Genealogy and History Translation Section Four
Pages 56 to 68
A total of 89 members have been accepted into the order since its founding until July 27 of 1894, a period of nine years. Of those, eleven were expelled, three passed away, two withdrew and two transferred elsewhere. That brings the present total to 71 members entitled to support when falling ill or passing away.
As the table below shows, the Čechomír order paid out $6,511.65 to the federation for brothers who had passed away, while it received $3,000 from the same owing to three of its own brothers passing away.
Death benefits for deceased wives $994.16
Death benefits received $250.00
Total revenues $11,773.96
The order’s various expenditures, such as salaries for officials, fees for the hall, burial expenses for brothers, fees for the Grand Order of Ohio and for the National Main Order, travel meeting costs, and postal and printing costs amounted to the following over the order’s nine years of existence:
Total various costs $1,344.72
Support for brothers fallen ill $1,923.00
Death benefits for deceased brothers $6,511.65
Death benefits for deceased wives $994.16
Support for brothers fallen ill
not covered by the statutes $149.16
To maintain Sunday schools $135.20
Support for those back home $7.75
Total expenditures $11.065.48
Total revenues $11,773.96
Total expenditures $11.065.48
Assets remaining $708.48
Compiled by Jos. Operman
Frant. Hauzer Havel Horažďovský
Jos. Tichý as supervisor, Jan Procházka as accountant, Jan Ondráček as treasurer, August Vondrák as conductor, Vojt. Perk as inner guard and Jan Šťastný as outer guard.
List of Members of Čechomír, Order No. 123
Jan Ondráček, Jos. Operman, Jos. David, Ed. Sojka, Vojt. Chábek, V. Filip, M. Churáček, Jos. Huleš, Jan Procházka, Fr. Horažďovský, J. Pešek, Aug. Vondrák, Jan Godfrid, Jos. Zelenka, Ant. Kaizr, Jos. Cigler, Fr. Třešnička, Jan Skalák, Jan Šafařík, Vác. Režábek, Jos. Nešpor, Jan Novák, J. Luzum, V. Krumphanzl, Josef Šemich, Matěj Němeček, Matěj Drha, Hynek Krumphanza, Karel Pokorný, Jakub Vacík, .los. <?> Erben, Vojt. Hejduk, Tom. Hnilička. Jau Šťastný. Mat. Holeček, Vojt. Perk, Vác. Ryjant, Vác. Holeček, Jan Červenka, Fr. Hauzer, Vác. Novák, Jos. Hejduk, Fr. Stěcha, Mat. Pokorný, Jakub Staněk, Fr. Kreps, Ant. Bílý, Jos. Kasík, Vác. Stěch, M. Kule, Jan Hajčák, Havel Horažďovský, Jos. Panka, Rud. Sattler, Jos. Čančík, Jos. Tichý, Jan Jedlička, Mat. Jedlička, A. Kuthan, Vojt. Soukup, Al. Sanejtrník, Jos. Havlíček, Anton Albrech, B. Erhard, Mart. Vrána, Bedřich Šafránek. Vinc. Kaplan and Jos. Jirecek.
Pravdomil, Order No. 131 of Č.S.P.S.
in Cleveland, Ohio
As the population of Czechs continues to grow in the area, and our orders increase in size as they continue with their good, charitable work, there remains the need to found additional orders.
When forming such groups the Czechs made sure they were not left behind. Coming to this abundant and blessed land, they quickly settled in and adopted the beneficial customs of their fellow citizens. One of these customs was to band together for the purpose of providing a means of insurance against illness or death.
Now there are a thousand such Czech support organizations scattered across this great land, our new country. One such organization is the Czech Slavic Support Federation </ , better known as the Č.S.P.S. Federation, the largest of them all. In every corner of this country this federation is known for its charitable work, and the explosion of growth it has experienced over the past 25 years has been beyond all expectations.
Wherever Czech communities formed they would immediately gather together to found a new order.
The same occurred in the eastern part of Cleveland at the end of 1885. At that time that part of the city already had one order, in the name of Přemysl, Order No. 18. This order already had a secure future, considering its 60-strong membership and assets exceeding one and a half thousand dollars.
In this part of Cleveland lived many Czechs who had so far not joined any order and no notions were put forward to found a new one.
