Reverend J.M. Trunk - Prominent Slovenes 1912, Part 1
Copyright © 1996, 1997, Slovenian Genealogy Society International, all rights reseved
These Rev. J. M. Trunk texts were published originally in 1912. Part 8, History of Slovene Communities, contains significant genealogical information about Slovenian immigrants, the places they lived, the organizations they formed, and the churches they attended.
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LIST OF PROMINENT SLOVENES (1 of 3)
Adamic - Gross
ADAMIC, Charles (Karol) is a bank employee in New York.
ANDOLSEK, Andrew, Rev., was born on 27 September 1827 in Ribnica. He was assistant pastor in the parish of Radece near Zidani Most when he left for America in 1661. He came to the diocese of Marquette. He lived and worked among the miners of Cliff Mine, Michigan, and every second Sunday went to Eagle Harbor. In 1863 he left Baraga's diocese and went to San Francisco, California, where he worked as a missionary until 1869 when he returned to Eagle Harbor where he died on 23 June 1882
AVSENIK, Alloysius (Alojzij) has been working for many years in the office of travel agent Frank Sakser in New York.
AZBE, Francis J., Rev. came from the vicinity of Novo Mesto in lower Carniola (Dolenjska). He studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul's Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained around the New Year of 1902 and went to Harrisburg. At the present time he is the pastor of the Slovene parish in Steelton, Pennsylvania.
BAJEC, Franc Ks., Rev., was born on 26 October 1886 in Ljubljana where he graduated from high school. In October 1883 he came to America, He studied philosophy and theology at St. Francis Seminary in Wisconsin, and later enrolled in the university in Washington, D. C. He was ordained a priest on 21 September 1890. As a priest he spent four years in Rush City, Minnesota, and six years in Fairfax, Minnesota. In 1902 he became pastor of the church of St. Francis in St. Paul, Minnesota, when the former pastor L. Stariha became Bishop. He has been "'irremovable rector" for ten years.
BARAGA, Friderik Rt. Rev., Bishop, is no doubt one of the most prominent Slovene immigrants. His biography and works were published in the Almanac of the Society of St. Mohor (Druzba sv. Mohorja), submitted in Slovene by Dr. L. Voncina in 1869; in English by 0. K. Verwyst, OFM, in 1900; and in 1906 in the book "History of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette" by Rev. J. A. Rezek. Bishop Baraga was born on 29 June 1797 in the castle Mala Vas, in the parish of Dobmice. He was educated by Dr. J. Dolinar in Ljubljana and Blessed Kiemen Dvorak in Vienna, who taught him religious values and apostolic faith. He was ordained a priest in September 1823. He excelled at his work in the parishes of Kranj (1824-1828) and Metlika. He was an excellent speaker and was adored by his parishioners. In 1830 he published his first work, a prayer book "The Pasture of the Soul." In addition to speaking the Slovenian language, he was able to speak all modern languages. He worked hard and lived very simply. He was a very talented man and enjoyed good health.
The love for saving immortal souls made him immigrate to America. He left Ljubljana on 29 October 1830, and landed in New York on 31 December of that year. He arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 19 January 1831. The entire Northwest belonged to the Cincinnati diocese in those days. Bishop Fenwick learned immediately that Baraga was an exceptional man. Baraga lived and worked among the Germans for a short time, then he chose the missionary life among the Indians. On 29 October 1831, he came to Arbre Croche, now Harbor Springs. His living quarters were so bad that he had to spread an umbrella over his bed on rainy days. In winter he traveled on snow shoes. Many times he life was in danger.
In the period of two years and four months, he baptized 547 Indians, both adults and children, from the Ottowa tribe. He was succeeded by Rev. F. Saenderl, Superior of the redemption of the U. S. Around 8 September 1833 he left Arbre Croche and went to a new assignment at Grand River, now Grand Rapids, Michigan, arriving there on 23 September of that same year. Again he showed his capacity for hard work but his work here was not as successful. He worked here until 2 February 1835, and converted about two hundred natives to Catholicism. He was succeeded by Andrew Kizowsky. He was a thoughtful worker and was not satisfied with just a sermon. He wanted permanent results. He taught the Indians to read and write, and wrote several books in the language of the Ottowa tribe'.
As early as 1832 he compiled a prayer book in the Ottowa language. In 1830, he wrote for the Slovene immigrants "The Imitation of the Holy Mother", and two years later, in 1832 "Visitation". His next assignment was among the tribe of Chipewas in La Pointe, Wisconsin, where he arrived on 27 July 1835. He stayed here for about eight years and baptized 981 people, both Indian and white people. More and more communities asked him to come and work among them, but he lacked workers and money. By the end of 1836 he decided to visit Europe. He visited his birthplace as well as Ljubljana where he gave several sermons. His sister Antonia, widowed Hoeffern, followed him to America but stayed only two years. After she returned to Europe he wrote to her a poem in seven languages - Slovene, German, Latin, French, Italian, English and Indian, each line beginning with a letter of her name and forming the acrostic ANTONIA, and meaning the same thing "Imitate the Savior's holy life.
