with his parents and 7 year old brother, Frank. The ocean voyage took them 12 weeks. They stayed with relatives, the Mashek family near Calmar, IA upon arriving. Their first home was a dugout in the ground with a roof fashioned over the top. Some 2 years later the family bought 40 acres of land south of Spillville, IA and farmed there. They had 3 more children after coming to America: Anastasia (Kacher), Mary (Bohach) and Vaclav.

Matthew married Rosalie Shilhacek 24 Apr 1883 at the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville. Rosalie was the daughter of Vaclav and Rozalia (Dvorak) Shilhacek. The Shilhacek’s also came to this country from Czechoslovakia. Rosalie had a brother, John, and 2 sisters, Ann (m. Joe Novak) and Mary (m. John Novak).

Matthew and Rosalie Sindelar farmed south of Spillville. They had 10 children. A son, James, died of pneumonia at the age of 8. The nine surviving children all settled and farmed in the Spillville and Protivin, IA area. Son, Charles, served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Matthew and Rosalie were members of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Parish and are both buried in the church cemetery in Spillville. Rosalie died Jun 1939 at the age of 74. Matthew died Feb 1946 at the age of 83.

Their 10 children listed in order of birth are: John (m. Anna Kruchek), Man/ (m. Frank Stika), James (died as a child), Frank (m. Mary Landal. Charles (remained single), Celia (m. Philip Hayek), Rose (m. Frank Pecka), Mike (m. Eleanor Infeld), Joe (m. Anna Holub) and Barbara (m. Joe Vitoushek).

Shindelar, Wenzel and Mary (Houdek)

(John and Beulah Shindelar)

Wenzel Shindelar was born the son of Frantisek and Petronella (Trnka) Sindelar of Pisek, Bohemia. He was born 15 Sep 1879 on a small farm just west of Spillville,IA.  On 17 Nov 1903, he married Mary A. Houdek at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville. Mary was the daughter of John and Mary Houdek of Bohemia. She was born near Fort Atkinson, IA 25 Jan 1884. After the death of her mother, when she was 6 months old, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, Josephine and George Kuhn, of rural Fort Atkinson.

Wenzel and Mary farmed 3 miles south of Spillville until 1951 when they moved into Spillville for their retirement years.

Wenzel was a longtime member of the Spillville Community Band, and could often be heard playing his tuba from his front porch. He was an active outdoorsman who continued his love of ice skating and fishing well into his 70’s and 80’s. He enjoyed making homemade wine throughout the years to treat his family and friends.

Mary was a kind, gentle woman who liked to sew, garden and cook. Sunday visitors were always welcomed by grandma’s kolache and grandpa's wine.

Wenzel and Mary had 7 children: Mary (died in infancy in 1904); Regina (b. 28 Jul 1905) married Frank C. Frana 26 Oct 1927 and lived near Decorah, IA; Adella (b. 4 Oct 1908) married James R. Frana 26 Oct 1927 and lived near Decorah; Jerry (b. 27 Feb 1912) married Rosa Giordamo 15 Apr 1947 and lived in Cresco, IA; Jerome (b. 4 Aug 1914) married Agnes Ondrashek 27 Oct 1948 and lived near Decorah; Margaret (b. 26 Feb 1917) married Cyril Jestrob 17 Jan 1949 and lives in Protivin, IA; and Daniel married Rita Rosenbaum 23 Oct 1945 and lives in Decorah.

Wenzel died 6 Dec 1970 at the age of 91. Mary died 12 Mar 1976 at the age of 92. At the time of Wenzel's death, they were the oldest living couple in Spillville. They were both members of the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church and are both buried in the church cemetery.

Shipe, John and Emma Ruth (Barth)

(Carol Shipe Volstad)

Bio Photo

John A. and Emma Ruth (Barth) Shipe

Emma Ruth Barth was born 11 Jun 1908 at Burr Oak, IA. Her parents were William and Hattie (Van Pelt) Barth (see their story) of Winneshiek Co. Her grandparents James and Dorcus (McCullough) Van Pelt and John and Margaretha (Matter) Barth and great-grandfather John McColoch (see stories) were all early pioneers arriving in Winneshiek Co. in the 1850’s. They family moved to Locust in Pleasant Twp. Emma had 11 brothers and sisters. Emma attended school at Locust and told of coming home from school in the winter with the sun going down and the wolves howling — all the kids took off and ran home as fast as possible! On Saturdays the family went by buckboard, or sleigh in the winter, to Decorah for the day. Grandma Barth made homemade rolls and ham and lemonade for lunch. Everyone was to meet around the water fountain at lunch time. One Saturday Emma wandered off exploring and got lost. Both her mother and Grandma Barth were looking all over for her. Needless to say she got a spanking and learned a good lesson. Emma was confirmed 3 Dec 1922 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Locust by Pastor Christen Heltne.


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

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 Monday, 29 March 2021