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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 21, 1911)
THE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: MAT 21,-1911.
St. Wenceslaus School Graduates Its Thirty-Second Class
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T. . "WENCESliATJS Khool celebrated Its
thirty-second annlyereary by graduating
clasa of i fifteen nine girla and alx
boya this year. The graduating exer
cises were held on Sunday, May 7, at the
school on Fourteenth street near Wil
liam street. The graduates are: Bar
bara Mrarenec, Elizabeth Hoffman, Anna Chleborad,
Anna Tourek, Amelia Sadll, Agnes Plskac, Anna
Kremla, Anna Hinclk, Marie Swoboda, Joseph Cochnar,
Joseph Pa velec, Wenceslaus Vojlr, Frank Vana, Philip
Krejci and Michael Bosanec. , ,
In honor of the laat class to be graduated from
the school before rebuilding a most attractive pro
gram had been prepared- and was admirably carried
through by the participants. After an opening song
by k grtup of girls a aeries of "games of childhood"
were presented, to the delight of the gathered adults.
St Wenceslaus cadets executed a drill In good style
and the boys of the school sang "Tenting On the Old
Camp Ground." Then followed recitations, dialogues,
drills by the small girls and boys, songs, marches and
folk dances. Frank Mach, accompanied by Jean 0(1-1
bert Jones, played classic selections on the violin, and
Miss M. Roman also rendered a violin solo. "Hearts
and Flowers," presented by Agnes Sloup, Caroline
Bares, Edward Havlicek and Frank Roxmajil, was a
very pretty feature of the program.
To Success Through Difficulties.
More than ordinary Interest attaches to this
thirty-second anniversary of St. Werfceslaus school,
because of the seemingly Insurmountable obstacles en
countered by those who first established the school.
Among those listed as Its graduates today are some of
the best and most progressive business men and some
-of the most, highly esteemed women of that section
of the city, and the graduates have scattered much
farther afield than even the bounds of Omaha and
South Omaha. Many of the towns of Nebraska now
number among their best citizens graduates of this
school. The Bohemian Catholic parish of South
Omaha is very largely made up of the old graduates
of this humble school.
One of the Sisters of Mercy who has been teach
ing In St Wenceslaus school for many years says she
Is proud Indeed of the record of the graduates. "They
have made most excellent husbands and mothers, as
Who Saved l?ed.J&d22iii Hood
Children Work Hard
CCORDINQ to Dr. Kuwada, a member of the
Japanese House of Peers, more than two
fifths of the 1.000,000 factory hands are
women and children. With no laws to
fear or evade, says a writer In Suc
cess, the mill owners are employing 70,000 children
under the age of 14. In the match and tobacco indus
tries particularly the work Is for the most part done
by children, and of these many are under 10 years of
In the spinning mills these child workers are often
compelled to continue at their tasks at night without
-receiving extra pay or chance for rest For disobedi
ence of shop rules they are lashed and fined, this
latter imposition usually wiping out their meager
Most of these girls are recruited from the poor
rural districts by agents who lure them on with fasci
nating tales or city life. The ignorant parents, per
suaded that tbe city will afford their daughters
greater opportunity for education and refinement,
offer up their children to an existence from which few
live to return, and these bxeken la health and morals.
well aa good honest citizens," said this sister. "They
raise large families, as a rule, and they see to It tha
children are properly educated and taught to work In
useful occupations. I do not know of any better
workers or more honest, capable peopje than tha
Bohemians of Omaha who have come under my view."
Father Vranek to Build an Addition.
Father John Vranek, who has been pastor of the
parish since 1893. Is taking particular pride' In tha
fact that during the coming vacation be will be able
to build an addition to the school on the south and
remodel the old part to make it adequate to the needs
of the parish children. This work will cost in the
neighborhood of 1 5,000, and Its completion will be
hailed with deligh by the parents as. well as the
children. The present quarters have been long over
crowded and in some ways unsuited to the needs of
the school, wherein the attendance has been growing
steadily in recent years.
