Our awesome story continues today as we follow the lives of a Czech-American couple as they come from Bohemia to the United States.  A story of dreams, hopes, desires, and perseverance!

It was never easy for immigrants and we can learn much by studying their challenges and obstacles as they moved to the United States.

Enjoy today’s installment.  If you missed installment #1 you can click here to catch up, then read today’s, and tomorrow we will conclude this wonderful story from the pages of the 1951 edition (volume 73) of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.

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®

“Reminiscences of Countryman Anton Bubík”

1951 Bubika image

“The friend with whom I was previously in apprenticeship with had work in Vienna and he also found work for me; however, I could not stand it very long, only until I made enough for good clothes, and then I returned home.  There I met a friend of my sister’s, Hedvika, who used to write letters for my sister, which my sister then sent to me while I was in the military. This was a thing, however, about which I had no suspicions.  I liked Hedvika, and she liked me, so we got married.  We were together about 3 months, when in a Viennese gas factory, which belonged to an English company, a strike was started.  The company was looking for other workers in order to be able to keep up with  certain agreements.  I also went there and in the short time of the strike I made 300 Rheinish coins, which at that time was big money.  With that I built a cowshed and bought a cow.  – Then I got work in the sugar mill: I would walk there for 13 seasons in any weather, a distance of an hour and a half.  Over 7 years I saved enough that we were able to add two more cows and we started to farm and our positions started to grow as well as the children.  We had 13 children, 6 boys and 7 girls, and I brought all of them with me to America.

1951 Kaiser Wilhelm der grosse ship

My friend, Urbančík left for America.  I learned that he was making good money, so I decided I would go too.  I sold the cows and farming implements to have enough for my journey and for my oldest daughter Marie, who came with me.  At that time it was not difficult to get to America, the only thing was if a person had money for the journey. – The journey to New York took only 6 days on the ship called ‘Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse’.

Steerage on Kaiser Wilhelm der grosse courtesy of Norway Heritage

Steerage on Kaiser Wilhelm der grosse courtesy of Norway Heritage

In Chicago we were welcomed by our friend Martin.  I got work with the Northwestern Railroad Company and my daughter went into service.  I had been there a little longer than a year when my wife sent over our other two daughters.  After about 3 years, at the request of my wife, I went back to the old country; however, I did not enjoy anything at home.  Our daughters stayed in Chicago.  One of my friends bought property in Upper Austria.  He was bragging about it, and so I did the same thing.  I bought a farm.  I had fields and a piece of forest.  There was a lot of work and we had a pretty prosperous time.  I bought half of the farm on borrowed money, but the interest was low, and so we were quite successful.  At that time there was talk of a war and so I decided to sell the farm and that we would all go to America.  My wife did not want it, since our youngest son was only 6 weeks old and she was afraid of the journey, but then she allowed me to convince her.

I got for our possessions the same amount of money I paid and I also made around 600.  Fortunately all made it to Chicago.  Our daughters were already waiting for us.  They rented an apartment for us, and our friend Martin Urbančík was also there asking me to come to work where I used to work.”

Tomorrow we conclude our wonderful story right here, exclusively from Onward To Our Past® so be sure not to miss the rest of our Czech immigrants’ story!

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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