We have a fabulous exclusive beginning for you today!
1951 is the year and we are set for a marvelous and extensive series of first-person stories of early Czech immigrant settlers in America! And there is something new here too!
We find, for one of the first times, Amerikán Národní Kalendář featured both the husband and wife in many of these stories in the article! So we get twice the Czech genealogy and history information, clues, hints, information, and details!
Enjoy our first instalment today!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Year: 1951, Volume: LXXIII, Pages: 117-
“Old Settlers’ Memories”
58 Years of Shared Life: Frank and Antonie Fuka
Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“Spouses Frank and Antonie Fuka reached a special anniversary – their 58th year of married life – on the 28th of February 1950.
Mr. Frank Fuka was born on the 5th of March 1871 in the little village of Křída close to Stalec in the historical south Bohemian region of Tábor. He graduated from a three room grammar school, and when he was thirteen and a half he was apprenticed as a stucco-mason with Master Bartůněk in České Budějovice.
Mr. Fuka did not stay long in Budějovice after he finished his apprenticeship. His yearning to experience foreign countries led him to decide to go to America. In 1888 he departed for the journey to the New World from Hamburg on the fast ship “Augusta Viktoria”, which was then on its virgin voyage to America. After seven days he found himself in New York. He then left for Chicago. Since there was not enough work in his specialization he started to work as a tanner, later as a molder. When in Chicago in 1890 the preparations for the Columbia Exposition started, he was able to get work in his own field and in this way he worked on the exhibition grounds for 26 months.
He met Miss Antonie Mrzenová in May of 1890, shortly after her arrival to Chicago and he married her on the 28th of February in 1892. The young couple was brought together by a strange happening. The father of Mr. Fuka was a guardian of Miss Mrzenová and her siblings that lived in Podboří, an hour away from Křída. Miss Mrzenová had two sisters in Chicago and she went to visit them in 1890. One sister, Anna, married name Schubertová, is now dead, and the second Marie married a Mr. Kálal.
The father of Mr. Fuka sent a nice box of cigars with Miss Mrzenová which she could not deliver since the box disappeared from her broken suitcase during her journey. She was able to pass on greetings from his home, and informed him why she could not bring the cigars. These are the circumstances during which the young people met each other and they remember that happy occasion up to this day.
In July 1893 Mr. Fuka bought an inn on Čermák Road, and Sawyer Avenue, the place where today Vilímek’s Pharmacy is standing. After 5 years he sold it and he devoted his time to bicycle painting. Then he worked in the factory of Kimbal & Chappel that makes beds, where he was employed for 13 years and then became the shop head. The next three years he worked with International Harvester and then with Studebaker Corporation for another 15 years where he reached a responsible position in the car painting shop.”
Tomorrow our story of the Fuka couple continues and we are treated to even more details and wonderful information!
Onward To Our Past®