THE ADALBERT KLEMA FAMILY – A Story Of Suffering and Survival

(CLICK  PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) Bušín House #90 Our family story starts in house #90 in the little Moravian village of Bušín (Buschin on 1850’s maps), now the Czech Republic. (Note: a good Czech map resource is at:  ) It is located about 10 miles from the Polish border. Bušín is nestled in a lovely valley surrounded by very large hills, covered with grass and trees. This photo is from a post card provided by the Mayor of Bušín. A stream flows through the village and eventually becomes a tributary of the Morava river, from which the area derives its name of Moravia. This tributary is called the ‘Bušín Stream and on its banks is a grist mill in Bušín. More about this mill later. This little village, is where Adalbert Klema, son of Franz Klema, lived with his wife Ann (Duskova).

Their first child was born in 1851, and they named him after his father, who was named after Saint. Adalbert (‘Svaty Vojtěch’ in the Czech language) – a famous Bishop of Prague and patron saint of the Czech people.

Then followed the births of his brothers and sisters, Agnes, and twins Josef and Ludmilla. (Josef’s children, Ludvik and Anna would later emigrate to America, with Ludvik settling in Nebraska. His grandson, Frank Louis Klema lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, and is now deceased.

Young Adalbert, in his late teens or early twenties, found work at the local mill. This photo of the old mill is provided by Leroy Klema, from an old post card dated Apr 1909.  It was sent by J. J. Kratky to Mr. Albert Klema, Wilson, Ks. According to the mayor of Bušín, the ‘upper’ mill was purchased by ‘Mr. Dasky’ in 1886. The Dasky’s were probably Adalbert’s mother’s family, since her father was Ignaz Daska. This family was from Klosterle (now Klášterec on modern maps), Moravia a small village about 3 miles south east of Bušín.

The mayor also found in his research that the lower Bušín mill was purchased by Josef Venos of Hrabenov in 1914, due to the war. This could be a relative of Cecelia (Venos) Klema, whos father’s mother, Theresa (Mazak) Venos may have been born in Rabenau (Hrabenov on modern maps), a little village straight about 3 miles east of Bušín. Working at the mill were Adalbert and a Mr. Kratky, who most likely was related to the Klema’s by marriage, since Teresia (Klemova) Kratky was Adalbert’s  sister.

Adalbert met a local girl by the name of Cecilia Vejnos (Venos or Wenos), who lived in the nearby village of Hosterlitz (Hoštice on modern maps) in house #58.

Hosterlitz (Hostice) is northeast of Bušín, within walking distance, about 3 miles away.   Her mother Cecelie was born in Bušín house #39 on Dec 19, 1825, and her father Johann Wejnos (Vanos) was born in Hosterlitz, House #58 on Mar 16, 1826. Her parents were married June 6, 1848.   Cecelia was 22 and Adalbert was 21. These photos are of her parents Johann and Cecelie. Young Adalbert and Cecelia were the same age, fell in love, and eventually decided to marry. The following wedding photo shows the Vejnos family, the bride and groom in the photo are unknown. Johann Vejnos is in the back row, center of the door, his wife is on his left. Cecelia’s parents, Johann and Cecelie can be seen in this photo. Daughter Cecelia is probably somewhere in the photo also. Their first born was a boy, named after his father, Adalbert. This child died. Soon Cecelia was pregnant again. They decided to travel to the new frontier in America. They were now in their mid twenties, and excited to start their new adventure. Although she was 6 months pregnant, Albert and his Cecelia left their homeland, never to return. (CLICK  PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) The above photo could be their neighbors saying their good byes! This  photo was shown to me  (Ivan Katzenmeier) while visiting the Cykrit home in Bušín.

On a Fall day in November 1876 they boarded a sailing ship for the new world. Also traveling with them, according to the ships manifest, were three other families, Cykrits, Kratkys and two Ptacek families. Listed together on the manifest (# 52-58) are – Cykrt Family Members: Anton age 25 Farmer, Cath? Age 47,  Franz Age 15, Josef age 14,  Marie age 12,  Anna age 25,  Josef age 6 Listed together on the manifest (# 60-63) are – Kratky Family Members: Johannes age 25 Workman,  Amalia age 24 Wife,   Johann age 2,  Francisca age 9 mos Listed together on the manifest (# 64-74) are – Ptacek Family Members Vojtech? Age35 Miller,  Anna age 31 Wife,  Marie age 3,  Anna age 11 mos Johann age 35 Miller,  Joesfa age 33 Wife Francisca age 9 yrs 6 mos,  Anna age 8,  Marie age 6,  Johann age 4,  Josefa age 1 yr 6 mos Listed together on the manifest (# 77-78) are – Klemma Family Members (should be spelled ‘Klema’) Adalbert age 23 Miller,  Cecile age 21 Wife

All were probably related and from the same communities.  The Johannes Kratky listed on the manifest may be the Kratky who worked with Adalbert at the Bušín grist mill. Theresia Kratky, was Adalbert’s aunt (his father’s sister). Relatives of the Cykrit family are the current owners of house #90 in Bušín. Mr. Cykrt’s wife’s mother was Hedvika (Klemova) Janku. Her sister, Stepanka (Adalbert’s niece) lived in house #90 where Adalbert was born, until her death Oct, 5, 1982. So there is a family connection between these three families and the Klema’s. We do not know what all they had in their luggage, but we do know that Cecelia brought a cook book written in the old unreformed Czech language, with her. Some believe she may have worked for an upper class Moravian family as a cook. Or it may have been a wedding gift from her mother or grandmother. No one really knows.  Barbara Myers, granddaughter of Anna (Klema) Stika, has provided a translation of the cook book which follows this narrative. They boarded the S.S. Ohio, at the port of Bremen, Germany. The ship’s conditions were horrible for those on board, and especially for a young, pregnant Cecelia.

The following narrative describes the competition among the ship lines and ports of Bremen and Hamburg. Source: and The ships from Bremen and Hamburg had the best reputation. After the cholera epidemic in 1848, both of these cities established stations for the immigrants, where they were isolated from the rest of the population, bathed, deloused and disinfected. In Hamburg such a hospice was founded for 4 000 people, in Bremen it was similar.

The meals should have consisted of salted beef and pork, peas, beans, semolina, rice and wheat stuffs, cabbage, potatoes, plums, and butter etc. In the morning and in the evening coffee or tea was offered with biscuits, for the rest of the day there was only water to drink. The ships should have stored food for three months or 13 weeks, the passengers could take food of their own to improve meals, but they could not provide their whole boards. The space for each person was measured to 20 square feet; the passengers had the right to a cargo box with measurement of 1m x 166 cm. The passengers had to provide their own blankets and bedrolls in steerage. They also had to have their own pots and utensils for food, drink and washing.

The passengers were insured by the company in case of catastrophe, they had the right for medicines from the ship’s storage, but medical attention was not promised to them. The Bohemian (of Slavic origin) customers were contacted by a company ”representative”, Alois Kares, who urged the people to form communities in USA.   This lead the police to investigate a possible conspiracy, which would have the goal to create a ”New Czechia.” The passengers were required to have a valid passport and a ship’s transportation contract.  Permission to leave Europe, for Moravian citizens, had to be requested from the Austrian government.

The sailing ships sailed from Bremen to New York the first and the 15th of each month, similarly to Baltimore and New Orleans (only from March to November) and to Galveston from March 15 to October 15. In 1877, Bremen’s competition, transportation agent August Bolten, representative for a Hamburg – American stock steamboat company, HAPAG (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft) in Europe, advertised transportation only on ”iron post steamboats” traveling from Hamburg to New York every week for prices much lower than ever encountered before.

”The Czechs traveling in steerage could pay in Austrian money. The HAPAG claimed the meals on their steamships out of Hamburg were ”plentiful, filling and healthy.” In New York, HAPAG had general agent Kunhardt, Richard & Boas, in 1878-1879 Pastor’s representative was Johan Vosátka. HAPAG did not travel to Baltimore, and so it is not surprising that Bolten and Pastor attacked the Bremen line to Baltimore.

