History of Grandfather Vaclav Sramek By Anselm Sramek

Grandfather Vaclav Sramek was born on March 30, 1841 at Zleby, near Okresanec in present-day Czech Republic, formerly Bohemia. Grandmother Catherine Hruška was born on December 31, 1837 at Hostovlice, also near Okresanec. They were married in 1862 and to this union were born four sons: Joseph, Aug. 15, 1862; Vaclav (James) on Jan 27, 1869; Frank on Jan 6, 1872; and John J. on Nov. 28, 1875.

(Editor's note: microfilmed records from the Czech Republic show the birth dates as: Joseph, Aug. 12, 1862; James, Jan. 14, 1870; Frank, Jan. 16, 1873; and John, Nov. 24, 1875. Three other children were born between Joseph and James. Records show that 2 died while infants. A possible explanation for one of the birthdate discrepancies: a cousin, Marie Sramek, was born on Jan 14, 1869. Perhaps the priest did not copy the correct year in James's immigration baptismal certificate, and so the recorded year was used because there wasn't time to get a corrected copy.)

The family migrated to the United States in 1876 and settled in Saunders County, Nebraska, somewhere near Prague, as records show that they attended Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church at Plasi, Nebr.

In about 1880 Joseph Sramek married Františka Jakl, daughter of Joseph Jakl and Barbara Semerad of Butler County, Nebraska. The Joseph Jakl family consisted of the parents and four children, Františka, Terezia, Joseph Jr. and Mary. While in Nebraska, Joseph and Františka Sramek became parents to three sons: W.J. (Jim) on Jan. 11, 1881 or 1883, Joseph F. Jr. on Nov. 30, 1883 and Frank E. Jan 3, 1886.

In 1888 Grandparents Vaclav and Catherine Sramek moved to Rawlins County, Kansas, and brought with them their three unmarried sons -- Vaclav (James) -- Frank and John J. Soon thereafter Grandfather filed for claim in the NW Ľ of 3-1-35 and received his U.S. patent by Jan. 1893. The land was located on the North Fork of Driftwood Creek next to the Kansas-Nebraska state line. They built a sod house about Ľ mile south of the state line and about 200 yards east of the west line of the quarter. It stood up on higher ground just north of the draw.

In 1889 Joseph and Františka Sramek also moved to Rawlins County, Kansas, with their family of three sons, W.J. (Jim), Joseph F. Jr. and Frank E. On Feb. 2, 1889 was born to them a fourth son Alois (Louis). On Nov. 20, 1890, Joseph Sramek applied for a claim in the SW Ľ 2-2-35 on which he built a sod house. On June 25, 1891 Joseph and Františka Sramek bought a plot of ground near the corner of the SE SE of 8-3-33 just a little under a half-mile south of the original town of Atwood, Kansas. The description was as follows: Commencing at a point 12 rods north of the SE corner of the SE Ľ of 8-3-33, Rawlins County Kansas; thence north 6 ľ rods; thence west 12 rods; then south 6 ľ rods; thence east 12 rods to place of beginning. (12 rods = 198 feet and 6 ľ rods = 111 feet.)

Also on June 25, 1891 Joseph Sramek purchased from W.A. Hendricks, the west 20 feet of lot 2, block 29, original town of Atwood, Kansas on which was located a butcher shop and retail outlet for fresh and smoked meats, etc. James Sramek, his brother, came to work for him as butcher. The firm was known as -- Sramek Brothers -- City Meat Market -- Headquarters for Choice Salt and Smoked Meats and Fresh Oysters. Makes a Specialty of Fine Bologna Sausage and Wienerwurst -- Game Kept in Season -- Main Street Second Door East of Post Office.

On Jan. 2, 1893 Vaclav (James) Sramek married Terezia Jakl, daughter of Joseph Jakl and Barbara Semerad, at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Catholic church at Plasi, Nebr. (Prague P.O.). The witnesses were Frank Prochazka and Joseph Blazek. The officiating priest was the Rev. Francis Hovora. Joseph and Barbara Jakl were residents of Butler County, Nebraska.

In June of 1893 Joseph and Františka Sramek bought two 40 acre tracts just northwest of Atwood described as follows: N˝ N˝ NW 8-3-33 and S˝ S˝ SW 5-3-33, Rawlins County Kansas (from Kate A. Cochran).

On August 2, 1893 was born to Joseph and Františka a girl whom they named Marie. On April 2, 1894 was born to Vaclav (James) Sramek and Terezia Jakl their first child, a son named Joseph. On Sept. 24, 1894 Vaclav (James) Sramek bought out the butcher shop from Joseph and operated the business on his own.

