We are back! After our time off due to the loss of my wife, our translation and writing efforts are ready to be restarted. Based on emotional ability we may be a bit erratic for the foreseeable future, but we want to get back to our important work of bringing the fabulous stories found in the pages of the Czech language, Czech-American annual journal Amerikan Národní Kalendar to English — and we are the only ones doing it anywhere in the world!
Today we continue our 1878 article “The Biographies of Czech Editors in America” from the very first edition!
Enjoy today’s installment!
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”
“Gustav Bedřich Reišl”
“Co-editor of “Solidarity” [Svornost], for local events, was born on April 30, 1855 in Prague to poor parents. In his earliest youth he came with his parents to Pilsen where, in 1861 he attended the National Main School, and having finished there with great success, he enrolled in 1865 at the Premonstrates Gymnasium High School, with a plan to devote himself after his finished studies to evangelical preaching. Having finished the first and second Czech parallel of the gymnasium high school in Pilsen with great success, he started his third year at the German school, since at that time there were only two Czech years. Immediately during the first month of 1867 or 1868 Reišl received a call from the Reverend Parish Priest of the Czech [Brethren] Church in Prague, Mr. Benjamin Košut, to devote himself to teaching, and the teacher’s institute in Stará Tšava was recommended to him (in Prussian Silesia) where for free and with complete support he could finish the course in teaching studies.
However, the squalid family conditions and also his growing distaste for the preaching profession pushed him to accept this offer without hesitation. He left for the old Tšava, where he and eight other Czechs received a kind welcome from the director of the institution, Mr. Rummer.
However, very soon, he became disappointed. Instead of the regular teaching of the subjects unavoidably necessary for a teacher, the pupils numbering 75 had to devote themselves to domestic and field work, and the remaining part of the day was then filled with religious studies. Seeing that in this way he would never reach his hoped for aim, he returned back to his country after a year, and because of his unfavorable situation, he could not continue with his studies. He started an apprenticeship in 1869, in the print shop of J. R. Port, which was in some ways the center of the Pilsen nationalist movement.
Having learned typesetting there in 1873 he was called by his brother-in-law, Fr. B. Zdrůbek, who was at that time the editor of “Progress of the West” [Pokrok Západu] to Omaha, Neb., where, in addition to typesetting, he also contributed to the publication. After not quite a yearlong stay he left for Chicago, where he found employment in the print shop of Geringer’s and after the founding of “Solidarity” [Svornost] he became a contributor to it, and finally the second editor. In addition to that he was also busy with translations from which some were published by the book store of Geringer, such as the novel by Dumas “Father La Ruiue” in “The Home Library” [Domácí Bibliotéka] and the short story by Demery “Two Orphans”. He also edited, a small humoristic weekly, “The Little Leprechaun” [Rarášek] for part of 1878.
Soon after his arrival to Chicago, R. joined several national associations of which he became an active and ardent member, and he held offices in many of them.”
Tomorrow we will continue and conclude this article series on the Czech-American editors! Don’t miss it!
Onward To Our Past®