We conclude our current biography from the pages of the 1951 edition of the wonderful Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!

This is the second half of the biography we began yesterday, which if you missed it, you can read simply by clicking here!

Enjoy today’s installment and know tomorrow we will be bringing you an all new exclusive translation, again from 1951!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

Year: 1951, Volume: LXXIII, Pages: 117-144

“Old Settlers’ Memories”

Translated from the original Czech by Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce and Layne Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®

“40 Years of Happy Marriage of Josef and Alois Petržilka”

1951 Petrzika image

“Mrs. Košťálová was the exemplary Czech mother, not only to her children but also to me and even after the thirty years I remember her as if she were my mother.  We lived In Pilsen for ten years.  Four children were born to us.  In 1921 we bought a house on Komensky Ave.  About half a year later here in the area of the “mud lake”, one of our three little boys drowned – Fred.  It was a terrible blow for us, and our heart still aches for him today.  The other children finished Whitney Grammar School, Harrison High School and the Czech School of Jan Neruda.  All of them were exercising in the Sokol Union Havlíček Tyrš to which the whole family belongs.

existing scan from DN glass plate negative was corrected/prepared and saved in ICHI archive

existing scan from DN glass plate negative was corrected/prepared and saved in ICHI archive

In 1939 once again fate laid upon us heavily.  Our second son died after an operation.  He was 26 years old, married only a year and a half.  One little daughter three months old survived him.  Perhaps there is no greater pain in the world than a mother’s pain while she looks into the grave of her children.  The youngest son, Jindra, we sent to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, after he finished Harrison High School, where he was sent to do research on atomic energy immediately after graduation.  First he was here at Chicago University, and then he was sent to New Mexico Los Alamos where he still is and we only hope that nothing will happen to him. – Otherwise, he likes it there.  He is married and even I liked it there during my last year’s visit.  The government has built a fairy tale little town on the very hill for all those young people.  Ours are living in Española in their own small, modern house.  My son’s wife is kind.  She works with him and we are very glad about it.

1951 Los Alamos Main Gate

Main Gate of Los Alamos in the old days after it was openly acknowledged. Birthplace of the U.S. nuclear weapons industry.

Our daughter, Tony, is with us at home.  She has a six-year-old son, who never stays still and he makes us merry, and I take him daily to school.  My husband is still working with Hart Schaffner & Marx at the tailor shop where we both started tailoring 40 years ago.

1951 Hart Schaffner Marx logo

We do both feel as one should when one is 60.  We belong to the national association to the Branch Tvrzický.  My husband is a member of the tailor’s union, its Czech branch, and I am a member of the parent’s association of the school Jan Neruda, and the Union of Czech Ladies and Gentlemen.  During the First World War my brother also had to go and fight and since he was post-studies he went as a one-year volunteer.  About three weeks later he was captured in Russia where he spent six years.  He was there in work camps, and then later in the Legion.  After arrival home he stayed in the Czechoslovak Army in the rank of captain.  He was teaching Germans the Czech language.  He wrote to us at that time that even if a German learns Czech he is still a German and he was right.  My brother got married, retired from the Army.  They had a big farm so he devoted himself to it.  During the Second World War in 1943 he died.  His widow with three daughters are still on the farm.  It is in the border region near Turnov by Sedmihorky.

This is about all, concerning us. Of course, there is a lot one could talk about.  We have lived through many beautiful days in our marriage.  And together we gladly remember them.  We also have had very bad moments, full of great torment and pain, which is hard to even think about.  And what is the next thing that will come?  Hopefully, it won’t be worse.

We have been readers of Svornost [Solidarity] since the time that we arrived here.”


This completes this Czech-American couple’s biography as it appeared in Amerikan Národní Kalendar!  Tomorrow we begin an all new exclusive so stay with us!

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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