“The Passage to America through Bremen to Baltimore” versus  ”The Passage to America through Hamburg,” Controversy The battle was on between the two travel companies and their representatives. HAPAG’s pamphlet, Who travels to America chooses the passage only through Hamburg, expresses the advantages of Hamburg and its boats and the low regard for agents, who ‘try to get people for Bremen, where the transportation of poor immigrants a long time ago became merely a place for many money-seekers without conscience.’ The pamphlet summarized quotes from articles in the Chicago Vestnik, the Labor Lists from Cleveland, Slavia from Racine, American Slovan from Iowa City and the West Progress printed in Omaha, Nebraska. According to these pamphlets, the Bremen ships smelled horribly, the Hamburg ships had perfect conditions and good meals. ”Until recent times the majority of Czech immigrants traveled through Bremen, now they start to turn toward Hamburg, where operates honest and convincing Czech, Josef Pastor, the true friend of Czech immigration.” “The Hamburg (steam) ships had the food as delicious, as given by the contract, we even had every day wonderful beef soup, fresh meat and other foods, which were brought to us.” “There was a medical inspection twice a day, and the captain with the crew took care of the passengers’ health.” At least, that was the opinion of F.J. Chaloupka from Cleveland, who traveled on a HAPAG ship with his mother.

Another pamphlet, “The Passage to America through Bremen to Baltimore’ combined all public opinions taken from the Czech-American newspapers. There were experiences of immigrants printed in the American Slovan and Slavia, mostly in 1874-1875. The articles outlined all the evils of Baltimore, and they underlined how much better it was to travel through Hamburg. Sailing Ship vs Steamboat On his first passage to America, Chaloupka traveled by sailing ship instead of steamboat, but the meals were so bad that he couldn’t eat them. At the end of the 70 days, that is how long the passage lasted, he had to pay 70 dollars to the captain for meals that he could eat. “I cannot and I mustn’t praise my first passage to America through Bremen.”

Those poor Czechs, who couldn’t pay, badly cursed misters Kareš and Stotzky. It is obvious that the Bremen agents, to whom Kareš and Stotzky associated as independent entrepreneurs, wanted to use the capacity of old sailing ships, while in Hamburg they counted on fast and modern transportation of immigrants with steamboats. The Austrian police were not interested in agents of both rival companies, the North German Lloyd and HAPAG, especially since ex-officers of police or government founded the agencies. The Czech and the Czech American public remained divided about the best route to America. In 1879 Josef Novinský, agent of the company Omaha-Topeka-Santa Fe Railway, in his pamphlet about buying land in Kansas wrote ”A word about passage from Europe”, where he recommended to the Czech immigrants himself (address: Great Bend, Kansas, North America), Kareš and Stotzky (29 Bahnhofstrasse, Bremen) or August Bolten, representative of W. Miller (33-34 Admiralitatsstrasse, Hamburg), ”where the Czech department is lead by well-known mister Josef Pastor”.

According to Novinský the passage from Prague to Great Bend cost an adult 64 dollars, which when 1 dollar = 2 florins and 10 kreutzers, meant about 130 florins. This meant that to cross the ocean he counted only 20 dollars, which meant about 44 florins. This estimate was very low. On the other hand, Novinský was correct, when he emphasized that in every American port there is some “good Czech agent”. After fourteen days at sea, they arrived in New York, tired, but glad to be on dry land. It was the 6th day of December. The next step of their journey was a long, hard train ride to Wisconsin. They stayed in Wisconsin through the cold Wisconsin winter, long enough for Cecelia to deliver a baby boy. Again, they named the child, Adalbert. Little Adalbert arrived on February 13, 1877 and was baptized in Racine, Wisconsin, exactly two weeks later. Land in Kansas was being promoted in the local Bohemian language newspapers, at this time. Kansas must have seemed like a wonderful opportunity, maybe even a little bit of paradise, if the land promoters could be believed. So a decision was made, and they traveled  to the Kansas prairie to start their life in the new world. A life that would be one of hardship, poverty for some, and riches for others. Leroy Klema provided a copy of an autobiography written by Joseph Satran, a successful Wilson area farmer. Satran’s story gives us insight into what the Klema family experienced during their journey, which in many ways must have paralleled his. Wilson wasn’t much of a town when Joseph Satran arrived in 1877 to seek his fortune in the Bohemian colony started by Francis J. Swehla. This is the same year the Klema family also arrived to seek their fortune, or misfortune! “That station at the time was not very good to look upon, for it consisted of a frame shack for a  depot, a two-story hotel of native stone,  a  small  grain  storage warehouse, two grocery stores, a hardware store, a beginning for a  lumberyard, blacksmith shop, a dozen or more houses and the inevitable saloon,” Satran wrote 36 years later, about what he found upon arriving in Wilson. “Certainly not a very inviting beginning, but most of the settlers were middle-aged and young people, full of hope and determination, and quite willing to rough it at the start.” Satran’s story is one of hardship, long hours of work and a life filled with blessings. According to his autobiography, Satran was born July 4, 1851, in the small town of Wesec at the foot of Mount Rip in north central Bohemia. He was the first born of nine children. His father, a shoemaker by trade, eventually packed up his family and left for the United States. The reason — his trade did not bring enough income to support a growing family. In 1865, the family left from the seaport of Bremen, Germany for New York City. “There were over 250 human beings, herded together like cattle, in the steerage of their little vessel, and no cabin accommodations except for the ship’s crew, consequently living conditions were frightful, and the food served out to the emigrants was so coarse and unpalatable that young children could not digest it and cried with hunger. In addition, the drinking water doled out was barely sufficient to keep down the thirst of the people — there was none whatever for washing except salty sea water, which was entirely unfit for that purpose. “Looking back now it would seem unendurable, but we and the others stood it for seven long weeks, until we reached New York.” After reaching New York, the family traveled to Milwaukee, Wis., where Joseph Satran’s uncle lived. “We left New York for Buffalo, via Albany, on the New York Central Railway, and come to think of it now, it strikes me that the management of that road labored under the impression that emigrants, negroes and cattle were in the same class, for we rode in common boxcars furnished with rude plank benches without any backs, and a mere excuse for toilet necessities. The track was so terrible rough and the jolting so terrific that the children, and even the adult passengers, would fall off of those miserable benches; so by the time we reached Buffalo we were all sore and raw.” With $600 in his pocket, Satran looked to Kansas. “I determined on Kansas as my choice, since I had a prejudice against starting a farm in timber country. I had learned through our Bohemian family paper that F.J. Swehla was just starting a Bohemian’ colony on government land in Ellsworth County on the line of the Union Pacific railway in central Kansas.” In Kansas, Satran settled on land located 9 miles northeast of Wilson.  Because he had training as a carpenter, it was easy for him to build a small home on the property and stock it with supplies. “At first my housekeeping caused me some vexation and I trouble, but finally I broke myself to it. Whenever opportunity offered, I worked for wages, but there was not much doing because the settlers were as poor as myself and could not afford to hire.” Satran’s family joined him in the fall of 1879. The following spring, he married Catherine Peterka. Satran was 28 years old; his bride was 24 years. “Thus the years sped rapidly on. Some brought good crops, other bitter disappointment. The lean years always outnumbered that fat ones. At one time, three very lean years came in succession, which tried our patience, resourcefulness and staying powers to the very utmost. That was the critical period, when so many Kansans mortgaged their homes and later on were sold out by the sheriff. Now back to the Klema family story. Upon arriving in Wilson, they where they lived with a man named Joseph Tobias. Albert (Adalbert) and Cecelia bought 80 acres of land, six miles east and one mile north of Wilson. On this land was a dug out cave where they may have lived until a frame house was built. Another family researcher says they lived with a man named Joseph Tobias. Some say Albert was an alcoholic. When their children were small, he was never home. He did neglect his children when they were young. Albert traveled to Chicago and lived for a time in a Catholic home, but was unhappy. Uncle Will Klema was drafted to go and bring him back to Wilson. There is a news article, that Albert was brushed by a train breaking his arm. Klema Albert hit by trainMildred (Klema) Katzenmeier, recalls that her grandmother often said that if she weren’t a Christian she would kill herself. Apparently, life was not easy for her. Bill Perterka also claimed that she said, ‘If she weren’t a Christian, she would have jumped in a well and drowned herself. Life was hard for this farm couple. Cecelia bore a total of 17 children.

