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FAMILY STORIES


and d. Anion Kremlacek b. June, 1864, -- (this is my Grandfather Kremlacek.)

   Frank Kremlacek and his family immigrated to the United States in 1875 from Kouty, Trebic, Moravia. Frank was 75 years old at this time. He wanted a new life for his wife and 3 boys. He came with his wife, Marie Simodynes or Simondynes Kremlacek and their 3 boys, purchasing an 80-acre farm near his Czech friends who were living in Elk Precinct, Saunders County, Nebraska. Frank and Marie were following other cousins that had come to Saunders County the year before. These cousins were Thomas and Vaclav Zimola and James Simodynes who had immigrated to Saunders County from Kouty before 1874. They attended the SS. Cyril and Methodius Church at Plasi, Nebraska. The present generation still attends this church. Frank Kremlacek lived to be 90 years of age and died on his farm near Weston, 15 Aug. 1890. Marie Kremlacek lived to be 93 years and died while living with one of her sons near Weston, 20 March, 1917. By Jacqueline Bryant

THE JAMES KREMLACEK
FAMILY

   At 92 years, James Kremlacek lived all his life in Saunders County and never went beyond 500 miles from home. Yet his father, two uncles, and grandparents crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Vaclav (James) Kremlacek was born on a farm in Elk precinct May 8, 1890, the same year that his Grandfather Frank died.

Kremlacek Family
4-Generations -- Taken Aug. 15, 1946. Joseph, Paul C. holding William, and Vaclav (James) Kremlacek.

   Joseph Kremlacek, father of James, was a teenager when the family emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the 1870's. After working as a hired man, Joseph bought 120 acres. He married Mary Vanek. Later, they purchased an adjacent 160 acres from the Tesar family and signed a mortgage. Mary's twin brother laughed at them for "signing the devil's book."

   Joseph and Mary Kremlacek had seven children: Emma (Koranda), Vaclav, Charles, Mary (Kellner), Joseph, Louis, and Jaroslav (Jerry).

   As youngsters, James and Charles worked together to harness horses, plow the fields, harvest the grain and pick corn bare-handed. A neighbor showed them a Sears catalog from which they ordered mittens. James remembers the scolding he got from his father when his sister tattled on him for wearing the mittens while husking instead of only on the way to and from the fields.

   Because the children helped so much with the farm work, they attended school only between busy seasons. In spite of his own meager education, James, as a father, paid tuition and board during the depression years so that his four children could attend the parochial school. Both sons went to high school; his two daughters earned college degrees.

   A few years after the pioneer, Frank Kremlacek, died, his widow made her home with son, Joseph. The three-generation family attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Church in Plasi. Grandmother Kremlacek died in 1912 at age 99. Both she and her husband are buried in the Plasi cemetery.

   James recalls going to dances in Prague, but he met his future wife at a picnic near Weston. James and Mary Hruby were married at St. Vitus Church, Touhy, October 24, 1916. They settled on a 145-acre farm four miles northwest of Wahoo. This tract was bought by Joseph Kremlacek in 1910. He gave the property to his son, together with the $4,000 mortgage and four horses. He also let him have an old farm house from the Tesar property. The building was torn down and rebuilt on the new place. The young couple recruited help in felling cottonwood trees and soon built a large barn and corncrib; later, adding a garage, implement shed, hoghouse and chicken house. James worked hard, plowing and scraping to straighten the many curves of Cottonwood Creek. A neighbor complimented him saying he had turned one of the worst farms into one of the best.

   James Kremlacek became a member of the Catholic Workman Lodge while in Plasi in 1912. He was among the second group to be initiated into the Knights of Columbus in Wahoo. He is an active member of St. Wenceslaus Church, Wahoo. (Submitted by S. Dolorosa Kremlacek)

THE PAUL CHARLES
KREMLACEK FAMILY

   During World War II, Paul Charles, second son of James Kremlacek, was drafted and joined the Air Force. While stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, he became very ill with diabetes and was honorably discharged in December, 1942.

Kremlacek Family
Left to Right: James Kremlacek, Mrs. Paul (Lillian) Kremlacek, Eugene holding John Paul -- Nov. 7, 1982.

