The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 304
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Southwestern IHistorical Quarterly
development, the large population of Texas-Czechs helped to
make it so." The Czech pioneers, mostly well-to-do in the old
country, brought with them money and the desire to own land
and to cultivate it. They bought land, worked hard and after a
time they bought more and became land-owners and developers
of the State. They labored for the future generations. The
spirit that lived in the pioneers still lives in their children, even
to the fourth generation.
The first Czech pioneers came to Texas not with the idea of
material gain, but rather to have the privileges and rights of
the American Constitution. Whole communities in Texas were
founded by Czech emigrants, who came seeking freedom. The
early Czech settlers suffered all the hardships and privations of
pioneer life. They built log houses and planted corn and cotton.
Wolves were plentiful and made constant depredations on the
sheep. The Czech women were successful in raising tobacco
which they sold to the American women in exchange for cloth.
The children of this generation may look back with pride to their
During the Civil War Czech women did all the farming. They
were not able to produce good crops as their strength was not
sufficient to cope with the hard, dry prairie soil. If they were
fortunate enough to make a few barrels of corn, this was taken
by the soldiers to feed horses. If anyone had cattle, the soldiers
slaughtered them for food without asking. With the aid of
Springfield rifles women protected their families and especially
the girls against the aggressions, insults, and assaults of white
degenerates who were very bold in their attitude toward these
people, whom they called "the foreigners." With the close of the
Civil War, Czech pioneers were again looking to the future for
The book contains biographical sketches of many Czechish
pioneers in Texas, among them Dr. Antonin Michal Dignovity,
Rev. Arnost Bergman, Jan Reymershoffer, Augustin IHaijdusek,
Josef Shiller, Jan Havlik, and Vaclav Matejovsky. In the course
of these sketches the author has contributed many glimpses of
picturesque pioneer customs and ways of living.
Czech pioneers brought with them many Czech books. Josef
Holec, who came to Texas in 1848, played an important part in
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/329/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.