Today we are pleased to offer the 15th and final installment of our exclusive English translation of the 1881 article from Amerikán Národní Kalendář titled “Czech Settlements in Minnesota and their Settlers” or Česká Osada v Minnesotě a její Osadníci in Czech. This article has followed some of the very earliest Czech immigrant settlers in Minnesota as they established their new lives and futures in the Minnesota Territory.
Today our author, Hynek Breuer, finishes up his stories and accounting of these early Minnesota Czechs and as usual there is some wonderful detail and many helpful genealogy and history clues for those of us with Czech roots and ancestry.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: IV, Year: 1881, Pages: 166-177
CZECH SETTLEMENTS IN MINNESOTA AND THEIR SETTLERS (Česká Osada v Minnesotě a její Osadníci)
(Collected by Hynek Breuer)
“Also Rice County was settled by Czechs several years later than was mentioned for Scott and Le Sueur Counties. The first Czech settler in Rice County, in the township of Wheatland, seven miles southeast of Praha, was Blazej Stepan in 1862. I will not mention his beginnings since they were much the same as I mentioned before in referring to our other pioneers. Two years later he finally received his first Czech neighbor: Jan Lapice from Le Sueur County. In the same year from Bohemia came Jan Stepan, son of Blazej Stepan and also settled near him. In 1866 Jan Sticha and Josef Vosejpka also arrived from Le Sueur County. In 1867 the following Bohemians came to Rice County: Josef Kartak, Jan Pavek, Pavel Sticha, Matej Sticha and since that time the number of Czechs has increased greatly and now about 400 Czech families live in Rice County. Most of them settled in the township of Wheatland and the most important Czech community there is called Veseli.
To the east of Wheatland is located Webster; but there only a much smaller number of Czechs settled. Veseli was established in 1873, when the settlers started building a church there; it is the most recently established Czech town and its future does not sounds positive. Private businesses in Veseli are the following: Tomas Lapic, the first inn; Vojt. Vosejpka, the first blacksmith shop; Fr. Stanek, inn and drugstore; the inn of Jan Pavek and Mat. Trenda; blacksmith shop of Jan Tomek, and shoemaker Josef Vanek. In 1879 they received V. Vosejpka thanks to P. Vrabek from Praha, who established a post office. Czech social life is small, or to be more honest, nothing. There is a church and a parish house, but no school at all. They also do not care about politics.
The number of Czech farmers in the township of Wheatland is 142. Together they hold a total of 11,558 acres of land. Three of them each have 200 acres, twelve of them each have 160 acres, and some have 140 acres and 120 acres each. Most of them own just 80 acres each; two farmers only own 20 acres each. Near Veseli is also a steam-mill owned by Czech Matej Herman and a steam sawmill owned by Jana Krajnik and Jan Vesely.
This year we witnessed the largest wave of Czech immigrants ever. They are settling mostly in the southern and southeastern parts of our settlement. If this trend continues the Germans and Irish families who have settled here may well disappear.
Written at New Market, Minnesota in May 1880
Picture: View of Veseli from the southeast, township of Wheatland, Rice County, Minnesota”
Thank you to all our fans who have followed along with this wonderful Czech genealogy and history article. We are pleased and proud to have been able to bring you the only English translation for you.
Where will we find ourselves tomorrow? You never know when we all go….Onward To Our Past®!