Such a thought was first submitted by Fr. Hrubecký, a member of the Přemysl order, who had first approached the Svornost order back in 1878.
After further consideration Hrubecký discussed his notion with Mr. Matěj Nový, who like many others did not belong to any order, explaining to him the purpose of the federation and how a new order could be successfully formed in this part of the city. On learning of the federation Mr. Nový became a fervent advocate of the concept straight away, and promised to do all in his power to bring it about. But before commencing he suggested one more confidant who could be put to this task, pointing to fellow compatriot Vác. Čada, and so it was done.
These three, Fr. Hrubecký, Mat. Nový and Vác. Čada, began to meet regularly and take steps towards completing their task.
Hrubecký was assigned the task of providing the necessary advice and handling all correspondence, while Nový and Čada were to recruit as many new members as they could. For his role Hrubecký put together a document which all intending to join the new club were to sign. The document was worded as follows:
“Cleveland, Ohio on December 8, 1885
We, the Czechs listed below, living in the eastern end of Cleveland, have understood the benefits and need for coming together as a form of insurance in the event of our own illness or death or that of our families, and recognize that the Č.S.P.S. Federation is the best recourse for such measures. We note that in this part of the city there live a large number of young, healthy and respectable compatriots, with whose support we will found a club and, once we have attained the necessary number of members, will submit a request for incorporation into Č.S.P.S. For the time being the registration fee for our club will be two dollars. The club’s name will be decided upon once it has been formed.”
Matěj Nový and Vác. Čada then travelled around with this document to get it signed by all those who expressed interest in joining the new order.
All those who had signed the document then met for the first time on the first day of 1886, in the home of F. Hrubecký, where decisions were made on what measures to take next.
At that time the document already had sixteen signatures, which was enough to start a new order, but the signatories preferred to have more and so more were sought.
By the second meeting the number of signatures had climbed to 24 and were as follows:
M Nový, Vác. Čada, Jos. Dezort, Jan Protiva, Vác. Sedlák, Vác. Štengl, Ant. Šrek, Fr. Ptáček, Bohumír Ježek, Jak Petrášek, Jos. Uher, Fr. Hanket, Petr Švanda, Jan Lukeš, Fr. Rott, Jos. Urbánek Sr., Frant. Lechnír, Alois Stainc, Vác. Šťastný, Jan Čítek, Fr. Stainc, Jos. Urbánek Jr., Václav Fišer and Karel Trnka.
Besides Fr. Hrubecký three other members came over from the Přemysl order, those being Fr. Tišler, Fr. Vlček and Vác. F. Zborník, who were glad to become founding members of the new order. Now we had to decide how to name this new order, and many names were proposed, but none were approved by vote.
Fr. Hrubecký proposed that the new order be named Pravdomil (Lover of Truth), commenting, “After all, truth is our cornerstone, truth is what we wish to defend, and by truth we wish to conquer.” His proposal was accepted unanimously and the order was officially named as such.
The meeting also ruled to send the application, without further delay, to the Grand Order of Ohio. The necessary application fee of $25 was included, together with a medical report by Dr. Havlíček stating that he had thoroughly examined all of the members and their wives and declared them totally healthy, recommending them to be accepted as a result.
The founding members were now certain that their endeavors would end with success and that no obstacles would stand in the way of the order’s formation. However, they found themselves disappointed because the Přemysl order was not interested in acting as an idle bystander and letting the process move forward so easily. The Přemysl order felt that Pravdomil would act as competition against them and even threaten them, so they stirred up contention among the local Č.S.P.S. orders not to allow its formation, since their approval was required.
In the beginning the Pravdomil order did not take such agitation very seriously, assuming that the local orders would approve their application without contention. They believed that the founding of a new club would only benefit the federation, considering that the greater the number of orders established, the faster the membership of the federation would grow, and the stronger it would become.
The Grand Order of Ohio received the application and sent out a request to the local orders to find out if they would accept the new member.
