We begin anew! We are still in 1951, but today we begin a new biography of a new Czech immigrant couple and their lives and times!
Each of the Czechs in our articles have been fascinating in their own ways and today is no different! Today we are treated to not only the couple, but home villages, parents, children, siblings, both in the ‘old country’ as well as in the United States.
Enjoy another of our wonderful, exclusive English translations provided only by Onward To Our Past®!
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”
I was born on the 24th of October 1890 in Vlačice near Čáslav where my father Jindřich Filip was a farm foreman on the Vyčapské Manor, (belonging to the Thuns); there were three children, an older sister, who is living here in Chicago, a younger brother and myself. My husband was born on the 13th of June 1888 in Ronov near Čáslav. He was the youngest of three children. The oldest sister, married name Labutová, died in Ronov, their two children are in Bohemia. Václav is a postmaster in Pardubice, Marie is married to Mr. Jiran in Drobovice. – Brother Ferdinand died in 1949 in Berwyn, Ill. The father of my husband was a teamster from Ronov to Čáslav until the time when the railroad was built in Ronov. Josef finished school in Ronov. They had also a city high school. Ronov is a nice little town at the foot of Lichnice and that is where I also started to go to school when my father was the farm manager with Mr. Havelka. My husband and I went to the same school. From the third grade I went to school in Prague in Libeň on Palmovka hill. I was staying there with my aunt. Meanwhile my parents once again moved back to Výčapy where I finished my grammar school of six classes in Dolní Bučice. We lived in Horní Bučice, from where I went to Čáslav city school and then my parents put me into an apprenticeship for clothes tailoring in Vienna where I also finished two years of industrial school in the evening.
My husband apprenticed as a miller in Hostačov near Golčův Jeníkov in the mill of Mr. Machalický, and remembers him very fondly. After his apprenticeship he worked in Chvalovice in the Vítkov Mill and at Starý Kolín in Vyletov.
Meanwhile after a five-year stay in Vienna I decided to go to America; even though in reality I did not feel very much like it. I would have preferred to stay home. That is because my uncle paid for the journey of my male cousin, and at the last moment he did not want to go, so my parents convinced me that it could be just an excursion and that once I had made enough money for the journey, I could come back, so I departed, and I have been here to this day, and my yearning for the journey back has been gone for a long time. So then on my journey to America in Bremen where I was waiting for a ship for four days, at breakfast I met my husband who also was going to Chicago to stay with his brother and we were both surprised that we were countrymen and classmates and that we would meet that far away. We agreed that we would go together, an idea that was agreed upon by the officers from the company Kareš and Štocký and they willingly changed Josef’s papers after he paid out a small additional sum. That was because he was supposed to go later; we went then by the biggest ship, ‘Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse’ and the journey across the sea lasted only five days.
After our arrival in Chicago on the 18th of June 1909 Josef stayed with his brother on Allport St. and I with my uncle behind the lime-works. We both started working in tailoring and the next year, 1910, on the day of the 12th of February we were married by Mr. Zdrůbek, who was then a very popular orator of the Free Thinking community. We were living on Allport St. and 16th St. at the Košťáls, the late parents of Dr. Fr. Košťál.”
Tomorrow we will conclude this exclusive translation and prepare to provide you even more! Only from Onward To Our Past®