   January 17, 1945, Paul married Lillian, daughter of Joseph J. and the late Mary Dolezal Nemec of Prague. Their marriage was solemnized at the Cedar Hill Catholic Church; dinner was served at the bride's home, and the dance was held at Cedar Bluffs.

   Paul and Lillian made their home on the Kremlacek farm while his parents relocated on a smaller farm about a mile away. Together, they farmed and faced many crises as Paul was subject to coma attacks. He bravely continued farming and even improved the land by building a dam to prevent soil erosion. Although his two sons were very young, they learned valuable lessons in farming and witnessed their father's determination to overcome obstacles.

   In 1951, Paul was stricken with rheumatic fever; in 1954 his left arm was amputated; he died of a kidney infection in 1958, at age 38. After Paul's death, Lillian stayed on the farm with the two boys, William, age 12, and Eugene, age 11. Some of the land was rented out, but William had his heart set on doing farm work at an early age.

   After graduation, William became more involved in farming. He served with the National Guard for seven years. On July 10, 1971, he married Brenda Trisler of Fremont. His mother moved into the house on the Amiel Bern farm which she had purchased three years before. Bill now farms 600 acres in addition to raising hogs. He was named Outstanding Farmer in 1977 by the Wahoo Jaycees. Brenda is currently President of the District #70 School Board where son, Paul James, attends school.

   Eugene enlisted in the Army shortly after high school. He spent three years in Germany. In 1967, while his mother was on a twenty-one-day European tour, she visited with him in Germany. After his discharge from the Army, Eugene attended the University of Nebraska, then went to Central Nebraska Technical College at Hastings and received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Crops and Soils. He taught Farm Veteran classes for four years.

   On October 22, 1977, Eugene married Darlene, daughter of Philip and Helen Kellner of Weston. The couple lived in Wahoo for two years while Eugene worked at the Mead Elevator. In 1979, when Lillian Kremlacek retired to town, Eugene, Darlene and daughter Lisa moved to the farm. A second child, John Paul, was born on Easter Sunday April 19, 1981. Eugene farms ninety acres, feeds hogs, and has been working at the Mead Co-op Elevator for nine years. He is a member of the American Legion, the Eagles, and the Pork Producers.

   William and Eugene are members of the Knights of Columbus and both families attend St. Wenceslaus Church. (Submitted by Lillian Kremlacek)

TONY KRIZ

   Tony Kriz, who lived in the Weston area, was born on August 1, 1881 in Czechoslovakia. He was married to Anna Vanous and had the following children: Bessie Gross, Marie Larsen and Earl, all deceased; Lillian White, Omaha; Adeline Campbell, San Jose, California; and Jacquelyn Berkheim, Lincoln. A grandson, Gene Gross, made his home with the Kriz family after the death of his mother.

   Tony operated the Tony Kriz Square Deal Merchandise Store in Weston in the early years. In 1938, he was appointed an investigator for the Old Age Assistance and Relief work. Later, he became County Welfare Director. He fathered the idea of a Saunders County Care Center. In his life of duties, he saw many Saunders County residents alone and lonely in rest homes and care centers outside the confines of the county. He waged an ongoing campaign to return these people to the county where they might receive care nearer to their relatives. His idea eventually became a reality with the opening of the Saunders County Care Center in 1975.

   Tony Kriz was the recipient of the Saunders County Kiwanis Senior Citizen award for outstanding service to the community. He served as mayor of Weston for 35 years.

   Anna Kriz died in 1969 and Tony died on January 12, 1981 at the home of his grandson, Dr. Gene Gross, of Cambridge, Nebraska.

THE LLOYD KRONE FAMILY

   Lloyd "Jack" Krone was born December 26, 1899 on a farm five and one-half miles southwest of Ceresco. His father, Henry F. Krone, was born January 27, 1867 in Essen, Germany, had three sisters: Louise, Mrs. Friedrich Foerster; Mary, Mrs. Henry Foerster; and Anna, Mrs. William Allely.

Erma and 'Jack' Krone
Erma and "Jack" Krone, 1969

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   Henry came to America when he was twelve years old, following the death of his parents, to live with his sister, Louise, and her husband at Lincoln, Nebraska. He lived in both the Lincoln and Crete vicinities. He and Phil Sumerlad were partners in the Eureka Meat Market in Lincoln in early 1890's, before he started farming.

