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Settlement of Counties in
Chronological Order

Cuming County -- 1864

   The first Czech to settle in this county was Mrs. Gottlieb Schlecht (formerly Anna Walla) who was born in the County of Pisek, Bohemia. She came with her parents to Wisconsin, and in 1864 with her husband to Nebraska. About June of that year they settled on a homestead six miles northwest of West Point. At date of writing Mrs. Schlecht is living with her children near Tilden, Nebraska.

1865 -The Following Came:

Anna (Walla) Schlecht and husband

   The next year saw the arrival of Mrs. Theresa Grewe (then Miss Theresa Klojda), Mrs. Carl Brockman (formerly Miss Mary Klojda) and Mrs. Lobrech Schlecht (formerly Miss Anna Liskovic) and their families. Therefore the first four Czech settlers in Cuming County were women. Mrs. Grewe is living at date of writing, hale and hearty, in the home for old people in West Point, where she was interviewed by Mr. Joseph F. Zajicek, a pioneer and banker of that town, who has furnished the data for the history of this county. She was born in Budejovice, Bohemia, in 1844 and with her parents, two sisters and two brothers emigrated to Wisconsin, to Manitowoc County, in 1852. On May 1st, 1865, she and her sister Mrs. Carl Brockman and Mrs. Lobrech Schlecht, with families, left Wisconsin for Nebraska with three ox-teams. Miss Klojda, then a young woman of twenty-one, drove the cattle they took along and walked the whole distance from Wisconsin to Cuming County, their destination. They arrived there about June 30th, at which time West Point consisted of three houses. One was occupied by John D. Neligh, one by David Neligh and one was vacant. The following month Miss Klojda married Mr. Grewe and they settled on a homestead six miles southwest of West Point, where she lived until recently.

1866 -The Following Came:

    The first male settler was John Maly, who arrived July 1, 1866 with his family. He was born in Litomerice, Bohemia, and emigrated to Wisconsin, thence to Nebraska. In that year came Joseph Brezina (born in Vlasim, County of Tabor, Bohemia) and family, also from Wisconsin.

1867--The Following Came:

   Vaclav Maly, born in Litomerice, Bohemia, -- from Wisconsin.

   Dominik Brazda and family and his father (born in Vlasim, County of Tabor) came from Bohemia. Joseph Brazda, also from Vlasim.

   Ignac Skala (born 1840 in Klucenice near Milevsko) came with his parents to Milwaukee, Wis. in 1854, thence to Manitowoc, where he joined the army (Civil War). He was wounded during the retreat from Centerville. After serving three years and three months, he came to West Point. With Skala and his wife and two daughters were John Novak and his son Joseph Novak. They came by stage from Fremont. At that time there was in West Point only a sod blacksmith shop, a "prairie" hotel owned by a Mr. Mayers and a little store, besides a few dwelling houses. John McNeal, who owned timber land along the Elkhorn, gave the homesteaders material for dug-outs. In those days money was never seen, everyone worked in exchange and cooperated. The first winter was hard. It was a long time before Skala was able to earn $5.00 with which to buy a stove. The next year he raised 170 bushels of wheat and his neighbors hauled it to Fremont for him, where he sold it for 50 cents per bushel and bought oxen.

1868--The Following Came:

   Frank Klojda, born in Budejovice, Bohemia, came to Wisconsin in 1852. This pioneer was recognized and truly so as the most prominent Czech of his day in the county. He was known as Cloudy (an Americanized version of his name) and for years a postoffice named in his honor existed in the county. He was a man of wordly experience, having travelled much since landing in America and speaking English, German and Czech fluently. He was of fine appearance, refined manners and left the memory of a kindly, charitable and unsparing worker among poor pioneers. He was postmaster of Cloudy for many years and was the first Czech to be elected to a county office, that of assessor, in 1869. In 1875 he removed to Seattle, Washington.

   Frank Walla and family, born in the County of Pisek, came to this country in 1854 to Wisconsin, thence to Nebraska. Mr. Walla was the first Czech to enter Cuming County, although not the first settler. He had made an exploring trip some time in the early sixties, during the Civil War, and upon his return to Wisconsin, where he was living, told his friends about the beautiful Elkhorn Valley, whose fertile prairies were awaiting the settlers' industrious hands. After settling in West Point he built a brewery and engaged in that business.

   Paul Psota, tailor. Ant. Langer, photographer.

