(888) 785-4500

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:00pm,
Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm
Sundays: TCHCC events and special arrangement only
info@czechtexas.org

TEXAS CZECH VILLAGE


TOURS ARE WELCOME. $3.00 per person for a guided tour
$10.00 lunches offered (Stew or Soup and Sandwiches)

THE MELNAR LIBRARY
TEXAS CZECH VILLAGE

 

Guided Tours: contact us for scheduling availability.
Self Guided Tour Brochure
1-888-785-4500
Email: czechtx@verizon.net

History of the Kalich Family
by Gloria Schwenke East

In 1883, Josef Kalich (also spelled Kahlig/Kahlich) 51 years old, with his wife Magdalena Hauptmann Kalich, 39 years old, came with their families to Galveston from Moravia, Austria, now the Czech Republic, having left Bremen, Germany, on the vessel Weser on the ninth of September, and arriving on the First of October. They brought the following children: Josef, 19 years; Franz, 17 years; Anna, 14 years; Eduard, 7 years, Stefan, 5 years, and Antonín, 2 years.

They were a German-speaking family from Haebendorf (Polouvsi), a little village near Jesenika n/Odrou, not far from Nový Jicín. This area of northern Moravia was colonized by German families as early as the 14th and 15th centuries. A group of German Moravians from this area of Moravia emigrated to the High Hill area of Fayette County as early as 1860.

Josef Kalich was the son of farmers in Jesenika. In November, 1863, he was commander of Patrol 332 of the Field Foresters. He married Magdalena Hauptman, daughter of Antoni and Elizabeth Hauptman from Jesenika.

The Kalichs lived near Weimer for three to four years and then bought 299 acres of land situated 17 miles southwest of La Grange in Muldoon League # 13 on Rocky Creek, a tributary of the Navidad River, in Fayette County. They purchased the property from William and Theresa Herder on June 12, 1888, for $4,300--payable in ten years.

POLKA LOVERS CLUB OF TEXAS

Mission: To provide a facility for the preservation of the history of polka music, song and dance with displays of memorabilia associated with the Club; to recognize supporters of the mission, provide a facility where visitors may both listen to and dance polka music; and to operate as an outreach facility for the education of future generations in the promotion of polka music and dance.

The Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum located in the restored late 1870’s Anton, Jr. and Elizabeth Bruse Hoelscher haus in the Texas Czech Village on the grounds of the 70-acre Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange, TX opened for visitors on May 13, 2006.

Tour hours are: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
On weekdays by appointment and 24 hours’ notice.

Call the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center (TCHCC) at 979-968-9399 or 1-888-785-4500.

HOELSCHER HOUSE
Before After

Anton Hoelscher, Sr. and Mary Katherine Daldrop Hoelscher with their family immigrated from Olfen, Germany in 1846. Children of this marriage who made their home in Texas were Mary, Anton Jr., Joseph (Joe), William, and Ben (Johann Bernard). Anton Hoelscher Jr. married Anna Marie Elizabeth Ahsen-Bruse on April 5, 1847.

In the early 1850’s Anton Jr. and his wife Elizabeth bought land near Live Oak Hill where they built their first home, a log cabin. They then built two other homes before the turn of the century. One of these homes is now known as the Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum- Hoelscher Haus.

In October 2005, Esther and Henry Hoelscher of Houston made a gift of the Hoelscher Haus to the Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum. The haus was relocated to the grounds of the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, Inc., (TCHCC) in La Grange, TX.

The haus is of the salt box architecture with a long porch across the front with two rooms on the lower floor for displays and two rooms upstairs for storage, exhibit preparation and office space.

In 1995, the Smithsonian Institution invited the Czech Republic to participate in the annual "Festival of American Folklife" in Washington, D.C. Materials for the belfry were transported by ship from the Czech Republic to Washington, DC where the belfry was first constructed on the National Mall of the United States during the festival, June 23 through July 4. The bell was cast in Halenkov, Czech Republic especially for this occasion by Josef Tkadlec. The strong friendship between Victor Peter of Houston and Dr. Jaroslav Stika, Museum Director of the Wallachian Open Air Museum in Roznov pod Radhostem led to the Czech Republic's decision that the bell and belfry should be given to the Czech Heritage Society of Texas.