In 1895 Grandfather Vaclav Sramek filed for another claim to the SW of 4-1-35 for which he received a U.S. patent in 1900. This piece of land was only ˝ mile west of his original claim the N.W. of 3-1-35 in Rawlins County, Kansas.

On Mar. 15, 1895 Vaclav (James) Sramek bought a 40-acre tract just south of Joseph Sramek's two 40-acre tracts. It was the S˝ N˝ NW of 8-3-33 Rawlins County, Kansas just N.W. of Atwood; and just west across the road of the present (1960) Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

On August 15, 1895 was born to Vaclav (James) Sramek and Terezia Jakl their second child, Marie. James built a sod house in 1895 on the east end of the 40 acres S˝ N˝ NW 8-3-33. This house still stands just across highway K-25 west of the Sacred Heart church (year 1960). The sod house was a well-built structure with a frame roof. He later put siding on the outside to protect the sod from the weather.

James Sramek had a slaughterhouse due west of the sod house, about Ľ mile just inside the bend on South Beaver Creek just at the point after the creek turns north. He always went out into the country to select an animal he wanted, purchase it and bring it to this slaughterhouse for butchering. He had a very intelligent pony that helped him with this job. The pony would hold the animal in position with rope attached to saddle horn while the animal was being killed. Later the pony would help drag the carcass around into position and then pull it up on pulleys attached to a single tree, which in turn was attached to the hind legs of the carcass; all conducted by the right orders from James several feet from the pony while he was steadying the carcass into position.

The pony was a small horse by the name of "Billy." Vaclav (James) Sramek always rode a one-horse spring wagon into the country to pick out his beef and "Billy" would follow behind the wagon. When the right beef was picked out, Mr. Sramek would lasso the animal and attach the other end of the rope to the horn of "Billy's" saddle. Mr. Sramek would then jump in his spring wagon and head for home at a fast trot. Billy would be left on his own to lead the beef home. Mr. Sramek would get home considerably sooner than "Billy," so he would go about doing some other work around the shop. When Mr. Sramek thought that it was about time for Billy to have arrived, he would go to the slaughterhouse and the pony would be there with the beef on the rope.

One day "Billy" was leading a cow home, coming in from the east and crossed the yard of Kate Cochran, which was just east of the Sramek home. It so happened that there was an outhouse in the Cochran yard; as "Billy" was about to pass the building on one side, the cow decided to go around on the other side. According to Bill Cochran, it appeared that something was sure to happen. But Billy being an intelligent animal was aware of what was happening and quickly changed his direction and followed the cow around the building on her side.

After a night of cooling, the carcass would be hauled to the butcher shop and placed in the cooler, which was cooled with large blocks of ice. The ice would last only a few days and had to be replaced at regular intervals. James Sramek would cut ice on Beaver Creek, and any ponds along the creek, during the winter months and store it in a deep pit behind the butcher shop. The ice would be placed on a lattice-type wood floor and covered with thick layers of straw on all sides, including the top. The entire pit was covered with a gable roof with a door on one end to permit access to the inside. This way the ice lasted a long time even into late fall after being stored all summer. This was the only source of ice for the meat cooler during the summer months, being taken out of the pit and placed in the cooler as needed.

Whenever a customer would come in for a certain piece of meat, James would drag out the right chunk from the cooler, dump it on a wooden block, cut off the desired amount and wrap it for the customer. Then he would pick up the chunk and take it back to the cooler and hang it up again on a hook provided for that purpose.

Around the year 1897, Frank E. Sramek, about 11 years of age, a nephew of James Sramek, and a son of Joseph Sramek, used to help around the butcher shop. In his spare time he would jump up off the floor and try to catch onto the meat hooks on the side of the wall in the butcher shop. Since there was no heat in the shop all winter, these hooks were used to hold large chunks of meat in the wintertime. One day while Uncle James was elsewhere in the shop, young Frank E. was jumping for the hooks and accidentally hooked his hand on the sharp point of a hook and ripped his hand badly. Instead of calling for help, he set out for home at a fast run. His parents were just living a short time in a house located in Lot 2, Block 11, Hemming's addition to Atwood, original town, just one half block north and one east of the present (1960) Sacred Heart Church. A little later, Uncle James came to the front of the shop but did not see Frank E. anywhere; however he did see a small pool of blood on the floor. Becoming suspicious, he followed Frank E. home and found him there with his injured hand. After the hand headed, a sizable scar remained to remind him of the unhappy experience.