1869--The Following Came:

   Vaclav Novak (born in Male Becvary, August 2, 1857) came to Milwaukee with his parents in 1867, later to Cuming County. Near the German settlement St. Charles was an old, vacant, log schoolhouse, a new one having been built. That was their home, before a sod house was erected. Mr. Novak married Anna Maly and later moved to Colfax County, where he lives. His wife is buried in West Point.

   Frank Hanzl (born Dec. 31, 1849 in Malotice), later moved to Dodge County. -- Anton Psota, son of Paul; Fred Sonnenschein, barber, from Prague; Anna Novak, homesteader, with family, from Wisconsin.

1870--The Following Came:

   Vaclav Oliverius and family, from Kostelec, County of Plzen; Vaclav Blecha and family, from Kostelec; Frank Cejda and family (born in County of Pisek) from Wisconsin; John Cejda.

   John Reznicek and family, a cigar maker. Mr. Reznicek was born in Rozmberk, Bohemia, March 1830, died in West Point in May, 1873. He came to New York City in 1862, then to Milwaukee, later by train to Council Bluffs, Iowa, crossed the Missouri River by stage over ice and from Omaha to Fremont by rail, then by wagon to West Point.

   Frank Pospisil and family, came from Iowa.

   Jerome Vostrovsky, born March 5, 1836 in Semily, near Kladruby, County of Pardubice, Bohemia. He emigrated to Champaign, Illinois in 1863, in 1864 moved to St. Louis, in 1867 to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in 1870 to West Point where he opened a dry goods store. In 1875 with his family he removed to California, but in 1879 returned to West Point. In 1883 again he went to California, where he acquired wealth in grape culture. He died in San Jose in May 1901. In St. Louis he married Mrs. Anna Mudroch (born Vitousek). His daughter Anna married Thomas Capek of New York, a banker and well-known Czech-American author. The other daughter Clara (Mrs. Winlow) has translated and also written several books. His son Jerome lives in New York.

   John Vlna and family (born in County of Pisek) from Wisconsin.

   Joseph Zajicek and family (born in Misovice, County of Pisek) came from Wisconsin, where he emigrated in 1856. Mr. Zajicek engaged in the saloon business.

1871--The Following Came:

    Matej Sadlo and family, a shoemaker (born in Minice, County of Pisek), came to this country in 1856, to West Point from Chicago; Charles Jankele and family, from Iowa, a shoemaker; Jacob Zeman and family, a blacksmith, (born in County of Pisek), came to this country in 1856, to West Point from Wisconsin.

   John Wiesner (and family), who conducted a meat market, also came from Wisconsin. Mr. Wiesner's full name was Florian John Wiesner and his memory, like Mr. Klojda's, will never be forgotten by those who knew him. He was born near Litomerice, Bohemia, February 29, 1840 and came to this country with his parents in 1852, to Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1859 he was married to Miss Mary Zazvorka, in 1861 he enlisted in the Civil War, re-enlisted in 1862 and received his discharge for disability in the same year. The years before he came to West Point (1864--1871) were spent in Chicago, Cedar Rapids and Marion, Iowa, and Blair, Nebraska. His experience covered several years of farming but the greater part was spent in the meat-market business in West Point and Wisner. However, the town of Wisner was not named for him. In 1877, soon after the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, he made a long, hard trip there, in search of his brother Bohumil (Gottlieb), whom he found. He was of robust physique and possessed qualities of mind that would have made him a notable man, had he met with favorable opportunities. One could catch, at times, a glimpse of the poetic beneath his gruff exterior and he was passionately fond of music, being a singer of no ordinary ability. While not a musician, he played the accordion as no professional has played it there since his time. He was also the first public entertainer of that generation in the community, which was so sadly in need of something to cheer its spirits and fill the longing of the Czechs for songs, music and dances. He always took an interest in public affairs and was the second Czech elected to a county office, that of coroner, in 1873.

   Vaclav Drahos and family, a harness merchant, from Iowa and Wisconsin. Birthplace unknown.

   All of the preceding were farmers, unless otherwise indicated, in which case they did business in West Point, the only town at the time.

