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Vaclav (1851-1909) Katherine (1857-1930)

(Excerpts from the 1997 Souhrada Family Newsletter)

Vaclav Souhrada

Born: October 15, 1851 - Dolni Novosedlo #3, Kraj, Pisek, Bohemia

Died: Apr 21, 1909 – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Father: Jan (John) N. Souhrada (1824-1918)

Mother: Barbora Hanova/Hahn (1824-1878)

Wife: Katherine Bican (1857-1930)

Eleven Children: Georgina, Vaclav, Anna Katherine, Kathryn, John J., James, Albert, Mary, Barbara, Martin, Libbie

Back row: Mary Souhrada Gerber - Anna Souhrada Rassman
Front row: James Souhrada - Vaclav Souhrada - Barbara Souhrada Daws Sager - Katherine Bican Souhrada

Vaclav Souhrada was born in Dolni Novosedly, Kraj, Pisek, Bohemia on October 15, 1851. His wife Katherine Bican was born in Pisek, Bohemia on November 25, 1857. Vaclav immigrated to the USA in the 1870's and became a citizen of the USA on December 21, 1875. Family tradition says he first came to Jones County, Iowa and later went to Howard County Iowa to work on the railroad. Vaclav & Katherine (Kate) Bican were married in Protovin, Iowa and in 1877 he brought his bride to live on a homestead claim near Saratoga, Iowa where they lived for many years. They had 11 children (3 died in infancy) and 31 grandchildren. Vaclav died in April, 1909 of throat cancer in a Minneapolis hospital [Abbott Northwestern Hospital].  Katherine died in the Cresco Iowa Hospital on January 9, 1930.  Both he and Kate are buried in the Saratoga, Iowa cemetery.


Family tradition says that Vaclav's brother, John Souhrada, born in 1853 in Bohemia, immigrated to the USA with his step-mother, a brother, and three sisters in about 1881. He lived with his brother Vaclav, near Saratoga. He died in his late twenties or early thirties and is buried in the Saratoga Cemetery - no stone. (This information was taken from Velma Vanicek Flynn’s THE SOUHRADA FAMILY TREE.)

The homestead claim that Vaclav and Katherine moved onto near Saratoga, Iowa when they were married was originally Bounty Land. An act of congress was approved on March 3, 1855 to grant Bounty Lands to certain officers who had been engaged in the military service of the United States. The homestead claim that Vaclav and Katherine purchased was originally granted to a man who was in the New York Military War of 1812. He sold it to a land sales man and Vaclav and Kate bought it from him.

After Vaclav and Katherine's death, the land was then owned by one of their sons and his wife, James and Elizabeth Sadlo Souhrada. Their son Dalyn became the next owner and moved onto the farm in 1961. At this time both the first and second houses built by Vaclav & Katherine were still on the land. Dalyn's father, James, told him that all of Vaclav and Katherine's children were born in the first house.

First farm home built on the farmstead where ALL of Vaclav & Katherine’s children were born
Picture taken in 1981


Bird's eye view of Souhrada farmstead in 1969 - Dalyn & Phyllis' home on right - 1st Souhrada home hidden in the trees

Dalyn removed the second house when he moved onto the farmland and replaced it with his own. The original barn and machine shed were damaged by a tornado in 1968. The barn was rebuilt using the original footings and base. Dalyn took down the damaged machine shed and replaced it. The new building was finished just in time to be the meeting place for Dalyn and his wife Phyllis to host our Second Annual Souhrada Reunion held on July 28, 1982. This farm became a Century Farm on November 15, 1977. When Dalyn moved onto the land he planted over 3,000 evergreens, and in 1997 he added over 1,200 more pine and oak trees. Later it became known as the Evergreen Dairy.


Dalyn has in his possession copies of original documents pertaining to this farm land - one signed by Abraham Lincoln and the second signed by James Buchanan. 

Dalyn (grandson of Vaclav) and Phyllis Souhrada at the 2004 Souhrada family reunion