John & Anna (Klinka) Blecha
Eaton Township, Clark Co., Wisconsin
John Blecha was born in
Bohemiamia, July 4, 1839. He came to this country at the age of 17
years with his parents, three sisters and three brothers and
located in Washington Co., Wis. He served as a corporal for Co. I,
34th Wis. Inf. He was married Nov. 10, 1875 to Anna Klinka of West
Bend, Wis., who died in 1900 and is buried in St. Anthony’s
Cemetery, Loyal, Wis. Four children were born to this union, James
of Beloit, Wis., Frank, who passed away several years ago, Mrs. W.
H. Kubat of Granton, Wis., and Mrs. F. C. White of Chattaroy, Wash.
He was a resident of Clark County, Wis. over 40 years. In 1880, he
resided on a farm in section 26 of Eaton Township, just north of
William Harrison Mead Homestead, on what is still known as the 26
Mr. Blecha, while quite decrepit with the infirmities of old age during his last years, still managed a cheerful disposition and uncomplainingly accepted his lot in life and was an inspiration to those who knew him. He died 2 Nov 1926, after two months of intense suffering at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Frank White of Chattaroy, WA. He was 87 yrs. old. His body was shipped back to Loyal, WI and a funeral was held at St. Balthazar's Church before he was buried in the Catholic Cemetery.
John Blecha's Farm.
W. H. Mead and Robert McCalvy were also Civil War Veterans
|1880 Federal Census--Eaton Township, Clark Co., Wisconsin|
|Name||Relation||Marital||Sex||Race||Age||Nativity||Occupation||Father's Nativity||Mother's Nativity|
|Anna Blecha||Wife||M||Female||W||28||Bohemia||Keeping House||Bohemia||Bohemia|
Anna Blecha, who has been learning the dressmaking trade in Athens, returned home Monday, accompanied by her cousin, Miss Celia Blecha, of that place. Greenwood Gleaner, 7 Mar 1902.
John Blecha was actually born Jan Nepomuk Blecha on the date you have on 4 Jul 1839 in the town of Skoric [alternate spelling of Skoritz or Skorice], Bohemia, entering through the Port of New Orleans
The source of immigration came from a book by Leo Baca, 1983, revised in 2000, vol 1, page 92 relates that between 1848 to 1879 some 4,400 Czechs
immigrated though the port of New Orleans and headed for Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Texas. Page 94 has the vessel Bessel arriving at the Port of New Orleans on 12 Jan 1858, with 12 Czech immigrants on board. Page 98 has the following listing. Blecha, Franz 46, Josepha 37, Johann 18, Franz 16, Maria 6, Josepha 10, Thomas 8, Anna 2, Skortiz.
Thomas Blecha, born in Bohemia in 1849, the brother of John. For many years we had no idea what happened to him and my cousin got lucky in April, 2005, and solved his disappearance. Under the section called NOTES is a rendering of his disappearance….
IMMIGRATION: Source was Czech Immigration Passenger Lists, author a Leo Baca, 1983, revised in 2000. Vol. 1, page 92 relates that between the years of 1848 to 1879 some 4,400 Czechs immigrated though the port of New Orleans and headed for Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Texas. Information in this book was found at the National Archives. Page 94 has the vessel Bessel arriving at the Port of New Orleans on 12 Jan 1858, with 12 Czech immigrants on board. Page 98 has the following listing. Blecha, Franz 46, Josepha 37, Johann 18, Franz 16, Maria 6, Josepha 10, Thomas 8, Anna 2, Skortiz; Bessel, 12 January 1858; St. Louis. Reference was found for the Bessel, Type:, steamship. Built:, 1854 by Caird & Co., Greenock, Scotland for the Cunard Line. No known photo or information available. This listing for the steam ship had a link to the family name RIEPE, which said a Mary came to America at age 38 years on the "Ship Bessel" with her husband and children. The ship bearing the RIEPE family departed from Bremen, Germany and arrived in St. Louis, MO on December 7, 1858. The Blecha's arrived some eleven months earlier in the year on January 12, 1858, in St. Louis on the same ship. If you look at the map of Germany, the inland Port of Bremen is some 42 miles by river from the North Sea at the Port of Bremenhaven giving a direct link to the North Atlantic Ocean via the North Sea. Bremen to Skortiz is some 320 airmiles, quite a distant to travel by road in 1858. Question, was the Steamship Bessel employed in a series of round trips from Bremen to St. Louis? If so, checking of the records of departures from Bremen would be in order. The missing Thomas is listed with the family on this record. Most of the ages given on the record are within one or two years of what is already recorded, and the difference would depend on how you round off the ages. One slight difference is with Josephine, who is listed as ten years old when prior records would have her about seven years old when on the ship. Another difference is with Maria [Mary] who would of been 12 years of age, not 6 as listed on the ship's record.
CENSUS: July 6, 1860 Census shows him living at home and 11 yrs of age.
Post office, Myra, town of Trenton, WI. 1880 Census has him living with his brother John and is listed as a laborer and 32 years old. This would have his date of birth as 1848. Census from Eaton, Clark Co., WI. Family history film #1255419. NA film number T9-1419, page 366B.
June 1880 Census, Eaton, Clark County, WI, page 2, supervisors dist 3, ED 158, line 46, shows him living with his brother John Blecha and family, he is listed as a laborer, brother to John, born in WI and both parents born in Bohemia.
NOTES: April 2005. We found two entries in the Neillsville Republican & Press for Thomas Blecha. The first one is dated Sept 27, 1883, page 3, and is as follows. "The foundation for the Presbyterian church at Greenwood will be commenced at once, the contract having been let to Thomas Blecha. The building will be 26 X 40". The second entry in the same newspaper is dated July 24th, 1884, page 4, and is as follows. "Thomas Blecha, a citizen of Greenwood, has disappeared strangely. He was last seen about a mile south of Greenwood on Sunday, July 6th, about 9 p.m. It is thought that he started for his brother's, who lives four miles south of town; but what has become of him is now the question. He left a good job of masonry [Joe Gibson's new house] unfinished and without getting his pay for what he had done. He had been indulging in the "ardent" some what freely for a day or two, and it is feared that he wandered into the woods, and got lost or hurt. A party of about forty men have searched for one day but found no traces of him. He was a single man, about 28 years old, and was well liked and a good mechanic". Of interest is that he was living with his brother in the 1880 census report. The family house was about four miles south of Greenwood at N 7918 Borglin Avenue, Greenwood, WI. which Rosemarie and Jerry visited in person. The dictionary has the word ardent as passionate, enthusiastic, glowing and a associate use of the word ardent is ardent spirits, meaning alcoholic beverages: distilled alcoholic beverages, for example, whiskey and rum. It would appear that Thomas was intoxicated when he wandered off. The researcher checked the newspaper for the six months after his disappearance and did not find any follow-up notes regarding finding Thomas. Rosemarie and Jerry Konoske
John Blecha is also featured in the book, "Civil War Soldiers in the heart of Clark Co., Wisconsin"
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