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RG1604.AM:  Stibal Family

Papers: 1874-1985; mostly 1874-1932

Nebraska:  Czech immigrant family

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Stibal family members represented in this collection descend from Václav Stibal of the village of Milčín, Pacov, Tábor in the province of Čechy (Bohemia), modern-day Czech Republic and Václav’s wife, Anna Vackova (b. March 11, 1795 in Cetoraz, Pelhrimov, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia).  (At the time, Čechy was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; then from 1919-1991, Czechoslovakia).  This village, as well as those cited below, are approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) south-southwest of Praha (Prague), historic capitol of the Czech lands.  Of Václav Stibal’s seven children, descendants of two sons, first-born František (Frank) and fifth-born Jan (John), created the materials in the collection. 

Eldest son František, of the village of Dol, married Marie Novotná (Mary Novotny).  To them were born ten children.  These children wrote most of the correspondence in the collection.  Five found their way to the United States.  The eldest, František (Frank, b. 1847) emigrated in 1868 to Milwaukee, then came to Colfax County with his cousin Jan Stibal and half-cousin Josef Papež, in 1869.  The eldest daughter, Anna, possibly emigrated with Frank, as she married and lived-out her life in Milwaukee.  The third-born, Karel (Charles, b. 1851), emigrated in 1874, a couple of weeks before his sister Marie (Mary, b. 1856) who came the same year.  Karel lived first near Vining, Minnesota, and later settled permanently near Lidgerwood, North Dakota.  Marie lived with Frank for a short while before removing to Omaha where she spent her life in business and real estate.  The last to arrive was Josef (Joseph, b. 1861), who immigrated to Lidgerwood, North Dakota in 1884. 

Jan Stibal (b. ca.1859), the eldest non-emigrant son of František, assumed responsibility for the family in Čechy after his father’s death.  Others who stayed include his mother Marie, sisters Frances (Fana, b. 1853) and Josefina (Pepka, b. 1865), and brother Vincenz (b. 1863).  An infant brother died shortly after birth (n.d.).

Jan, fourth son of Václav, hailed from the village of Jetrichoves near Dol.  He married Barbora Janoušková (Barbara Janousek), and to them was born a son Jan, cousin to František.  Jan is known in this collection as John, Sr.  To John, Sr. were born three children by his first wife, Marie Mouralová (d. 1879) and four children by his second, Antonie Dudová (Anna Duda).  It is to his son John, Jr., from his second marriage, that John, Sr. relates the biography included in the collection. 

John Stibal, Sr., was born May 2, 1847, in Jetrichoves, Pacov, Tábor.  He came to the United States in 1867, first to Milwaukee then in 1869 to Omaha.  That year he traveled to Schuyler to inspect potential homestead lands, and later in the year filed in Colfax County near Richland, northwest of Schuyler.  In 1878 he started a lumber yard in Richland, and the next year purchased a fledgling mercantile business there, which he maintained until 1911.  During this time and thereafter he also managed his farming operations which expanded considerably by the time he retired from active farming in 1913, and operated grain-buying and implement businesses.  In 1920 he distributed most of his 2500 acres in ten farms to his family, the last being divested in 1929.  He died March 26, 1933. 

Anna Duda Stibal, second wife of John, Sr., was born December 17, 1857 in Soustov, Čechy, to Václav and Marie Mareš Duda.  She immigrated to Butler County with her family in 1873.  She married John Stibal October 31, 1882, and died August 10, 1935 in Schuyler.


The material in this collection consists exclusively of photocopied manuscripts–correspondence, biography, autobiography, and family miscellania.  Together they provide a broad account of the fortunes and misfortunes of Stibal family descendants both in the central United States and in the Old Country. 

Most of the correspondence which has been preserved was addressed to eldest brother Frank in Richland, and was written by most of his siblings.  Letters addressed to others which are preserved here result from their being forwarded to Frank.  Letters from Marie in Omaha had been isolated from the collection as a whole prior to their loan for copying.  All correspondence has been retained in the order in which it was received from the donor.  Marie’s letters are the most problematic, as they were generally undated. 

Copies in this collection include the original Czech manuscripts, together with typescript English translations prepared by Mayme Perina of Omaha, at the request of the donor, ca. 1985.  The translator provided many probable dates for Mary’s letters based upon information in the other letters, the return addresses on the correspondence, and city directory research provided by Margie Sobotka of Omaha. 

Family history and Czech-American experiences are also represented in the autobiography of John Stibal, Sr., as told to his son John in 1932.  The account details life in Čechy prior to emigration, pioneering in Nebraska, life in business, and a variety of other subjects.  Also present is a biographical sketch of John Sr’s second wife, Anna Duda, written by her daughter Louise Stibal in 1965. 


Box 1


  1. Family history materials including:

  2. Omaha city directory research

  3. Stibal family timeline

  4. Václav Stibal family trees

  5. Family group sheets

  6. Translator letter and newsletter article

  7. Josef Stibal obituary

  8. Correspondence to Frank Stibal

  9. Correspondence from Mary Stibal

  10. Autobiography of John Stibal, Sr.

  11. Biography of Anna Duda Stibal


Subject headings:






Czech-German relations in America

Duda, Anna, family

Free thought, controversy with religion

German-Czech relations in America


Language issues: Czech, German, English

Marriage and family

Papež, Josef, family

Real estate

Religion, controversy with free thought