A special thanks to Genelle Starbird for providing the information and photographs on this page. If you have any comments or have an interest in this family, please contact Genelle Starbird.
KASPAREK is a Polish diminutive form (if you remove the diacritical marks from the Czech version, it is also the Czech form) of the German and Polish patronymic name Kaspar, from the given name which originally meant "treasurer" in Persian. It is supposed to have been one of the three Magi's names and gained popularity in Europe after the 12th century. Variations include Kasper, Kesper, Casper (German); Kasparski, Kasperski, Kasper, Kaszper, Sperski (Polish). Cognate forms include Jaspar, Jasper, Jesper (Low German); Jesper (Flemish); Jasper (English); Kaspar, Kasper (Czech); Gaspar (Hungarian); Casperfi, Gasperi, Gaspero, Gasparri, Gasparro, Gaspardo, Gaspardi, Gasbarri, Parri (Italian). (From Barrel of Genealogy Web Site)
Mary L. Dolezal (12 years of age in this picture)
married Charles August Kaspar,
son of Anton Kaspar, Sr. and Franciska (Caha) Kaspar
Anton Kaspar Sr. was born in Smrku, Trebic, Jihlava, Moravia on February 27,1837, son of Josef Kaspar and Veronica (Dundel) Kaspar. He had two brothers, Michael born in 1832 and John, born in 1840. His father Joseph descended from Kaspars inhabiting Moravia since the 16th century. The line of succession was as follows: Tobias, Charles, Joseph, Frank and John. Joseph, Anton's father, was born in 1790. When he was 17 years old, France took him from the fields during their war and put him in the Ambulance Corps and other services. He married Marianna Chalupy in 1825. They had three sons, Josef born February 26, 1817, Frank born October 18, 1819 and Josef born October 11, 1822. Within eight years, Marianna died. Josef Sr. then married Veronica Dundel. Josef, it is said, was a likeable fellow, relating many interesting incidents that took place during his lifetime. He was said to be the first person to build a wooden clock. Josef Sr. died in 1869 from injuries received in a fall from a wagon. His wife, Veronica was a good and kind lady and a good housekeeper. Veronica died at the age of 85 years.
Anton married Katherine Dolezal in Moravia in 1859. Her father gave her a substantial estate in Strigov and a dowry of $4000 in gold. Anton and Katherine had six children while living in Moravia: Maria (Mary) born in 1860; Franziska (Frances), born in 1861; Antonia, born January 20, 1862; Katerina (Katherine), born November 24, 1863; Anna, born in 1865; and Victor, born in 1871. On June 13, 1874 Anton and family along with Anton s 16 year old nephew (also named Anton), arrived at New York, New York, USA on the ship Neckar. They proceeded from there to Saunders County, Nebraska, near the town of Prague where Anton Sr., Katherine and family established a farm. (Anton's nephew Anton liked the area so much he returned to Moravia. When he returned his father and mother came also. His father purchased a farm 2 miles north of the present town of Prague, Nebraska in Saunders County.) While in Saunders county, Anton and Katherine had three more children: twins Anton Jr. and Frank Fred, born December 24, 1874; and Emily Emma, born September 8, 1875. The Federal Census for Nebraska for 1880 (ED 183, Sheet 12, Line 49) shows the Kaspar family living in Saunders County, Chester Township, Nebraska. The family members listed were: Anton Sr., age 43, Katy (Katherine) age 43, Fannie (Franziska), age 19, Victor, age 8, twins Frank and Anton Jr., age 5 and Emma (Emily), age 3. Late in 1880, Katherine contracted pneumonia . She died within a few weeks. She is presumed to be buried at a cemetery near the town of Prague (possibly St. Cyril-Methodist, about 3 miles southwest of Prague), but no documentation of this is yet available. It seems that the church records were destroyed in a fire and a prairie fire swept over the cemetery before the turn of the century destroying all the wooden grave markers.
In 1881, Anton married Frances Caha, whose family was living in the Prague area. The Cahas were also of Bohemian/Moravian descent. Shortly after their marriage, Anton and Frances moved to Schuyler, Colfax County, Nebraska where they established the Elmwood Stock Farm. According to the Atlas of Colfax County in 1925, the property consisted of 491 acres in portions of Sections 17, 18, 19 and 20 in Township 16-17 North, Range 3 East of the 6th P.M. (Platte Meridian). This was located in the Schuyler Precinct. The stock farm was listed as "breeders of Red Polled Cattle and Chester White Hogs". While living in Schuyler, Anton and Frances had seven children: Joseph A., born May 10, 1882; Agnes Lucille, born June 22, 1884; Charles A., born February 1885; Louis, born October 1886; Henry, born November 1889; Bessie Cecilia, born April 6, 1892 and Johnie, born May 3, 1896.