  1. Adabert who died in Bušín
  2. Adalbert who was born Feb 13, 1877 in Wisconson

3. Less than two years after arrival in Wilson, Dorthea was born (Oct 25, 1879). 4. Francis ‘Frank’ was born next ( Oct 18, 1880), 11 months and 3 weeks after his sister’s birth. -walked or rode bike, with brother Will, to Great Bend to attend business college – from Wilson. Uncle Frank Klema did many different things,  had a threshing outfit briefly, had a music store, hauled wheat with Traffic trucks, with Else Eaton, sold Model T’s, was a salesman for Pontiac cars, sold steam plows in the Dakota’s. 5. William ‘Will’ (born Mar 7-1882). Uncle Will married Mary Beth (Vopat) Apr 9, 1907.  They had a store where Klema’s IGA, now Shaw’s, stood. Uncle Will was in the real estate business, bought and sold land etc. -also sold Avery farm machinery, Dodge cars, Model T Fords, then moved to Salina in 1922 or 1923 where he was in the real estate business. The following story is about Will’s involvement in a country store, 10 miles northwest of Wilson. Grillville trade token MVC-005S Grillville trade token MVC-010S THE ELLSWORTH REPORTER Time Takes Toll On Old Grillville Store by Dorothy Grothusen It was around the turn of the century that Sam Grill established a store near his home according to “A Short History of the Weinhold Family” by Opal Weinhold. Will Klema, another pioneer, helped Grill in the enterprise. It was called Grill and Will’s Store. Later, Will Klema dropped out of the business and it was named Grillville. Previously the building had been the Fairview schoolhouse, district No. 63. The school was closed and Sam Grill moved the building to the southwest corner of Section one, Columbia Township, Ellsworth County, and converted it to a general merchandise store. The store had a thriving trade territory which included all the farmers for miles around and extended as far north as the Bullfoot Creek in Lincoln County. Much merchandise was bought and sold. The farmers in the trade territory brought in their products, cream, eggs, butter, hides, etc., and received due bills for which they traded for things they needed. Most anything and everything was sold at the store, buggy whips, horse collars, harness, clothing of all kinds, and of course a full line of groceries. Most of the merchandise was brought from Wilson by lumber wagon with four horses to pull the load. An addition was made to the building as business flourished. This came to be the meeting place of the entire neighborhood and news was exchanged from week to week in this way. All the young swains gathered here on Saturday night to swap yarns and play tricks on one another. GRILLVILLE STORE Sam Grill did not, as a usual thing, operate the store. He farmed, but along with his farming he and a brother Dave hauled the produce to and from Wilson. Sam Grill also ran a grist mill at the site of the Griilville store, according to Art Grill, Ellsworth, a nephew of Sam’s. It was powered by eight head of horses. Farmers of the area bought their grain here to make corn meal, etc. The late Simon Duryee. who was born in 1874 in Illinois and who came to Kansas in 1879. was – a son-in-law of Sam Grill. He told that he remembered helping to move the store to its present location in Section one. Duryee also told of some of the men who operated the store. The first one. to his knowledge, was a George somebody who was cripple of sorts and a drunkard. He seemed to have drunk up the profits when no one was around. There was another George whose  last name he could not recall; two of  Sam Grill’s sons, Roy and Henry Grill.  Harve Hetzell, a son-in-law and  James Klema, who married Hattie Weinhold’s daughter, Hattie. According to James Novak of the Ellsworth Novak IGA, his father, Jim Novak, worked in the Grillville store sometime during the earlier teens. Mary Novak, Ellsworth, remembers living at Grillville and managing the store and cream station with her late husband, Frank Novak. “I believe the Farmers Union might have owned it when we were out there,” Mrs. Novak said, “It was the coming of cars that closed the store. They would rather drive to town then,” she said. Mrs. Dorothy (Richard) Headley, Ellsworth, remembers attending the auction after the Grillville store closed. “I remember the auction, it might have been in 1919 or 1920 – the Novaks were living there then/’Mrs. Headley recalled. There are a lot of memories of the Grillville store building that was a landmark nearly three-quarters of a century.  And, it was because of Samuel Grill. One of 12 Children, he was born in Illinois where his parents had migrated in the early 1800s. Their descendants came to America and to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in the 1700s, even before the revolutionary war. 6.  Joseph, ‘Joe,’ like his brother Frank, was born (born 2-28-83) about 11 months and 3 weeks after the last baby. According to Leroy Klema, ‘Uncle Joe Klema farmed and lived on the home place, iust across the road north of the Excelsior Lutheran church, but earlier, I think, ran a picture show here in Wilson, had been in Western Kansas for a time. My father, August A. Klema worked, for Uncle Will Klema before World War 1, as a mechanic. He was a mechanic in the Army Air Corp. He serviced his commander’s plane, going into business for himself after the war. He also sold Avery and Hart-Parr tractors, etc. and then Oliver farm equipment. 7 & 8. John and Anna, twins, followed, being born in less than a year after Joseph (Feb 14?, 1884). He died May 23, 1964 @ age 80 due to a stroke). John on Dec 12, 1912, married Agnes Stehno Agnes was born Jun 3, 1891- died Apr 17, 1966 @ age 74 – she was diabetic – died after a broken hip and pneumonia). He farmed the Klema ‘home place’ across the road north of the Excelsior Lutheran Church, six miles east and a mile north of Wilson. He lived in an area called Hell Creek, near the Wilson Dam. (CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE) Later after the farm failed, he worked in Wilson at a butcher shop. His brother Jim gave him financial help to move the family to Kanopolis,Kansas were he opened a grocery store. This photo is their store in Kanopolis, Kansas. Their oldest child, Mildred, was denied her request to continue schooling beyond the 8th grade. Her parents needed her to prepare the family meals, wash the clothes, and care for her younger siblings, while John and Agnes ran the store, with assistance from the older children. The older children delivered groceries in a wagon, to customers in town. the names of the children are Mildred, Victor, Rudolph, Arthur, Albert (still born 1923), Adeline (Bartunek), John and Shirley (Krug). John’s twin sister, Anna married Peter Stika. The above photo is labeled, ‘Anna and Peter Stika’s wedding dance.’  Note the people looking out of the hay loft door. 9. Leroy Klema speculates a ninth child may have been born next, date of birth unknown, named Mary She may have died at birth. 10.  Then on July 18, 1886, Cecelia (called Suzy) was born. Aunt Cecelia {Suzy) Klema, was a nun, Sr. Bertille, entered Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph-Wichita-June 15, 1911-took final vows July 2, 1913.  Died-influenza-Dec. 6, 1918 Mt. Carmel Hospital-Pittsburg:, Ks. Buried- St. Mary’s Convent – Wichita. Ks. This is an interesting story about Susie: SUSIE IS LOST The children would have to walk from their home to Wilson, Kansas, several miles away, for catechism lessons. There were about seven children walking. Anna, remembers walking the 5 or 6 miles to religion class, along with her brothers & sisters, and when they were walking home, they forgot to count heads and their sister, Susie, never made it home. Susie (later known as Sister Bertilla) was about five, it got foggy and the children lost her on the trip home. No one missed her until the next morning!! Mother Cecilia went out to milk the cows and kept looking for her. Eventually they found her. She had slept in the ditch all night! They probably slept on the floor at home and not the same place every night, so it would be easy to miss one child, especially since Albert and Cecilia had 14 children (17 births, but not all lived into childhood). 11.  James ‘Jim’ (Wenceslaus) was born Oct 1, 1887. Uncle Jim Klema worked at the Grillville store-“Wills and Grill’s”. I believe it was north of Stucky’s-N. of I-70-N.K. of Wilson. Then he was manager of the Farmers Store in Wilson. Some of the directors weren’t paying their bills, he sent them a dun – made them mad – they fired him!    Then he opened the IGA store in Wilson. 12.  Leroy Klema believes a 12th child may have been born and died, followed by another Mary, born Oct 3, 1890. 13.  Mary Francisca II (born 10-3-1889 – died 1906, handicapped died at Winfield State Hospital) 14.  Elizabeth (born Nov 16, 1890)- married Alvin Steinle – Albert Klema was deaf – she has his ear trumpet (old fashion hearing aid) 15. Matilda was born Feb17, 1892. 16. Emanuel was born Jun 10, 1893 – died Dec 1918 – flu epidemic? He was handicapped. 17. And finally August was born Aug 28, 1894. August ‘Gus’ is Leroy Klema’s father – Gus worked for his brother Will as a mechanic before World War I, Klema Brothers Garage, Wilson, Kansas. The following photo is of Gus and Will, in front of the Klema Brothers Garage, in Wilson Kansas. After losing her first born, and possibly two other babies at birth, tragedy struck again, when young Albert was killed during a threshing accident in Pilsen, Kansas. His arm got caught in a belt and he bled to death. This happened on August 28, 1897. A telegraph was sent to his parents, notifying him of their son’s tragic death.  But a lady who was watching the children misplaced the telegraph message and it was  forgotten , so his parent’s were not notified of his death until after the funeral. On Dec 9, 1899, mother Cecelia died, ending her long unhappy life. Some blame her death on the ‘dropsy,’ a condition we now call edema. Some recall she was very swollen at the time of her death, possibly due to heart of kidney disease. Others recall that Albert was very mean to his family, and especially to his wife, Cecelia. Some believe she died as the result of Albert kicking her out of the house during a rain storm, and she may have died because of his abuse. And finally, Barbara Myers commented regarding Cecelia’s death: ‘the reason  (she) died at 48 wasn’t because she had 16 or 18 or whatever children, living on the prairie with a drunk, but because Albert locked her outside one winter night, in a drunken rage, and she got pneumonia!’ Mary died in the state hospital at Winfield, Mar 9, 1906 at the age of 15. Emanuel died Dec 1918 at the age of 25. Young Cecelia (Suzy) also died in 1918, during the influenza epidemic (Dec 6, 1918) at the age of 32.  She had been a nun, just 5 years after taking her final vows.