   On May 22, 1895 he married Mary E. Kucera, born March 14, 1875 in Janovice, Bohemia. She came to America with her parents, Frank and Antonia (Daniel) Kucera, and brother, Frank, arriving at Baltimore about 1888, the trip taking three weeks. The boat had both a steam engine and sails. They encountered many storms on the way.

   Henry, and wife, Mary, settled on the farm in Lancaster County, which was originally railroad land, proving up on the land. They raised a family of seven children, Fred, Harry, Lloyd, William, Edward, Emma and Mabel. Lloyd attended rural school District 127. His brother, Fred, filed on a homestead near Shawnee, Wyoming in 1915. Lloyd went out in 1916 to help his brother. He also worked at other jobs, worked in the oil fields, and operated the separator with a grain threshing crew. He returned to Nebraska in 1922, acquired a corn sheller and Waterloo Boy tractor, and did custom work for a number of years.

   I, Erma, a daughter of Jesse and (Estella Bennett) Beaman, was born, December 27, 1906 on a farm, four and one-half miles northwest of Ceresco, Rock Creek precinct.

   My family moved to Ceresco where I started to school in the fall of 1913. Mrs. Edna Walker was my first teacher. After the family moved back on the farm, I attended grade school at Eureka District 40, graduated from Ceresco High School in 1925, and Lincoln School of Commerce in 1930. I accepted a position at Union State Bank, Ceresco, and worked there until 1934. I played piano for the high school orchestra.

   On February 28, 1934, Lloyd and I were married at Wahoo, settling on a farm one mile from my parents' home. Living on several farms in Saunders County until 1941, we moved to Lancaster County and purchased a farm home in 1947, the place where Lloyd was born. He served as treasurer on the school board, and on election board for 30 years. In November, 1982, he was honored for 60 years of service as a member of Comet Lodge #229.

   We formed a 3-pierce orchestra ("Jack" -- banjo, myself -- piano, father, Jesse Beaman, violin) and played for many dances in the area.

   A daughter, Thelma Ilene, born April 16, 1935, was united in marriage to Marvin Neal Anderson on November 22, 1957. There are four grandchildren, Matthew, Twyla, Karen and Daniel. Submitted by Erma I. Krone

MATHEW AND MARY
KRUMPUS

   Mathew Krumpus was born in Saunders County on August 10, 1876 to Mathias and Anna Krumpus, who came from Czechoslovakia. He had two brothers, James and Frank, and four sisters, Tony, Anna, Mary, and Rosie.

   Mathew was a blacksmith and also worked at the culvert factory at Wahoo, before retiring to a farm south of Swedeburg.

   Mary Jackson was born in a sod house on a farm east of Malmo, Nebraska on March 24, 1877 to Andrew and Pricilla Jackson, who came from Sweden and homesteaded the farm. She had one brother Willie and one sister, Augusta. She attended school at District 70.

   She married William Swanberg and to this union one daughter, Lilly, was born.

   On Jan. 5, 1915, she married Mathew Krumpus. They were blessed with twins, Ruth and Ralph, a son, Harold, and a daughter, Helen.

Mathew and Mary Krumpus
Mathew and Mary Krumpus

JOSEPH AND AGNES KUBALEK

   Joseph Kubalek's grandfather, Jan Kubalek, and Anna Kotek were married in Bohemia. Their three children, Kathleen, Anna, and Frank, were all born in Cerna Hura, Bohemia. Jan and his family came to America in 1868. They homesteaded two miles south and one and one-half miles west of Prague, Nebraska.

   Jan's daughter, Anna, married Frank Valach. Their daughter, Mary, was born Dec. 8, 1864 in Moravia. Mary married Frank Kubalek on July 7, 1885. She died on Feb. 1, 1953 at Weston, Nebraska. They had four children, Anna, Emma, Joseph, and Fred. Joseph Albin was born November 19, 1899 and passed away Oct. 10, 1964.

   Joseph married Agnes Mary Kucera on June 7, 1915. She was the daughter of Louis A. and Antonia Kucera. Agnes Mary was born April 12, 1892 and passed away November 27, 1982.

   Joseph Albin Kubalek attended the University of Nebraska. Agnes Mary Kucera attended the Wahoo schools. They were married in Seward, Nebraska. During their lifetime together, they made their home in Saunders County.