The first response came from the Svornost and Petr Chelčický orders, who both ruled that they would not approve the new member, arguing that the new order would be detrimental to Přemysl, threatening its existence. The founding members of Pravdomil did not take this news favorably, as their good intentions were now called into question: they simply wanted to elevate themselves, for the Č.S.P.S. to thrive and their new order to prosper financially. After all, how could a small group of 28 members threaten the existence of an order with membership exceeding 60 and whose assets exceeded one and a half thousand dollars? The Pravdomil founders could not see reason in this but did determine that such rulings were made under pressure from the Přemysl order.
Time was of the essence and the order realized it would have to take a firm hold of the reins in order to complete their task. The onus fell on Hrubecký and Tišler, who were older settlers and well respected and trusted among the entire community. It was up to them to fix the damage done and make sure no other negative votes would be delivered to the Grand Order.
They set out, meeting with one friend after another, explaining themselves and requesting a fair judgment. In particular, they pointed out that it would be absurd to think that such a relatively weak and penniless order could threaten the existence of an older one with almost three times the membership and significant financial resources.
Every order has at least one member trusted by his brothers who heavily influences that order’s rulings. Hrubecký and Tišler made certain to visit precisely these members and request that they give a fair verdict. Both came back from their separate excursions and were glad to say that they were promised positive rulings.
There was finally a meeting of the Grand Order in which the fate of Pravdomil was to be sealed. The founding members were pleasantly surprised to find out that no other orders had voted negatively, and therefore the Grand Order ruled to allow the new order, considering that most local members of the federation had approved its formation.
Hrubecký and Tišler’s work was not in vain and the Pravdomil order prevailed. Now it needed to make sure that the Grand Order would arrange a quick confirmation at the National Main Order in Chicago. The Grand Order was glad to oblige and it took only a few days for a confirmation to come back, Pravdomil becoming the 131st order of the federation.
But it did not take long for the National Main Order to announce that it had received a protest against the new order’s founding, from Přemysl, to be precise. Thankfully the main order could respond: “Too late!”
Plans were now set in motion to incorporate the new order on March 8, 1886. Such a struggle from difficult beginning deserved a proper celebration, for which the hall of Mrs. Stehlíková was rented, where the new order was to have its meetings.
For this purpose the hall was exquisitely decorated and the following mottos added, among others: “The federation blossoms further”, and “Pravdomil overcame”.
The executive committee of the Grand Order of Ohio came in full numbers, and the ceremonies were launched in a dignified manner by its chairman, Fr. Kysela, while its secretary, brother Václav Rychlík, recorded the proceedings into their books.
Although the actual incorporation was made in private, the appointment of the new order’s officials was public and managed to draw a large and curious crowd. The appointments were as follows:
V. F. Zborník as chairman, F. Vlček as supervisor, Fr. Hrubecký as secretary, Fr. Hanket as accountant, Fr. Tišler as treasurer, Mat. Nový as conductor, Jos. Dezort as inner guard and Jan Lukeš as outer guard.
Once all of the officials had bound themselves to fulfill their new obligations faithfully and justly, the newly elected chairman thanked the Grand Order’s officials for all their efforts and instructions, and promised them that the Pravdomil order would work hard to earn a respectable position in the Č.S.P.S.
The National Main Order’s chairman, Brother Jan F. Sprostý, then gave a stirring speech and urged them to remember their obligations, both to the federation and their civilian obligation, and to fulfill them faithfully.
At the ceremony’s conclusion, the new Pravdomil Order No. 131 of Č.S.P.S. exclaimed “Na zdar!”, repeated again by the exuberant audience. This ended the public event and the meeting, so that the Pravdomil could begin with its charitable activities.
As was mentioned above, 24 members had registered, but two of them were declined: F. Lechníř for being too elderly, and Fr. Říha for being too young. The order began its new life with four new members, making up a total of 26.
Only one new member came on board during the first year, which was entirely due to the room where they held their meetings. For this reason the order moved to brother F. J. Vachalec’s at the end of 1886, where they found greater success, their membership growing as follows: 32 members in 1887, 43 in 1888, 56 in 1889, 63 in 1890, 70 in 1891, 69 in 1892, 76 in 1893 and 69 in 1894.
Although the order had started out virtually empty handed, it accumulated the following wealth over the years.
$252.67 in 1886, $428.05 in 1887, $639.95 in 1888, $919.75 in 1889, $1,209.99 in 1890, $1,428.06 in 1891, $1,361.12 in 1892, $1,479.94 in 1893 and $1,487.35 in 1894.