They built a brand new house on their land and then Cecilia died at age 48.


She left behind 14 children. Their oldest children were, Frank, 17, William, 16 and Anna and John, 14. On her death bed, Cecilia asked her 14 year old daughter, Anna, never, never to let anyone take the two crippled children and Anna promised she would take care of them.

Children taken from Albert.

Anna kept her vow for one year. When Anna was 15 years old, someone may have reported neglect, because the (two crippled) children were taken to Winfield State Hospital, and then the neighbors came in and took all the other children. This may be the reason why they are of all different religions. Anna never forgave herself. She always felt it was like a vow on the death bed. Anna didn’t want to live with her father (Albert), so after the (two) children went to Winfield, someone helped her go to Salina, where she worked in a seamstress school and in a restaurant in the kitchen. She said if people had known how dirty that kitchen was, they never would have eaten there. Albert got to keep Gus, why, no one knows. Gus was four at the time.  One of the mysteries is why Cecilia’s family, the Kratky’s didn’t take the children.

Albert’s last years.

September 8, 1928, Albert came to stay with his daughter and son-in-law, Anna Klema Stika and Peter Stika. Beatrice thinks that Anna’s brothers paid her to keep him (Albert).  The Stika’s would have needed the money.There were no nursing homes in those days. He was there about three years. He no longer drank.No one talked to him as he was totally deaf. They remember him smiling all the time.But he probably spoke a lot of English, because when Anna Married Peter, she couldn’t speak Bohemian very well. (She spoke and read German). And Frances Bednars, Peter’s mother, who was opposed to the marriage (of Peter and Anna) held it against Anna because “She couldn’t even talk Bohemian”. Albert would sit in the rocker by the parlor door and Anna would tell the children to play there so he would have something to look at. Beatrice can remember him walking around the yard a little bit. He always prayed the rosary. Eventually he became paralyzed and bedfast and unable to take care of himself. Beatrice, Anna’s daughter remembers that Peter fixed up the wash house (for Albert to live in) pretty nice. She also remembers all the washing that they had to do…no running water, an outdoor pump, water heated over a wood fire and a washboard.Anna cooked the meals in the house and carried them to him. He wasn’t able to go to the bathroom by himself and there was a lot of washing. In those days it was all done on the washboard (by hand). With water carried from the pump and heated over a wooden stove.He used to sit in the wash house and watch the kids play. Gertrude and Mary Ann would be told to play by the window so he could watch them. The priest came when he was dying.   This a photo of their grave in the Wilson, Kansas Catholic Cemetery:Klema Grave Albert Wilson Cemetery Gate Note: The above narrative about Albert, except where otherwise stated, was probably based on interviews by Jean Shanelac, with Ann Klema Stika, and Barbara Stika Myers. Albert Klema brother’s and sisters were: (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS AND FAMILY TREE)