   West Point and Cuming County never had a large Czech population and most of those who came were principally from Wisconsin, but during the seventies the territory was large, for nearly all the Czechs in Dodge County, about the town of Dodge, and those in Colfax County, about Howell, considered West Point their nearest market place. After the branch road from Scribner was put through, Dodge, Howell and other points sprung up and West Point lost this trade. Up to about 1868 Omaha was the nearest railroad point. After that, to January 1871, Fremont. At that date the Fremont Elkhorn and Missouri Valley was built through to West Point. The earliest settlers, therefore, had a distance of 75 to 85 miles to market, made by ox teams, stage, etc.

   Joseph Zerzan, later of Schuyler, who resided in West Point for a time, organized a small Czech library in 1874. Jerome Vostrovsky organized the Bohemian Slavonian Benevolent Society lodge in 1879. The Misses Anna Zajicek, Katherine Langer and Anna Dworak were the first teachers of Czech descent to teach school. Some schools were taught in private homes, others in sod or frame buildings. Miss Zajicek is a sister of Joseph F. Zajicek, who has the following to say about pioneer days:

   "In 1870, as an eight-year-old boy, I emigrated with my parents and sisters from Racine County, Wisconsin, to West Point, where I have lived continuously since. At the time of our coming there were no railroads traversing Cuming County and Fremont was the nearest railroad station. From there we travelled on in a stage coach. As I have heard from my parents, most of the Czech emigrants of the early fifties came because they wanted civil and religious liberty, but those that came in later years to the middle west were attracted by the plentiful and cheap land.

   As stated in this history, Frank Walla, who came from the same province in Bohemia as my father, explored the Elkhorn Valley in the early sixties. He settled in West Point in 1868 and correspondence between him and my father ensued, the result being our arrival in 1870. At the time of our coming there was no bridge across the Missouri River, so we made our way by ferry. West Point was the only town northwest of Fremont and the homesteads were all taken, but the country was sparsely settled. This was true because so much land had been taken by script and government grants by speculators. In some places there were distances of two and three miles between settlers.

Frank Klojda and daughters

   Mrs. Grewe, one of the very earliest pioneers, who made the whole journey from Wisconsin afoot, driving cattle, tells me that when their caravan arrived at its destination, they inquired of the first settler (David Neligh) how far it was to West Point. He pointed to a house half a mile ahead. Upon reaching it, they found it unoccupied. The only other building was that of John D. Neligh, founder of the town, which had been surveyed and platted some six years prior to the time. To Mrs. Grewe the country was a wilderness and she wished herself back in Wisconsin, but there was no way of returning except by walking. This she could not do alone, so in a short time she married and began life on a homestead six miles southwest of West Point, eighty miles from market and railroad. She lived on the same place until 1925, when she entered the Old Folks' Home in West Point, where she enjoys the comforts of modern life, being in good health and mind. Her sister, Mrs. Mary Brockman, now lives in California, but the rest of that little company who came with her are no more. The first colony to settle in Cuming County consisted of a group of Germans, who came from Dubuque, Iowa, in the spring of 1860. From that year to 1865, when Mrs. Grewe came, the colony had not received a single additional inhabitant. After that it began to grow, so that when I came, in 1870, there was a population of some 200.

Joseph Jerman

   The struggle for existence and a home was no doubt similar to that of all pioneers in new lands. Those who pioneered in timbered countries had different problems from those who settled on the prairies, but each group had to battle for existence. The hardships of Bohemian pioneers in Cuming County were similar to those of other nationalities. They were all poor with but few exceptions, and those who had a little more, helped the poorer ones, so that in the end they were no better off than the poorest of the poor. It was a sort of socialistic government.

   Among those who had some financial means were Frank Walla, Jerome Vostrovsky, Joseph Brezina and my father, Joseph Zajicek. The first and last named, being engaged in the business of refreshing thirsty wayfarers (and in Bohemia good, well-aged beer is a daily beverage, not more injurious than tea or coffee) were the heaviest contributors in giving aid to others. For in the old country taverns are still the old-time wayside inns a place to feed, refresh and rest body and soul. At our home we fed and lodged the poor homesteaders, when there was so little room that beds were made on the floor. Sometimes our mother felt worn out with it all, and no wonder. She requested father to discontinue having people to meals so frequently, when they were settlers of other nationalities, and she felt their own people ought to help them. These homesteaders came from near and far, some with horse teams, mostly with oxen, and others afoot. They hardly ever had any money and could not buy a meal, so father would say: "We must give them something to eat, they have come a long way and must be hungry. We can fix up some place for them to sleep, too." Quite frequently a loan of a dollar or two was made beside, which was repaid after a long time, if not forgotten.