The year of 1892 saw a significant shortfall due to the fact that a high number of its members fell ill that year and $440 had to be paid out that year to cover it.
The order showed the following financial figures by the end of 1894:
Death benefits to brothers $5,751.30
Death benefits for wives of brothers $855.20
Paid out to ill brothers $1,915.00
Exceptional support $92.00
Contributions to Sunday school $65.00
Donation for Jan Hus Monument in Prague $10.00
Funds received from the federation:
Death benefits to three brothers $3,000.00
Death benefits to 7 wives of brothers $1,750.35
Total assets by end of 1894 $1,478.35
Compiled by Fr. Hrubecký
List of Members of Pravdomil, Order No. 131
end of 1894
V. F. Zborník, Fr. Tišler, Fr. Vlček, Fr. Hrubecký, Matěj Nový, Jos. Dezort, Fr. Rott, Jan Protiva, Fr. Ptáček, Bohumír Ježek, Jakub Petráček, Jos. Uher, Fr. Hanket, Petr Švanda, Jan Lukeš, Jos. Urbánek Sr., Jan Čítek, Fr. Steinc, Jos. Urbánek Jr., Vác. Fišer, Vác. Kubišta, Fr. J. Vácha, Mart. Plantner, Fr. Nový, Fr. Dezort, Tomáš Hanket, Fr. Vaigl, Vác. Šic, Jos. Šic, Fr. Lemr, Jan Vajgl, Jos. Lavička, Vinc. Vondráček, Fr. Říha, Jos. Protiva, Vác. Šnajdr,Vác. Plantner, Ant. Svatoň, Ant. Maxa, J. Kubík, Ignác Fajrajzl, Mat. Adamec, Jos. Čáp, Anton Zeman, Fr. Vilt, Vác. Vachalec, Tomáš Levý, Jos. Říš, Jan Nocar, Vác. Novák, Mat. Žák, Jos. Pechoušek, Vác. Cibulák, Petr Štědronský, Jos. Čárek, Fr. Šíma, Jan Králíček, Fr. Friauf, Jan Tittl, Ant. Klekner, Tomáš Pěst, Jan Řezáč, Jos. Friauf, A. Zeithamer, Fr. Unger, Jan Lexa, Ant. Kozler, Vác. Foukal, Leopold Kraus and Ferdinand Houška.
Žižkův Meč, Order No. 133 of Č.S.P.S.
in Cleveland, Ohio
In March of 1888, several society-minded compatriots met under friendly circumstances at J. Holečka’s on Homewood Street, during which time the thought surfaced of whether to establish a Č.S.P.S. club in this remote part of the city, where many Czechs resided. Several of those present were quite excited about the idea and the decision was made to seek out additional compatriots and meet in the same location, where those gathered agreed on the formation and that the club should be called Žižkův Meč.
An application for acceptance into the Č.S.P.S. Federation quickly followed. At that time, Slovač, Order No. 133 of Č.S.P.S., the weakest of local orders back then, decided to join Žižkův Meč at its point of meeting, while the Grand Order of Ohio saw it fit that the Žižkův Meč order, which had already been accepted into the federation, should join forces with that of the Slovač order. But before this union could take place some obstacles had to be overcome. Through justifications and explanations they were eventually resolved by the Grand Order and the two orders were invited to a meeting on 15 July.
The acting committee of the Grand Order of Ohio also attended this meeting, explained the importance of the federation, and with the full agreement of all those present, the name of order Slovač was changed to Žižkův Meč, keeping the order number of 133.
The full membership of the new, combined order was now as follows:
Jiří Kolisar, Mat. Potančík. Mich. Kihorany, Mat. Červenka, Jos. Vopat, Fr. Šafránek, Tom. Brajnstain, Jan Proška, Fr. Hubený, Jos. Vaněk, Ferd. Vlna, Vojt. Titl, Vác. Bohein, Fr. Kasík, Jos. Lukáš,. Mat Hodouš, Jan Bartuněk, Vác. Kasík, Emil Klimeš and F. Kadeřvek.
