We are back in 1878 and bringing you more of the fabulous biographies of Czech-American editors as reported in the pages of that first edition of the priceless volumes of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.

Today we begin an all new editor’s biography and it is another filled with wonderful details and insights into the commitment these men had to attempting to preserve the Czech culture in their new homeland of the United States.

Enjoy this all new exclusive!

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”

“František Boleslav Zdrůbek”

1878 Zdrubek from Capek

            “He was born on the 26th of July 1842 in Bezdědice near Hostomice in the Prague Region on the bank of the creek Chumava (therefore, his sobriquet Chumavský) and when he was two years old his parents moved to Hostomice where he was raised.  His devoted father, even though poor, put great care and thought into his education.  And in his youth, beside the school, he taught him at home, and pushed him to read.  As early as the age of four, supposedly, he was already reading aloud for his father from books.  Later his father insisted that he read the Bible and historical works.  His father had a strict view of morality, and under his leadership the child developed the foundations of a religious upbringing.

He was home-schooled, and then when he was eleven years old his parents moved to Prague.  Upon the wishes of his uncle he left the school and started to learn the net making trade [sýťařské řemeslo sic], however, when his master was bankrupted after half a year, the young Zdrůbek learned the beginnings of the German language, and he went back to a parish school with the St. Haštal Church.  From there he transferred to the main school at St. Jakub, and only in 1857 did he transfer to the Old Town gymnasium high school.  Meanwhile his mother died and his youngest two sisters and father along with five other young brothers, moved back to Hostomice.  František stayed in Prague alone and he stayed in schools through the support of his friends and incessant private teaching of smaller children.  The whole direction of his education was religious and ascetic, which led him after the 6th Latin class to enter into the monastery of the Benevolent Brothers of Strict Observance in Styrian Graz.  It was only there that through the circumstances and experiences in the monastery he came to think independently and to judge humanity, the world, and religion.

            A subconscious, sense of the free morality of man overcame his faith, and its ceremonies, and Zdrůbek left the monastery feeling for the first time as if he belonged to himself.  He then studied privately in Prague with no small difficulty through the 7th and 8th classes of the gymnasium.  When, then, his yearning for thorough knowledge of everything that the world calls God, eternity, and the supernatural, started to awaken in him, he became an auditor of the Catholic religious education in Prague, however, not having found satisfaction for his longings, and having met theologians who were evangelicals, he hoped that he would find greater satisfaction and the yearned-for knowledge in protestant theology.  Therefore he converted to the Helvetic Confession, and left for studies in Basil in Switzerland, where he was accepted as a member of the local university.   He studied assiduously and especially researched the holy writs. In addition, he was especially thankful to the lectures of Professor Schultz, which led for him to the strengthening of the rules of free research of religious sciences.”

Tomorrow we continue this wonderful biography of only one of the many Czechoslav editors written about in the pages of Amerikán Národní Kalendář!

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.
  1. John Albert Kuba Reply

    My great great grandfather was Jan Barta Letovsky , father of my great grandfather Jan Milostine Barta Letovsky

  2. John Albert Kuba Reply

    These men were on my mother`s side, Josephine Marie Barta Letovsky we lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa I would like to know more about others as Jan Barta Letovsky was the first

    • Scott Phillips Reply

      Are you seeking more information on Jsn or other family members?

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