People from Czechy began to come to America for liberty as early as 1633. First known Czech in Texas was Jiri Rybar (George Fisher), customs officer in Galveston in 1829. Others arrived individually for years before letters sent home by the Rev. Josef Arnost Bergman, an 1849 Czech settler at Cat Spring (9 mi. S), inspired immigrants in large numbers. Josef Lidumil Lesikar (1806-1887) was instrumental in forming the first two large migrations, 1851 and 1853, with names of family parties listed on ship logs as Silar (Shiller), 69; Lesikar (Leshikar), 16; Mares (Maresh), 10; Pecacek (Pechacek), 9; Rypl (Ripple), 7; Coufal, 6; Rosler (Roesler), 6; Motl, 5; Jezek, 4; Cermak, 3; Janecek, 3; Jirasek, 3; Kroulik, 2; Tauber, 2; Marek, 1; Pavlicek, 1. With Pastor Bergman's counsel, many of the Czechs began to farm in Austin county. Other immigrations occurred in the 1850s, and became even heavier in the 1870s. Czechs eventually spread throughout the state, gaining recognition for industry, thrift, and cultural attainments. To preserve their heritage they succeeded in having a chair of Slavic Languages established (1915) at the University of Texas, and later at other schools. Their ethnic festivals have been held in various cities for many years. (1974)
Copyright © StoppingPoints.com, 2010. All Rights Reserved.