On May 31, 1895 Joseph Sramek deeded the two 40-acre tracts N˝ N˝ of NW 8-3-33 and S˝ S˝ SW 5-3-33 to Joseph Jakl and Barbara Jakl of Butler County, Nebr.

On July 31, 1897 was born a third child, Františka, to James Sramek and Terezia Jakl.

On Dec. 8, 1897 was born a girl Lucy to Joseph and Františka Sramek.

In the year late 1897 - early 1898 an epidemic of diphtheria hit the James Sramek family and claimed his entire family. Joseph died on Jan. 18, 1898 (age 4); Marie died on Jan 20, 1898 (Age 2 ˝); Mrs. Terezie Sramek died on Feb. 6, 1898 (Age 29) and Františka died on Feb. 25, 1898 (Age 7 mo.).

It was a very sad sight. People were afraid to go near the house for fear of getting the disease; so Mr. Sramek had to take care of everything alone. Even the undertaker kept his distance. He would bring a coffin to the fence; shove it under; then Mr. Sramek would take it in the house, put the body in it, then bring it out back to the fence. The undertaker would then take it from there. How James Sramek was able to survive such a blow will always remain a mystery. (Editor's note: "Mr. Sramek" was only 28 years old when this tragedy occurred.)

During this same time the wife of Joseph Sramek, Františka, also contracted the disease and died on Jan. 17, 1898, having been preceded by her daughter Marie who died on Jan. 6, 1898 from the same ailment. The Joseph Sramek family was living as mentioned before, (just 1 ˝ blocks east of the James Sramek home), on lot 2 Block 11 in Hemming’s Addition, to Atwood, now known as 507 North Second Street (year 1960).

Also between 1890 and 1899, the John W. and Kate A. Cochran family were living in a frame house located on lots 4 & 5 of Block 12 in Hemming’s addition. The diphtheria epidemic kept them shaking in their boots as they lived just across the road east from the James Sramek home. They would burn asafetida in the basement and other parts of the house in an attempt to keep the disease away. Luck was with them for they avoided the disease.

It seems that Mrs. Kate Cochran felt sorry for the Vaclav (James) Sramek family and took a chance by going over to their house to see if she could help and did do what she could. However, before going over she was sure she had a bag of asafetida hanging around her throat on a string and another bag in her mouth. All of her family at home also carried these bags of asafetida around their neck, in the hollow place in front at base of neck. The burning of the asafetida was accomplished by heating the coal heating stove to a dull red heat, then Bill Cochran, one of the boys, would pick up the stove lid at the top with a lid lifter; his mother would place a quantity of asafetida on the lid and Bill would go down in the basement; walk around down there, going to all the corners, allowing the fumes to rise and penetrate into the house.

No one knows why the Cochran family was spared from the awful disease; was it the asafetida or were they just lucky?

(Editor's note: according to http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/asafe070.html regarding asafetida, "There is evidence that the volatile oil is eliminated through the lungs, therefore it is excellent for asthma, bronchitis, whooping-cough, etc." However, the plant's native range is mostly in Afghanistan, so we don't know with certainty what the herb was.)

Joseph Sramek purchased the home on lot 2, block 11 in Hemming’s addition on April 19, 1899 and held the property until Nov. 18, 1907 at which time he sold it to Dorota Matoušek. (Editor's note: Dorota Hruska Matousek was the sister of Joseph's mother.)

After the death of his family, James Sramek lived for a time at a boarding house known as “The Bennett House”, located on lot 1 and east five feet of lot 2, Block 29 in original town of Atwood, Kansas. This house was on the lot just east of the Sramek Butcher Shop and was quite convenient for James as he was near his place of business. He probably remained there until 1902 when he sold his butcher shop.

James Sramek bought in June 8, 1899 lot 3 in block 29 just west of his Butcher Shop. However he sold it to Albert Pilnacek without improvement on Oct. 25, 1905.

In March of 1899 Frank Sramek purchased the SE 10-1-35 in Rawlins County. He was brother to Joseph, James, and John J.

The first Catholic Church in Atwood, Kansas was located a short Ľ mile distance south of the N.E. corner of the SEĽ of 8-3-33 or just south of the SE corner of Lloyd’s Addition to the original town of the City of Atwood. The location was as follows:

Commencing at the N.E. corner of the S˝ of SEĽ of Section 8-3-33 Rawlins County, Kansas; Thence running south 20 rods (330 ft); thence west 24 rods (396 ft); thence north 20 rods; then east 24 rods to place of beginning, containing 3 acres more or less.