The new membership then voted in the following officials:
Fr. Kadeřávek as chairman, Fr. Šafránek as supervisor, Josef Voput as secretary, Jos. Lukeš as accountant, Vojtěch Titl as treasurer, Fr. Hubený as inner guard and Jos. Brajnstain as the outer guard.
Although this order, with its older and more indebted members, had to overcome many difficulties through frequent correspondence and found it difficult to add to its membership in the beginning, since few free-minded Czechs could be found in that part of town, the resolve of its members did not weaken. Through endurance and persistence they managed to accumulate a slow trickle of members, ensuring the new order’s continued growth.
Expenditures for cultural purposes $30.00
Charitable donations $20.00
Total assets $387.31
Number of members 37
The order’s current officials are:
Ferd. Vlna as chairman, Em. Kašík as supervisor, Jos. Holeček as secretary, Fr. Šafránek as accountant, Em. Klimeš as treasurer, Jos. Klaisner as conductor, Fr. Vrána as inner guard, Jan Hejduk as outer guard, asset management committee comprised of Vác. Matějka, Josul Málek and M. Hodouš.
The remaining membership is as follows:
Jiří Kolisar, Mat. Červenka, Mich. Kihorany, Mat. Potančik, Jos. Vopat, Tom. Brajnstein, Jan Proška, Fr. Hubený, Jos. Vaněk, Vojt. Titl, Fr. Kasík, Jos. Lukáš, Jan Bartůněk, Vác. Kasík, Mat, Bejček, Jos. Mulač, Jan Jíša, Jos. Lisý, Josef Stoehl, Fr. Kostíř, Petr Chamila, Vac. Opatrný, Vác, Beneš, Fr. Lorman and Fr. Beznoska
Lech, Order No. 160 of Č.S.P.S.
Starting on September 29, 1889 and ending on September 23, 1894
in Bellaire, Ohio
In the month of July in 1889 several Czech compatriots gathered together in our little town of Bellaire to discuss the possibility of forming a support club. After several debates and after comparing different statutes the group decided to apply for acceptance into the very large Č.S.P.S. Federation. Once that was decided they voted on their officials, electing V. Sklenář to the role of chairman and F. Adámek as secretary.
The group further decided that the secretary should send an application to the National Main Order. The meeting then ended, the next one scheduled for the third Sunday in August.
The second meeting was also fully attended and properly initiated. A letter was read from the National Main Order in which they stated that officials would come from the Grand Order of Ohio on September 29 to incorporate our club into the federation. The letter also instructed us to send $25 to cover the costs of the Grand Order’s officials, which we undertook to do immediately. The same meeting agreed to call the new club Lech, the National Main Order assigning us number 160. After that the meeting came to a close.
On September 29 officials arrived from the Grand Order of Ohio, namely the chairman, Jos. Kocian, and the secretary, V. Kalva, to gather together with us in the club’s hall, where we were to be incorporated into the federation.
After the usual formalities we were happy to promise to do our utmost to uphold the instructions and advice given to us by these officials, and to work to strengthen the good name and renown of the Č.S.P.S.
The following officials were then voted in for a period of one year:
Václav Sklenář as chairman, Ant. Konigsmark as vice-chairman, Anton Petrán as supervisor, Fr. Adámek as secretary, Jan Zastudil as accountant, Alois Sklenář as conductor, and Jan Karnoš and Vác. Němec as guards.
The following were then recorded as the founding members:
Václav Sklenář, Anton Petrán, František Adámek, Jau Zastudil, Alois Sklenář, Jan Karnoš, Václav Němec, Anton Konigsmark, Vilém Vogel, Jos. Hora, Jakub Zdvořáček, Anton Baur, Anton Šindelář, Jan Hanuš, Frant. Pelc, V. Klier, Jan Hajn, J. Pech, Alois Hájek, Al. Burda, Jan Pertl, Vác. Pertl, Ed. Pertl, Vác. Kotera, Frant. Kočí − 25 members in all.
