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Although the first Czechs came into this county in the early days, it, like Johnson County, has never attained any size worth mentioning, and is probably an extension of Saline and Fillmore counties. It is recorded that the colony was originally established by Frank Zavodsky, born in Humpolec, Bohemia, who moved later to Colorado, where he died. In the early nineties the following lived there:
John and Joseph Stastny, born in Krenovice. Their postoffice was Swanton, Saline county.
Vaclav Hofman and Joseph Houser (born in Brezi, county Pisek) P. O. Daykin.
P. O. Reynolds:
George Chaloupka, came from Wisconsin; Joseph Cerveny, born in Podmokle; Frank Fiala, born in Senkov, Louny; Adolph Kasparek, born in Jednota, Ratibor; Karel (Charles) Tuma, born in Letov, Planice; Frank Halik, born in Hradesice, Strakonice; Joseph Cacak, born in Cernovice, Vlasim.
P. O. Buckley:
Fr. Sadil, born in Humpolec; Frank and Joseph Hajny, born in Nepomuk, Plzen; Frank Tuma, Letov, Planice.
P. O. Diller:
Joseph Krejdl, Myto, Horovice; Anton Hajny, Nihov, Velka Bytes; Frank Hejtmanek.
The only place where Czechs live in this county is in the town of Plattsmouth, where they were largely employed in the Burlington & Missouri Railroad shops, with the proportionate percentage of business men. Previous to the last strike there were about eighty families here, now there are about fifty, many having moved away to find employment elsewhere.
The first Czech on record here was the Catholic missionary priest, Rev. Francis Bobal, of whom more detailed mention is made in the chapter on religion. He had spent two years in England, to learn the English language, and was then sent out as missionary, serving in that capacity in the state of Nebraska. He came in 1872.
1874--The Following Came:
Rev. Bobal's cousin, John Nasel, came October 28th, with his family.
1875--The Following Came:
Frank Kolacek, John Svoboda, Joseph Kalasek, Anton Kanka and Joseph Fiala. All born in Soroka, Moravia, and all having spent three years in Petersburg, Virginia.
John Hadraba, born in Bohemia, came from Cleveland, Ohio; Edward Svoboda, born in Soroka, Moravia; Vaclav Skoumal, born in Brno, Moravia. All came with their families.
1876--The Following Came:
Vaclav Hadraba; Anton Kroulik, born in Krkonose; John Novotny, born in Rozinka, Moravia.
1877--The Following Came:
John Toman and Joseph Vetesnik, from Rozinka, Moravia.
1878--The Following Came:
Thomas Janda and his married sons: Frank, Cyril and Anton, and his son-in-law Frank Novacek--all from Bystrice, Moravia.
One of the smaller counties, of which reports are meager. The first came in 1874 and were: Vaclav Vlk and V. Janda, who settled in the vicinity of Fairfield, and Joseph Fort, who settled in the vicinity of Deweese. In the nineties the following were living there:
P. O. Deweese:
Joseph Fort, born in Lukavice; Cyril Muzik, Dolni Loucka, Tisnov; Frank Pochop, Kaly, Tisnov; Fr. Pysny, Domanin, Bystrice; Frank Svoboda, Zd'ar; Frank Beran, Loucka, Tisnov; John Sykora, Bobrovka, Nove Mesto; Joseph Chvala, Cvrcoves; Fr. Muzik, Dolni Loucka, Tisnov; Frank Dobes, Horni Loucka; Metodej Mazour, Kaly; Rudolph Melichar, Zdarec; Bedrich Vap, Vykonin, Tisnov; Ignac Vap, Vykonin, Tisnov; Thomas Kadlec, Vykonin, Tisnov; Frank Mazour, Kaly, Tisnov; Joseph, John, Frank and Jos. H. Barta, Lestina, Caslav; Frank Bradac, Albrechtice, Bystrice; Frank Bednar, Horni Loucka, Tisnov; Fr. Skalka, Domanin, Bystrice; Jacob Petr, Nebstych, Velka Bytes; Joseph Borek, Horni Loucka, Tisnov.
P. O. Fairfield:
Vaclav Vlk, Tvrzice, Volyn; Florian Cermak, Konopiste, Prachatice; Vojtech Janda, Doubrava, Vl. Brezi; John Pesek, Tvrzice, Volyn; Fr. Zlatkovsky, Strazek, Bystrice; Joseph and Frank Loup, Strazek, Bystrice; John Slama, Tri Studne, Nove Mesto.
P. O. Spring Ranch:
Cenek Hubacek, Janovice, Bystrice; Ignac Mazour, Kaly, Tisnov; Severin Pavelka, Stepanovice, Tisnov; Joseph and Frank Koukal, Divisov, Bystrice; Matej Carda, Hrdlorezy, Trebon; Ignac Fricek, Plasy, Kralovice; Joseph Stritecky, Dolni Ujezd, Litomysl; Frank Nejezchleb, Babice, Brno; Marie Hlavaty, Chvalovice; Enos Svoboda, Albrechtice, Bystrice.
This also is one of the counties containing small settlements that have never grown to any proportions. However, the Czech pioneers here have gained fame in Nebraska literature, for it is about them that Miss Willa Cather has written with such rare understanding and sympathy. Black Hawk in her book "My Antonia" is Red Cloud, her own home town. It is very unusual for an American, be he or she ever so kindly and broadminded, to entirely grasp the psychology of a foreign people, but Miss Cather has done it thoroughly.
Czechs in this county live around Red Cloud, Bladen and Blue Hill.
1874--The Following Came:
Jacob Polnicky, born in Kojetin, Nemecky Brod; John Havel, Smrdov, Habry.
1876--The Following Came:
Matej Kudrna, Matej Strobl, John Zajic, Joseph Barta--all from Smrdov, Habry; Joseph Sidlo, Trebic, Moravia.
All of these settled five to eight miles south of Red Cloud. In the early nineties the following were living there:
In Red Cloud:
John Polnicky, born in Kojetin, Caslav; Frank Strobl, Smrdov, Habry; Joseph Kubicek, Vsehrady, Plzen.
P. O. Red Cloud:
Anton Sadilek, unknown; Joseph Sidlo, Trebic, Jihlava; Matej Vavricka, Matej Strobl, Frank Barta, M. Kudrna, John Havel, Jos. Kudrna, Joseph Jelinek, John Zajic--all from Smrdov, Habry; Joseph Pavlik, Kojetin, Caslav; Joseph Polnicky, Kojetin.
P. O. Bladen:
Rudolph Zajicek, Ujezd, Zbirov; Frank and Vaclav Zitek, Drozdov, Horov; V. Hubatka, Karez; Frank Soucek, Volesinky, Bystrice.
P. O. Blue Hill:
K. Lukas, Ostrov, Zd'ar; F. Mazel, Volesinky, Bystrice; J. Hubacek, Janovice, Bystrice; V. Herman, Zd'ar; Fr. Zeleny, Ostrov, Zd'ar; Karel Novak, Simanov; John Dusek, B. Lhota, Ledec; Joseph Pavelka, B. Lhota, Ledec; Florian Hajek, Ostrov, Zd'ar.
At the present time there are about twenty-five families around Red Cloud and twenty more between Bladen and Blue Hill.
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