Washington Evening Journal

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Genealogical Society

Apr 24, 2013

The Washington County Genealogical Society met April 2 with 20 in attendance. They met in the Genealogical Library in the basement of the Washington Public Library.

Lawrence Zeuhlke presented the program which consisted of his reading a story written by Erna, granddaughter of Anthony "John" and Anna Linhart Vacha Sojka in the year 1962 in which she wrote down her mother Emily's memories of her childhood in Jackson Township. Emily's parents immigrated here in 1862 with Anna's three Vacha children and three Sojka children. Anna's first husband died in Bohemia and she then married Anthony Sojka. They also brought with them her first husband's brother and the family of her sister Katherine Kos, consisting of Katherine's husband and six or seven children. They traveled by train to Washington, Iowa, where they were met by John Kos, Katherine's son, who preceded them to America.

She described the log home they lived in and told about the work on the farm, the school they attended and of walking to Richmond to sell eggs and buying staples that they did not produce on the farm. She talked about the holidays of which the 4th of July was the special one for the family. She recalled seeing covered wagons of pioneers heading West. She also told of the kinds of things they did for recreation including playing a game similar to golf. She told about weddings which were all-day affairs. She talked quite a bit about her father, of whom she said, "My father could do anything he wanted to" which included making furniture, making harness for their horses, building barns for his sons, and even making his own overcoat. Erna planned to present a copy of the story to her mother and aunt and for the children and Anthony and Anna Sojka so that the memories could be preserved.

Ferd Marie, president, conducted the business meeting. The minutes of the March meeting were read by Rosamond Goodlander. Tom Dayton gave the treasurer's report. It was voted to purchase a copy of "The New World Atlas." A discussion was held on the observance of the 30th anniversary of the organization of the Washington County Genealogical Society, which will consist of an open house on Aug. 8, 9 and 10, in the Genealogical Library. Tom Dayton read a list of the charter members. Susan Clark, librarian, reported on the microfilm of the local newspapers. The meeting was adjourned.

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