“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nelsonville in Austin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

First Czech Immigrants in Texas

First Czech Immigrants in Texas Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 19, 2021
1. First Czech Immigrants in Texas Marker

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 immigrations 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
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University of Texas, and later at other schools. Their ethnic festivals have been held in various cities for many years.
See incising on back of marker
Erected 1974 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 1726.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1633.
Location. 29° 58.53′ N, 96° 23.911′ W. Marker is in Nelsonville, Texas, in Austin County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Nelsonville Road (Farm to Market Road 159) and Nelsonville Church Road, on the right when traveling west on Old Nelsonville Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bellville TX 77418, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nelsonville School (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); James Bradford Pier (approx. 4.4 miles away); Machemehl Cemetery (approx. 4.8 miles away); Industry Cotton Gin (approx. 5˝ miles away); Industry State Bank (approx. 6.2 miles away); Friedrich Ernst (approx. 6.3 miles away); Industry (approx. 6.3 miles away); John Friedrich Ernst, Jr. (approx. 6.3 miles away).
Also see . . .  Czechs. Czechs are a Slavic people from Bohemia, Moravia, and parts of Silesia.
A view of the First Czech Immigrants in Texas Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 19, 2021
2. A view of the First Czech Immigrants in Texas Marker from the road
Among the first Czechs to arrive in Texas were the writer Carl Postl (Charles Sealsfield), who may have visited the Texas-Louisiana borderland as early as 1823; Frederick Lemský, who arrived in 1836 and played the fife in the Texas band at the battle of San Jacinto; Bohumir Menzl, a Catholic priest who moved to New Braunfels in 1840; and Anthony M. Dignowity. Rev. Josef Arnošt Bergmann, however, can best be described as the "father" of Czech immigration to Texas. Soon after arriving at the Austin County community of Cat Spring, Bergmann began writing to his friends in Europe about the opportunities that awaited future immigrants. His letters stimulated Bohemian and Moravian immigration. Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 770 times since then and 134 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 19, 2024