1908! Back in the earliest decade of the 1900s and we are bringing you more of our exclusive English translation of the marvelous story of early Czech immigrant settlers in the great Southwestern United States land rush!
This story is chockfull of terrific details and carries a unique twist, which is truly a part of American history!
If you missed Installment #1 click here to read it and if you missed Installment #2 click here to catch up with that one! Then read on with today’s addition to our exclusive!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XXXI, Year: 1908, Pages 272-275
Translated by Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce and Layne Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“The mother was a skilled lace maker from Bohemia and she was tatting lace, with which she would walk on foot throughout the surroundings, and offer it for sale. However since there was no money she had to accept foodstuff and so, often in the evening, bent low under her load, she would return to our hut.
Meanwhile the older girls grew up– at least to the point to where they could go into service. Every two weeks mother would go eighteen miles on foot to visit them and she would bring back the earnings for their service in the form of foodstuff. Four years [after the girls] Frank also went to serve an American, and after the Civil War broke out when the latter went to serve with the Army Frank stayed to work on his farm for a year. As compensation he immediately received a horse, which he gave to his father who at that time had already 80 acres.
Frank farmed with his father for several years and once they had four horses and were real farmers and so he got married, taking Kateřina Márová from Oudraž, born in the Písek Region, as his spouse in 1870. When the young spouses saw that in Iowa it was difficult to obtain larger properties, they set off further west in 1873. Mr. Dudek bought from the B&M Railroad, 160 acres at $6 per acre in Saline County in Nebraska in nearby Pleasant Hill about nine miles away from Wilber They moved from Iowa on a wagon, and they drove the cattle with them. Anton Dudek, his brother, helped him. The beginnings were very bad in what is now the very rich Saline County. But it was like that generally everywhere. They had to experience drought, hail, grasshoppers, etc., etc. This is the reason why after six years they sold the farm and moved to the town of Wilber, where they started inn keeping. However, he did not keep the saloon for long. Having sold the inn to the Fishers, he went back to a farm between DeWitt and Wilber. There he spent three years.
At that time word of the opening of Oklahoma was going around and the homesteading fever also struck Mr. Dudek. The proof that he was serious about the settling was the loaded train car on which he moved with all the furnishings and cattle for a farm. He sent the train car to Oklahoma Station, which is now Oklahoma City. As soon as they unloaded the car he was told that he could not stay on the territory. The countrymen Kučera and Wolf, who were staying in Station at that time warned Dudek to go of his own free will, before he was chased away by soldiers, because in the future it could be held against him that he was on the territory prior to its opening. Dudek listened. He loaded up the train car once again, and had it taken to Purcell on the territory of the Chickasaw tribe, where the homesteaders were congregating and waiting for the opening. There by the Canadian River was a great camp of boomers, in tents and camping under open skies, and also our own people who were organized under the leadership of “Captain” Cáha.
Everyone was awaiting the presidential proclamation to pour into the “promised land” and to race in competition for the free land sections. The spies, mainly the leader of the Czech expedition, Ant. Cáha, already had a specific place in mind where the Czech colony was supposed to be founded.”
Tomorrow we continue our terrific story, so stay right here! No one else, in the whole world is providing the English translations from Amerikán Národní Kalendář Onward To Our Past® is!
Onward To Our Past®