ment of a dress shop. Two years later she moved to Decorah where she and her twin sister Daisy bought out the millinery store called Barge and McNeils Dress Shop. Here they continued to do special order work. They added an inexpensive line of dresses and lingerie to their line. Later the name of their store became the Priscilla Shop and better lines of merchandise added. Violet continued to run the shop until 1948 when she sold tttfe store to another Kerkhoven native, Effie Anderson Lofstuen.

Bio Photo

Amundson twins, Violet and Daisy.

Violet lived in a three-apartment brick home on Main Street, which she purchased after selling her business. She was an active member of Decorah Lutheran Church, and very active in community affairs.

When Violet’s uncles, Ernest and Louis Johnson, who settled claims in Montana and Western North Dakota died, leaving 1/7 of their oil wells to their sister Josie (Violet's mother), the family decided these 3 oil wells should be deeded to Violet. A few years before she died Violet very generously deeded these wells to the Hillside Cemetery in Kerkhoven.

Violet died 16 Jan 1990 in her home and is buried at the Hillside Cemetery at Kerkhoven.

Andera, Charles and Barbara

(Cyril M. Klimesh)

Charles (Karel) Andera was born on 3 Sep 1851 to Frantishek and Katerina Cekal Andera in house #12 in Hrobska Zahradka, a small village near Tabor in southern Bohemia. His Andera roots go back to an Ondrej Andera who took over an abandoned property which records identify as the Andera farm. It is not known if Andera was Ondrej’s birth name or if, as then was common, he acquired it from the name of the property he lived on. A 1654 record names Pavel Andera as the farm’s owner. In 1680, despondent because he was too frail to work in the fields any longer, Pavel abandoned it. Andera is not a Czech name. A legend in one branch of the family states that the first Andera was a Danish soldier who, wounded in the Thirty Years’ War and left behind, married a Czech woman, Speculation is that the soldier may have been named Anders, that he was Pavel's father, and that the farm was named Andera after him.

At age 12, Charles came to America with his parents and several siblings. After a short stay in Toronto, they came to Winneshiek Co. There they settled on an acreage west of Spillville. Of his early life in Iowa, of his education or where and how he acquired his various skills, nothing is known.

On 19 Jan 1875, Charles married Barbara Dostal, the youngest daughter of John and Teresa Kvapil Dostal, who had migrated from Cermna u Kysperka in eastern Bohemia. She was born 13 Jun 1856 in Davenport, IA. Her parents had arrived there only a short time earlier after a discouraging journey which included the loss of all their belongings. In 1857, they came to Spillville where John set up a blacksmith shop and worked as a wagon-maker. Barbara had 5 brothers and a sister: Frank, John, Joseph, Leopold, Anton and Anna (Mrs. Joseph Triska). Their initial shelter was a hastily erected, trapper style log lean-to. Later they built a duplex type structure, part of which still exists. The Dostal family lived in one side and a married son in the other; in between was the wagon shop.

Charles and Barbara’s first home was on the site of the present Spillville post office, where Charles also had a furniture store. In connection with this business, he worked as a carpenter, a cabinet and casket maker and as a photographer. His most lasting legacy is the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unique, ornate cast iron cruciform grave markers which he designed. Charles carved the patterns from wood, then sent them to a foundry to be cast. These monuments are found in Czech cemeteries across the nation.

When the trustees of St. Wenceslaus decided to have a clock installed atop the church, it was Charles who fitted it into the steeple. When renovation of the church was undertaken before the turn of the century, Charles was called in as a consultant and did much of the work. Examples of his cabinet making skills are evident in the scrollwork in the church. With his sons helping, Andera added to the main altars, built the side altars, built a number of decorative supports for the statues, and constructed the small outdoor chapels which were used annually during the Corpus Christi processions. The altars in St. John's Church in Ft. Atkinson and Holy Trinity in Protivin are also credited to him.

For many years, Charles was a church trustee. He was responsible for the establishment of a branch of the Catholic Workmen (a fraternal organization) in Spillville, the first in Iowa, and was one of the 8 charter members.

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021