Final Section Eleven of Genealogy and History Resource Translation
Pages 151 to end
Prokopa, Martina, Petra No. 2., Bratrstva [Brotherhood]: Štěpána Krále [King], St. Augustina, Ladislava, Ryt. St. Václava, St. Josefa, St. Antonína Poust., St. Víta, Svornosti Katolické [Catholic Concord] No. 2., St. Ondřeje and C. M. B. A.
The following are among the women’s organizations: Anny v osadě [v osadě = parish of] St. Václava, Anny v osadě St. Prokopa, Anny v osadě St. Vojtěcha, Anny v osadě St. Ladislava, St. Ludmily, Alžběty, Anežky, Barbory and Ludmily No. 2.
Besides this there are also Catholic amateur drama clubs and choirs, and youth and young women’s organizations.
The First Roman Catholic Central Federation was established in 1876, and its present (1895) presiding members are the following: Jos. Chalupský as chairman, Vojt. Čečka as vice-chairman, Fr. Šindelář as secretary, Jan F. Božovský as accountant, J. Mikšák as treasurer, Š. Furdek as chaplain, V. Sprostý, J. Masák and Jan Jiroušek as directors, Dr. V. F. Chvátal as head physician.
A Short Excerpt from the History of the
St. Augustín Reading Club
On December 26 of 1880 several young men gathered in the Mr. Jan Valvoda building on Solon Street. These men felt a need for spiritual enlightenment, to nurture their mother tongue amongst themselves and the broader Czech population, in particular the younger generation who were in danger of losing it altogether, and to defend the interests of their faith, as inherited from their forefathers. Such beautiful thoughts fell on fertile soil.
The seventeen men present immediately formed an alliance under the name of the St. Augustín Reading Club [Čtenářský sbor sv. Augustína].
The club’s founding members were as follows: F. Steiner, F. Šindelář, J. Čapek, J. Valvoda, V. Jiroušek, Fr. Kolář, Vác. Novák, J. Leičar, J. Novotný, J. Kodídek, Jan Mašek. Fr. Valvoda, Tom. Bukač, Vinc. Volf, J. Veselý, Jos. Houška and Václav Šišler.
The club’s initial cash assets amounted to $1.70, compiled from contributed monthly fees of 10 cents.
The greatest desire of the participating men was for the club to own some books and magazines. It only took five months for the club to hold the following magazines: Světozor of Prague and the monthlies Ludmila, Václav and Anežka of Budějovice [The Czech city of Budvar, in Southern Bohemia].
At that time books from the following authors were ordered for a sum of $50: Tyl Čelakovský, Němcova, Světla, Podlipský and others.
As regards scientific books, the following are worth mentioning: Lepař’s History, Physics, and Kozen’s Geographical Atlas. These books made up the beginnings of the club’s library.
Over time the Club expanded in all directions, its membership growing, as did its treasury, enabling the Club to increase its accomplishments. It expanded the most once it was accepted into the central alliance of the First Catholic Central Federation, as order no. 118. At that time the Club also became a support club, supporting its sick members with $4 a week.
In 1888 the Club fulfilled a long held dream of purchasing and consecrating a banner, the cost of which ran to $200. At present the Club arranges lectures and loose discourses on different subjects at its meetings. Sometimes a member might present a paper of his own devising, which would then be discussed or criticized. Others might present smaller translations from English or other languages. This approach has won great popularity among its members and continues until today.
All last year the Club worked hard to achieve its goals, but it was hindered by the fact that it did not have its own hall and had to rent several locations, making its work more difficult. Fortunately, due to the good teamwork and strong will of its members, such hurdles were overcome, so that by the end of 1891 a single story building was purchased on Douse Street for a sum of $2,000. This accomplishment represented a significant step forward.
The purchase of this building signified the first step in realizing a hall where the Club could organize regular lectures and equip a proper reading room with suitable magazines which could be regularly read. Much progress was made in this area once the club acquired its new facilities, and the hall is now finely arranged with its rooms well set up for meetings, although the furnishing of the reading room is still a future project.
Because the club wanted to focus on increasing the volume of its library by regularly purchasing more books, it lacked the funds to start construction of the reading room. This year, however, a meeting in August assigned the administrative committee the task of drawing up <zdělat plány> plans to reconstruct the club’s rooms, breathing new life into their plans and rekindling hope that their goal is now within reach.
This year marks the 15th year of the Club’s existence, so how do we find the Club now? We must say the situation is quite good, as the accumulated membership funds for sick Brothers amounts to $3,000. The Club now has 203 members, of whom 89 belong to the Central Federation.