Total revenues and expenses of Lech Order No. 160 were as follows:
Total revenues $3,900.97
Support to brothers fallen ill $730.00
Death benefits $2,303.90
Support outside of statutes $66.51
Various expenditures $549.96
Total expenditures $3,650.38
Total revenues $3,900.97
In cash $171.89
Fixed assets $53.70
Lent to members $163.03
Total assets $413.62
List of Members of Lech Order No. 160
Fr. Adámek, Vác. Adámek, Vojt. Burda, Alois Burda, Ant. Bauer, Jan Hanuš, Jos. Hora, Alois Huml Sr., Alois Huml Jr., Jan Huml, Ant. Hain, Fr. Hain, Jan Karnoš, Vác. Kotera, Michael Kočiž, Ant. Konigsmark, Fr. Kelner, Vác. Němec, Jos. Mertiš, Ant. Petrán, Jan Pertl, Vác. Pertl, Ed. Pertl, J. Pech, J. Paul, F. Paul, Fr. Pele, Max Pitner, Vác. Prokeš, Anton Rinderer, F. Raušer, V. Sklenář, A. Sklenář, J. Derschen, V.Šlanc, A. Šindelář, Jos. Sweizer, Jan Jopp, Vác. Veverka, Vilém Vogel, Vác. Vaněk, Jan Zastudil and Jakub Zdvořáček, making 43 members in all.
Our order organizes a ball every year which generates fairly good earnings.
In conclusion we would like to mention that our order partly consists of coal miners, and we would like to recommend that the federation continue to accept miners, despite fears that receiving miners will not prove fruitful to the Č.S.P.S. Our order has existed for five years and we are proud to say that none of our brothers have died or suffered serious injury.
On behalf of the committee,
Alois Sklenář, Jan Hain, Václav Aámek
Žižkův Tábor, Order No. 204 of Č.S.P.S.
in Cleveland, Ohio
On November 19, 1894, Žižkův Táborm, Order No. 19 were incorporated into Č.S.P.S. in the state of Ohio, with the following members: F. Nekvasil, Jos. Brejška, T. Slavík, M. Rovný, Jan Zelenka, Vavř. Kučera, Alb. Pánek, Ed. Grund, Fr. Volek, Vác. Celerín, Jos. Zelenka, Jan Holeček, Fr. Zelenka, Vác. Řeřicha and Vác. Vokatý.
Once the order was incorporated, its officials were publicly appointed and letters of congratulations read out loud.
The following officials were appointed:
Tom. Slavík as chairman, Jan Hlulec as supervisor, Jan Rovný as secretary, Václav Celerín as accounant, Jos. Brejška as treasurer, V. Vokatý as conductor, F. Volek as inner guard and J. Zelenka as the outer guard.
Once these appointments were made the chairman of the Grand Order, F. Hrubecký, spoke about the federation’s charitable works and the benefits of adding new orders.
This was followed by a response by the order’s chairman, Tom. Slavík, after which brother Grund. Krátka thanked the Grand Order for the incorporation, swiftly followed by the unanimous proclamation: “Success to the federation!”
The Žižkův Tábor order has a total of 15 members, with several more in the pipeline as the order’s location is fertile ground for expansion, not only for us but for Žižka, Order No. 9 and Čeští Bratří, Order No. 103, who were present in great numbers during our incorporation and who were very friendly during their attendance, giving us the hope that we will soon flourish.
The order thanked and credited Jos. Hulec, Jan Dvořák and Jan Tomšík for its foundation.
List of Members of Žižkův Tábor, Order No. 204
The founding members were as follows:
Jan Hulec, Jan Tomšík, Jan Dvořák. Fr. Nekvasil, Jos. Brejška. Tomáš Slavík, Matěj Rovný, Jan Zelenka, Albert Pánek. Vavr. Kučera. Fr. Válek, J. Zelenka. Ed. Grund, Vác. Celerin, Jan Holeček, F. Zelenka, Fr. Řeřicha and Vác. Vokatý.
The following members joined later:
Karel Chvojan. Matěj Kouba, Jan Lehečka, Vác. Slavík. Josef Vojtěch, Josef Šťastný, Jan Celerin, Frank Lepa, Louis Asoher and Frank Trněný.
The Žižkův Tábor order’s officials are as follows:
Tornád Slavík as chairman, Mat. Rovný as secretary, Jos. Brejška as treasurer, Vác. Celerin as accountant, Jan Hulec as supervisor, V. Vokatý as conductor <(marshal? or deacon or steward? – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masonic_Lodge_Officers#Deacons>, Jan Valek as inner guard and Frank Zelenka as outer guard.