In 1837, the Publishing House Blaznik in Ljubljana published his book "Reflections of the Four Last Things" in Slovene. The same publishing house also published in German his book "Traditions and Habits of the Indians in North America". The above-mentioned book was later published in Slovene and in French. In 1837, his book, "Holy Mary" written in the language of the Chipewas tribe, was published in Paris (Otchipwe Anamie Masinaignan, Paris, Bailly, 1837). On 24 October 1843, he arrived in L'Anse, Michigan, and founded an Indian mission. The place was very remote and lonely. Yet Baraga endured there working for ten years. For many years he was the only Catholic priest in Upper Michigan. He performed a tremendous amount of work, not only with the Indians but also among the white people, since there were more and more immigrants after the copper mines were opened.
Although he was very busy with his missionary work, he did not forget his literary work. In Ljubljana, at Blazni's Publishing House, the work "Gete Dipadjimovin" (Old History) was published in 1843, some words comprising as many as twenty-seven characters, but not including either C or U. The first issue of "Katolik gagikwemasinaigan (propovedi)", (Catholic Instruction Book) was published in Ljubljana at Blaznik's in 1843 and reprinted in Detroit in 1846. That same year in Detroit the work ,i>"Katolik anamie-masinaigan" (Catholic Prayer Book) was published and four years later the work "Katolik enamiad 0 nanagatawendamooman" (Catholic Christian Reflexions" was published in Detroit (premisijevanja) Detroit 1850.
He became famous when in 1850 in Detroit the grammar and dictionary "A Theoretical and Practical Grammar of the Otchipwe Language" was published for the use of missionaries. Verwyst mentioned that publishing this work was truly a Herculean task. In 1853, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Baraga reprinted this Dictionary, entitled "Dictionary of the Otchipewa Language, explained in English". In the introduction to the third reprinting, Baraga wrote, "This is, to the best of my knowledge, the first dictionary of the Otchipewa language ever published. The compilation of it has cost me several years of assiduous labour." His style was simple, no matter if he wrote in Slovene or in a language of an Indian tribe. Even uneducated Indian children could understand his prayer books.
For the Slovenes he published in those years "Golden Apples" (Zlate Japelka - the language is archaic), published in Ljubljana at Blaznik's in 1844, and "The Flowers of Heaven" (Nebeske roze), published in Ljubljana at Blaznik's in 1846. In 1855, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the book "Kakige Debwewina" (Eternal Truth) was published. Thus his literary work was concluded.
A new era in Baraga's life started in 1853, when an Apostolic Vicarite was formed by the Pope's decree on 29 July 1853. The Vicante comprised not only Upper Michigan, but the Northern part of Wisconsin and the North Banks of Lake Superior as well. Barage became the Vicar and Titular Bishop in Amyronia. On 1 November, in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was ordained by Archbishop Purcell, assisted by Bishops Lefevre from Detroit and Henna from Milwaukee. He immediately sent two pastoral letters to his Catholic parishioners, one in English and one in the Indian dialect. That very same year he traveled to Europe, and visited his native village, Ljubljana, Rome and Vienna -attending the wedding of the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef, on 24 April 1854. The Emperor presented him with a golden cross and two chalices and a ring.
On 15 July, Baraga was in New York again. Even as a Bishop he remained a simple, hard working man - a true missionary. For fifteen years he spent most of his time visiting the sick. He had sermons in three languages every Sunday. Often he made fire in his simple stove in his palaces. The progress of the diocese was good. In 1857, the Vicarite became an independent diocese (Sault Ste.Marie), and with the approval from Rome, the seat of the diocese was moved to Marquette. He was very sad because there were not enough priests. His fellow countryman Lavizar froze to death on 3 December 1858, and Mr. Cebulj arrived in 1859. Rev. Mrak was a teacher, missionary and pastor at the same time. Even in the most distressful situation he never lost faith or courage. He prayed all the time and worked hard, but his life was very simple.
The French priest, Bourion, stayed only one month with him. Baraga asked him, "Would you like to dine with me?", and Bourion's answer was, "I did not know that we would have potatoes three times a day, for breakfast fried potatoes, at lunch boiled potatoes, and for supper warmed or heated left over potatoes.'9 It was the Bishop's menu. In 1866 Baraga traveled to take part in the Second Bishop's Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, where he suffered a stroke. On 8 October 1866, he asked to be trans- ferred to Marquette. He had been bedridden for a year and passed away on 19 January 1868. The Indians of the Otchipewa tribe lost their father!
Baraga was an extraordinary man - very talented, well educated, a wonderful speaker, poet and artist. Whatever he did, he did well. He was a perfectionist yet very simple and humble. His motto as a priest and bishop was "Unum est necessarium"! No modern missionary has been honored more by the Indians. Even non-Catholics honored him. He was an ideal man. He was buried in the Cathedral on 31 January 1868. In his honor, one county was named after him, as well as many towns, communities and post offices in the State of Michigan. One of the main streets in Marguette has also been named after him. Letters, diaries, pastoral letters and sermons have been kept. Baraga should be the first Slovene saint. Verwyst concluded biography with the following words: "That life might be summed up in the one phrase - Saintliness and action" Mr. J. Rems from New York made a motion in New York that the Slovene immigrants in America should erect a monument in Baraga's honor. What a splendid idea. The ideal man shouted not be forgotten by Slovene priests
BARICH, Margaret is a teacher in South Range, Michigan
BILBAN, Rev. Mathias, born in the village of Zapoge in the Upper Carniola (Gorenjska), on 21 February 1863. He received his early education at home. Later he went to Ljubljana and in October 1883 he came to America. He studied for some time at the college of Collegeville, Minnesota. He was a teacher in the Minnesota public school system which was a wonderful experience. He then went to St. Thomas Seminary in St. Paul and for six years studied philosophy and theology. He was ordained on 17 December 1892. He was the house pastor in the seminary and on Sundays he would visit different places of the Archdio- cese. On 1 March 1893 he was assigned to Tower, Minnesota, where he was assistant to Rev. Joseph Buh, and took care of parishes in Ely and Tower. Two years later he became the caretaker of the missions in Ely, Virginia and Mountain Iron.
