Czech Genealogy and History – Second Installment of the Exclusive English Translation of 1881 Article “Where to Settle in America?” from Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
Onward To Our Past is pleased to present the second installment of our newest exclusive English translation of another genealogy gem from the Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář.
If you read the first installment, you will recall the Editors of Amerikán Národní Kalendář published in 1880 a series of four questions asked by readers as to where Bohemian immigrants might find agricultural land and what areas might be conducive to Bohemian settlers. In the very next edition the Editors then published the responses they had received.
These responses are valuable to us from a genealogy perspective as they give us a first-person view of settlements across the heartland of America, what Czech compatriots were saying to those back home in the ‘Old Country’ relative to America, and can help us with insights into possible chain migration locations for our ancestors.
Yesterday, in Installment One we heard from Jiri Rubes from Iowa. Let’s see what Jan Hlavatko, of Fairfield, Clay Co., Nebraska has to tell us.
We trust you will enjoy this, the second installment, of this exclusive translation.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
WHERE TO SETTLE IN AMERICA?
“III. From Nebraska
Dear Editors of Kalendář,
Here are my answers to your questions:
Answer 1). I can say the area where I live, which is by Fairfield, Clay County, Nebraska, is very inviting to immigrants, and for establishing a Czech settlement. Land here is fertile, producing everything, whatever you can name when weather is not bad.
Answer 2). The big advantage is that our area has a great location. It is not far from anywhere to get to market. Our town is situated by the St. Joseph railroad. One line is only eight years old and the railroad leads to all directions and is close to us. About six miles from our town is the Blue River, where there are four mills in operation. Farmers are happy for the great opportunities here to sell their products, markets are close, the number of railroads here push each other to compete, and therefore the railroads cannot to be too expensive.
As a matter of fact a lot of farmers wish to settle here. Here there is a lot of land for sale, but not thousands acres together. Farther to the west it is possible to get 5-10 sections together, which is enough for the establishing of a large settlement.
Answer 3). A farmer can rent a lot of farm laborers, therefore a person can care for a really large farm.
Answer 4). Farm laborers are paid here in the following way: If the farmer wants rent a farmhand for a year, or for several months, he will have to pay him 16-18 dollars monthly, including food. For the work of breaking one acre of prairie the men are paid $2; for plowing an already broken acre the men are paid $1.50.
There are a lot of potential tenants who will help to cultivate the whole area of the farm.
Those who wish to find opportunity should come here to see it for themselves and learn how much they will like it.
Fairfield, Clay Co., Nebraska.”
Watch tomorrow for the third and final installment of “Where to Settle in America?” here courtesy of Onward To Our Past.