In October of 1896, Anton and his son Anton Jr., set out aboard a Union Pacific train #28 which was carrying carloads of cattle, some of which were Anton's, that were being taken to the Omaha stockyards. While the train was stopped briefly in Fremont at about 6:30 in the morning of October 3, 1896, another train, a limited stock train, ran into the caboose of the stopped train. The impact caused the "telescoping" of the cars over the caboose and threw the passengers off the caboose, one of which was Anton Sr. into the back of the caboose. Anton was trapped in the debris under a hot wood stove until rescuers were able to free him. His son, Anton Jr. worked alongside of others to free his father, in spite of having cuts and bruises himself. Anton Sr. was taken to the Fremont hospital, where his condition, given by the attending physician, was said to be grim. He had received a fractured leg at ankle and hip, other badly burned, and was bruised about the head and body and had probable internal injuries. It was reported in the Omaha Bee on October 4, 1896, that Anton would "probably die" from his injuries. This turned out to be the case. Anton Kaspar Sr. died in the Fremont hospital on November 11, 1896. He is buried in the Schuyler cemetery.
Frances (Caha) Kaspar, continued to run the Elmwood Stock Farm and raise the children, after Anton's death, with help from Anton's older children. Frances (Caha) Kaspar died on July 11, 1930, and is buried near Anton in the Schuyler Cemetery.
Residence of MARY L. (DOLEZAL) KASPAR on Dolezal farm SW of Schuyler where she grew up
Touha moje mne vedla poznati dalcky svet.
I craved to learn about the world far away, especially in America.
I was born in the Village of Smrku in the region of Jihlava in Moravia in January of 1858.
My father was a prosperous farmer and it was his hope that the first born son would follow in his footsteps. As I mentioned, I loved to learn about the big world far away and especially America with its forest, prairies and wildlife.
My opportunity came in 1874 when my Uncle Anton Kaspar made the decision to go to America with his family and my desire was to go with him. I asked and received permission from my father to go. He told me here is the money to go to America, look things over and try life there, then I ask you to come back either for a visit or to stay, no matter if you failed or did well in America.
We left Europe by the way of Bremen, germany on the ship Neckar. When we arrived in America, our destination was Fremont, Nebraska. On board the ship, we got acquainted with other families heading for Nebraska, namely the Kaspareks, Kovars and Pechas.
We arrived in Fremont in the early part of June 1874. The next day, my uncle and brother-in-law and Anton Kratky came to Fremont with a team of mules and wagon. They lived 28 miles south of Fremont in saunders county which was across miles of praire. we stayed there for some time.
Then my uncle purchased 320 acres, one third of it was rough ground and the balance was prairie.
We sowed wheat and had a good crop, but the grasshoppers came and in 24 hours, they ate the entire corn crop and whatever else was green.
My uncle was totally disappointed, having left the old country, where he owned 78 acres of land, had a nice home, was mayor of the village and now he moved to a house made of rough boards. He also had four daughters and he wanted to provide them a good life.
Then I went to school for a year, where I learned English, then I set out to look for work. I found a job on a ranch, between the Platte and Elkhorn rivers. There was plenty of wildlife in this area plus many small lakes with plenty of fish. This ranch had 100 horses, four stallions, 350 head of cattle and 2, 500 head of sheep. It covered about eight sections and we were the only settlers on this piece of ground.
I loved being a cowboy as I could carry a revolver, lasso and many times, I saved sheep from the wild wolves and coyotes.
I received $25 per month. There was an abundance of wild ducks and geese, but the owners did not care to clean and dress the ducks, so we did not shoot many.
After a few years as a cowboy, I wanted a taste of the city life, so I headed for Omaha, where I found employment in the Metz Brewery in the Lager Beer section. I worked there for a year and in 1881, I decided to return home to Moravia.
After being gone from the home place for seven years, not many people recognized me.
I stayed there two years and toured the entire country, many castles and especially Prague.
Then I decided to return to America, but this time my father, mother and entire family of sisters and three brothers came along.
We left Hamburg, Germany in the latter part of May of 1883 and reached my uncles farm in Saunders County in the latter part of June.
Then my father purchased a farm two miles north of Prague, but Prague was not there yet. Then the town of Prague was founded, I opened up and operated a hardware store for 10 years.
Then I was appointed postmaster and then became the town judge and also the village clerk. I have been active in all civic affairs and have assisted and helped in every cause.
Now I reside with my wife on an acreage on the edge of Prague and I am kept busy with my great hobby of Beekeeping.
Copyright 1998, 1999 Sherri Brakenhoff