In October 1896 he became pastor of the Church, of Mary of Lourdes in Virginia. Many mission stations were included in the communities of Eveleth, Mountain Iron and Biwabik. He built or concluded building churches in Eveleth, Mountain Iron, Sparta, Virginia and Biwabik. He was caretaker of the missions In McKinley and Elba. His parishioners were immigrants of different nationalities, including English, French, Italian, German, Slovene, Croatian, Polish Czech, Slovak, just to name a few. Rev. Bilban was a talented linguist, always willing to help his parishioners in their vernacular. Since 1903 he has been the pastor of the parish of The Holy Family in Eveleth.
In 1909, a beautiful brick church was erected, and a nice parish house is being built. From the very beginning he was taking care of the Missions in Biwabik, and Sparta, as well as the missions in Elba, McKinley, Aurora and Gilbert. He is still very active in Eveleth, and he is proud of his success and labor. His name is tightly connected with the name of Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. He has been in the above-mentioned region almost two decades. His social work is noticeable. He is well known and popular among the people and miners. He is the spiritual guide and member of the auditing committee of the diocese of Duluth.
BLATNIK, Ivan was born in the village of Ratjah near Zuzenberk in 1858. He came to America in 1882. He is one of the first settlers in the West and is known under his nickname Janc. His property is located at 4700 Humboldt Street in Denver, Colorado, where he operates a hotel.
BLATNIK, Alloysium Leo, Rev. was born on 9 May 1883 in Ljubljana and. as a sophomore he went with Rev. Bajcem to America. He studied for two years in St. Paul, Minnesota, and later attended the seminary at Dunwoodie, New York. He was ordained a priest by Bishop J. Farley on 9 June 1906. He is the first Slovene to be ordained in the East He said his first Mass on 17 June 1906. It was very festive and his parents came from Ljubljana to take part in the festivities. For some time he took care of the Slovenes who worshiped in a Czech Church and in August 1907, he became pastor in Haverstraw, New York. Every month he traveled to New York City and said Mass for the Slovenes in the church of St. Brigita on 8th Street and Avenue B. He remained in Haverstraw until March 1909
BLAZIC, John, Rev. came from the vicinity of Novo Mesto in Lower Carniola (Dolenjska) and attended high school in Novo Mesto. He came to America in 1902 and finished his philosophy and theology studies at St. Pau1~s Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained a priest on 12 June 1908 and said his first mass at St. Vitus's church in Cleveland. He was assigned to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For some time he was assistant pastor at St. Vitus in Cleveland and for three years he has been pastor in Leckrone, Pennsylvania
BROZICH, George B. was born in Vinica in 1878 and came to America in 1889. He attended St. John's University in Minnesota and graduated in 1908. From 1902 to 1908 he was an employee of the National Bank in Ely, Minnesota. In 1903, he became Supreme Secretary of the JSKJ. In 1908, he founded the first Slovene Insurance Agency. In 1912 he was elected Treasurer of the First State Bank in Ely, and at the same time he was elected city treasurer
BOZJA, Vinko, Rev. was born on 7 March 1880 in the village of Polhov Gradec, where he was a teacher. In August 1902 he came to America with Rev. Thantorn and enrolled in St. Paul's Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained on 12 June 1906. For six years he was assistant pastor at the parish of St. Bernhard in St. Paul. Since September 1912, he has been pastor in Morgan, Minnesota and has been taking care. of the mission in Clements
BUH, Joseph Francis, Rt. Rev., Monsr, General Vicar of the diocese in Duluth, Minnesota, observed fifty years of the priesthood in 1908. A priest/pioneer of Northern Minnesota and missionary among the Indians, he was born on 17 March 1833, in the village of Lucnah in Upper Carniola (Gorenjska) . His father, Matthew Buh, was a farmer. He sent his talented son to school in Foljane and later to Skofja Loka and Ljubljana where he attended high school. He finished his theology studies in Ljubljana and was ordained on 25 July 1858. For three years he was assistant pastor in Loski Potok, then he spent three years in Radece near Zidani Most. In January 1864 the famous Indian missionary, Franc Pirc, came to Carniola (Kranjska) . Joseph Buh offered his services and mentioned he was willing to work among the Indians.
In the Spring of 1864, Buh left his native land and went to America. He arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota, and stayed for six months at the Bishop's headquarters, supervising and tutoring students, preparing them for the priesthood. In November of that same year he left St. Paul for the North to Rev. Franc Pirc in Crow Wing. He did not stay long. In January 1865 he went to Lake Winnebago and was missionary among the Indians living there. He studied their dialect and way of life. In four months he mastered the language.