   The living conditions of some of those homesteaders were pathetic. I will mention just one case. The man was a tenant in the same house we lived in after arriving in West Point. His family was on a homestead and he worked in town as a laborer, where he earned just enough for their necessary food. He had no way of conveying to them the provisions he bought, so he carried a sack of flour on his back some sixteen miles. Such were the hardships some had to endure, and yet they did not complain.

   While a part of the county belonged to the Omaha Indian Reservation, we had in those early years many Indians around us (sometimes as many as five hundred camping on the Elkhorn river for a year, right in town) yet none of the Czech pioneers were disturbed by them. Many had their scare and gave the red men provisions to satisfy them, but no serious trouble occurred. As a boy I enjoyed their company, for every night they used to camp here and the few town folk mingled with them. By the light of the moon, while their camp fires were burning, we listened to the beating of their tom-toms, and watched the young bucks dance to the tune of something like Hale-Luya.

   In 1871 I experienced homestead life, for my father purchased a homestead relinquishment of eighty acres and entered that land again as a homestead. Mother and a part of the family, among them I, made our home in a dug-out on this claim. These dug-outs preceded the sod houses. They were built about four feet in the ground, by excavating that much, and were common in our neighborhood. For the roof rafters were laid, a few boards or poles placed over them and the whole covered with sod. Some settlers dug wells, but many did not have them at first, being obliged to haul water from a neighbor, often a long distance. The next step was to have someone with a team break five acres of the prairie (which we had done) and plant it to corn. The breaking was usually done in May and June, in time for the corn planting. In this way the usual number of acres would be broken up the first year, the homesteaders not being able to pay for more. The price usually charged was $5.00 per acre and there were not enough teams in the neighborhood to do more. The customary machinery used (and I helped do it) was an ax, with which cracks were chopped in the sod and two or three kernels put in each, the cracks were then closed by stepping on them. With us, fuel was the scarcest article, because we were twenty miles from town and from either stream that was timbered, and we had no teams to haul with. No corn had been raised, so there were neither stalks nor cobs to burn, and our daily resort was to gather sunflowers that grew along the creeks and ravines. They were stacked for winter use.

   Our experience as homesteaders was a short one, for in less than a year we left the dug-out and quite suddenly. We were troubled by snakes boring through the sod. We could stand one at a time, but when on a summer evening we entered our abode to retire for the night, and saw that it had been changed to a reptiles' den, several snakes parading up and down the walls, we gathered what little clothing we could safely reach and ran to the neighbor's, never to return. While living on our claim, we had all necessary provisions and consequently many visitors, some of whom came to get something for their sick, as tea, coffee, sugar, dried fruits, etc. These were considered delicacies, most people did not have them and could not buy them. They had no variety of food and doubtless anything for a change would tempt a sick person's appetite.

Young Indan bucks dancing

   Our visits among these neighbors far and near were frequent, and I can yet remember how hospitable and generous they were. They did all in their power to entertain and give us the best, but few if any could offer palatable food. Much of that was camouflaged. Coffee was sometimes made of parched corn, or small grain. Bread of some mixture other than flour, with no seasoning of any kind. There was no sugar, pepper, salt or other requirements for cooking palatable dishes, and yet those people were happy and did not complain. Indeed, so carefree and joyous a time it seems to me now that while I am writing this I wish I could be with them for just an hour or two in that state and period.

   I did not speak of the grasshopper year, for our settlers were then established in their homes. Of course, those were struggling years, but we had cattle, hogs, poultry and some left-over grain to fall back upon, which settlers on later claims lacked. In the years preceding the grasshoppers, about 1873, our products were of the cheapest. Corn sold in West Point at 8 cents per bushel, and was used a great deal for fuel. Wheat was 35 cents and dressed hogs, I believe, less than two cents per pound. At one time wheat sold for 30 cents in West Point and for 35 cents in Fremont. Many farmers hauled it to Fremont, considering the difference of $1.50 to $2.00 per load worth their efforts.

   Prior to 1868, before the Union Pacific railroad was built, provisions had to be hauled from Omaha and our products hauled thither. This was always done in the fall of the year, so that the farmers could provide supplies for the winter, because of roads, creeks and rivers. There were no bridges and nothing but trails for roads. Even the Elkhorn river at West Point had no bridge until 1870, Wisner following in 1872. All we had for many years was a foot bridge. For these reasons, no freighting was done in winter, and if a colony ran out of provisions, as did happen in 1860, the people were in dire straits. Joseph Kaup tells me his father and other members of that colony had to live several weeks on raw and parched corn and what little flour they could grind in a coffee mill. There was no way of getting to Omaha, the river being partly frozen and they could not ford it.