This property was bought in 1885 and deeded in the name of Rt. Rev. M. Louis Fink, O.S.B. D.D. Bishop of Leavenworth County, Kansas. A frame church was built in the same year and attended from Herndon, Kansas by Rev. George Fleisch C.PP.S. The above church property was held until Mar. 16, 1906 at which time it was sold by the new Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John F. Cunningham of Cloud County, Kansas. However, the church building was moved to a new location in N.W. Atwood in about 1900 by James Sramek and Joseph Sramek. The transaction for the new location took place earlier in Aug. 10, 1899 when James Sramek purchased lots 6 and 8 -- Block 11 in Hemming’s addition. (Then on Aug. 13, 1899 he purchased lots 7 and 9 -- Block 11.) Also on Aug. 10, 1899 James Sramek bought lots 1,2,3,4, and 5 in Block 12 of Hemming’s Addition. He donated lots 6,7,8, and 9 in block 11 and lots 1,2,3,4, and 5 in block 12 to the Catholic Church (Sacred Heart Parish) on Dec. 14, 1899 and gave deed to Bishop John F. Cunningham of Cloud County, Kansas.

At this point there was one lot still missing; lot 10, block 11. This one lot was finally purchased by James Sramek on Sept. 4, 1900 and also donated to Sacred Heart Parish. This now made a complete unit of one whole block that James Sramek had donated to the church. While all this was in progress, James Sramek also bought lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in block 16 of Hemming’s Addition and donated these to Bishop Cunningham for benefit of Sacred Heart Parish on Dec. 14, 1899. It so happened that the above lots were never used since it appeared that the location in blocks 11 and 12 would be adequate, so the Bishop sold the lots to John S. Skolout in May, 1916.

There was a house located on lots 4 and 5, Block 12 of Hemming’s addition, which had been built by the Cochran family in 1896. This structure was later used as a priest house when a resident pastor came to Atwood in 1901. Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Block 12 and lots 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 in Block 11 are the same lots on which now (year 1960) stand the buildings of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, School, Friary, and Sister’ Convent and parking area north of Sacred Heart School building. One block of First Street between Blocks 11 and 12, Hemming’s Addition, was closed by order of the county commissioners of Rawlins County for the benefit of Sacred Heart Church on May 16, 1906 and is now a part of the property belonging to the parish.

On June 5, 1900 Frank Sramek son of Vaclav Sramek and Catherine Hruška was married to Anna Pitner also of Rawlins County.

The S.W. Ľ of 10-2-35 was purchased by James Sramek on Sept. 4, 1901, having purchased the SEĽ of 10-2-35 on Aug. 12, 1901.

In Nov. 1901 Frank Sramek bought the NE of 10-1-35 and in Dec. 1901 John J. Sramek bought the NE of 11-2-35. Then in May of 1902, Frank Sramek bought SWĽ 10-1-35 after John J. Sramek had purchased the SEĽ 11-2-35 in Feb. of 1902.

James Sramek conducted his butcher shop business until June 12, 1902 at which time he sold out to a man named Martin Schmid, a very heavy set man and very strong. It seems that Martin Schmid decided to quit the German navy in about 1901, when ship was in New York Harbor and went to see a relative who lived somewhere in Kansas; but when it came time to buy a ticket he had forgotten the name of the town. About all he remembered was that it started with a letter A. So the station agent read off a number of town names and when he came to “Atwood”, Martin said, “That’s it!” He bought a ticket for Atwood, but it turned out to be the wrong town. Since he was without money, he had to stay. James Sramek sold him the butcher shop and the pony named “Billy” on time payments, nothing down, and stayed with him for several months, teaching him all he knew about the trade; however, Martin did not quite master the art of making bologna, like James did.

Martin Schmid arrived in Atwood by accident, but managed to make a go of it and paid for the shop and eventually accumulated enough to buy a small farm a few miles east of Atwood on the road to Luddell, Kansas. Many of his descendents are now living in various parts of Rawlins County.