Elementary School on Madison Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio
The club’s greatest pride is its richly stocked library with a present value of $1,000, complete with 493 books making up more than 800 individual entertainment and educational works. The club has managed such an impressive feat by charging a fee of $1.20 annually to each member, meaning that $100 worth of books may be bought each year. There is such interest for reading among the members that each new addition is immediately snatched up and passed from hand to hand as soon as it is read.
Otherwise, lovers of reading also have access to the books for a fee of 25 cents monthly.
Aside from the library, the club’s success can be seen in its contributions to other purposes:
To widows surviving a deceased brother $4,905.65
Support to brothers fallen ill $254.80
To cover funeral costs of brothers $87.00
Financial aid to brothers in need $150.00
Donations to orphanages, foundations and
other charitable purposes $696.95
Donations to church services $417.50
Total paid out $6,512.40
The existing presiding committee is made up of the following:
Jan Valvoda as chairman, J. A. Štukbauer as federation representative <zástupce u Jednoty> , Jan Ledinský as vice-chairman, František Kotaška as accountant, J. Suda as treasurer and Ant. Pinkava as secretary.
Prepared by J. A. Štukbauer
Without question Cleveland’s Czechs have proven themselves to be industrious, with practically every one of them of reasonable age seeking to join some group, whether it is culturally-oriented or Catholic, securing a future for themselves and their family in the event of their sickness or death.
Census of Czechs in Cleveland
<This section is challenging because all of the categories should really either represent specific roles, or places/nature of work, but not a mixture of both. I think roles would be preferable as this census list concerns individual livelihoods, hence “tobacco shop workers/owners” instead of “tobacco shops”. But if you don’t have sufficient info to say how these people are employed within each industry, it would be better to make all of the categories into places/nature of work, so, for example, “Architects” becomes “Architecture” etc. Have left all numbers in numeral form because the list is not in full sentences.>
Architects – 3
Coopers or barrel makers– 2
Pastry cooks – 2
Workers <owners?> on Czech periodicals – 5
Tobacco shop workers <owners?> <Doutnikářů> – 33
Photographers – 2
1 planers shop <Hobovárna – as in plaing wood?>
187 <employed in the hospitality industry> restaurants and inns.
Managers of: 4 breweries, 6 insurance companies, 5 properties, 3 ferries <přeplavní> .
3 stonemasons or sculptors
2 book dealers
9 blacksmiths or coachmen < kočárníků>
26 custom tailors and
1 bowling alley <kuželna> .
11 physicians and
4 billposters <lepičů papíru> .
Retail stores: 2 tea shops, 2 pottery and glass stores, 63 meat shops, 7 furniture stores, 62 shoe stores, 4 liquor and wine stores, 167 grocery stores, 28 silver shops, 9 clothing stores, 9 coal stores, 6 hardware stores <železným zbožím> and 7 modistes/hatters.
18 notaries and
Patents are owned by two of our compatriots (one for a washing machine and the other for a grater)
there are 22 bakeries and
Of entrepreneurs: 2 in floor tiling, 4 in canals, 1 in plastering, 15 in carpentry, 6 in bricklaying, 1 in moving and 1 cartman; 9 lawyers; 7 in graveyard work <pohrobník> ; 7 helping in childbirth and 1 clothing rental shop.
29 halls, or which 12 are for theater performances, 3 for saddlers, 1 for a foundry and 13 for seamstresses.
4 parish schools teaching daily, with 4 Sunday schools maintained by free-thinking organizations.
4 printing companies.
12 music teachers; 1 music institute.
Czech Cleveland now has the following Czech quarters: Kozoluby, Žižkov, Husinec, Praha, Probulov, Vídeň [Vienna], Trocnov, Varšava [Warsaw], Na zahrádce [In the backyard], Dakota, Kuba, Bruklin [Brooklyn], Karlov and Kalifornie. In these quarters the following Czech-named streets may be found: Beroun, Hejna, Hus, Jiroušek, Martin, Otakar, Otava, Palacký, Perun, Písek [Sand], Prague, Praha [Prague], Purkyně, Svoboda [Freedom], Sýkora [Chickadee] and Vaněk.
Even Americans of Czech descent are actively involved in political movements, especially in elections and voting. We are well organized in several wards, forming a majority or decisive vote in a few of them, and we are generally unified in our stance. We take pride that our compatriots sit in official positions at both the county and municipal levels, either as paid public servants or through serving honorable functions.
In the Municipal Legislature
The first Czech councilman was Mr. Ferdinand Svoboda, who represented the 14th ward from 1875-76. Fr. Karda was the councilman, as was the title back then, and trustee in the same ward from 1881-82. The city was divided into 18 wards at that time.
In 1882 the city had a total of 25 wards, and Josef J. Pták represented the 12th ward from 1883-84.
During that same year the legislative body was divided into older councils, of which there were 9, and councilman bodies, of which there were 25. <
In 1885 the 14th ward was represented by Mr. Emanuel Payer and the 22nd ward by Mr. F. C. Friend.
