Receives Historic Texas Cemetery Title
- I found this in the New Ulm Express, Thurs. Oct 12, 2000.
The Texas Historical commission has designated the Ceska Narodni
Hrbitov CSPS, Czech Born Cemetery near Ellinger as a Historic Texas
The designation, reserved for cemeteries that are at least 50 years
old and deemed worthy of preservation for their historic association,
means an Affidavit of Designation for Cemetery purposes will be issued
to the Cemetery to be recorded in the Fayette County Clerk's office.
A brief history of the cemetery, which is located on FM 2503 near
Tobias Road at the Ellinger City Limits follows:
"On March 4, 1854, in St. Louis, Missouri, the Cesko Slovanska
Podporujici Spolecnost (CSPS), a Fraternal Benefit Society, was formed.
It was an eastern orgainzation in which the insurance rates were high
and they covered a lot of the Czechoslovakian immigrants. In 1897 there
were listed 27 CSPS lodges in TExas. Cechomoravian #105 in Ellinger was
organized April 6, 1884. In 1886 the CSPS built a two story building in
Ellinger (not there now) and started the cemetery. A Czech school and
then the Ellinger Public School was on the first floor of the building;
the upper floor was used for meetings, dances and other community
festivities. It was the site of social gatherings for the early settlers
of all religions. Stephen NOVOSAD'S 1915 autobiography states that in
April 1884, there were 16 charter members of the CSPS #105 installed by
Max KIRCHMANN, but only 3 charter members left. Thomas HRUSKA, Joseph
RYPL, and himself. He mentioned 2 teachers who taught the Czech
language, Frank KALLUS and a Miss KUCERA. Thomas HRUSKA taught
English-Czech there for 3 years along with R. N. CANNON and an
ex-Catholic priest, J. N. LEONARD. CSPS member Thomas HRUSKA was a
delegate to the 1897 meeting, and instrumental in forming the SPJST and
was the first president of the newly formed SPJST Lodge #1. Thomas was
one year old when his family left Jablunka, near Vsetin, in Moravia and
sailed on the SS Juno in 1855 to Galveston, Tx.
Under the insurance program provided by the CSPS, age of the insured
was not a consideration and women were generally not allowed. The Texas
delegations to the CSPS conventions threatened to form their own
organization for many years if the CSPS did not reform their policies.
At the CSPS convention of 1896, the eastern delegates refused to alter
their policies, and the Texas Chapters decided to form their own
organizations. This was further brought about by the formation of the
KJT in the Catholic Church which did not allow Protestants to join and
by the formation of the Sons of Hermann, primarily a German organization
that did allow German speaking Czechs to join. 25 members of the CSPS
lodges organized the 'Slovnska Podporujici Jednota Statu Texas' (SPJST)
in June of 1897. Headquarters for the lodge were in Fayetteville and a
building was built in Fayetteville for Lodge #1 which still stands. As
the SPJST grew stronger, the CSPS membership in Ellinger and all of
Texas slowly declined. There is no CSPS organization in Ellinger today
and only the cemetery remains."
The first person buried in the cemetery in a marked grave was Josef
ADAMEK. He died in October, 1890. There are several unmarked graves in
the cemetery. Charter members of the SPJST and members of Lodge #1
Fayetteville buried in the cemetery are: Veronika and Jan VOLCIK, Pavel
ZAPALAC, Jos. TYDLECKA, Thomas and Anna HRUSKA, Anna and Ignac KRENEK
(Ignac came from Bordovice near Frenstat, Moravia). The CSPS handshake
is on the following tombstones: Anna and Thomas HRUSKA, Jos TYDLECKA,
Ignac KRENEK, Charles J. HORAK, A. M. and Bertha KONIAKOVSKY and Antonia
VINKLER. No CSPS Cechomoravian #105 records have been found, only the
CSPS Cemetery Book.
Records indicate a V. BATLA was buried at the cemetery, but there is
no other informatin.The BATLA family was one of the first coming into
Texas from Czechoslovaki in 1853.
Interesting epitaphs: CSPS member Ignac KRENEK: Sleep Sweetly,
Brother dear, You left us, We Remember Your Good Deed. John HALUSKA: As
a husband, lived right, As a father, he was loved, As a friend, he was
There are 79 graves accofing to the list compiled by Kathy Carter,
president of the Fayette County Historical Committee on Oct. 3, 1988.
Veteran Staff Sgt. US Army WW2, Alfred F. MUESSE, was buried in 1980.
The last burial was Mollie DYBALA in 1981. The cemetery over the years
became known as the Ellinger Public Cemetery or the Ellinger National
Cemetery. The original book indicates it was named 'Cesko Narodni
Hrbitov' by the CSPS members. The property is fenced on 3 sides and FM
2503 fronts the other. The cemetery continues to serve as a burial site.
(There is a picture of descendents shown. The people in the picture are:
Leroy Hruska, Sylvia Vavra, Virginai Belt, Edith Rek, Evelyn Barrett,
Lillie Mae Brightwell and Kathy Carter of the historical society.)
New Ulm Enterprise P O Box 128 New Ulm, Tx 78950
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Home Page: http://ourczech.homestead.com/