   They were blessed with seven children. Margaret Mary Franklin lived in Ruby Coral, Florida. LaVerne Vernola Vavak of Mead has two children. Virginia Mae (Floyd) Hudkins of Malcolm, Nebraska has 3 children. Joseph F. lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas and has four children. Henrietta Lou Irons of Mission Hills, Kansas has four children. Five children were born to Ardith Evelyn Horkey of Anaheim, California. The youngest, Donald Lee Kubalek, of Valparaiso, Nebraska has 2 children.

   We are grateful to our ancestors. In 1867, nine Czech families arrived from Czechoslovakia to settle in Saunders County near Prague. Out of these nine families, two were our ancestors. They were Jan Kubalek and Matej Vavak.

   In the year 1877, these two men joined others and helped organize the first congregation of the Protestant faith. They all worked very hard. They paid $5 per family to be members of the congregation. There were thirty-eight charter members.

   Joseph and Agnes Kubalek and their family attended the Weston Presbyterian Church, where Joseph had been an elder and board member for many years. Submitted by Mrs. Wm. (LaVerne Kubalek) Vavak

RICHARD KUBIK FAMILY

   Richard Kubik was born on July 5, 1941, the son of Raymond Kubik and Rose Styskal Kubik of Prague, Nebraska. Richard's paternal grandparents were Charles Kubik and Anna Kavan Kubik, and maternal grandparents were Frank Styskal and Gustie Brabec Styskal. All grandparents are deceased (as of January, 1983), except Anna Kubik, who resides at a nursing home in North Bend, Nebr.

   Mary Ann Rech was born on May 28, 1943, the daughter of Frank Rech and Anna Kucera Rech of Brainard, Nebraska. Mary Ann's paternal grandparents were Joseph Rech and Mary Dvorak Rech, and maternal grandparents were Anton Kucera and Josephine Svoboda Kucera. All grandparents are deceased. Josephine was 11 years old when she immigrated to this country from Moravia (Czechoslovakia) in 1877.

   Richard attended grade school at District #84, rural Prague, and Prague High School, graduating in 1959. Mary Ann attended grade school at Holy Trinity School in Brainard, and Brainard High School, graduating in 1961. Richard and Mary Ann were married in 1962 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at Brainard. They lived on and operated a grain and livestock farm southwest of Prague, where they still live at the present time. They are the parents of three children -- Annette, born on December 27, 1962; Barbara, born on December 26, 1964; and James, born August 4, 1968. The children attended grade school at District #19, rural Prague. Annette and Barbara attended Prague High School. Annette graduated with the class of 1981, and Barbara will be a 1983 graduate this year. James is an 8th-grader at St. John's School at Weston this year. Annette is attending college at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. Both Annette and Barbara attended Cornhusker Girls' State, being sponsored by the Prague American Legion Auxiliary. Their high school activities included volleyball, Future Homemakers of America, P-Club, Pep Club (Barbara being a cheerleader) and various class offices. They, along with James, are active in 4-H, being members of the Plasi Pirates 4-H Club. The family belongs to SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, Plasi, where Richard served as a trustee. Mary Ann is a member of the Rosary Society. By Richard Kubik

JAN AND MARIA KUBISTA

   Jan Kubista of Cervena Lhota, Moravia married Maria Kratochvil of Trebic, Moravia in 1885 in Saint Mark's Catholic Church in Trebic. Jan's family were millers, and Maria's were farmers. The dream of a better life prompted Grandpa Jan to sail to America. He sailed from Hamburg, Germany on the ship, Cheruskia, and arrived in New York, Jan. 10, 1893. He already had four brothers living in America.

Jan and Maria Kubista Family
Jan and Maria Kubista Family. Left to Right: Mary, Louis, Maria, Anna, Joseph and Jan.

   A letter Jan wrote to his wife in 1893 states how he is lonesome for his family, that he is not living

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with brother, Josef, in Weston, Nebraska, but is now on a farm. He names garden seeds he planted, and tells of bountiful garden, also good soil.

   In July, 1894, Grandma and three children sailed for America. One son and daughter died in Trebic. In May, 1895, a daughter, Anna, was born to the happy couple. That same year tragedy struck the family when Jan died in December.