Further changes were made this year as well, the older councils remaining but the number of grew into a total of 40. There were also 40 aldermen/councilmen.
The next year, in 1886, Mr. J. Pták was elected to represent the 3rd district in an older council, and Mr. Fr. Fíla to represent the 25th ward from 1886-87.
In 1888 Mr. J. J. Pták was again elected to represent the 3rd district, Mr. Fr. Hesoun the 17th ward and Mr. Fr. Turek the 4th ward.
Mr. F. Hesoun was again elected in the 17th ward, moving to the 24th ward partway through the two terms he served on the municipal council.
Besides Hesoun, Mr. J. M. Novák and Mr. Jan Havlíček served as councilmen for the 24th ward.
On the School Council
We only managed two representatives (educators) in this position: F. C. Friend and Anto. Melichar. After that the school council was reorganized so that it was made up of seven members voted in by all of Cleveland, which severely weakened the Czech vote. We do also have our representative on the library council in the form of Václav Šnajdr, while Tomáš Pivoňka sat as a member on the educational examination board.
In the Police and Fire Brigade Departments
The finest Czechs in all of Cleveland are represented as follows: Jan Vaněk as secretary, Jan Sprostý as detective, along with nine policeman and nine fire fighters.
Working in Municipal Services
We have one engineer in the municipal offices, one in health care services, one boiler attendant in the city’s waterworks, one in the street maintenance department, one in the parks department and three school caretakers.
So, as with the statistics concerning entrepreneurs and industrialists, these figures were counted individually. Many Czech laborers are employed in various fields but how many cannot be determined. In any case it is certainly an impressive number. It is this stable employment and the thriftiness of Czechs (although they certainly could not be accused of tight-fistedness) that explains why a large majority of our compatriots own their own homes <bydlí ve svém>. In this manner we have convinced Americans that we are not an undesirable entity – that we have not come here to earn quick cash only to return back home or to send our earnings there. This is because we have found in America both freedom and affluence – something which we not only value but which we would like to contribute to with all our strength. But we certainly do think back on our native country. Blood is thicker than water and our country is in such a sorry state that it needs not only the help of its patriots but of any kind heart which may be willing. Our generosity of spirit towards our motherland will only make us shine brighter in the eyes of Americans.
Czechs take to politics as a fish to water. It is quite evident that a divide has developed amongst us in the political sphere, as our people are no longer so concerned about a candidate’s abilities or his/her own political convictions, but rather his/her religious faith or the lack of it. This preoccupation cannot last, as it is unnatural to root one’s decisions in mere fantasy. Civil awareness will eventually sweep such notions under the carpet, after which we can all, once again, be proud to be Czech Clevelanders.
By K. F. Tůma
The Committee for Compiling the History of Cleveland’s Czechs, from the regular laborers to the boldest Czech entrepreneurs, undertook this task shortly prior to launch of the Prague Ethnographic Exhibit, when those previously charged with this task completely abandoned it. </ The committee </ spared no efforts to produce a complete work and hopes that, if this history does not turn out as well as one could hope, due to the apathy of some, that at least it could serve as a basis for future researchers and writers of Czech Cleveland’s history once the diaries and memories of those presently living pass away.
The first part of these memoirs was submitted to the Ethnographic Exhibit and the Náprstek Museum <Náprskova musea> at the start of August, 1895.
Once finished the complete works was then sent to the National Geographic and Náprstek Museum in Prague.
VÁCLAV VANĚK, Chairman
VÁCLAV RYCHLÍK, Secretary
MARIE HÁJEK, Treasurer
LADISLAV M. ČAPEK
Postscript by Publishing Company
I myself have a few words I’d like to add. As a reader you must have certainly noticed the well-organized nature of this book and its typographic appearance. I have done the best I could, and I certainly didn’t lack good intentions. To preserve our good name I strived for the best, but I’m not able to perform miracles. Aware of the difficulties I chose to publish this text using stereotyping. <nechal jsem stereotypovat sazbu.> This incurred significant and unnecessary costs because, even though all donations were subject to a deadline, it was necessary to significantly extend this period, as reported in both of the local Czech publications. Today, on November 22, I have been handed a note stating that the book should be delivered to Prague prior to the conclusion of the Ethnographic Exhibit.
Both V. Rychlík, the book’s organizer, and the printing company are richer in experience from this endeavor, earning not a few gray hairs in the process. We did the best we could, at no profit to ourselves. We are proud that Czech Cleveland is the first Czech settlement which can boast of its history. Any criticism would be harsh and only justified from those who, under difficult circumstances, would be able to perform better than us!
On behalf of the Volnost publishing company,
[Stamp: ČSAV PRAGUE GENERAL LIBRARY]