   The families of John Maly and Joseph Brezina, who settled here in 1866, greatly aided Czech immigrants prior to 1870, for both had more than ordinary means to do so. Joseph Brezina was the largest land owner at that time in Cuming County, possessing 960 acres, all of which he had purchased except the 160 he homesteaded. While not located as near the settlement as John Maly, his place became a refuge for home-seekers later. He gave those early comers much assistance, but through unfortunate ventures, sponsored by his descendants, he died a poor though esteemed citizen.

   Of Frank Klojda mention is made elsewhere. Another old settler who was here prior to our coming was Anton Langer Sr., born December 25, 1839 in Houska, Bohemia. He emigrated to this country in 1855, locating as a photographer in Detroit. In 1863 he married Katherine Jeffekensky and in 1867 came to Omaha, where he engaged in his profession. After that he resided a short time in Florence and later on a homestead near West Point and Crowell. He came to West Point in 1868 and in 1869 moved his family here, and conducted a photographic gallery here until his death in 1902. He served as member of our Council and Board of Education and was the leader of our first band and orchestra back in the seventies. He played with more than ordinary skill on the cornet, flute and cello. His daughter Katherine was one of our first teachers and his son Anton J. purchased in 1889 the West Point Republican, editing and publishing it for several years. At that time he was perhaps the youngest journalist in Nebraska, a hard worker and a forceful writer. He now lives in Long Beach, Cal., where the real estate business had gained for him a competency.

Joseph F. Zajicek

   Czechs are natural lovers of music, song, mirth and dances, and even as poor pioneers they sought to lighten their lot by social gatherings. As early as 1872 a dance hall was built in what was known as a summer garden on the banks of the Elkhorn river, three or four blocks from the business section of West Point. The buildings were financed by Frank Walla, and the garden furnished and managed by my father for three years. It was surrounded by a natural grove of trees, wild fruits, grapes and berries and located just opposite the first bridge built over the river. A band of musicians was organized, one Vaclav Svoboda from near Schuyler being hired to do this, employment being given him that he might stay. It is safe to say that two out of five Czechs can play some instrument, and so in no time we had an orchestra of no mean ability.

   In those times Sundays were the only days for amusement and it required a great deal of fussing and cleaning of clothing, boots and shoes to make a nice appearance, for most of such garments had lived a long and useful life. The whole community for miles around came and indulged in the old-fashioned dances as: money musk, Virginia reel, quadrille with honor your partners, right and left, balance all, do--si--do and other calls resounding until morning. The polkas, mazurkas and waltzes of the Czechs rivalled with the American square dances.

   Occasionally Indians, who annually passed through on their way south to the Platte River for a buffalo hunt, camped on the Elkhorn with their squaws and pappooses, sometimes as many as five hundred. They often stayed a week and gave us a war dance, an interesting sight with their war paint and feathers, tomahawks, scalping knives and beating tom-toms. The young generation of those times certainly enjoyed that summer garden, for those yet living praise them as the happiest years of their lives. This garden has now become a city park, dedicated to the memory of the founder of West Point, John D. Neligh, and is destined to become one of the beauty-spots of the state.

   After this summer garden had been established, F. J. Wiesner conducted one at West Point, and later entertained the community with a dance pavillion on his farm. Frank Pospisil also gave playlets, dances and comic diversion on his farm, and so our gayety-loving Czechs were entertained for many years.

   In those days prairie fires were feared more than the Indians. In about 1875 I was in a company of people surrounded by a fire, but we made our way through a cornfield, which checked the flames while we passed. A Czech, Matej Krajic, however, was not so fortunate. He perished in that fire and his wife, looking on and unable to help, lost her reason. The flames of those prairie fires made leaps and bounds sometimes of twenty and thirty feet, where the grass was tall. It was said that those fires could travel faster than a horse could run, and I have no reason to doubt it, when the grass was high and the wind strong.