Albert was a farmer and miller. Cecelia Vejnos Klema’s sisters were: Maria Alosia (Vejnos) who married John Pospisil,  of Wilson & Pilsen. Mathilda (Vejnos) who married  Augustine Schneider- she was born August 18, 1857- Died 1921. Mrs. Winkler, who visited Kansas, then returned to Czechoslavkia. =============================================================== Following are some of the sources the above history is based on: =============================================================== KLEMA FAMILY HISTORY – WRITTEN BY LEROY KLEMA (GRANDSON OF ALBERT KLEMA & SON OF AUGUST) This is some of what I know about the Klema family, much of which is supported by documentation.  The Klemas, Kratkys and two Ptacek families all left together  in Nov. 1876 from the village of Busin, in northern Moravia, not far from Poland, and I think in the district of Olomouc (see map).  It was part of the Astro-Hungarian empire, Czechoslavakia after World War I, now a part of the Czech Republic. The voyage took 14 days.  According to Helen Kratky – her grandmother was Theresia (Klema) Kratky – grand father Albert Klema’s sister. They left Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on Dec. 6, 1876 (see S.S Ohio manifest – 94 passengers all in steerage.  Ship went on to Baltimore, although not stated on manifest. Helen Kratky said they spent three months in Wisconsin, then to Wilson. Recently obtained Uncle Albert Klema’s baptismal record – see copy.  Born Feb. 13 1877 and baptized February 25, 1877 – Holy Family Church – Racine, Wisconsin.  He died in a threshing accident at his Uncle John Pospisil’s farm near Pilsen, Kansas.  His aunt was Alosia (Vejnos) Pospisil – Grandmother Cecelia Klema’s sister. Uncle Albert bled to death – caught in the belt (of the threshing machine).   the nearest doctor was in Marion, Kansas, a 10 mile ride on horse back. He was buried in Pilsen Catholic cemetery-on what was then the Posposil plot-bought or given? to the Klema’s. A telegram was sent to his parents, but the but the lady taking care of the Klema children, put it up somewhere, and forgot to tell them, so of course, they didn’t know. Bušín had a grist mill on the Morava river, where grandfather Albert Klema and Mr. Kratky worked.  I have the impression the Ptacek’s owned the mill, Busin, about the size of Wilson. Surnames there (in the Czech Republic) Moravia) are masculine and feminine- Klema – masculine, Klemova feminine.  Kratky – masculine, Kratka feminine.  See copy of Theresia (Klemova} Kratky 1849 birth record (sister of grandfather Albert Klema} which lists their parents.  She was wife of Johannes (John) Kratky had two children with them on the voyage, the Klemas had none. A letter dated 1951 to my mother from Aunt Anna (Klema) Stitka – Mrs. Peter Stitka states, ‘Folks said there were 17 of us.’ Somehow the sheet on which their birth dates were recorded got lost, so some did not know exactly when they were born.  I have constructed a chronological chart which, I think, makes 17 children plausible. My mother said the first child-Albert- died in Moravia.   When the second child arrived-also a son-he was given tne same name, a common practice. St. Wenceslaus church in Wilson, Ks. has baptismal records -of 13 Klema children, beginning with Dorothea – born Oct 25, 1879, Bapt. July 25 1880, one ‘child ‘born in Moravia – one in Wisconsin -1 3 in Wilson, then there are two intervals-one two and one half years and one two years when no child was baptized, so I would guess they died before they could be baptized. ” Aunt Anna -Stika asked my mother if she would go and see if Fr.  McManus could find the baptismal records for the Klema children.   He spent an afternoon going through the old records.  It is in my mother’s handwriting, so I assume Fr. read and mother copied. She gave a copy to each Klema family. In 1986 St. Wenceslaus church had their one hundredth year celebration, and published a booklet with pictures and the baptismal records, but there were omissions, errors, and discrepancies which I have corrected.  This booklet is still available. Page 2 Aunt Anna Stika wrote in 1951, ‘they had two Marys, one died as a baby, the other I remember died after I was married.’  She died in Winfield State Hospital. I was allowed to examine all their records, but the one for the oldest baptismal records is hidden.  Although I knew it was there, because of mother’s list, I hunted and hunted. It is in the middle of a journal, only a very few pages, all blank pages in the front and also in the rear. When compiling, they did not find the earliest baptismal records, so they are not in this booklet. The early priests wrote in Latin, which clearly the compilers did not understand. The entry for the twins-Uncle John Klema and Aunt Anna Stika reads “Joannes et Maria Klema” but in 1986 they put it in (the booklet)  ‘Joan es Ma r i e Klema.’   Maria is an error by the priest – should be Anna, because there already was a living daughter by that name – Mary – who died in 1906.  Mary, Marie and Maria, are, I would think, interchangeable. Johannes is late/new Latin for John, so correctly it is John and Maria Klema (Anna), twins, not a girl (Joannes) as they had it. The date of baptism was Feb. 24 1884.  Since that paper (list birthdays) was lost.  They at the time, not knowing the actual date, chose Feb. 14, Valentines Day.  By coincident,  in the 1986 booklet, they miscopied the original record – Feb. 24- and put Feb. 14. All the old baptismal records are there, but not the earliest death records.   If the other records are there why not the early death records?  If they were destroyed in a fire, why were the others in existence? Marion Klema began a family history and did a great deal of work on it, but there are some errors. No Klema child died at sea, since the captain was required to list everyone who did.   Passengers had to list their children and ages on the ship’s manifest.  The Klemas listed no children.  None of the 94 died on that voyage. None of the 94 died on that voyage. ‘Where are the five Klema children buried? Jorothv (Dorothea} B’. Oct l879–Elizabeth-B.Nov. l890-Mathilda-B.Feb. 1892 and the two infants I am supposing died before they could be baptized -one 1885 – the other-1888? Marion has it that they were buried on the farm, but I wonder since grandfather Albert was such a devout Catholic, wouldn’t he want them in consecrated ground? Helen Kratky said a Kratky child is buried in Pleasant Valley cemetery N. of I-70 – on the Wilson flats, a protestant cemetery, because at the time, there was no Catholic one. On June 16, 1887, an acre a n d a half of ground  given by Jacob Jedlicka to establish a Catholic cemetery about a mile and a half southeast of Wilson.  The current Catholic cemetery (1900) adjoins the Wilson City one. The Klema family farm buildings were just across the road north and a little west of the Excelsior Lutheran Church,six miles east and one mile north of Wilson,  They  first owned the lower 80 acres, on which was a dugout, and then, somewhere farther north, a frame house,  Later, purchased the east part from George Irey. I have all the original deeds (LGK-yr. 2001)- given to us by Glenn Klema. Tony Somer’s mother walked with our grandparents and showed them the lower 80 acres. Ruth Weinhold, a close neighbor, not far N.E. of the Klema home, at times, looked after the Klema children.  There is still a tin bldg. south across 1-70 from the Ivan Weinhold farm where they lived. Ruth Weinhold (for a long time) lived in Wilson-first house west of the August A. KLema-later Klema Bros  garage, just south of the Methodist Church.  She was married – briefly— I believe they lived – for a short time – with grandfather Albert Klema on the farm. Page 3 Her maiden name must have been restored, I grew well acquainted with her in the 1940’s and 1950′ s.  She gave us Klema family pictures and others. There were two handicapped Klema children – Mary and Emanuel.  One day they were playing and Mary tumbled down the inside of the house cellar stairs, but wasn’t hurt.

Grandmother Cecelia (Vejnos) Klema died Dec. 1, 1899 this is recorded on two different pages-one-cause of death-dropsy (edema) -the other-no cause given. Joe Schneider (first cousin to my aunt and uncles) remembered her in the casket as swollen-very large . We now know dropsy is a symptom, not a cause, perhaps, heart disease. My understanding is, grandfather Albert Klema was mean to his family, especially his wife, and the children blamed him for her death. Bill Peterca told us that grandmother Klema said “If she wasn’t a Christian, she would, have jumped in a well and drowned herself.”   Source???  Mrs . Kubicek???  Mrs. Kubicek told others that grandfather Albert drove her out of the house when it was raining and she died after this exposure. Grandmother  Cecelia’s maiden name was Vejnos, which I would think is the correct spelling, but there are five others, Venus is on her father’s (grave) stone on the Schneider family plot in the new (current) Catholic cemetery. Johann (John) Wejnos or Vejnos, born March 16, 1826 – (grave) stone has 1825 -year-l889.  His daughter, Mathilda was Mrs. Augustine Schneider-B. August 18, 1857- Died 1921.

A sister, a Mrs. Winckler, was said to have visited the U. S.- did not stay. Maria Vejnos was ; Mrs John Pospisil. They lived one mile west of Klema’s-on the south corner, later Kubicek – today Louis Kasner. Pospisil’s moved to Pilsen, Ks. – then back to Wilson, on Hell Creek, where John Dlabals lived (Philomena Pospisil) .  Her twin.  Matilda Pospisil, so there were the four sisters we know of.

Barbara Myers, Eureka, Ks – John and Beatrice (Stika) Spachek’s daughter (Anna Klema Stika’s grandchild)  has done a great deal of work getting records from Moravia and the Czech Republic . Mother said Mrs Albert (Cecelia Vejnos) Klema was buried in the first Catholic cemetery, then moved to the current one . My theory is when their daughter died in 1906 at Winfield State Hospital – funeral (death record is in Wilson) her father needed a burial plot. The stone only has Albert and Cecelia’s names, but mother said Uncle Emanuel (Dec. 1918) is there, I think this Mary is buried there also.  Divining rods show four graves, but no (grave)  markers for Mary and Emanuel; maybe there are more graves on their plot, but thick vegetation hinders checking. There is an interesting letter-Aug. 24, 1983 – to Juanita Stika – her father-Albert- her mother was Kratky, a sister to Helen Kratky, etc., but the Klema’s said to be our relatives are not, the dates do not correspond to archival records.

Aunt Anna Stika took care of  grandfather (Albert) Klema during his last few years.  They lived at Pilsen, Ks. Grandfather Albert  Klema went to Chicago and lived for a time in a Catholic home, but was   unhappy.      Uncle Will Klema was drafted to go and bring him back to Wilson. He lived a in two different homes, as I understand it,   the last was a small home which they had built for  him.  He  was profoundly  deaf.    Mrs. Alvin (Elizabeth Klema) Steinle has his ear trumpet.   He was  brushed   by   a train breaking his arm.Klema Albert hit by train


Grandmother had a book, written in a   language no  one could translate.      In   1970-71   Barbara   Myers  sent  it  to a  Roger Dvorak in  Chicago.  It   is a cook book  in unreformed   Czech – in  use  before   1848. He wrote, ‘the recipes are very good.’  His 90  year   old   grandmother says it’s   exactly  the way her mother and grandmother used to cook in Bohemia in the last century (1800’s). He tried #9 Bohemian Crown Cake – it was delicious. (See translated copy below – it was written in and translated from unreformed Czech language – not German). Did the Klema’s speak German?  This Roger writes it was a German speaking area.  (Ivan Katzenmeier’s Note: Bušín was never a German village, nor did it have a German name, one of our Czech cousins whose family is from Busin.)