One day Bill Cochran and Lynn Robinson found a $1.00 bill on the streets of Atwood. At that time that was a lot of money for a couple boys to have. They spent a little of it here and there and finally had one 10˘ remaining. They decided to get themselves a ring of bologna so away they went to see Martin Schmid in his butcher shop. Before they had a chance to make a purchase, Martin bet them that he could gain ten pounds in just a few minutes. The stakes were 10˘ for the boys and a ring of bologna from Martin Schmid. The boys were sure he couldn’t do it so they took the bet. Martin took a gallon bucket of milk from the shelf and put in on the scale to weigh it. He then proceeded to drink the milk and downed all of it, pausing only two or three times for breath during the whole time. The boys just stood there with their eyes popping out. Needless to say, Martin won the dime.

When asked later how he could drink so much milk at one time, he stated: “When I was in the German Navy there were times when we went hungry because of the shortage of food, so when ever we made port we would go ashore and eat a large amount of food while we had a chance. This stretched our stomachs after a time, making it possible later on to eat a huge amount of food.”

There was another story about Martin’s drinking of milk, which goes something like this:

Martin used to get a gallon of milk every day, which was delivered to him daily by a couple boys from a farm family who lived near Atwood. One day the boys were kidding Martin about wanting him to see if he could drink a whole gallon at once. He obliged by drinking the whole gallon of milk at one sitting with only a couple pauses for breath. The boys were not to be outdone so they told him that if he drank another gallon of milk right away they would give him both gallons for free. They were positive that he couldn’t to that. However Martin Schmid took them up on the deal and said he could do it. So the boys headed for home and soon were back with another gallon of milk. Martin proceeded to down the second gallon just like the first one. The boys went away bewildered; they just couldn’t believe it.

A few years later after Martin Schmid bought the butcher shop an ice plant was built in Atwood, ˝ block south of Pearl St. on west side of Second St. This was a tremendous help, as ice did not have to be harvested in winter and stored in pits for the following summer. Also ice was then available for small ice boxes in private homes.

In Jan. of 1904 Frank Sramek purchased E˝ NE and E˝ SE of 9-1-35 and John J. Sramek purchased the SW of 11-2-35 in Feb. 1904 and later in Mar. 1904 bought NE 14-2-35 and N˝NW 14-2-35. In Dec. of 1904 Frank Sramek bought the N.W. of 10-1-35; and John J. Sramek bought the S˝ 14-2-35 and also the NW of 11-2-35 in Jan. 1905 and the NE of 11-2-35 in Mar. 1905.

The first Catholic Church building in the Bohemian Settlement in the Northern part of Rawlins County, Kansas was the Ss. Cyril and Methodius; an old converted store building moved in from Blakeman, Kansas in year 1987. This church stood on the south side of the road about 600 feet east of the Northwest corner of the NWĽ of 26-1-34. It was originally an old store building moved to Blakeman from Atwood, Kansas during the county seat fight. Later when the count seat was established at Atwood, buildings were either moved back or sold. A group of citizens purchased one of the buildings from a John Pesek and moved it to the church site on the running gears of four wagons. Two teams of horses were hitched to the two at the front end; thus the building was slowly transported across country. At one point a sudden side thrust caused one of the wagon wheels to collapse; this happened to be the wagon running gear of a Mr. Kundysek. Later on, all chipped in and purchased a new wheel and presented it to Mr. Kundysek. However in the meantime a wheel had to be borrowed so the trip could be continued.

In 1905, this church was destroyed by a tornado and a new one was built on the north side of the road in the SWĽ of 23-1-35 in 1906.

On June 26, 1905 James Sramek married Mary Prochazka, daughter of Ignatius and Antonia Prochazka. Since the old Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church was destroyed by a tornado, the couple was married at the Sacred Heart Church in Atwood.

On Dec. 29, 1905 Grandfather Vaclav Sramek purchased the NW 1/4 of 4-1-35 from W.J. Ratcliff of Atwood. This piece of land was also only ˝ mile west of Grandfather’s original claim the M.W. 1/4 of 3-1-35.

Hearing many favorable reports about the level land in Wichita County, Kansas, James Sramek went there to see for himself and in April of 1906 he purchased the E˝ of 30-18-36 just one mile south and 1 ˝ miles east of Leoti, Kansas, for the sum of $3000.00 for the half Section. The N.E. quarter was perfectly level, but the southeast 1/4 had a 15-acre lagoon on the south end.

On May 16, 1906 John J. Sramek married Emily Holub. Sometime in 1906 Grandparents Vaclav and Catherine Sramek moved away from their sod house on the claim and settled on the John J. Sramek place in S.W. of the SE if 11-2-35. It was a well-known fact that before getting married John J. was very handy around the house. So much so in fact that his mother used to call him her right hand helper.