Father Vranek, speaking of his plans and recall
ing the early history of the school, had enthusiastic
praise for the late Edward Ro3e water. "He was al
ways our good friend," said the veteran priest, and
often visited us. When he went abroad he always
sent or brought back some memento for us." And
Father Vranek shows in his own home some of these
mementoes, blessed by the Roman pontiff of that day,
with whom Mr. Rosewater had audience. "The Cath
olics of Omaha lost a good friend when Edward Rose
water died," says the priest.
Second Parochial School Opened in City.
St. Wenceslaus Bohemian Catholic parochial
school was the second parochial school opened In
Omaha, the first being the school of the old Holy
Angels' parish at Eighth and Howard streets. Later
this was moved to Ninth and Harney and called St.
Phllomena's. St. Wenceslaus school was opened In
1879 for the Bohemian and Irish-American children
of the south side. Reverend Mother Michael, at pres
ent superior of the Convent, of Mercy, and Mother
Catharine were the first teachers. While Mother
Michael modestly declines to talk about the trials of
the early days. Father Vranek and others who know
the facta assert that rarely was a school started under
more discouraging conditions and carried to most
The first teachers of St. Wenceslaus school had
to walk to the school, then on South Thirteenth street,
every day, from Twenty-fifth street and St. Mary's
avenue, and back again In the evening. In the earJy
days there were no sidewalks along much of the way
and the streets on the south side were not even
graded. In stormy and in muddy weather, winter and
summer, the good sisters took their way across town
. every day to discharge their duty to the little oiioa.
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And some of the early teachers of the school have
lived to 6ee more wonderful developments in Omaha
than were even dreamt of when they were meeting
and overcoming the trials Incident to a new city Just
breaking out or its swaddling clothes. The beautiful,
substantial and commodious Convent of Mercy at
Fifteenth and Castellar is one of the very Influential
institutions of education that has sprung indirectly
from the establishment of St. Wenceslaus.
When St. Patrick's parish was established in 1883
the Irish-American pupils of St. Wenceslaus were
transferred to that school, but many of the men and
women of that parish, now in middle life, are proud
to recall the fact that they attended the old parochial
school on South Thirteenth street.
Its Modest Beginning.
A dancing hall and saloon was the place secured
for the first location of St. Wenceslaus. It stood on a
site opposite the present Metz ball on South Thir
teenth street and was a frame structure of primitive
character, 25x50 feet in size, ten feet high and un
plastered. The dance hall was converted into a place
for sacred service, the barroom became a school room,
and the residence of the owur or the hall became
the parsonage of the then pastor, Rev. Father Wen
ceslaus Kocarnlk. O. 8. B. He arrived In July, 1887.
from St. Vincent, Pa., and was at ones priest and
teacher. He came to Omaha as the selection of the
abbot of his order on request of Bishop James O'Con
nor, then ruling the Omaha diocese.
Wbea Mothers Mary Michael and Catharine
opened the school one room had to suffice for the
Bohemian children and those of Irish parentage. The
members of the parish were few in number and were
fust beginning to acquire their own homes, so that
progress was not rapid for several years. Some of
the first pupils of the old St. Wenceslaus school are
now sisters in the Convent of Mercy, the present
principal of the school being one. The monthly Income
from tuition fees at that time was from $12 to $18,
the latter being the high mark. That the parents and
pupils were determined to win in their educational
struggle was demonstrated by their acts. Often the
pupils brought the kindling and the coal to heat the
room. . ' '
Move to Better Quarters.
In 1885 Father Kocarnlk exchanged with Father
William Choka, and in the following year the Thir
teenth street property had become so valuable the
pariBh sold it for $ 9,000. Of this amount 85,000 was
invested In new lots at South Fourteenth and Pine
streets and a two-room school building was erected
on the new site. In the fall of 1889 the building was
made over into a two-story structure of four rooms.