Recently, Barbara sent pictures with all the text in German. In the area the Klema’s came from, (some) towns had both a German name and also a Czech name, for example- Eisenberg is Ruda nad Moravou-not far from Busin.  Tony Sula came from there. Uncle John Klema “may have farmed, but had a butcher shop in Wilson, then he and Aunt Agnes opened  a grocery store (in Kanopolis, Ks). Uncle Jim Klema worked at the Grillville store-“Wills and  Grill’s”.  I believe it was north of Stucky’s-N. of I-70-N.K. of Wilson.  (See news story below) Then he was manager of the Farmers Store in Wilson. Some of the directors weren’t paying their bills, he sent them a dun-made them and-they fired him. That is when he opened the IGA store in Wilson. Uncle Frank and Uncle Will Klema went to business college in Great Bend- my sister says they walked but I thought they rode bicycles. I know they stopped at the Bouska farm S.W.of Wilson, for water, I suppose. Uncle Will and Aunt Mary had a store where Klema’s IGA,  now Shaw’s, stood. Uncle  Will was in the real estate business, bought and sold land etc. -also sold Avery farm machinery, Dodge cars, Model T Fords, moved to Salina in 1922 or 1923 where (he) was in the real estate business. Uncle Frank Klema did many different things,  had a threshing outfit briefly, had a music store, hauled wheat with Traffic trucks, with Else Eaton, sold Model T’s, was a salesman for Pontiac cars, sold steam plows in the Dakota’s. Uncle Joe Klema farmed and lived on the home place, iust across the road N. of the Excelsior Lutheran church, but earlier, I think, ran a picture show here, had been in Western Kansas for a time.  My father, August A. Klema worked for Uncle Will Klema before W. War 1, as a mechanic. He was a mechanic in the Army Air Corp. serviced his commander’s commander’s plane, going into business for himself after the war, sold Avery and Hart-Parr tractors, etc. and then Oliver farm equipment. Aunt Cecelia {Suzy) Klema, was a nun.  Sr. Bertille, entered Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph-Wichita-June 15, 1911-took final vows July 2, 1913.  Died-influenza-Dec. 6, 1918 Mt. Carmel Hospital-Pittsburg:, Ks. Buried- St. Mary’s Convent – Wichita. Ks. I just now, came across information I had forgotten was here. Carolyn Stika wrote (the) Klema’s settled in Wisconsin , stayed three months – moved to Wilson-took a claim of 80 acres. Lived in a cave until house was built on it. About Sister- Bertille-Sr. Laura – custodian of the record, thought she was a cook.  Her mother was a cook and had worked for the elite in Moravia before her marriage.  She, her mother, spoke , read, and wrote German. I have a translated copy of her cookbook – (see translated copy below – it was written in and translated from unreformed Czech language – not German). Albert was deaf for a number of years and bed fast, for about three or four years prior to his death.  He died at the home of his daughter, Anna Stika , at Lincolnville, Kansas where he had lived about two years. I welcome your corrections, additions, comments, etc. today-June 9, 2001   Leroy C. Klema Box M, Wilson, Ks. KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK ___________________________________________________________________________ Note: Some of these stories, except where otherwise stated, was probably based on interviews by Jean Shanelac, with Ann Klema Stika, and Barbara Stika Myers. WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Dear Klema Relatives, I am sending you these 160 year old recipes, since I thought you might enjoy having a copy for Christmas. Some copies have been available at the Klema annual reunions in Wilson, Kansas, so you might have a copy.

Although Bohemia is mentioned, Great Grandma Cecelia is from Moravia (north eastern Czechoslovakia)- not Bohemia (southern Czechoslovakia).

This cookbook is meaningful, since she brought it with her from her home in Bušin, Moravia 133 years ago this month, to America. It survived the deprivation and discomfort of the 12 day voyage on the sailing ship from Europe, the brutal train trip across many states, and the difficult life on the Kansas prairie. Today, it is her gift to us this Christmas, thanks to Barbara Myers.  Barbara took the initiative to have it translated, 28 years ago!   Thanks Barbara!

………………………………………………………………………………………………….. THE VEJNOS COOK BOOK February 7, 1971 Dear Mrs. Myers, I have finally finished translating your cookbook for you.  Let me offer you a sincere apology for keeping it so long.  You see, it took me longer than I expected to render all of the old Bohemian measurements into their modern English equivalents. The recipes in the cookbook are very good.  I have even shown them to my 90 year-old grandmother.  She verifies this statement.  Indeed, she says, it’s exactly the way her mother and grandmother used to cook back in Bohemia in the last century. My grandmother also says that the book was probably written before 1848, since the spelling is still the old unreformed Czech.  This should interest you.  Your ancestors no doubt came to America many years ago. I have made a carbon copy of the recipes for myself. In fact, I have already made No. 9, the BOHEMIAN CROWN CAKE.  It came out beautifully and tasted delicious. I trust that you and your family will be satisfied with my work.  Thank you very much once again for the donation you sent to the Czech Studies program at the University. Please drop me a line to let me know whether you have received both the book and the envelope continuing the translation in good order.  My home address is 2730 S CHRISTIANA AVE CHICAGO IL  60623-4611 Sincerely, Roger Dvorak P. S. I did not translate about 5 recipes because they were too obscure and made absolutely no sense.  Also some of the little tips on cooking I left out since they have no meaning for today. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SISKY (doughnuts) 1 cake yeast                                3 T. butter 1 T sugar                                    1/2 C sugar 1 1/4 C. milk, scalded and cooled     1/4 t salt 4 1/2 C. flour                                1 t nutmeg 1 egg, well beaten Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar In warm milk. Add 1 1/2 C. flour and beat. Cover and let rise in warm place until bubbles burst on top. Cream butter and sugar, salt, egg and nutmeg. Add to yeast mixture.  ‘Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead lightly. Cover and let rise 14 hours. When light turn out on floured board and roll J inch thick. Cut with cutter 3 inches in diameter.  Cover and let rise 1 hour. -“Fry in deep fat until brown. Drain, cool and roll in powdered sugar or fill with Jelly or custard.

BOHEMIAN CROWN CAKE (ČESЌY KORUKOCЎ TORT) 1 cake compressed yeast    6 egg yolks 1/4 C. lukewarm water        2 1/2 t. salt 1 t. sugar                         2 C. lukewarm milk 3 I. flour                           5 C. sifted flour 1 C. butter                        1/4 to 1/2 C seeded raisins 1 1/4 C. sugar                    2 whole eggs Dissolve the yeast in J cup lukewarm water, add 1 t. sugar and 3 T. flour, blend thoroughly and allow to stand until the mixture becomes foamy. Cream the butter, add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and whole eggs, one at a time. and stir until well blended. Add the salt and yeast mixture and stir vigorously. Add the flour alternately with the milk, blending well after each addition.  Add raisins.  Wash raisins well and dry them. Let rise until double in bulk. Beat down, then turn dough into a buttered tube pan. Let rise until almost double in bulk again. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixed together. Bake in 325̊ oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.

Bohemian KOLÁCЌY (Tarts) 1/2 C. butter     1 cake yeast         3 1/3 C. flour 1 C. milk      3 eggs 5 T. sugar     1 t. salt To melted butter add mils and sugar. Mix yeast in little of lukewarm mixture. Beat eggs until fluffy. Add the lukewarm mixture and beat good together. Add yeast and salt. Add flour about 1C. at a time. Mix until spoon comes out clean from the dough. Let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Make KOLÁCЌY, using as little flour as possible. Put on buttered pan and brush with melted butter. leave rise and bake in 375̊ oven until golden brown This will make about 3 1/2 dozen. The dough may also be used for raised doughnuts.