James Sramek sold the SE 1/4 of 10-2-35 on July 21, 1906.

Joseph Sramek and Mary Faimon were married on April 8, 1902. Witnesses were Joseph Faimon, John Sramek, Sophia Skolout, and Frances Vrbas. The Rev. J.B. Glynn officiated.

To this union were born seven children as listed in this record found in old Bible

Joseph Sramek Aug. 15, 1862
Mary Sramek July 2, 1878


1. Mary Frances - May 28, 1905
        Baptized by Fr. Stepan at Atwood, Kansas

2. Anthony Frederick - Feb. 17, 1908
        Baptized by Fr. Patrick at Leoti, Kansas

3. Edward Philip - Oct. 3, 1909
        Baptized by Fr. Philip at Leoti, Kansas

4. Philip John - May 18, 1911
        Baptized by Fr. Philip at Leoti, Kansas

5. Clement Stanislav - April 4, 1913
        Baptized by Fr. Philip at Leoti, Kansas

6. Helen Rose - April 6, 1915
        Baptized by Fr. Martin at Leoti, Kansas

7. Beta Valentine - Feb. 14, 1917
        Baptized by Fr. Placide at Stratton, Nebr.
        (P.O. Address was Stratton, but church was in Rawlins County, Kansas -- records in Atwood.)

In 1906 or 1907 Joseph Sramek bought some level land N.W. of Leoti, Kansas and moved there with his family. They remained on this farm at Leoti until about 1916. There was no Catholic church at Leoti so they had to attend Mass elsewhere when ever possible. (Editor's note: in a recorded interview with Bob Levesque's great uncle, Leo Cecava of Lawrence, Nebraska, he stated that he went to Leoti to look at land in the early 1900s, and met a Sramek and his wife working the land.)

On Dec. 3, 1907 was born Frank C. Sramek, son of John J. Sramek and Emily Holub. However the family was saddened by the death of Frank Sramek’s wife Anna on the same day. (Editor's note: to help clarify the relationships for the reader, Frank Sramek was the uncle of Frank C., the newborn baby.)

In the year 1909 Ellen and Antoinette Strayer, daughters of Mrs. Mary Sramek (wife of James Sramek) traveled to Oregon and settled at Portland. Hearing favorable reports about Oregon, James and Mary Sramek decided to go there to see for themselves in 1910 the beauties of the country. They took up residence at 570 Union Street, Salem, Oregon. (Editor's note: they moved after the 1910 census.)

On Mar. 1, 1910 Joseph Sramek deeded the S.W. 1/4 and N.W. 1/4 2-2-35 with the sod house to his son Joseph F. This was in the same section as now (year 1960) St. John’s Church is located.

While James and Mary Sramek were living at 570 Union Street, Salem, Oregon, a son was born to them on July 16, 1911 at 6:00 A.M. on a Sunday Morning. They named him Anselm Ignatius. They remained until 1913 then moved to 754 North High Street.

On Jan. 22, 1913 Grandmother Sramek passed away at the home of her son John J. and was laid to rest at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery just ˝ mile west of the farm. This was the cemetery of the so-called Studer Church or German Parish.

Grandfather Vaclav Sramek retained possession of the original claim and the two quarters west of there until 1916. On Mar. 13 he sold the claims with the sod house (NW 1/4 3-1-35) to a Majk Malli (not sure about spelling) and the SW and NW of 4-1-35 he deeded to his son Frank Sramek Sr. (Editor's note: possibly Majik Maly.)

On August 12, 1916 James and Mary Sramek sold the 40 acre tract S ˝ N ˝ NW 8-3-33 just N.W. of Atwood to John C. Thomas and on Sept. 9, 1916 sold the SW of 10-2-35 to Frank E. Sramek, a nephew.

Some time earlier in 1916 James and Mary Sramek came back to Rawlins County and settled on the Herman Rumping farm in north Rawlins located in the N.W. 14-1-34 just a mile and half from Mrs. Sramek’s brother Joseph and two miles from her parents.

Joseph and Mary Sramek wanting a new place to move to in Rawlins County so on Sept. 25, 1916 they bought the three quarters NE, NW, and SW of 5-1-34 and on May 17, 1917 bought SE 5-1-34.

James and Mary Sramek wanting to get on their own farm purchased the farm cornering Joseph Sramek’s farm -- described as Sec 7 and N ˝ 18-1-34 known as the John H. Witherbee Place and owned at the time by Sheridan.

Grandfather Vaclav Sramek died on July 19, 1923.