At the end of the festival, the bell and belfry were disassembled and transported to Runge, Texas where they were stored for 14 months on Mr. Ladislav Zezula's ranch while a search was conducted to select a site for reassembly. The bell and belfry were later moved and reassembled in Praha, Texas in September/October of 1996. On Sunday, November 10, 1996, the bell and belfry were dedicated in memory of the late Victor Alfons Peter. In 2003, the belfry was given to the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, Inc., in La Grange, Texas by the Czech Heritage Society of Texas and was moved and reassembled at its permanent location at the TCHCC in July of the same year.

The Czech Heritage Society will retain ownership of the existing bell, replacing it with a replica to be cast at a later date. The relocation of the bell and belfry from Praha, Texas to the TCHCC was graciously donated by Kana Brothers House Leveling and Moving of La Grange, and Hudec's Service and Supply of Weimar. The Fort Bend County Czech Heritage Society has graciously undertaken overseeing the maintenance of the Bell and Belfry for the upcoming year.

The Migl House was constructed in 1890 by the family of František Migl. Most of the construction materials were 1 x 12 long-leaf pine boards for the outside walls, beaded tongue-in-grove internal wallboards, tongue-and-groove boards for the flooring, wood shingles for the roofing and, of course, heavier timbers for the framing. The cost of the material for the house was approximately $350.00. The house initially consisted of a front porch, parlor/bedroom, dining room, dirt-floor kitchen, upstairs bedroom for the grandchildren, and a small porch next to the kitchen in the back. In 1902, the land was sold to the Rab brothers.

In the 1920's, an addition to the house was made by the Rabs. The kitchen was replace with a bedroom and the back porch was extended. The kitchen was made a part of the dining room. Also at this time, siding was installed on the outside walls and a lightning protection system was installed. The outside was never painted, just oil was brushed on. Screens on the windows and screen doors were installed until the 1930's when the house was wired for electricity.

In 1970, when the Jasek brothers purchased the land with the house, the house was off its foundation, leaning over with no roofing, windows broken, porches destroyed, and cattle droppings throughout the house and a family of opossums in the attic. The first thought was--let's burn it down. But finding that this house was part of their heritage, they agreed to restore it. Neither one of them lived near the property. They were only able to work on it during their vacations. After a few years, they were able to live in the house during their stays.

In 1987, the brothers divided the property. Vaclav (Jim) got the house in the division. He continue to live in Baton Rouge and with "old age catching up", he knew he would not be "able to take proper care of the house for much longer." "This house, being part of the Migl's heritage, should be preserved for the future generations, "said Vaclav (Jim) Jasek.

In 2000, I decided to donate the house to the TCHCC, after looking into many alternatives. I believe the TCHCC is structured to be functioning for many, many years.

The Migl descendents have agreed to restore the house according to TCHCC guidelines and to move the house to the Center. The Migl's ask that at least one room be reserved for their memorabilia, pictures, immigration papers, book of descendents with possibly a computer, etc. In addition, the family will maintain a committee to make repairs to the house, etc. as needed at the Center.

HLUCHANEK HOUSE
THE FRANK F. HLUCHANEK FAMILY
Researched by Carolyn Sumbera Heinsohn

Frank F. Hluchanek was born in Frenstat pod Radhostem, Moravia in the Empire of Austria on May 23, 1860, the son of Frantisek and Barbora Dusek Hluchanek. In 1880 at the age of 20, Frank (Frantisek) left the port of Bremen, Germany, sailing on the America with his mother Barbara Dusek Hluchanek Hyl, born in June, 1822; sister Anna, born on July 16, 1853, and brother, Antonin, born on June 5, 1863. They arrived in Galveston on September 29, 1880.

Frank’s mother was the daughter of Josef and Terezie Schlesinger Dusek; she married Frantisek Hluchanek on February 4, 1846. Records from the Czech Republic show that they had seven children, two of them whom died young. After Frantisek died, she married Frantisek Hyl on November 27, 1865. He was born on September 20, 1835, the son of Urban and Josefa Fialka Hyl. Since he did not emigrate to Texas with his wife, Barbora Hluchanek Hyl, it is unknown whether he died, chose not to emigrate, or if the marriage dissolved prior to Barbora’s emigration.