   By 1880 dug-outs and log houses were replaced with frame and some brick buildings, on the farms, and in towns brick buildings superseded ramshackle frame structures. In 1873 Cuming County built a brick court house in West Point at a cost of $40,000. It was the best in the state at the time, with perhaps the exception of Omaha. At that time also a three-story brick hotel, the Neligh House, rivalled anything in the state. Among the Czech merchants in West Point of the seventies and eighties were: Jerome Vostrovsky, Vencl Drahos, Matej Sadlo, Charles Jankele, Joseph Dvorak, Joseph Zerzan, Anton Marek, E. A. Kades, Frank Vlna, Fred Sonnenschein, F. J. Wiesner, Frank Herold, Paul Psota, Anton Langer and others, in all kinds of business."

Dominik Brazda and family

   Mr. Anton J. Brazda, whose parents Dominik and Anna Brazda came to Cuming County in the spring of 1867, and who was at that time five years old, writes:

   "We left Bohemia in 1866 and landed in Baltimore lived there seven months and reached Omaha June 16, 1867, where my uncle Joseph Brezina met us and conveyed us by wagon to Cuming County. With us came my grandfather and my uncle Joseph Brazda. Father took a homestead of 160 acres, grandfather 80 acres, both twelve miles southwest of West Point. We had no money, not even to pay the filing fee of $14, which father borrowed from his friend Mr. Novak. The first three months we lived with Uncle Brezina and father worked for him, then John Maly allowed us to make a dug-out on a side hill of his claim, where we lived about a year. Father and mother worked for the few farmers that were here, earning just enough to keep us children and grandfather from starving. It was at that time that a neighbor asked mother if she could get some eggs for her. It had been so long since her family had seen one that her husband, as she told mother, said he could not remember if they were black or white.

   In the spring of 1868 we built another dug-out, this time on our claim five miles west of our nearest neighbor and that spring we had five acres of land broken at $5.00 per acre, payable in labor to be done in harvest time. These five acres father planted to corn and beans. During that planting-time, he was without food for three days, because a number of Indians on ponies had asked him for food and he was so badly scared that he gave them all the provisions he had.

   In October of that year we left our first dug-out on John Maly's claim and he helped us move. We had then several dozen chickens, three pigs and some household goods, all of which was loaded on one wagon and hauled to our claim. It was no small matter, for we had to cross ravines and creeks, there being of course no bridges. The crop off the five acres and the live stock we had did not provide sufficiently, as there were eight in the family, so my parents continued working out, in exchange for needed commodities. Money was an almost unknown article and was of almost no value, for one could not buy with it what was most needed in those days. While our parents were away, which was almost all the time, grandfather looked after us and gathered sunflowers, gum weeds and plum brushes for fuel, storing what he could gather for winter use.

   In the spring of 1869 father was informed by Frank Klojda, a locator of claims, that lie was living on the wrong tract. In those days of no roads, no lines, no compass and the vast expanse of prairie, it required experienced locators to find the correct spots, and mistakes were not uncommon. So another, a third, dug-out was made, for as yet not even a sod house could be afforded. We made it with the assistance of Mr. Klojda, who was then our closer neighbor. After two years' residence there, father started to earn his first cow, for which he gave five mouths' hard labor on a farm some twelve miles from our home. Then he labored nine or twelve mouths longer to earn a pair of steers, which were broken to yoke and made our first team. During his absence, mother continued working and carrying afoot to town her poultry products, returning the same way with provisions for her family. On one such trip, homeward bound, she stopped to see a neighbor about work, which delayed her so that it was sunset when she left and had eight miles to go with a luggage of groceries and twenty-five pounds of flour. Darkness overtook her and threatening rain, but she kept on until exhausted, when she was obliged to rest and await the dawn. Coyotes yelped all around her and she had nothing but a sunflower stalk for defense. When morning came, she found herself but half a mile from home.

   In the winter of 1871 father was employed in cutting timber on the Elkhorn river some ten miles from home and hewing same into logs, for himself and for the men for whom he worked. The next year we erected a log house on our claim and conditions improved. In 1873 the court house in West Point was built, which gave father employment and then for the first time we actually began to use money. By that time too we raised sufficient crops for sustenance, had milk and butter from our cows and an ox-team for work. In 1877 we traded the oxen for horses, two yoke for one pair of the latter. That same year father bought 80 acres of land at $4.00 per acre and in 1883 another 160 acres, whereupon he retired from farm life and moved to West Point."

   At present Czechs live in and about West Point and Beemer. Quite a number of the original settlers within a few years removed to Dodge County.

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