   Grandma Maria kept her family together with help of neighbors and friends. The three older children didn't attend grade school very long, but got jobs to contribute to the family livelihood.

   Louis and Joseph worked and saved money to attend business college. Mary worked and stayed at home helping her mother. Anna graduated from Wahoo High School and taught school in Saunders County.

   Louis traveled all over the United States and Mexico. Brochures tell us he attended photography conventions, and letters tell us of his travels. He had collected a list of honors for his pictures exhibited all over the world. He won awards in many cities in the United States. Medals and awards were won in Vienna, Austria, Brussels, Belgium, Sidney, Australia, London, England, Amsterdam, Holland, Lom U Mostic, Czechoslovakia, Lucknow, India, Zagreb, Yugoslavia, Dublin, Ireland, Warsaw, Poland, Cape Town, South Africa, Dubrecen, Hungary, Galashiels, Scotland, and other cities in the above countries. The above information is in the possession of Louis' daughter and her family, Mr. and Mrs. Royal Montague, Linda and John, living in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

   Joe traveled some, but stayed near Weston, Nebr. doing different kinds of work.

   Mary liked to cook, and make fanciwork. We have her beautiful handiwork to prove that. Her most interesting job was working for a home economics teacher. She also was a telephone operator before her marriage, and in her later years, at Weston, Nebraska.

   Anna was an avid reader. She enjoyed teaching school. Her nieces and nephews were recipients of books as gifts.

   Grandma Maria could speak only Czech but understood English. She was religious, quiet, but always willing to take care of her five grandchildren. My cousins, sister, and I enjoyed her company very much. She passed away in 1933. Her four children are also gone, but pleasant memories are still with us.

   We, the fifth generation in America, are thankful and appreciate the freedoms and good life we can enjoy here.

   Jan and Maria's descendants have chosen various careers. All have a high school education and many have college degrees. Submitted by Antoinette Rezek

JOSEPH FRANK KUBISTA
FAMILY

   John Kubista came to America in 1893 from Roth Lhota, Austria; followed several months later by his family. He was the son of Johann Kubista and Anna Hos. His German heritage goes back seven or more centuries with a name change from von Rockstein to Kubista in about 1700. With his wife, the former Marie Kratochvil, and three children, they settled near Weston. The beginning was beset by tragedy and very hard times as Grandfather John died in 1895, leaving Grandmother Marie with four children to support: Louis, Joseph, Mary and newcomer, Ann. With fortitude she accomplished this and her children, when old enough, became vocationally oriented.

   My father, Joseph L., was a businessman in Weston for over 60 years and actively interested in the progress and prosperity of his community and county. He donated his time to many public activities during his lifetime. A framed picture story giving a brief summary of some of his business and community contributions and other items are at the Saunders County Historical Society. Uncle Louis in Weston was a photographer and taxidermist. After a course in McMinville, Tennessee in 1915 under "Daddy" Lively, one of the outstanding photographers of that era, his skill improved to enable him to be a prize winner in photo contests around the world. Some material of Uncle Louis is also at the Saunders County Historical Society. Aunt Mary clerked for Tony Kriz in Weston and, in later years, was Weston's telephone operator. Aunt Ann was a rural school teacher for several years after graduating from the Wahoo High School in 1915.

Kubista and Dickersons
Top Row: Joseph and Tillie Kubista -- 1965, Adele and Robert Dickerson -- 1980. Bottom Row: Joseph F. Kubista -- 1982, Donna (Dickerson) Miller -- 1980, Steven Dickerson -- 1982.

   Before these years, future in-laws to the Kubista family had arrived in Nebraska. In 1881 my grandparents, Vendelin and Anna (Vesely) Pokorny, with son, Anton, arrived from Sbrslav, Bohemia. These Czechs settled near Prague, Nebraska and, on March 12, 1895, my mother, Tillie, was born there. Shortly thereafter, they moved to the southeast edge of Dwight on a farm. Today, a solitary barn and house rubble are all that remains. As farmers, the Pokornys did well, also rearing seven children to adulthood. Their children were Anton, Joseph, John, Ludvik, Mary, Tillie and Anna.