When at the start of the second half of 1894 the Č.S.P.S. Grand Order of Ohio decided to publish the history of its subsidiary orders, it assumed that its intentions would be understood and that all of the sub orders would execute their obligation with a faithful depiction of their origins, their early beginnings, their gradual expansion, and their charitable works.
This was sadly only partly the case. Some of the orders, in particular the older ones, painted their history in true colors, while others did not quite represent the truth faithfully, or were superficial in their attentions, or else bragged endlessly of their exploits, delaying our eventual publishing longer than we hoped. In the end we compiled only about half of what we had hoped to compile, but if the material simply isn’t there one has no choice.
The Grand Order of Ohio appointed the committee below to overlook and edit the submitted material for print and seek out additional information to make the book as complete as it could.
The older orders remind us how difficult it was in the beginning. The greatest obstacles of all the orders came from religious sources, since the federation was the first free-thinking Czech club in the country and a thorn in the side of many religious groups. They urged newly arrived immigrants to stay away from the federation by declaring that the Č.S.P.S. was a satanic organization threatening those who did not heed the church’s warning of eternal damnation, and hoped to crush the fledgling federation in this way. Such spells have a great effect on believers, as is well known, but such spells do not work on their own. As the testimony of our older orders confirm, such pressure only inspired them to work harder, and their reward was exquisite, as they built up an organization we can all be truly proud of. We are not interested in any religion but are nurturing true brotherly love and charitable giving, we take care of our brothers who are taken ill, supporting and comforting them and providing them with medical care, and if they pass away we take care of their wives and children.
According to our principles, support in sickness and in death, and comfort in times of misfortune outweigh all heavenly kingdoms.
The younger orders then clarified how we organize new member clubs, who can become a member and how, what advantages we offer, how faithfully we hold together, how well we meet our obligations, from where we collect our revenues, which we then allocate for charitable and cultural purposes, both here and back home, a country we will never abandon. Furthermore, they show how the incorporation works, how it takes legal effect and how they likewise become protected under law. Therefore, even the most doubtful, after carefully reading this book, will come to a more just impression of the Č.S.P.S. Federation.
It was mostly the Ethnographic Exhibit in Prague that had prompted us to publish this work, and it was our wish that it would be available at the time of the exhibit’s opening, but the sluggish response of some of our orders along with other factors have not made this possible, although we hope to find our place before the exhibit’s end to give our dear compatriots back home an opportunity to peer into our lives.
Let us end then with a wish that our beloved federation will continue to prosper, that its membership will continue to grow and that it will continue to take care of widows and orphans and to work for the honor of our Czech roots.
Grand Order Committee
Frant. Hrubecký, Jan Vaněk, Josef Čermák
Slovanská Lípa in Cleveland, Ohio
PROPERTY OF F. ŠÍCHA
History of Remaining
IN CLEVELAND, OHIO
Partially written and edited by Václav Rychlík.
Slovanská Lípa Club </ Choir
When the first Czech immigrants began to settle in the Cleveland area, they felt foreign and alone. Not knowing the language or habits of the new home they had chosen for themselves, they naturally clung to one another, relishing the opportunity to bask in the language of their native land at least occasionally. This is why they welcomed every new Czech immigrant, especially since most of them came from the Tábor area. For this reason, the thought soon occurred to our forebears to form some sort of an organization which would strive to maintain our language and provide help to its members in times of illness or misfortune.
To this purpose a meeting was first summoned and held on May 11, 1862 at the home of Martin Krejčí, where the general agreement was to give the new organization the beautiful and well-known name of Slovanská Lípa (Slavic Lime). As our founding fathers once found relief and comfort in the shade of these old spreading trees, both at the end of the working day and as they drew nearer to death, the founders of the association also hoped to find spiritual and material comfort in the club. Therefore they became the first members enthusiastically. The first election of the Slavic Lime <Should you use the Czech name?> organization board followed and the following officials were elected:
Fr. Sýkora as chairman, Fr. Koza as vice-chairman, Jan Buzek as secretary, Jan Rehák as treasurer and Jos. Kříž as librarian.
