crematorium at the National Cemetery, where he himself had accompanied so many of his friends.
During his 76 years, the departed devoted over 52 years of activities for all kinds of progressive enterprises and efforts in this country. As early as 1881 he became an ardent member of the Social Section in Pilsen, and not only by word, but also by deed he helped comrades persecuted by the Austrian government and banished from their mother country to cross the sea to America. Later, during the stormy years around 1886 he was also in danger of arrest as a radical. He helped the families of his sentenced friends to the limits of his financial ability. Not only in the worker’s movement, but also in Free Thinking organizations, as a principled Free Thinker, and even though he was not a rich person he was always among the first to offer his “silver.” He contributed all of his savings, including a loan, to the defense of the editor Bartoš Bitner when the latter was attacked by Allport’s priest for the insult in the weekly “Gremlin” [“Šotek”] and in this way he helped Mr. Bitner to obtain victory.
During the World War when Czechoslovak America was contributing to the liberation and independence of the old motherland, Mašek was among those socialists who were in the right place on the side of the fight against Austria.
For all this Mašek was many times disappointed by human malice as well as by financial losses in honest work. Four years before his death, during what was perhaps his last construction, a final payment of $1,200 was denied to him. The loss, which so far has not been resolved in the court, was born by Mašek with silent bitterness. At his age he was stricken by insomnia; being hit by a car helped to shorten his laudatory life.
The departed Frank Mašek, known among his friends as “a gentleman’s gentleman”, or “Yes sir, yes” under which name he often published his views about public affairs in periodicals, namely in Svornost [Solidarity], was also active in progressive national bodies without pushing himself to the forefront. He took part in important work on boards, representing them in other associations. He was always ready to emphatically wipe out half-heartedness, double-dealing and various compromises in convictions. Besides the Order of Prague [Č.S.P.S = Českoslovanská Podpůrná Společnost] he was a member of the Court Ladimír Klácel Č.A.L. AND L. [?], the Union of Free Thinkers, the Club for the Cremation of the Deceased, and The Associated Builders of Chicago. He was a long time representative of the National Cemetery Association. He was a member of the Board of Property and he was a holder of other offices. He was a defender of the poor and the repressed, always ready to contribute, from the little that he had, to alleviate poverty, to lighten misfortune, and or to contribute to a good national enterprise. He was a proven worker, who from his youth devoted time and work and always paid his contributions honestly, not only to the worker’s movement, but everywhere where it concerned human progress. May his memory be honored! –
–Written at the request of the editor, Mr. Pšenka, and with the help of kind information from the surviving family, Mr. Haizman, and Mr. Spousta. Written for our faithful friendship already from the year 1880 and for the honor of the memory of the departed, by V. C. Žaloudek.”
Tomorrow we begin an all new story for you to enjoy and learn from as we continue to translate this amazing article from the pages of the 1934 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář!
Onward To Our Past®