All new and we are back in 1878 with another of our exclusive translations of the biographies of the early Czechoslav editors who toiled across the United States in those days.

As you know, writers, newspapermen, and authors were highly regarded in Czech culture, so it is not surprising at all to find August Geringer and his team at Amerikán Národní Kalendář featuring Czech editors in their very first edition, published in 1878!

This is another great story and we bring you this editor’s story in its entirety right here today!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

VOLUME: I, YEAR: 1878, Pages 118-127

Published by August Geringer, Chicago, Illinois

Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®

“The Biographies of Czech Editors in America”

Jan Rosický

1878 Rosicky


            “He was born in Humpolec in the Čáslav Region on the 17th of December 1845.  He was the only boy among three children.  His father had an independent bakery, however at that time he lived in very impoverished circumstances. 

            Later, the situation improved and his flourishing trade allowed the father to give the little boy at least a little bit of an education.  The school that the boy attended had only three grades, and so the courses of the fourth grade, as well as the first year of real high school, were undertaken privately, under the direction of a capable teacher of an evangelic school, Mr. J. Sluničko, and then he passed the examinations in Pelhřimov,

            He passed the second year of the real high school with good results at the Czech real higher high school in Prague.  The decreasing trade did not allow further expenses for the son, and the young man stayed home, having later joined as a practicant in an office for revenue in his hometown, where he stayed for over two years.  The decrease in the weaving trade, which was the main industrial specialty in the town of Humpolec, harmed all trades, and was the cause of the yearning for America which arose in the Rosický family, among others.  In the spring of 1861 the young J. Rosický was sent off.  At that time he was a youth, not quite sixteen years old and he was sent over with his uncle to America, where he settled among countrymen in the countryside, close to Muscota, Wis.  The following winter his parents also came there with their meager possessions.  Their possessions had become noticeably lighter during their travels and they bought a very small farm which Jan helped cultivate for three years.  It was during the time when the rage of the war that pitted brother against brother was raging in this country and the young man, like almost everyone, took part in the passionate events of that time.  Often he expressed a yearning to stand in the ranks of the defenders of this new motherland of his, however, being the only boy, he could not get the permission of his parents, nor did he want to leave them, since he was their main support.  After three years of life in the countryside, a yearning grew in him to see the wide world and in the beginning of February he left for Milwaukee, where immediately he took part in the nationalistic activities, becoming a member of the “Slavonic Linden Tree” [Slovanská Lípa] and teaching Czech Sunday School.  He found employment in a large grocery store, however it was so badly paid that soon he started to look for other employment, and when nothing came forward, he left for Chicago at the end of May, where he spent six or seven of the following years.  First he worked in the flour trade, and then after two years he saved part of his money, and he went into partnership with his up to that point, employer, Mr. J. Praus.  However, it was not long before, after only three months, he left the partnership.  Later he started an insurance company and water transportation company, and toward the end of the partnership with his brother-in-law, he was directing a grocery store.  During the entire time of his stay he was paying attention to national activities, being an active member of Sokol, Hlahol [choral association], Slavonic Linden Tree and an amateur theatre.  From time to time he was a contributor to “Slavie” and then a regular contributor to Národní Noviny in St. Louis, and later, when Národní Noviny went to Chicago under the editorship of J. V. Sládek, he was an occasional contributor. 

            During the great Chicago Fire in 1871 his store was also hit and completely destroyed.  Despondent about this accident that had befallen him, and the complete annihilation of his years of devoted efforts, he decided to look over the Far West.  He went all the way to California and after having spent two months in San Francisco in a vain search for employment, he left for Oregon.  There he spent 14 months, however, his yearning for more Czech company, and for the opportunity to work on the “inherited field of the nation” sent him back to the “states“.

            On his return journey he fell in love with the meadows of Nebraska and he settled in Crete, where, in the fall of the year 1873, he became a partner in a general merchandise store. 

            In the fall of 1874 he was married, having taken Marie Bayer of Chicago as his wife.  In 1875 he left the trade and became the travelling representative of “Progress of the West” [Pokrok Západu] and when the former editor, Mr. Jos. Novinsky gave up the editorship, the former took over the position in which he has been active since then.  In June of the year 1877, he also took over the publishing of this periodical.

            Altogether up to this point his life has been very unstable and changing, and offered him opportunities to understand many professions in farming, in manufacturing, as well as in trade, and he uses these experiences very profitably in his new position.”

We trust you enjoyed this wonderful translation of the life of this Czech editor from the middle of America!  Tomorrow we bring you an all new editor and their 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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