The gradual growth of the Czech population in Cleveland naturally increased the club’s membership until, in its third year of existence, at the start of 1865, the idea circulated of arranging a banner. Based on suggestions by compatriots from the Písek region, this task was delivered into the devoted and self-sacrificing hands of a woman living in Písek of Bohemia, who immediately and enthusiastically began to create it. Within two months the beautiful banner, woven with gold and silver, was completed and sent to Cleveland before the year’s end.
News of this treasure had spread like lightning not only among the club’s members but also local Czechs in general, and a meeting was quickly arranged for May 26 of that year, when the banner was to be ceremonially christened.
Lavish preparations were made and J. V. Sýkora chosen as its speaker, while Mrs. Kopfšteinová, creator of the banner, with her godparents Anna Buzková and Karolina Kopfšteinová <Normally godparents are a married couple? Do you mean chaperones?> were invited to take their respectable places at the event, which they accepted obligingly. The day finally arrived and the area around Croton and Forest Streets were already full of life in the morning. Members of the club were beautifully dressed in their colorful, Slavic sashes, and they all held their breath for the moment the banner would be revealed.
The congregation then moved to Kinsman Street (now Woodland Ave.) to the German Catholic church, which was still wooden at that time and in which Father Krásný would preach in Czech every Sunday at 9am, in order for the good father to christen this, the first Czech banner.
J. V. Sýkora gave an excellent and enthusiastic speech while the mother < and godparents of the < banner uttered a few words, after which Father Krásný christened the banner and the ceremonies were concluded.
At the time Slovanská Lípa undertook both a supporting and an educating role in the community, purchasing a number of books from Bohemia, subscribing to Czech magazines and founding the first Czech Sunday school, which would teach Czech children in their native language for a couple of hours at a time. Unfortunately, due to the indifference of the students and their parents, the school came to an end after a short time.
At that time Slovanská Lípa was located in the first Czech hall of Fr. Novák, on the corner of Orange and Belmont Streets.
In 1866 Slovanská Lípa opened a drama department under the name of Perun, which then broke off as an independent organization a year later, following disagreements between the members of the two organizations. Slovanská Lípa started another drama group, which would perform in the hall of Fr. Novák.
This soon caused problems though, and in 1868 Slovanská Lípa moved to the hall of Václav Havlíček at 101 Croton Street, where a stage was built and performances occasionally held.
In the same year the Táborita support club, which was established only two years beforehand, integrated with Slovanská Lípa, bringing with it 42 members and $300 in assets, while both clubs agreed to celebrate the union with an opulent event to be held on July 4, 1868.
At that time most Czechs were well employed, with even the lowest laborers receiving good pay, for which reason the ceremonies were expected to yield excellent earnings.
On the fourth of July Slovanská Lípa, accompanied by mounted marshals and with Czech music playing, proceeded to visit the western part of Brooklyn, where they were invited to set up their tent in the garden of a farm there. Not long after noon the Czech audience started to arrive – women with families were brought in rented carriages, locals came on foot – and very soon a nice cheerful atmosphere spread throughout the company.
… shortly after which the celebrations reached full swing and all present had a great time. The Lumír choir contributed to the music by singing a few songs.
Everything went smoothly but, although the healthy sale of drinks and other things were expected to yield equally healthy earnings, organizers were disappointed to find they were ten dollars short, which incurred great resentment. As an indication of how the event’s earnings were squandered, one Czech woman found several large crumpled bills near the cash register <the cashier is the person, do you mean the cash register?>, which she surrendered to the committee, while the owner of the garden, an honest American, found a roll of bank notes the next day. He delivered this to one of the organizers who, unfortunately, kept the sum for himself.
At the start of 1870 Slovanská Lípa wrote a second time to all the orders of the same name </MK: my guess is “Soustátí” refers to the United States> in order to form a joint order, but this request failed to spark any interest, as only the Slovanská Lípa order in Chicago replied.
Because at that time Slovanská Lípa held most of its assets in cash, the members considered building their own hall. For this they put together a construction committee in charge of looking for a suitable location, soliciting voluntary loans and managing the construction. This turned out to be very successful, owing to an abundance of enthusiasm for our Czech heritage and the close communal ties we had back then, so much so that construction began that same year, and by May 29 of 1871 so much progress had been made that the job was basically done.