In July 1865 he was sent to Belle Prairie and step by step took over all of Rev. Pirc's duties in the East along the Mississippi River, from Crow Wing to Red Lake. The churches were Crow Wing, Belle Prairie and Little Falls. The missionary stations were on the Indian reservations along the Red, Sand and other lakes, such as Leech Lake, Cass Lake, White Earth, Sandy Lake, etc. He founded several stations, such as Rich Prairie, Long Prairie, St. Stephen's in Brockway, Sb. Anthony of Padua in Kraintown, Duelm, and Two Rivers.
From 1875 on when the Holy Father raised Northern Minnesota to A Vicarate, Rev. Buh became a member of the new diocese of St. Cloud and in 1878 he was promoted to spiritual counselor. On 29 September 1878 he moved to the West and became the first permanent priest in the Church of St. Joseph, close to the city of Perham, Minnesota. He was taking care of the people living along the Northern Pacific Railroad, from Brainard on the Mississippi to Moorhead in the valley of Red River. He was active in the counties of Ottertail, Wadena, Becker, Todd, Cass, Morrison and Clay.
Among the missions which were in his territory, I would like to mention, besides SL. Joseph's in Perham, the village of Perham, Otter-tail City, Pelican Rapids, New York Mills, Hobart, Aldrich, Wadena, Detroit City, Audubon, Lake Park, Pelican Lake and Motley. Later on he was managing the far away county of Itaska, together with several Indian stations, such as Grand Rapids, Winnibigoshish and Pokegama and places in the South, such as Sandy Lake and White Oak Point. Several of the above-mentioned stations were founded by Rev. Buh. In Perham and vicinity he stayed for eight years.
In 1886, he took over Little Falls with the missions and stayed for two years there. In 1888, he was sent to Tower, Minnesota, and became the first pastor of St. Martin's Church. He stayed there until January 1901, and founded the missions of Two Harbors and Ely in 1888, and Biwabik, Virginia and Hibbing about 1890. These missions prospered and were soon promoted to independent parishes with pastors. In January 1901, when Ely received a permanent Catholic pastor, Rev. Buh was appointed to that post. He took care of the parishioners belonging to the different nationalities and at the same time he was responsible for the Indians living on the reservation along Lake Vermillion. In Ely he built the first church which was blessed on Thanksgiving Day in 1890. The second church was blessed before Thanksgiving Day in 1900. IL was the largest and most beautiful church of the Iron Range. The parish house was built around 1896 Rev. Buh, along with Rev. Pirc and Rev. Tomazin, was the first Catholic priest in Northern Minnesota.
He came to the country when it was quite wild with little or no white settlers, but hordes of undisciplined Indians fighting among themselves. There were no roads or paths. Occasionally one could see small Indian boats on the rivers and creeks. The Indians lived in simple tents. Every now and then one could see a "midevivin", a kind of dancing ring where Indian Gods were honored. It is obvious that Rev. Buh was a pioneer of culture and education. Wherever he went he had to build churches, parish houses, teach the population the Catholic faith, and at the same time he had to teach them a healthier way of life and introduce a peaceful way of coexistence and social values. He had to introduce those values to the European immigrants as well as to the Indians. He spent nearly half a century (48 years) in Northern Minnesota. He lived not only among the Indians, but also among �e immigrants who came from all parts of Europe. The Slovenes should be proud and thankful to him. He founded the Slovene paper "The American Slovene" and was its editor For several years
His superiors recognized his hard work. The Bishop of St Cloud appointed him a spiritual advisor. As soon as the new diocese in Duluth, Minnesota, was formed in 1889, Bishop McGolriclc appointed him the General Vicar. Hestill holds this position. He is the supreme spiritual advisor, examinator and treasurer of the church funds for the Duluth diocese. Soon he received more recognition. By special decree of the Holy Father, on 28 December 1899, Archbishop J. Ireland honored him with the title of Monsignor. Bishop McGolrick of Duluth and many others bishops were present as well as many priests and-parishioners. The State authorities gave him recognition also on 10 July 1895 in the following telegram from Little Falls: "The County Commis- sioners decided at the meeting that one part of the city of Pierz should get the name Buh, in honor of the missionary and priest who has been the Vicar General, serving under Bishop McGolrick in Duluth."
BURGAR, Anton, is the office manager of the travel agency of Frank Sakser in New York. He is one of the more prominent people in New York
BURGAR, Ignazij L., Rev., was born on 18 October 1874 in the village of Velike Mlaka near Ribnica in Lower Carniola (Dolenjska). He came to America in 1893 and studied in St. Paul, Minnesota, but finished his studies in Denver, Colorado. He was ordained by Bishop Matz. He was very active among the Slovenes in Colorado but developed tuberculosis and succumbed on 5 February 1905. He was buried in Pueblo, Colorado. The paper "The American Slovene" published the following article on that occasion: "The late Rev. Burgar was a -very good man. In spite of poor health and suffering, he was always kind and hard working. He would sacrifice himself for the benefit of his parishioners.