January 8, 1893, the present pastor. Father John
Vranek, came to the parish. He found seventy-three
children and two teachers, but within a year he had
increased the number of pupils to 126. Soon a third
teacher was added, and then a fourth, the school
attendance having increased to almost 200 by 1906.
At present there are 212 pupils enrolled.
As a Christmas present to the parish last winter
the Kat. Sokol (Catholic Turners' society) bought and
paid for an additional piece of.property, 25x140 feet,
north of the school, for which the society paid $860.
Architect Nachtlgal Is now engaged on plans for th
new addition to be erected on this property.
"Some children come to this school from Sheeley,
from the Rlverview park neighborhood, even from as
far away as Benson," said Father Vranek. "Ia the past 1
tha St Wenceslaus school has sent out well educated
young men and young women, who have scattered far
and wide, and we feel that it will continue to do so.
I know of graduates in California, Washington, Colo
rado, Illinois, Nevada and other states and many are
located in different sections of Nebraska. Rev. M. W.
Neroec of Abie, Neb., is a graduate of St. Wenceslaus.
Others are members of sisterhoods or studying for
the priesthood. Graduates of the school have become
doctors, lawyers, business men, and all good citizens.
They never fail to 'express their gratitude for tha
training received at the little St Wenceslaus school
on the south side of Omaha.
"In the early days the school saved money to tha
city by supporting itself and the self-sacrificing teach
ers through all sorts of difficulties. The Bohemian
Catholics have always had' great respect for their
school and sent their children here from every sec
tion of the city for the benefit of the religious training
in school that makes good citizens and founds happy
In the duties of his parish Father Vranek Is a
very busy man, with sick calls, weddings and tha
multifarious demands made on a parish priest by a
people who look to him for good advice in temporal
affairs very often as well as for spiritual comfort and
guidance. He knows every man, woman and child in
bis parish by name and they all know and love him for
his fatherly Interest, untiring energy and unceasing
Omaha's Official Housekeeping Staff
(Continued from Page One.)
If anybody sells you mangel-wurzels for turnips Kil
Han will aid you to have the exchange properly made.
Boards and Bureaucrats.
Boards handle the police and the firemen who pro
tect Omaha citizens and buildings from hold-ups, as
saults and fires. Of course, even a policeman cannot
be everywhere all the time, Sad sometimes be misses
fire on quick-action jobs, no matter how good and
careful the board may be in outlining his duties. The
firemen camp with their Job night and day, in two
shifts, and while water is their main weapon some of
them would drown if they had to swim for life. Both
branches of this purtly protective service for the city
household are popular visitors when trouble Is close
Then there are the departments of parks and edu
cation, which provide and decorate breathing spots
and train the young of the household in the good
things to know. Tbey fill roles of great Importance
in the way of building for the future as well as mak
ing the present as pleasant as possible, despite the
Juvenile opinion to the contrary in the case of tha
school board. '
There is also the water board, but its duties up to
date have not been much harder than the fearfully
tiresome work of keeping reporters out of the meet
ings where weighty matters of public welfare are be
ing treated with owlesque wisdom.
In the municipal house proper, the big guns are
Mayor Dahlman, who by law supervises every detail
of the general housekeeping scheme; City Clerk "Dan"
Butler, who writes the city's letters, keeps peace
among the councllmen and collects the dog tax;
Treasurer Frank Furay, too busy counting money to
get married; Fred H. Cosgrove, who supervises all tha
accounts or the household and keeps the red tape from
becoming too badly tangled; Professor Charles Crow
ley, who dissects gas and seeks out the million and
one hobgobblln things that infest the city water; and
Emll Wahlstrom, who heads the force of everyday
housecleaners ramping on the Job.
And on Thursday next. May 25, the general house
hold can view all Its paid housekeepers on parade, la
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