Czech American History

We Lack for Nothing Now
The Czech Settlement of Steele County

  
Mike Wolesky’s grandfather, Frank Wolesky, followed his older brother Joseph to America. Joseph (the young boy in the photo below) came to America in 1892 at the age of 14 and Frank followed 10 years later. 

 

About the book

We Lack for Nothing Now follows the early Czech immigrants from their home towns and ways of life in Bohemia, through their ocean voyages and arrival in America, to their settlement in Steele County.  The first Czech settlers to Owatonna arrived in 1855, just one year after the first Yankee settlers chose the site for a new town.  In the next few decades, many of their countrymen, often from the same small region of Bohemia, followed and settled in small communities around Owatonna.  The new immigrants founded churches, schools, reading and music societies, and insurance collectives.  Using written and oral memoirs, county histories, and old newspaper accounts, the book describes the everyday lives of these Czech pioneers, the institutions they founded, and the parts they played in local and national events, from the development of Minnesota’s creameries to the Civil War. 

About the Author

Mike Wolesky, a descendant of two Czech-American immigrants to Steele County, grew up in Owatonna and is now a legal editor living in Newport, MN.  Inspired by a trip to the Czech Republic in 2002, he spent seven years researching and writing a history of the founding of the Czech communities in Steele County.

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