Since an early age he liked to compose articles and was among the steady contributors to the above-mentioned paper while the paper was published in Tower, Minnesota and Rev. Buh was its editor. The travel agent Frank Sakser published almanacs and the first issue was almost entirely Rev. Burgar's work. He used the pen name Strojarjev Nace (Little Leathermaker's Ignatius) . He composed a prayer book, "Pray and Work" but did not live to see it published. The manuscript is in the archives of "The American Slovene". He was working on an English-Slovene dictionary, which was a kind of masterpiece. With great sorrow we mourn the loss of a talented priest and writer who was so influential among the Slovenes in America.
CEBUL, Ivan, Rev., a missionary, was born on 13 October 1832 in the village of Velesovo in Upper Carniola (Gorenjska). While still in the seminary he became acquainted with Father Baraga. He was ordained on 4 November 1853, and spent some time as an assistant pastor in the parishes of Poijane and Kranj. However, he decided to follow Baraga to America. He arrived in America on 13 October 1859. He was active among the Indians and every piece of hard work strengthened his willpower. He remained in Duluth, Minnesota where he built a cathedral and spent some Lime in the surrounding vicinity. The land around Lake Superior was still undeveloped and Rev. Cebul was the only Catholic priest. He was an excellent walker and hiker, and in this way discovered the countryside. He could walk sixty to seventy miles a day in his snowshoes. In 1871, he went back to his native land. While traveling he heard stories about the injustices the Indians had to endure.
At the Keshena Reservation in Wisconsin, where Menonima Indians lived, he opposed the government agents who tried to convert the Indians to Protestantism. When he took over the parish in Marinette, he immediately built a church and school. He was very active and restless, thus, he did not stay long in any one place. The Alcoholic Anonymous Society invited him to attend the meeting in Philadelphia. At the same time the Indians were also invited to take part. However, the agents would not give the Indians permission to leave the reservation. Rev. Cebul hurried to Upper Michigan, and left for Philadelphia with twenty-five Indians, members of the Ojibway tribe who did not belong to a reservation and consequently were not under the jurisdiction of government agents. In Chicago he was ordered to appear in Court, but defended himself by telling the Judge that as a Free citizen he could travel wherever he wished.
After that incident he traveled Together with the Indians to Philadelphia. Hard work, however, weakened his life. He returned to Europe and traveled to India. In 1878, he spent some time in Paris lecturing about his experiences in America and among the Indians, and received great recognition, and made many friends. In 1882 he came back to America and remained with Bishop Vrtin. From 1892 to 1898 he was pastor in ten different places. He died on 3 August 1898. Rev. Cebul was a true Achasver among the Slovenes. In one year he mastered the English and French languages. Even Bishop Baraga was surprised. He spoke several Slavic languages and learned a few Indian dialects, and was also fluent in Greek, Latin and Arabic, and wrote poetry in Greek and in English. He loved music and singing, and was cherished and loved by everybody who met him. Yet this talented and well-educated man remained humble and modest all his life.
CERNE, Jakob, Rev.s born on 3 March 1883, in The village of Blejski Dobravi in Upper Carniola (Corenjska). He attended high school in Krain, and in the Fall of 1902, he came to America. He-entered St. Paul's Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. On 12 June 1908, he was ordained a priest. He went to Fairfax, North Dakota, where he stayed until March 1909. He was then assigned as pastor of the Slavic immigrants in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Since the end of February 1910, he has been the parish priest in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where he built the attractive church of Sts. Cyril and Methodium, as well as the parish house.
CESARK, Alloysiusan office worker and owner of a house in Brooklyn, New York
CICEK, Bonaventure, Rev., O.M.C., was born on 29 June 1858 in the village of Radvanje, parish of St. Madeline in Maribor. He attended grade school in the village of Hoce, south of Maribor, where his parents lived and went to high school in Maribor. He studied theology in Maribor and Celovec (Klagenfurt, Austria). In 1881, he entered the order of Minorites, and on 20 July 1884, he was ordained a priest in Graz (Austria). He was assistant pastor at the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Ptuj. He was pastor twice at the Holy Trinity parish in the region of Haloze (southeast from Ptuj). In 1895 he came to America and spent some time in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon the advise of Rev. Smole, the Bishop sent him to the Slovene parish of the Holy Trinity in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he has been parish priest since 6 August 1910
CUZNAR, Jacob from Podkoren served in the American Army, travelled to the Philippines and around the world
DERGANC, H. B., is a postmaster. He was born in 1879 in the village of Semic in Lower Carniola (Dolenjska). He came to America in 1895, and is considered one of the most prominent Slovene immigrants in the West. He is proud to be a Slovene, is very honest, and a promoter of Slovene culture and traditions. He is very capable and became a postmaster in Denver, Colorado. He is the proud owner of a beautiful home on 4617 Columbine Street in Denver.
ERLAH, Phillip Jacob, Rev., (in a footnote we read that his first name was not John, but Jacob, since his nameday was on the Feast Day of Sts. Phillip and Jacob, thus he adopted Jacob as his first name. He signed his name Phillip James Erlach or just P. J. Erlach.) He was born on 27 April 1839 in the Ljubljana diocese. He was educated in a high school in Ljubljana and in the seminary of the Archdiocese of Gorica. In 1864 he came to America, together with the famous missionary Frank Pirc, and in the seminary of St. Franciscus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he concluded his theology studies in May of 1865. In June of 1865 we can find him in the State of Nebraska, where he was ordained on the 27th of June by Bishop James Ogorman in the cathedral of Omaha.
