Her Slow Decline Into Homelessness, Though She Had a “Good Job”

Theresa Svoboda was born on March 23, 1911 in Chicago to Frank and Simona Svoboda, both of whom were immigrants from Czechoslovakia.  According to Theresa, her father came to the United States looking for work and found a job right away, which he considered lucky, as jobs were scarce.  He began working as a sort […]

December 8th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Still Grieving For Her Murdered Daughter

Loretta Coleman was born on April 22, 1936 in Louisiana to Frank Harris and Ruth Roberts.  Not much is known about Loretta’s parents, but she says that she and her three siblings had a good childhood and that they were raised in a very strict Baptist household.  Loretta graduated from high school and was then […]

December 1st, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

The Amazing Life and Love of Jan Beranek!

Jan Beranek was born on December 21, 1909 in Slovakia to Kornel Beranek and Hedvika Klimy.  Jan’s father, Kornel, worked as a very successful tailor.  He had large accounts and employed six to eight men at any given time.  When the WWI broke out, however, Kornel was forced to dissolve his tailor shop to become […]

November 24th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Was Crowned Western Electric’s “Beauty Queen” for 1929!

Vera Kadlec was born on August 10, 1909 in the village of Orlov, which is situated between Pilsen and Prague in the now Czech Republic.  Vera’s father, Andel Blaha, was the mayor of Orlov, and her mother, Vlasta Doubek, cared for their six children, of whom Vera was the oldest.  Vera attended grammar school and […]

November 17th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

He Ran the Farm When He Was Only 12!

Joseph Wagner was born on July 6, 1912 in Lake Zurich, Illinois to Eckhart Wagner and Klara Schwartz, both of whom were born in Germany.  Eckhart came over with his father, and they eventually bought a dairy farm together near Lake Zurich.  They sold milk and eggs in town, and at the end of the […]

November 10th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

They Met in October and Married in February!

Emilia Mundt was born on October 26, 1913 in Chicago to Jan Jelen and Zofia Nedved, both of whom were immigrants from Slovakia.  Jan came to America with a relative when he was nineteen, and Zofia came with her father when she was fifteen.  Somehow Jan and Zofia met and married when Zofia was just […]

November 3rd, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

A Man Filled With Passion and a Love of Life

Anton Lungu was born near Brasov, Romania on July 22, 1936 to Ciprian and Ileana Lungu.  Ciprian was a soldier, and Ileana cared for their four children.  Anton only went to the equivalent of seventh grade before he quit to work at a construction job.  He stayed in construction his whole life, except for the […]

October 27th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Lived For Dancing and Worked at the Same Place For 64 Years!

Wilma McDonald was born on April 10, 1910 in Chicago to Lech Kaszubski and Berta Kaluza.  Not much is known about the origins of Lech and Berta.  It is believed that they were both born in Chicago, but that they called themselves Kashubs, which is apparently an ethnic Slavic group within Poland near the Balic […]

October 20th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Was Born and Lived in the Same Apartment for Over 80 years!

Edith Wojewodika was born on February 7, 1915 in Chicago.  Her parents were Eluf Akselsem and Britta Dam, both immigrants from Denmark who met in New York shortly after arriving in America.  They married three weeks later, much to the surprise of those who knew them.  Everyone said they were crazy and that it wouldn’t […]

October 13th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

A Father to His Brothers

Leonard “Leo” Frazier was born on October 7, 1906 on a farm in Minnesota to Lewis and Marion Frazier.  Lewis was born in Minnesota, and Marion was a German immigrant.  Together they had eight children, of whom Leonard was the youngest.

When Leo was only three years old, his father died.  His mother eventually remarried and […]

October 6th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|