Jan Stepan Broz

Portrait of Rev John Stephen Broz

Rev. John Stephen Broz was born December 25, 1865, in Kardasova Recice, County of Tabor, Bohemia. He studied four years in his birthplace, later in the gymnasia in Jindrichuv Hradec, where he graduated. With his friend John Vranek he entered the University of Styria, in Gratz, for at that time it was almost impossible to gain entrance to a seminary in Bohemia, when the applicant had no influential friends. In the Styrian seminary Emanuel A. Bouska also was a student and the three became fast friends. Inasmuch as the German element prevailed, conditions became unpleasant and the three students asked leave to attend the university in Chur, Switzerland. Rev. John Hodyc, who also came to Nebraska, entered there too the following year. All four were ordained July 14, 1889, and all came to Nebraska, as did also another student from Chur, Rev. Joseph Koutek.

  Rev. Broz arrived in Chadron, Nebraska, May 1, 1890, to assist Rev. J. Brophy. The territory comprised Sioux, Dawes, Box Butte and Sheridan counties, with faculties in northern Wyoming. Rev. Broz was to look after the Czechs, Poles and Germans. The country was sparsely settled and there were no churches, for the drouth meant no crops and disappointed settlers. Northwest of Chadron was a good-sized Czech colony, but it became almost extinct after 1890. In Box Butte County were two large colonies, one west of Hemingford and one east, but both have become almost depopulated of Czechs. There was also a small German mission on the Niobrara River in Box Butte County, numbering twelve families but having no church. In Sheridan County he served in a public school house, fifteen miles north of Rushville. Twelve miles south were Czech and Polish families, these he served also in a schoolhouse. East of the Niobrara Valley was a Dutch and German colony, the people living in dugouts. He had to conduct services out in the open, on account of the flies and mosquitos, an old rocking chair serving for a pulpit. In northern Sioux County, near the South Dakota boundary, lived a number of Germans who had come from Wisconsin. There they had taken their church apart, brought the material to Nebraska and rebuilt it again. This settlement was named Montrose. Rev. Broz served mass several times in Fort Robinson and met with Indians while at Gordon. His work was entirely of a missionary kind, as it was impossible to effect any organization under the circumstances.

At the close of 1890 Rev. Broz was made rector in St. Paul, Howard County, a Czech-Polish-German-Irish parish, from where he took care of Warsaw, six miles west, the Czech parish Geranium (Netolice) and the Polish parish Bolesczyn in Howard County. Once a month he went to Ravenna, then a mixed parish. In 1894 he was made rector in Dodge, from where he took care of Howell and where he built the first Catholic school in the state in which Czech is taught as a part of the course. On June 24, 1914, he celebrated the silver jubilee of his priesthood, Bishop Koudelka of Wisconsin participating. From Dodge he was transferred to Schuyler, then to South Omaha, where he died Sep. 2, 1919. His latter years were years of physical suffering, tuberculosis of the bone in his leg necessitating nine operations.

His poetic and literary ability was a higher-than average order, his themes being not entirely ecclesiastical.

His published works are as follows --1909, by the Bohemian Benedictine Press, Chicago, History of the Bohemian Catholic parish of St. Vaclav in Dodge County; 1913, by Hlas, St. Louis, Mo., From The Prairie (poems); 1915, the same publisher: Bohemian John (poems); no date, the same publisher: The Antiquity of Man in America. He had prepared for publication (work was in fact begun with the printing) a larger work, which he called "Nebraska In The Past", but this has not as yet seen the light of day. Besides this, he was an authority on skeletal remains of the aborigines and geology in Nebraska, and a member of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

From source http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/ethnic/czechs/cz-pg329.html


Books written by Jan Stepan Broz 

Z prérie (book of poems)   - download here

Starobylost člověka v Americe - download here

About Jan Štěpán Brož in pictures from source http://www.cdct.cz/petera/php/br.php