He was the second priest to be ordained in the Apostolic Vicarate of Nebraska, where the population was very small in those days. Rev. Erlach remained in this district for twenty years, serving in several different places. His first parish was in Columbus, Nebraska, where he remained for about sixteen months administering to the Catholics who lived scattered on the vast land along the Platte River and its confluents Elkhorn and Loup. The main missionary staLions he Look care of on this vast stretch of land were as follows: Cotton Springs, Fort Kearney, Wood River, Shell Creek, St. Helena, Westpoint, and St. Charles. The later was founded by him.
On 10 December 1866, he was sent from Columbus to Jackson, Nebraska, where he organized and trained a singing society and purchased the first church organ. He started a parochial school and his brother Lawrence Erlah, who was a teacher and happened to come a short while ago From Carniola, became a school teacher.. He was also managing his farm in the vicinity of Jackson. Lawrence was a school superintendent for eight years. From Jackson, Erlah visited the missionary stations of Fort Randall, St. Helena, Ponca and Decatur. On 9 October 1869, he was sent to Cheyenne, the Capital of the State of Wyoming,~which was at that time a tiny settlement, founded only two years before his arrival He was very cautious but steady in managing the religious affairs of the State of Wyoming and a great part of Western Nebraska.
In addition to his pastoral duties in Cheyenne, he had to take care of numerous missionary stations, namely: Fort Russel, Sherman, Fort Sanders, Laramie, Fort Steele, Rawlings, Sweet Water, Green River, Fort Bridger, South Pass, Atlantic City, Fort Fetterman, Fort Laramie and Pine Bluff. In Nebraska there were the substations of Potter and Sidney. From Wyoming he moved back to Nebraska on 16 April 1871, and settled down in the community of Rub. He built the church of The Immaculate Conception, which had been heavily damaged in the previous Fall. His territory comprised the following missions: Arago, Barada, Burk's Settlement and Brownwille. On 30 January 1873, he went for the second time to Jackson where he remained almost five years and was well liked. He built the new parish house and also built the first churches in the communities of New Castle and South Creek, which were taken care of out of Jackson.
On 10 December 1877, he was transferred to the parish at Grand Island, Nebraska, as the first permanent priest. While there he built the parish house Besides the parish of Grand Island, he took care of the neighboring communities of Wood River, St. Libory, Berg and St. Charles - the two later ones being founded by him. On 11 July 1884, he was transferred from Grand Island to H'h.c;,Nebraska, where he remained until the end of 1884. As was the case in Grand Island, In Hebron too, he was the first permanent pastor. He completed the church of The Sacred Heart, together with the parish house and organized three new missions in Davenport, Hubbell and Steele City, which were also taken care of by him, along with the older missions in Alexandria, Carleton and Fairbury.
In Alexandria he erected the parish house and the parochial school which had almost one hundred students by the end of the year 1884. In 1885, Rev. Erlah left the diocese of Nebraska and went to the diocest of Marquette, Michigan. I could not find out where he spent the first three years, but in April 1888, he became the pastor of the parish of The Sacred Heart, in the mining community of Calumet where he remained almost one year. There were immigrants of many nationalities, among which were many Slovenes. From 12 April until the end of October 1889 he was pastor of the parish of St. Agnes in Iron River, where there were many iron mines. He finished and beautified the church, which was blessed by Bishop Vrtin in the beginning of October. The last months of 1889 he was assisted by Rev. John Cebul. The next nine months Rev. Erlah spent in Manistique.
In August and September of 1890, he was on the island of Mackinac. In the Fall of that same year he went to Menominee and was for some time the pastor of the parish of St. John the Baptist. Then he became pastor of the parish in Ontonagon. From there he went to Marquette to take part in the silver jubilee of Bishop Vrtin on 25 August 1891. In the Summer of 1892 he was sent to the parish of Newberry where he remained for more than one year. In October of 1893 he went to Bessemer, the place of many iron mines. However, it was the time of great unemployment, and workers were leaving the industrial communities in great numbers, hoping to find jobs elsewhere, The number of parishioners diminished, and just a few families remained. They were impoverished and it was nearly impossible to support a church and priest. In spite of the many personal sacrifices, Rev. Erlah remained in Bessemer. However, his health began to fail and he was forced to take a leave of absence. He entered the hospital of St. Francis in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where he passed away on 8 May 1894, at the age of fifty-five. His last wish was to be buried in Bessemer. The funeral services Look place on 11 May 1894. He died penniless
A senior pastor of a diocese with whom I visited a few weeks ago in order to get more information pertaining to Rev. Erlah, told me that he had known Rev. Erlah well. He was of medium build, not too strong, mild, sober, polite, a good neighbor and a good priest. He was an excellent singer and organ player. He spoke half a dozen languages, as was customary with Slovene missionaries, and this knowledge helped him a lot with his missionary work. He never worked among the Indians, but was more active and more successful among the "white Indians" who came from Europe. -Rev. John li. Zaplotnik.
FERJANCIC, Joseph, Rev., was born in the village of Grce in the Valley of Vipava. He is the pastor in Tower, Minnesota
FLORIJANC, August is a student of philosophy at the College of St. Francis in Wisconsin.