On February 20, 1882, Frank F. Hluchanek married Genoveva (Jenovefa) Adamcik, the daughter of Josef and Alzbeta Parma Adamcik. She was born on December 27, 1857 in House #128 in Frenstat pod Radhostem, Moravia in the Empire of Austria. Her application for emigration was dated February 6, 1872; however, her actual date of emigration to Texas is unknown – possibly she came with her mother, Alzbeta, and other siblings in April, 1880 into New Orleans on the Hannover.

Frank F. and Genoveva had three daughters; however, Genoveva died after the birth of her daughter, born in May 1886, and before November, 1886, when Frank purchased his farm, without mention of a wife.

  1. Elizabeth, born in November, 1882; died in Colorado County on December 16, 1980.
  2. Francisca, born August 15, 1884, baptized at Bluff, Texas – godparents were John and Johanna Smajstrla. She married William Cernosek; both are buried in Smithville, Texas.
  3. Hermina, born May 23, 1886, baptized at Bluff, Texas – godparents were John and Johanna Smajstrla. She married Rudolf Kana; both are buried in El Campo, Texas.

On November 12, 1886, Frank F. Hluchanek purchased 100 acres of farm land in the W. Alley league about eight miles southeast of La Grange, Texas in the Holman area from James M. and Jane Martin for $2000.00; $500 paid in cash with three notes of $500.00 to be paid yearly through 1889. The notes were not paid off until October 15, 1897.

On July 7, 1887, Frank filed his Declaration of Intent to naturalize with the Fayette County District Clerk (Vol. D., p. 258). He became a naturalized citizen on December 14, 1899 (Vol. 2, p. 153, File Box). There is a discrepancy, however, between the date found in the passenger list for his arrival in Galveston and the dates he submitted for his Declaration of Intent, where he stated that his departure from Bremen was October 15, 1880, and his arrival in Galveston was on November 15, 1880. The date found in the passenger list is probably more accurate, since the dates he submitted for his Declaration Intent were based on memory.

On March 4, 1889, Frank F. Hluchanek married Antonia Naiser (Najser), the daughter of Karel (Carl) and Johanna Naiser (Najser), born on September 2, 1867 in Ratimov, Silesia, now known as Vratimov, Moravia, Czech Republic. She emigrated to Texas with her family at the age of 14 in 1881. They settled in the Holman area.

It is believed that circa late 1880s after Genoveva’s death and the purchase of his farm, Frank Hluchanek built a three-room house for his family prior to his marriage to Antonia. There was a parlor, bedroom and a combination kitchen/dining room downstairs; a spacious attic was used as a sleeping area for the children. In 1915, as their family grew, the kitchen was converted into a dining room, and another kitchen was added onto the back of the house. The back porch was extended into an L-shape. Later, after the Salas family moved into the house, they enclosed part of the back porch adjacent to the kitchen, first to make a room for bathing, washing clothes and storage, etc. Then they divided that room up to create an actual bathroom with a tub, sink and toilet. The door to the bathroom opened up onto the porch. The other half continued to be used for a hot water heater, washing clothes and storage. Kitchen cabinets and a sink were added to the kitchen. The Salas’ also built a closet in the bedroom and added a vented pantry and closet in the dining room.

Frank and Antonia had seven children; their first child arrived nine months after their marriage.

  1. Mary (Marie), born in December 1889; married Rudolph Hajovsky and moved to East Gate, Texas.
  2. Emil Reimond, born in October, 1891; married Mary Stavinoha. they lived in Weimar, Texas, where he worked as a clerk in a dry goods store. He died on June 24, 1948 at 56 years of age of cancer of the throat with metastasis to the cervical lymph nodes; he and his wife are buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Weimar, Texas.
  3. Joseph Raymond, born on October 19, 1893; married first wife, Bettie ?; second wife was Elizabeth Adamcik. He died on January 18, 1967 in Caldwell, Texas of pneumonia and carcinoma of the kidney with pulmonary metastasis; he is buried in the San Antonio Prairie Cemetery in Burleson County between Caldwell and Dime Box.
  4. Zophie (Sophie), born on May 5, 1897 in Holman, Texas; married Jim J. Petrash, born on July 20, 1894. They lived in San Antonio, Texas, where she died on January 15, 1972; Jim died on November 29, 1981; both are buried in the St. Wencelaus Catholic Cemetery in Holman, Texas.
  5. Alois Albert (Louis), born on May 29, 1900, baptized in Ammannsville; married Albina Louise Faldyn, born October 10, 1901. They first farmed near his parents’ farm after their marriage; then Louis worked for Albert Naiser, who owned the Mullins Prairie store. Later, they moved to La Grange, where Louis worked at a grocery store. He died in La Grange on January 19, 1969 of a cerebral hemorrhage and arteriosclerotic heart disease; he and his wife are buried in the La Grange City Cemetery.
  6. Frank, Jr., born on February 5, 1903, baptized in Ammannsville; lived at home with his parents; after his mother’s death, he continued living with his father, helping with the farming. After his father moved away from the farm, Frank, Jr. moved to Columbus, where he worked at a convenience store. He died on November 4, 1985 and was buried in Holman, Texas.
  7. John, born on March 23, 1905, baptized in Ammannsville; married Frances Hajovsky, born April 25, 1910 in Holman. They first farmed in Holman, but then moved to Columbus. John died on January 11, 1984; Frances died on November 30, 1979; both are buried in Holman, Texas.

