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A steady stream of Czech settlers began to enter Central Texas in the 1850’s, inspired by the reports of early immigrants, like Rev. Josef Arnost Bergman, who wrote letters back to the homeland extolling the benefits of the area. Soon the whole countryside became dotted with small settlements, Fayetteville, Mulberry (now Praha), Dubina, Ross Prairie, etc., and the Czechs became the dominant settlers, outnumbering the Germans who had arrived earlier. The Czech immigrants shared certain values in common: a closely-knit family structure, a love of the land and aptitude for farming, and a love of education.

Jan and Ferdinand’s maternal uncle, Alois Klimicek, was among the earliest Czech settlers in Texas, with his group emigrating from Moravia in 1856. He settled in Bluff, south of LaGrange and his name can be seen engraved on an historical marker (see photo left) located near the river bluff south of the city.

These immigrants had left their homeland for various reasons. Living conditions were extremely difficult for the common people who lacked the ability to farm because most of the land was held by the nobility. Politically they were under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and their national pride and aspirations were severely repressed. In the region around Frenštát, where Jan and Ferdinand were born, family cottage industries producing hand-woven fabrics had supported the peasantry for decades, but the introduction of mechanized weaving had begun to eliminate that means of income. Consequently many chose to emigrate in order to be able to own land and start a new life for themselves and their descendants.

Left: Ferdinand and Anna (Malčak) Pribyl

Right: Wilhelmina (Boehm) and Jan Pribyl.

Ferdinand Pribyl (on right) as a young man in Europe, with friend Joseph Wisner. Ferdinand and Anna with nephew Albert Stockbauer (left front) and son Anton (right front).
Jan Pribyl
Wilhelmina and Jan Pribyl
Pribyl Family Group. In back row, Jan is 5th and Ferdinand 7th from left; Anna is in second row, to Ferdinand's left. Pribyl Family Group Photo. Jan, Anna and Ferdinand seated on 2nd row 4th, 5th & 6th from left.
Pribyl Family Group: Jan is in middle row, 6th from left. Pribyl Family Group: Jan is in middle row, 5th from left.
Pribyl Family Group: Ferdinand and Anna are center front, behind dog. Pribyl Family Group. Anna and Ferdinand are in middle row, 2nd and 3rd from left. Anton and Albert are in back row, 1st and 3rd from left.
Ferdinand and Anna Pribyl farm in Victoria, Texas on Beck Road. Rows of produce, for which the Jan Pribyl farm became known. Ferdinand's nephew, Albert Stockbauer, took over the farm and became a well known vegetable producer in Victoria.
Anton Pribyl, Ferdinand and Anna's son. Anton and bride, Frances Pesek. William Pribyl was Jan's oldest son, who married Frances Sedelmeyer. William and Frances are seated in front surrounded by their children and son-in-law, Vaclav Stockbauer (back row, 3rd from left), half brother of Albert.
Jan Pribyl lived with Albert and Antonia (Pribyl) Stockbauer in his elder years. This photo shows the family on Jan's original homestead.
Albert and Antonia with children on farm.
Albert and Antonia.
Albert Stockbauer posing with his best Wild West look.
Bedrich (B.F.) Pribyl with his wife, Johanna (Rainosek), and children, Victor and Annie. (ca. 1897) Henry Pribyl (Jan's son), a musician, was killed in 1887 while interceding in a fight in a LaGrange dance hall. Libusa and Antonia Pribyl (Jan's daughters). Antonia was born in America in 1874, one year after her parents immigrated to Texas.

Antonia Pribyl

Fred & Elizabeth Stockbauer. Fred was the son of Albert Stockbauer, an orphan taken in by his aunt and uncle, Ferdinand and Anna Pribyl. His mother was Antonia, daughter of Jan Pribyl. Ferdinand's son, Anton, on left, with his son, Adolph, in front center and Albert Stockbauer, Sr. on right with his daughter, Rose, on running board behind Anton. Antonia (Jan's daughter) and Albert Stockbauer, with children, John and Minnie. Fred is sitting in cantaloupe patch. Front row: Anton (Ferdinand's son) and wife Frances Pribyl. Back row: Their children, Edwin, Annie, and Adolph.

The letter at left was sent to Jan from Frenštát in 1921 in celebration of his 90th birthday. It is signed by 22 members of the Citizenship Club of Frenštát, a fraternal organization he had helped found as a young man. “To the oldest living member, we hope that you will reach 100. We wish you good health and quiet contentment in the midst of family.” Photo at right is the family of Wilhelm and Libusa Baass (Jan's daughter), who carefully preserved the family documents. Their granddaughter, Mary Lou Urban, still lives on part of Jan's original 500-acre tract in Victoria, Texas.

John M. Pribyl Naturalization Certificate – Nov. 28, 1884 John M. Pribyl Death Certificate – Feb. 28, 1925
Ferdinand Pribyl Death Certificate – Nov. 28, 1915 Anna Pribyl Death Certificate – May 11, 1927
Inscription reads, "Here lies Jindrich (Henry) Pribyl, 26 years old, Feb. 13, 1887. Died by the hand of the murderer. Pulled from the family circle. Peace to his ashes." Jan & Wilhelmina Pribyl Headstones located in the Catholic Cemetery in Victoria, Texas. Inscription on Jan's tombstone.

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Website by James Harris & Bette Stockbauer-Harris.