GERSIC, John is a prominent Slovene immigrant in Aurora, Minnesota.
GLADEN, Luke, Rev., was born on 17 March 1880, in the Village of Stara Oselica. He graduated from the high school in Kranj. In the Fall of 1901 he left for St. Paul, Minnesota, where he spent three years, studying at the seminary of St Paul. In 1904 he went to study at the seminary of St Charles in Overbrook, Pennsylvania. He was ordained there on 17 December 1905, and was pastor in the different parishes of the diocese of Harrisburg, such as Cornwell, New Freedom, and Mt. Carmel. He is presently the pastor of the Slovak church in Mt. Carmel
GODEC, George, Rev., was born on 17 April 1802 in the village of Jance in Upper Carniola (Corenjska). He was ordained on 26 July 1832 in Ljubljana. He came to America in 1843 with the aim to join the missionary, Bishop Baraga, and work among the Indians. He joined the diocese of Detroit, and the Bishop of Detroit sent him to the parish of Holy Mary to assist the pastor Oton Skof, 0SF. When the new church was blessed on 29 June 1843, he was sent to the parish of Westphalia, which is situated about twenty miles northwest of Lansing, which later became the Capital of the State of Michigan. Rev Godec hired a man, and a horse and buggy to transport some goods and tools. He travelled from Detroit to Westphalis in three days and when he arrived there he was introduced by Rev. Visocky, whose name has been mentioned by Rev. Baraga on several occasions.
At the time of Rev. Godec's arrival, Westphalia was a very young community. The inhabitants were new comers without property. They started to clear the forests and build simple houses. It is quite obvious that the parish had no prominent buildings. The former priest started the construction of a simple church which was not finished by the Lime Rev. Godec arrived there, so Rev. Godec began work immediately to finish the job. Abd what a building it was! Since the holes were not properly sealed, it was very drafty. There were no pews or altar and a table with a drawer served as the altar. There was no parish house and the pastor had to stay with a farmer about three-fourths of a mile away from the church. But he was hardworking and persistent, and by step Westphalia improved and progressed under his leadership. From a simple and poor community it became a large and prosperous town.The parish of the Virgin Mary prospered also. His life style was very simple. He saved money so he could purchase bricks and build a large and pretty church. At the same time he could cover all expenses for a large and roomy parish house
Rev. Godec was a very busy man and was never idle. He not only took care of the Catholics in his parish but also took care of the Catholics in Tonia, Lyons, Pewamo, Fowler, St. Johns and Portland. Besides being a pastor he had had many civic duties. He was the first postmaster in Westphalia, a county supervisor and a road commissioner. In his spare time, when he had neither church nor civic obligations, he occupied his time cultivating his little vineyard and garden. He know how to make wine, having learned this in his native land. His health lingered and due to the aging process, he asked for a small parish in Springwells, formerly Greenfield. He arrived there on 11 October 1873.He erected a new church and helped wherever he was needed. He passed away in January 1883, at the age of 80. He was mourned by everybody who knew him. He was buried in Springwells on 18 January 1883, with the assistance of the Bishop from Detroit and many priests of the diocese. It has been more than three decades since his death but he is still well remembered in all the parishes where he was pastor. Nearly every house keeps a picture of him. The parishioners of Springwells erected a nice marble marker with the inscription: "Long will be remembered what he taught in words and deeds". He was a courageous man, an honorable and noble priest and a pioneer of the State of Michigan. - Rev. J. L. Zaplotnik
GOLOB, Michael, Rev., was born on 22 October 1881 in the village of St. Florian near Sostanj, Styria (Stajerska). He attended schools in Kranj and in Maribor where he was ordained a priest on 25 July 1905. For six years he was a priest in the diocese of Lavant with the seat in Maribor. His last parish was the parish of Nova Cerkev. In 1912 he left for America. He spent some time in New York and since 1 September 1912, he has been assistant pastor at the Slovak parish in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is trying hard to establish an independent parish for the Slovenes.
GORUP, Philip is editor of the the "American Slovene" (Amerikanski Slovenec) in Joliet, Illinois.
GORCE, John, whose home village is Meniska vas near Toplice, Slovenia, is an American soldier
GORSE, I., is considered one of the first Slovene immigrants in America. He married a woman who is half Indian by birth. When he died his estate was appraised to be worth several million dollars.
GOSAR, Cyril, Rev., 0.F.M., is a Slovene American and member of the Order of St. Francis.
GOSTENCNIK, George, Rev., was born on 5 April 1819 in the village of St. Rochus near Sele in Styria (Stajerska). On 1 August 1846, he was ordained a priest in St Andraz, and served as pastor in Vuzenica, Toplica and Nova Cerkev. On 4 April 1850 he left for Pennsylvania. In the Spring of 1852, he was in his native land again. On 6 September 1853, he wrote a letter requesting permission to return, and his requested was granted on 8 October 1853, but he did not go back. He was in American from June to October 1850, serving as assistant~pastor to Rev. Mozetic in Allegheny, Pa., and from March 1851 to June 1853, maybe even longer, he was in the community of Herman, formerly Clearfield, near Butler, Pa
He then went Lo flaston, in Northampton County, where he stayed until 15 September 1854. That very same month he became pastor of the parish of St. Joseph in Milton. He had to take care of the entire county of Northumberland with missions in Treverton and Chillisquaque, the county of Union, with missions in Dry Valley and Lewisburg, as well as Montour and Columbia counties. While living in Milton, he became very popular and well liked due to his friendly disposition, good nature and openness. He influenced everybody with whom he came in contact. He improved the material status of the parish. Around the year 1855, he erected the parish house in Milton, and later on he purchased new pews and an organ.