The 1900 Census shows that Alois, who was born in 1900, was already born, and that all of the children were living at home with their parents. Frank’s mother, Barbora, was also living with them. It also shows that Barbora had eight children, four of whom were still living, which is different from the Czech records.

Antonia Hluchanek died on August 6, 1934 at 66 years of age of pneumonia and chronic Bright’s Disease (kidney disease). She was buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Holman, Texas.

Frank F. Hluchanek continued to live on their farm with his son, Frank, Jr., until 1939, when he moved to El Campo to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Hermina and Rudolph Kana. Frank died in El Campo on January 7, 1950 of a cerebral hemorrhage due to arteriosclerosis. He was buried next to Antonia in the Catholic Cemetery in Holman, Texas.

An additional 21 acres had been added to the original Hluchanek farm, which was sold to Anton and Mary Spacek Salas on February 6, 1940 by the descendants of Frank and Antonia. The Salas family moved to the farm in December, 1939, renting it until the farm was sold to them following Frank’s death.

The authentic circa 1904 Double Log Corn Crib with Dog Trot was donated by Hilda Fajkus and Sylvia Ratcliffe of Cistern, moved to the site by Kana Brothers Moving Company, and restored by Ed, Ernest and David Vasek of Plum.

 

The store was donated to TCHCC by Roy Bucek of Schulenburg.  The store is part of an early Czech Texas village and displays early places where immigrants would meet, and purchase necessary staples.

 

 

 

FAIR PAVILION

Among the items on the TCHCC's wish list as part of the Center was an old-time dance pavilion. When the City of La Grange approached the TCHCC to see if they would be interested in managing the Round-Up Hall which is located on the Fayette County Fairgrounds immediately adjacent to the Center's seventy-five acres, the TCHCC board took this offer under serious consideration. Understanding the obligations that would come with assuming the management of such a facility, the TCHCC Board decided to assume management of the Round-Up Hall and have now revived its original name of "Fair Pavilion."

The Fair Pavilion was first built in 1925 and over the years has served as an integral place for people of La Grange and the surrounding area to meet and enjoy themselves at dances and various types of gatherings. The Fair Pavilion was originally owned by the Fair Association, which subsequently sold the facility to the City of La Grange in 1935. The Round-Up Association, a non-profit organization which raised money to benefit the youth of the La Grange area, was the last to manage the dance pavilion before the TCHCC took over management.

Plans are underway to apply for preservation grants to help restore this wonderful facility, all the while being sure to maintain the architectural integrity of the structure. The TCHCC Board feels that this facility will provide an enticing venue for weddings, social and fraternal gatherings, and dances. Discussions are underway at present about the possibility of the decorating the outside-covered patio area as a Czech beer garden, possibly to be called U Kalicha of the Good Soldier Schwejk fame.

The TCHCC feels that the Pavilion will provide a wonderful complement to the Amphitheatre, located not too far from the Pavilion, and will allow for the scheduling of various types of performances that may able to take advantage of the two facilities at the same time. Anyone interested in renting the Fair Pavilion should contact the TCHCC for a pricing schedule. For more information call (toll-free): 1-888-785-4500.

Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center
P.O. Box 6 - 250 West Fairgrounds Road, La Grange, Texas 78945

(888) 785-4500  or (979) 968-9399
info@czechtexas.org

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