We conclude our wonderful exclusive translation today!  If you have not had a chance to read Installment #1 or missed Installment #2, then click those links and enjoy them, then come back and read today’s concluding installment.

We are working from the pages of the 1951 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář and reading the story of one Czech-American couple and their lives across America.  Today we find them in Iowa and Illinois!

Enjoy this wonderful story as it concludes today!

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®

“Forty Years of Happy Common Life of Spouses Josef and Marie Kessler”

1951 Kessler image

“The doctor advised us to move to a different state.  One day I wrote about it to my brother who lived in Chicago and for a long time already had been working in Cicero in the factory of Blakesley and Corporation as a machinist.  He obtained a job for me as well there. – Since I did not want to lose this opportunity I had to leave everything in Belle Plaine and go to Chicago alone.  I was living at my sister Emma’s, married to Mr. Palivec. – I started to work on the 4th of October, 1923, and I have been working there to this day.  After our arrival in Chicago our daughter started to attend the Czech Free-Thinking School ‘Vojta Naprstek’ and also ‘Sokol Havllíček Tyrš’. – They have been married already a long time, through which we acquired four sons:  Sůla, Dědic, Teichman and Muzard, all of them Czechs. –We have two granddaughters and seven grandsons.

Here in Chicago we started a somewhat different, freer life.  Much of our free time we have devoted to the life of the Associations.  During our stay in Belle Plaine, Iowa we became members of the Circle of Brotherhood, Czechoslovak Society of America (Č.S.A.). in 1918 and members of the Czech National Association.

1896 Hall in Chicago jpeg

Here we transferred into the Order Říp, no. 160, Czechoslovak Society of America (Č.S.A.). and we are still organizing meetings in the school of Vojta Náprstek.  The last fourteen years I have been treasurer.  In the year 1928 I was elected representative to the local association of the Union of Free Thinkers in Chicago, and during the first meeting I became a direct member.  For a longer time I have been the president of the local association Chicago.  In recent times I have been the accountant.  I am also a representative of the Order of Říp Mountain on the board of the Bohemian National Cemetery and representative to the Bohemian Shelter and Orphanage.  I am a member of the executive board of the Union of Free Thinkers and since 1942 I have been its accountant.  We are also contributing members of the Czech National Association.  During the Second World War I was president of the Jan Hus Branch.  We are also members of the Fun and Support Club of the Tabor Countrymen and Countrywomen Association.  My wife is a member of the board of Tetin Association of Czech Ladies and Gentlemen (J.Č.D. a P).

We celebrated the forty-year-long existence of our marriage in the family circle of our children.  We are grateful to everybody for their heartfelt attention that they have devoted to us and will continue to devote.

Svornost [Solidarity] has been our daily visitor since the year 1910 and I know that will remain so as long as we live.

We are proud that we are citizens of the United States of America, nevertheless we gladly remember our native country and our friends who still remain faithful to us!”


Stay with us as we begin an all new exclusive English translation for you tomorrow! Right here only from 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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