He organized the mission in Treverton and started raising money for the new church in that place. He was so successful in his endeavor that the contractor was able to start working in May of 1859, and soon a fine edifice of white sandstone was erected. The work was completed by the beginning of May 1860, and that very same month the Bishop of Philadelphia, His Excellency, Bishop Wood, blessed the church in honor of St. Patrick. Since he wanted to live as close as possible to his parishioners, he moved to a house situated on the "church farm" in Chillisquaque. He was very close to his parishioners, living in the Irish town (Treverton?) . Close to his dwelling er erected a small, wooden chapel where he often celebrated Mass, usually on weekdays.
Rev. Gostencnik was a big, strong man, and many stories about his strength have been told. On one occasion he was walking in Milton and he came across men trying to lift a heavy stone. Seeing their trouble, he asked them where they would like to put the stone. He stepped astride and lifted the stone and put it in the spot the men told him to put it. Another story concerning the bell which he purchased for the new church of St. Patrick, alleges that he carried the bell from Sunbury over the mountain to Treverton. It is difficult to prove whether this is true or just a legend, but it is true th~t he worked hard for St. Patrick's church and parish. He did not live long enough, however, to enjoy the results of his hard work. He died on 2 May 1860.
On 25 May 1860, the publication "The Miltonian" published the following article: "Rev. George (Jun) Gostencnik, pastor of the Catholic church of our community, passed away in his apartment. He had been sick only a few days. He was buried this past Monday at ten in the morning. There were many coaches and carriages in the funeral procession following the hearse. The funeral Mass was celebrated by the Bishop from Philadelphia, assisted by two priests. At the funeral Mass one of the priests mentioned in his brief sermon in English that Rev. Costencnik was everybody's friend, neighbor, and a great Christian. Another said a few words in German. He was buried in the cemetary near the church, but I have been told his remains will be soon buried in a crypt under the altar.' (Rev. J. L. Zaplotnik)
GRAHEK, Mattheus, one of the early settlers, is a storekeeper in Pueblo, Colorado.
GRAHEK, I., Dr., is a physician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
GEDINA, Anton, is an undertaker and merchant in Cleveland, Ohio.
GROSS, Severin, Rev., O.S.B., was born in the village of Trzic, in Upper Carniola (Gorenjska), on 13 January 1829. His name given at the time of his baptism was Anthony. His parents were poor, but very hard-working and honest. He attended grade school near home, then went to Ljubljana where he attended high school and a theological seminary. On 31 July 1853, he was ordained a priest. He was only a junior in the seminary and had to return to the seminary. He was an assistant pastor for several years. From September 1854 to April 1855 he was in Poijane. From there he want to Gorje, where he stayed until September 1859. He spent some time in the village of Smartno near Kranj.
From 1867, he was in Vrhnika. He applied for a parish and became pastor in the village of Javorje in October 1868, but he remained there just one year. By the Bishop's decree he had to return to Ljubljana to become assistant warden and economist of a little seminary which was operated under the guidance of the diocese.It was a post full of responsibilities and hard work. On 10 February 1874, he departed for America. It is almost impossible to put into words the many difficulties, sufferings, and hard work he has had to endure during the past twenty years.His work is still being remembered in his native land. All the time he was occupied by the thoughts of being a missionary among the Indians in America. Father Bernard Locnikar helped him to be accepted into the Benedictine Order here.
The Bishop of Ljubljana opposed his travel to America for several years. He arrived in America in March 1874 and entered the Abbey of St. Vincent as a novice. He made his first vows on 20 March, and his final vows on 21 March 1875, at St~ John's Monastery in Minnesota. He spent some time in the solitude of the monastery. Then he was sent to different parishes. He was an ardent pastor in the parishes of Stearns County, such as St. Joseph's, from May 1875 to October 1876; St. Cloud, from October 1876 to August 1888. He erected the Church of the Immaculate Conception. From there he went to New Munich where he stayed until September 1890. He had to take care of several missions in the vicinity of the parish. He often paid a visit to the Slovene parish of St. Stephen's in Brockway and the parish of St. Anthony in Kraintown.
Once he went to the Slovene parish in Tower. At the request of the monks, he became the prior of the Abbey of St. John in September 1890. He performed his duties with great ardor and faithfulness. In the morning he was the first to rise and at night he was the last one to retire. He was following in the footsteps of St. Benedict. He tried to influence his Brothers with his example, education and prayers, but when it was necessary he also scolded. In spite of his many responsibilities and hard work the found time to manage the small parish inCollegeville. He was a fine example for everybody. He had been sick and suffered a long time. He received his last rites and passed away peacefully among his Brothers on 3 December 1893. He was buried in the cemetary of the Abbey of St. John in Minnesota. Rev. Gross had a doctoral degree in theology and for some time he was a Vicar General and adviser to the Bishop in addition to the rest of his duties. (Rev. John Zaplotnik)