   During their early farming years, according to my mother, there was a Jewish peddler with a team of horses and a wagon load of merchandise who regularly stopped at their farm. In broken Czech this Jew would greet grandfather with, "Ali Stryc dobyto." It was to mean, "Ah, Uncle, Good Morning," instead it came out "Ah, Uncle destroy it." This peddler was often an overnight guest, with also his horses being watered and fed. In return, he gave the Pokornys a few items. Besides Czech and German, Grandfather Vendelin spoke English quite well.

   The years accumulate and Mary Pokorny married Charles Korinek. My mother helped them to move to Weston in approximately 1915. Along comes Joseph L. Kubista when Tillie Pokorny was outside of the house. Joseph was figuring out how to jump across a small water puddle. Tillie called out, "Be careful so you don't drown." A conversation followed and, after some months, on June 19, 1916, they were married in St. Mary's Catholic Church at Dwight. She moved to Weston where he was employed. To this marriage, a daughter, Adeline, and a son, Joseph, Jr. were born.

   After 17 years, the marriage faltered and they divorced. Mother, Adeline and I moved to Wahoo in 1937. Mother's employment was at the W.P.A. sewing project, until WW II phased it out. She then worked at Blue Star and also did cafe work, usually as a cook.

   In 1940, Adeline went to Seattle, Washington to visit Aunt Ann (Kubista) Burgess. The visit became permanent and Adeline legally changed her first name to Adele. On June 28, 1944, she married Robert L. Dickerson of Seattle; who earlier at meeting Adele at a dance where she was stamping patrons, exclaimed, "You stamped me for life." To this marriage were born daughter, Donna, and son, Steven. Donna was married to Larry Miller for 2½ years and is now a licensed realtor in Seattle, as is her father after selling his electric heating and cooling business about two years ago. Steven lives in LaCrescenta, California and is a counselor.

   Adele passed away March 24, 1982 after a lingering illness at age 64. Her recent employment was that of a high school substitute teacher after graduating from the University of Washington in 1969. She was preceded in death by our parents, Father on July 23, 1975 at age 86, and Mother on February 9, 1981 at age 85.

   My sister graduated from high school in 1935 at Weston and I graduated at Wahoo in 1940. In those depression years jobs were scarce so I worked a while on the Weston section with long-time friend, Gilbert Gottberg. We occasionally exchanged visits when we lived on a farm south of Weston, and also later on.

   In WW II, I was drafted into the army. After my discharge most of my employment was at the Nebraska Ordnance Plant, and, later, when it became a Missile Base. I am now retired and over a year on medication for blood pressure.

   In August, 1977, I visited relatives from Dad's side in Kritzendorf, Austria. They are Karl Kubista, wife, Lotte, and son, Arthur. Cousin Karl showed me a framed military discharge received by his great-grandfather, Corporal Bartholome Kubista of Maehren Iglau, on April 20, 1811 for serving 68 months in the 6th Currassier Regiment under Moritz Prince Lichtenstein. Bartholome is since then spelled Bartholomaeus.

   We were on the go nearly constantly. We even travelled to St. Christofen to Karl's aging Steyr-Puch auto. I wanted to locate Hans Kratochvil who had sent a letter to Aunt Ann Burgess many years ago, thanking her and my father for the assistance they both had given his parents before they were sent to Camp Auschwitz. Hans went to France and returned to Austria after the war. His letter was in German and greeted Ann as Dear Woman and closed with hearty greetings and his name. Later, Arthur said the only way that they can figure it out is that these people were Jews. In St. Christofen, the four of us found the home of Hans Kratochvil, but no one was home. An elderly woman approached us and said that Hans left for Yugoslavia 3 years ago and invited us over. She introduced herself as Frau Pohdi Bahrfuss. The Kratochvils were good people and she worked for them occasionally. She added that she is sorry they were gassed. I was dismayed and forgot to ask his first name and who his brothers and sisters were. But I did ask the nationality. He was Czech-Jewish and his wife, Jewish. I asked for their picture and one of Hans, which she was showing us. In exchange I gave her 20 schillings. In April, 1980, I had a letter typed in German to Mrs. Bahrfuss for details and enclosed five dollars. I became interested if Hans' father was perhaps a brother or cousin to grandmother, Marie Kubista. I never heard; she either was now too old to reply or died.

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