To Reap a Bountiful Harvest, Czech immigration beyond the Mississippi, 1850-1900, written by Stepanka Korytova-Magstadt and published by Rudi Publishing, Iowa City, IA is interesting reading for descendants of Czech immigrants. It is well-documented and includes helpful information in the Appendix. Included in this book: ……. In the 1880s and 1890s, the only cities that continued to attract Czech immigrants were Chicago, Cleveland, and Omaha. Rural Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, California and Nebraska became the new magnets. …….. As an ethnic group they (Czechs) settled close to each other in order to create a support network and perpetuate the folkways of the Old Country. They cherished their language and preserved it through cultural activities. They organized dances and picnics. They also belonged to fraternal lodges (ZCBJ in Oxford Jct.) that gave them material security and a sense of community (having come from village-based agriculture). …….. The first Czechs arrived in eastern Iowa in 1850. The number of Czechs grew rapidly: at the turn of the century there were around 40,000 Czechs settled in Iowa, over 3,000 were farmers of the first 2 generations. …….. Further Czech settlement of Iowa and the rest of the midwestern states was stimulated by settlers’ letters to their relatives and friends, and facilitated by colonization clubs centered in Chicago, by shipping companies, and by railroad agents. The Iowa State Immigration Agency, for instance, had an office in New York with sub-agents working in Europe. ……… In 1900 there were 10,809 foreign born Czechs in Iowa. ……. In the 1860s it took 6 days to go by train from New York to Iowa. …….. In ca. 1870, 60 florins = $160, 70 florins = $190.
The price of this book is $24.95 for hardcover and $14.95 for paper cover, plus shipping if ordered from the publisher at 800 999-6901. CGSI, P.O. Box 16225, St. Paul, MN 55116-0225 also sells the paperback for 14.95 + 2.00 postage. Penfield Press, 215 Brown St., Iowa City IA 52245-5842 offers the paperback for 14.95 + 4.95 shipping (IA residents add 5% tax). You can also borrow it on interlibrary loan if not on your library’s shelves. Wregie Library in Oxford Jct. has a copy.
Note: Vol. 5, 2002 of Rocenka , journal of CGSI, contains a serious article on emigration (page 5)…. On 24 August 1851 the Austria-Hungary Empire issued a copied leaflet on emigration abroad (this implied permission), and when mass emigration from Austria began, Czech emigrants were included in the first big wave of emigration to America. In 1852 6,000 from Bohemia emigrated, per a count done in Prague. By 1856 people were leaving all parts of Bohemia, more from Czech regions than from German regions of Europe. Passport requirements: fulfilled military duty and leaving no debts to the government.