CHEESE FILLING. Mix: 1 Ib cottage cheese, 2 eggs, sugar to taste 1 t. vanilla, 1 t. melted butter little flour to thicken . HOUSKA (Bohemian Twist) 1 pint scalded milk       1 egg or yolks of 2 (if 2 eggs, 1  C. sweet butter       reserve few T. for brushing the top) 3/4 C. sugar               1 cake yeast 1    t. salt                  1/2 lemon rlnd grated 6 C. flour                   almonds – mace – raisins Warm bowl and flour (room temperature). Crumble yeast in a cup with teaspoon sugar. Add 1/2 C. scalded milk, cooled till lukewarm. Let stand in warm place to rise. To the rest of scalded milk add shortening, sugar, salt and little mace, lemon and when lukewarm beaten, yolks of eggs.  Stir yeast and some flour and only enough more to knead till smooth and elastic. If raisins are desired, add now (1/2 cup)  Mix well into dough. Cover dough closely. Let rise till double. Cut dough. Form into shape. Place in greased pans. let rise till double size and bake. Bake 375” for 45 min or till well browned. Houska Twist:  Cut three parts of dough, reserving a little. Make three long strips of equal size.  Roll out to fit pan (long pan) and braid together. Place in a greased pan. Take small extra piece of dough.  Cut in 1/2 and twist loosely.  Put on top of Houska Allow to rise double. Then brush top with remaining egg yolk which has one T of water- Almonds can be sprinkled on the top.  :May be made in two regular loaf pans.


PORK, SAUERKRAUT AND DUMPLINGS 3 pr 4 pork shanks (spareribs may also be used) 3 pigtails                      1 1/2 lbs fresh sauercraut 2    pork blades             caraway seed 1 small onion                 potato dumplings salt and pepper Wash pork. Cover with water and allow to boil about 15 minutes. Chop the onion.  Add to meat along with the caraway seed and other seasonings.  Let boil another 1/2 hour. In the meantime, wash the sauercraut and add to the meat. Continue to cook until meat is tender.  Add the dumplings the last 25 minutes of cooking time. More water may be added if necessary. It tastes better when nice and Juicy.


POTATO DUMPLINGS FOR THIS MEAL:  4 large potatoes, 1 egg, salt 1/2 C. flour. Peel potatoes and grate. Put into a cloth to drain most of the water off.  Squeeze the cloth slightly so as to get most of the water out.  Transfer into a bowl and add the egg, salt and flour.  When mixed well, drop by spoonfuls on top of pork and sauerkraut mixture. Cook 25 minutes      Serves 5

BEEF WITH DILL GRAVY Beef off the chuck or round bone    1/2 pint sour cream pinch of salt                                3 rounded T. flour 1 t. sugar                                    2 eggs about 1/2 c. dill, fresh, without blossoms or heavy stems, chopped fine Boil the same amount of beef that is usually used to serve your family as you would to make beef soup—with usual soup greens.  The resulting broth or soup may be set aside for future use or to begin this meal. Set the drained beef aside. Combine sour cream, flour and eggs in a bowl. Beat with beater until smooth. Combine milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add egg mixture to milk mixture as it boils. Beat again with beater. Boil until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Add finely chopped dill. Do not boil the gravy after adding the dill. Pour gravy over drained, boiled beef (cut into serving size pieces) and allow to stand about fifteen minutes before serving.  If it is necessary to reheat do so, but do not bring to a boil again. Serve at once. Boil potatoes as usual, adding salt and about J t. caraway seeds. Drain and serve with meat and gravy.

SVÍĆKOVÁ (Pickled Beef Tenderloin) Meat    Salt Bacon, sliced                  Flour lemon Juice                    Onions Juniper berries                soup greens Allspice                         Sour cream Water                          Crock or Enamel Pot Wipe meat with a damp cloth.  Crush juniper berries into a powder.  Spread on both sides of meat. Place into covered crock or enamel pot. Allow to set one day or over-night in a cool place. Scrape off powder. Place bacon strips on the top. Set into lemon juice instead of usual water and vinegar solution. Add soup greens, onions, allspice and salt. Leave set another day or over-night. Boil, stirring or bake, basting until tender. Strain liquid for flour thickened sour cream gravy. Pour over the meat and serve.


ROHLÍĆKY (Fruit filled crescents) 4 0. flour                  4 egg yolks 1/2 Ib. butter              1/2 pint sour cream Mix together and form into balls the size of a walnut, let stand in a cool place overnight. Roll out on floured board. Spread with filling and then roll up into crescents. Bake at 350 Rom 25-30 minutes.

FILLING: 4 egg whites; do not beat too stiff 1 C. sugar             2 T. lemon juice 1/2 lb walnuts        cinnamon to taste mix the ingredients


LISTY (Celestial Crusts) 3 egg yolks             1 T. red wine 1 T Sour cream       pinch salt 1 T sugar              about 1 1/2 C. sifted flour Place in center of “bread “board 1 cup flour, make a well in the center.  Add the yolks, sour cream, sugar, wine and salt.  Mix with a fork until liquids are well combined.  Work in the flour.  The dough should “be like noodle dough.  Knead to make a smooth dough.  Split into two portions.  Roll the dough paper thin on a floured board. Cut into squares 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.  Make 3 or 4 gashes in them.  Fry in deep fat until golden brown, drain. another recipe for LISTY 2 egg yolks            4 T cream pinch of salt           enough flour to make noodle dough Roll out very thin a part of the dough at a time.  The thinner the rolled out piece the better.  Drop in hot fat.  Turn quickly an and remove from fat.  Should be light in color.  When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

POTATO PANCAKES 2 C. grated raw potatoes     ( a little more than a pound) 1/4 C. milk                         2 t. salt 2 eggs  slightly beaten        1 t baking powder 2 t. grated onion                 1/4 C. flour Drain potatoes, add milk, eggs, onion.  Mix together salt, baking powder and flour and add to potato mixture.  Mix well.  Drop by heaping soup-spoonfuls onto a hot well-greased skillet.  Spread thinly and fry to golden brown on both sides.  Fry more slowly on the second side to insure thorough cooking.  Makes about 18 four-inch in diameter pancakes.  Nice served with pork sausages and apple sauce.

POTATO DUMPLINGS 6 large potatoes      3 eggs sufficient flour         1 t. baking soda salt                       2 t. baking powder. Put potatoes through a ricer.  Mix the other ingredients with the potatoes.  Drop into boiling water and boil about 20 minutes.

BONELESS BIRDS ( Ptáćky bez kostí) Two pounds round steak sliced very thin and cut into pieces about four inches square.  Cut 4 slices bacon into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Pry out very slightly.  On each piece of meat, place 2 or 3 pieces of the bacon and a little chopped onion.  Roll; pin together with toothpicks and roast them to a nice brown in bacon fat with any remaining pieces of bacon.  When brown, season with salt and pepper. Add water to cover and cook until tender. Remove birds Add 1/2 pint sour cream mixed with 2 T. flour to remaining liquid.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Pour over birds and serve.

CHICKEN PAPRIKA Cut up a stewing chicken. Pry 1 large onion cut fine in 1 T. butter.  Add chicken, water to cover and salt.  Cook until tender.  Mix 2 T. flour into 1 pint sour cream.  Add to chicken, season with a little red pepper and paprika and boil until gravy is thickened. Serve with dumplings.

HOT POTATO SALAD 6 baking potatoes                    1/4 t. pepper 1/3 cup vinegar                       1 Ib. bacon, chopped 2 t. salt                                 6 eggs 3/4 C. chopped green ionions or 1/2 C. chopped onions Cook potatoes in boiling water. Peel and dice. Add vinegar and seasonings.  Pry bacon until crisp.  Cook eggs 4 minutes.  Combine potatoes, bacon, 2 T. bacon fat, soft cooked eggs, and chopped onions.  Mix well.  Serve hot salad on a bed of lettuce with frankfurters. Serves 6 people.

SPLIT PEA SOUP 2 packages split peas, green  2 carrots, cut up 1 large ham bone, with ham on it   1 onion, cut up celery or celery leaves, cut up    I tomato (cut up water to cover in 6 quart pot, Bring to a boil, then simmer in covered pot, until peas and vegetables are very soft. Allow to cool about half an hour.  Then pour soup through strainer.  If soup is too thick, thin with water.

OXTAIL SOUP WITH LIVER DUMPLINGS 1 oxtail, cut up                 1 tomato, cut up 4 carrots, diced                spinach, peas, etc., 1 small onion, cut fine        or any vegetable 4 stalks celery, cut fine      1 pkg. prepared liver (includes leaves)               dumplings Salt and pepper to taste Place oxtail and vegetables in water to cover.  Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add the liver dumplings and cook 15 minutes. (I have a recipe for liver dumplings, if you want to try this recipe: Barbara Myers)

SVESIKOVÉ KNEDLÍKY (plum dumplings) 2 1/2 C. flour           2 eggs 1 t. baking powder    1 C. milk 1    T. salt Mix all ingredients together to form soft dough.  On floured board, cut in small pieces. Flatten out. Set plum, apricot or 3 cherries in center. Pull edges together tightly so that the fruit will not come out while boiling. Drop into boiling water and boil for 20 minutes.  Serve with melted butter, sugar and cottage cheese.

