My grandmother, Rose Sedlacek Marlin, never told us much about her life. She had mentioned once or twice that she once had brothers living around the Omaha, Nebraska area, but that was about it.
After her death in 1982, while going through a box of things left to me, I came across an old picture post card of the Turkey Creek. On the back was inscribed "This is near where I used to play as a young girl while in Pawnee City". How had she gotten THERE?? Why had she been there?.. My quest for information had started!.
I had heard about the Orphan Trains so on a whim contacted the Children's Aid Society in New York City and to my amazement Mrs. Helen Steinman replied to my letter. " I am writing in reply to your request for information about your grandmother Rose or Rosa Sedlacek and her two brothers, Charles
According to our records they came into the care of The Children's Aid Society on or about August 6, 1906 when their father surrendered them. Their mother had died on October 2, 1905, and their children had been at a children's home, Five Points House of Industry, for about eight months. At that time the father's health was poor, and he could not support them.
The father was Anton or Anthony Sedlacek, a brushmaker, born in Bohemia.
The mother's maiden name was Rosa Mutuchik. She also was born in Bohemia. The three children were born in New York City. We have Rose's date of
birth as February 11 1895; but in a letter from her father he said she was
born on February 8, 1895. Charles was born in May 1900; and Frank was born
in May 1902.
All three children were placed with families in Pawnee, Nebraska.
Rose was placed with Mr and Mrs. C.R. Miles who were described as well to do
retired farmers. They bought a piano for Rose, and she Learned to play very
well. In school she was at the top of her class. Not only was Rose musical,
but her brother Frank was said to be a musical prodigy. He also did well in
Charles too was a bright boy.
Through the years their father wrote
numerous letters to The Children's Aid Society. He was living and working in
Chicago, Illinois and he was in good health. He wrote to inquire about his
His letters were answered, and he received pictures of the children."
My search for the boys continued to no avail, until the Nebraska GenWeb was started.
I posted a query on the Pawnee County page, and this year got a reply!!
I have now found and talked to a cousin I never knew existed.. learned about my great uncles, and hope to
learn more about my grandmother. (Rose died in 1982 at the age of 86, Charles in 1995 age, 95, and Frank, 1992, age 90.)
My cousin Barbara spent years talking with her father and her Uncle Charles, recording the stories that were told to her. "By putting them down on paper, we wouldn't lose our precious past,
and in the future, if there were someone that wished to use the information, they would be welcome to it". I am so glad that she did this!! I now have a window into the past, and
have been able to "know" my grand uncles... something that I would have never been able to do without her diligence.
After Mother died, her casket sat on top of a large tank of ice in the apartment. We stayed at the orphange at Five Points
after Mother died.
About the only thing I remember about the trip to Nebraska was crossing the Mississippi River. Our train, an engine and four or
five cars, was put on a barge and taken across the river.
I think there was eight of us kids on the stage to be given away. I was selcted by the Slack family and remember going home
with them in a spring wagon behind a team of mules. I was six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Slack had lost two daughters before
they took me. Later they had three boys, Bill, Harold and George (Reed). Mother Slack died in childbirth when I was twelve
years old. The youngest boy, George, was adopted by the Reed family as he was too little for Dad to care for.
When I was about eighteen years old, Dad bought a pair of mules. I told Dad they were mean, that they had tried to crush
me between them, but I had jumped out of the way just in time. The very next day Dad was killed by those mules the same way they
tried to get me. Now I was an orphan, AGAIN!.
All of us kids went to stay with Uncle George Beda near Table Rock. I struck out on my own when I was about nineteen. I worked on farms,
but realized I was too small to do this all my life. When I was twenty-four or twenty-five I went to barber school in Lincoln. In 1927 I got a
job in a shop in Nebraska City.
I was drafted in 1942 during World War II when I was 42 years old. After basic training in South Carolina, I was stationed at Camp Roberts
in California. Pearl and her daughter from Nebraska City came out to visit me and Pearl talked me into getting married. Pearl and I were married
When the draft age went from 45 to 38 years old I thought I would get to come home right away, but I didn't get to get back for another year-
eighteen months altogether. All I did in the service was cut hair!
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