Onward To Our Past® is please to present our latest installment of our exclusive translation of the 1898 Amerikán Národní Kalendář biographic article “Paměti českých osadníků v Americe” or “Memoirs of Czech Settlers in America”. If you are a regular follower of our site you know Amerikán Národní Kalendář is a fabulous repository of Czech-American articles, stories, prose, poetry, and biographies from the 79 years of its publication in America. It is truly a Czech genealogy treasure trove!
Today we continue the biography of Josef Wojtisheck and embark on a new biography of another early Czech immigrant settler to America.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XXI, Year: 1898, Pages: 196-208
“Memoirs of Czech Settlers in America”
At a later time later he (Ed: Josef Wojtishek) took advantage of an opportunity to join a grain store, where he successfully worked together with his copartner for sixteen years. In 1888 he paid his copartner for his portion of the store and since that time he has been the sole owner of the store. Wojtishek became a wealthy man because in addition to owning the drugstore and grain store he is a stockholder in one bank in Cedar Rapids and for some time he was also its chairman. He also is the owner of 275 acres of great soil in Linn County.
He has a three living children. His son, Fr. J. Wojtishek, is a popular physician in Cedar Rapids and a daughter Marie works as a teacher in the public schools there. The youngest daughter, Anna, still lives with her parents.
However, Wojtishek is a coolheaded man who always works with invincible energy. This is the reason for his successes in business and in farming, too. His wife is alive too and she like to talk about their hard beginnings in this country that they overcame.
Around Riverside (Ed: the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk) and Richmond in Washington County, Iowa a lot of Czechs have settled who spent a great many years and started there as pioneers. They can tell a lot of interesting stories about their beginnings in this area when they were without a penny, without any knowledge of English, but full of good will and energy. They struggled with all difficulties and finally prevailed there. Almost all of them became wealthy enough to spent last years of their lifetime not in luxury, but in quiet satisfaction.
One of the aforementioned pioneers is Martin Nový from Riverside, who was born in 1822 in Všenice, Plzen kraj, where his parents had a small farm. Until he reached the age of 11 years he attended school at a nearby village and helped his parents as he was able. His older brother was drafted into the army and Martin had to work for the landlords of Radnice Domain because at that time there was an obligation (called “robota”) to work in the landlord’s fields and any defiance shown to the noble landlords was punished by their catchpoles with their hazel rods at an oak bench.
Nový was trained to be a bricklayer and carpenter. Later he worked in the coal mines until he was twenty years old. After this he would have to wear the tight jacket of the Austrian soldier.
Tomorrow we continue with the story of Martin Nový, which only gets more detailed and richer in genealogy hints, tidbits, and information.
Onward To Our Past®