NOODLES WITH COTTAGE CHEESE 2    eggs and 1 yolk            1 yolk 2 T. butter                        6 T. grated almonds I 1/2 C. fine noodles            1 Ib. cottage cheese (dry) 1/2 C cream                       6 t sugar Put cheese in bowl, add the 2 eggs and 1 yolk, mix well, then add the melted butter, the sugar, and 2 T. grated almonds, beat well. Have the noodles boiled, add to cottage cheese mixture and mix well. Butter a deep dish, put the mixture in, now add to the cream the 1 yolk, beat well then pour it over the cheese mixture, and sprinkle top with rest of the almonds mixed with a T. sugar. Bake till a nice brown. Serve hot.

BREAD DUMPLINGS 1 egg    1 t. salt 1 C. flour    1/4 c. milk 1 t. baking powder    1 slice white bread, cut into cubes. Mix the dough and make into one roll or loaf. Boil for 20 minutes. Do not remove the cover of the pan until the dumplings have boiled for 20 minutes. After they are done, cut in slices like a loaf of white bread is cut. RAISED DUMPLINGS 1 C. milk    1/2i Cake yeast 2 eggs    Flour to make stiff dough. I t. salt Dissolve yeast in a little lukewarm water. Add rest of ingredients.  Beat well, cover and let rise in a warm place about one hour. Form into balls, place on a floured board and let rise until light.  Drop into boiling water; cover and boil rapidly until done. Test with straw.

FARINA DUMPLINGS 1 egg             salt 1 C. Farina  (I think Cream  of Wheat is a substitute…Barbara Myers) Mix together.  Leave set 5 minutes.  Drop into liquid, boiling, from teaspoon and boil about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and pour about 1 C. cold water over dumplings, letting stand a bit before serving.





18 Responses to “THE ADALBERT KLEMA FAMILY – A Story Of Suffering and Survival”

  1. Kayla Katzenmeier Says:

    This is crazy! i came across this today and read it all. im from Ellsworth and Kanopolis.

  2. mike klema Says:

    my name is mike klema.

  3. The story is very interesting – especially because we are also members of this Klema Family. Our ancestors are from Czech Republic, they came to Hungary. Send us please your email address to find each other! We also have old pictures about our ancestors – you should see them! Our address is: (deleted) . Friendly: Anna Klema from North-Hungary
    Hi Anna. Good to hear from you.


  4. Dan klema Says:

    Im a klema not sure if same history but as far as i know there are not many klemas

  5. Thank you for sharing your family history. My great-grandparents (Vopat family and Vodraska family) must not have lived far from the Klema family in Ellsworth County (the Black Wolf area.) I am just beginning to do my research on our family history. They came from the Pilsen region of the Czech Republic. Did you have someone there do your research or did you do it yourself? I’d love to get in touch to talk about how you found all your information. Is there a way to contact you? Regards! Peggy

  6. […] Sad Story of Aldabert Klema really touched me. It is a long and somewhat difficult to read. The struggles the family went […]

  7. Vojtech Vlcek Says:

    Hi, just found this webpage. I am the current owner of the old mill in lower end of Busin. Where did you get the information about the owners back in 1914? According to my research the owners were different than Venos family, who today own the neighboring estate. Contact me if you want to share the information.

    • Sharon Kralicek Says:

      Hello, I was just informed about this website recently and read the article with interest, as my father is originally from Busin. His name was Rudolf John Kralicek and he was born in June, 1896. Do you have knowledge of the name Kralicek in that area? If so, I would be very interested in hearing from them.

      Thank you,
      Sharon Kralicek

  8. I read the story about the Grillville store but there is something missing. I found a 25 cent trade token with my metal detector in Ellsworth . The token has Klema & Grill on one side but the story never mentioned that Klema & Grill were in the store together. Please let me know if there was something I missed. Thank you, Doug Hamilton.

    Doug, Thanks for you comments. You are right, both Klema and Grill were in this venture together, initially, then Klema dropped out. Thanks for the photos of the Grillville trade tokens, which I have added above to the story.


  9. Sharon Kralicek Says:

    At the beginning of this article, you mention Ludvik and Anna Klema, who emigrated to America. I believe my father came to America with this brother and sister in about 1914 or 1915. My father left from Bremen, Germany and sailed to Baltimore and always spoke of the brother and sister he came to the U.S. with, although I thought he said it was Frank and Anna (I could be mistaken). My father also lived in Wilson for awhile, as well as several as other Kansas towns, before settling in Hunter, KS, where he had a butcher shop and grocery store for many years.

  10. Debbie Dill Says:

    My husband’s great grandfather was Vincent Ptacek one of the two brothers *the other was Johan) from Busin who emigrated to America with the Kratky and Klema family. The third brother, Antonin, came later. Johan was married to Mary Josepha Kratky and Antonin’s daughter, Josephine, married a Kratky boy. I have information about the flour mill from Josephine’s granddaughter.

  11. Colleen Says:

    I am from the Katzenmeier side of the family. That emigrated and ended up in Rodney, (southern) Ontario. I am interested/curious in how the Katzenmeier family story fit’s in. They must have had a similar experience and a core few emigrated to the States in the mid to late 1800’s.
    Thanks for your site.


    I ran across this page. Tony Somer is mentioned in your story. I am his great-niece. My great-grandfather was a Somer and my great-grandmother was a Soukup. I’m trying hard to find out where in Czechoslovakia my family came from and I believe your story has given me many clues. Thank you.

  13. Thomas F McGonigal Says:

    My brother John P McGonigal Jr. was KIA on 13th May 1968 while manning a 50 cal. machine gun along with SSG Bobby C.Wood. I haven’t seen his name on your list. He was from Belle Harbor, Rockaway Beach NY. Was with the 194 MP but reassigned to the 25th infantry division. I never got his CIB either. It was never explained why. Any help you could afford me would be appreciated. Tom McGonigal,

    • Tom, Thank you for contacting me about your brother’s service and eligibility for the CIB.

      See pages 1 & 2 which lists John’s and SSG Wood’s names plus those others killed in the battle on Nui Ba Den mountain. Based on this Wikipedia article, John was not qualified for a CIB since he was not infantry and he was not eligible for the CAB, since the CAB is authorized for service beginning September 18, 2001. Click here for the qualifications and history of these awards.

      I was a Combat Medic assigned to an infantry company, engaged in ground combat and like your brother, was not eligible to receive a CIB or CAB.

      If you’re the next of kin of a Veteran who has passed away
      You can request a copy of the Veteran’s military records in any of these ways:

      Mail or fax a Request Pertaining to Military Records (Standard Form SF 180) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
      Download Form SF 180 (PDF)
      Write a letter to the NPRC. Send it to:
      1 Archives Drive
      St. Louis, Missouri 63138

      Visit the NPRC in person
      Contact your state or county Veterans agency
      You may be considered the next of kin if you’re related to the Veteran in any of these ways:

      Surviving spouse who hasn’t remarried, or Parent, or Child, or Sibling

      Ivan Katzenmeier
      Charlie Company Medic, 3/22, 25th Infantry Division 1968-1969

    • Tom, Thank you for contacting me about your brother’s service and eligibility for the CIB.

      See pages 1 & 2 which lists John’s and SSG Wood’s names plus those others killed in the battle on Nui Ba Den mountain. Based on this Wikipedia article, John was not qualified for a CIB since he was not infantry and he was not eligible for the CAB, since the CAB is authorized for service beginning September 18, 2001.

      I was a Combat Medic assigned to an infantry company, engaged in ground combat and like your brother, was not eligible to receive a CIB or CAB.

      Ivan Katzenmeier
      Charlie Company Medic, 3/22, 25th Infantry Division 1968-1969

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