Marker Monday: Czech Capital
298 S Main St, Wilber, Saline County, Nebraska; 40.4814239,-96.9607006
Many nationalities blended in America and Nebraska to create our great nation and state. Prominent among them were the Czechs.
They left a land which knew a great history and culture. The first university in Central Europe was established in Prague over 100 years before Columbus discovered America. Throughout generations of wars and oppression the Czech people kept alive their language, music, arts and customs, and they brought them to the New World. Here they live on.
Charles Culek, who came to Nebraska in 1856, was the first permanent Czech settler. The first Czechs came to Saline County in 1865. In all, some 50,000 Czechs settled in Nebraska, most of them from the Province of Bohemia.
They tended to congregate in villages, such as Wilber, officially designated by the Governor as the Czech Capital of Nebraska. Schuyler, Clarkson, Prague, and other towns were mainly settled by Czechs. Like other pioneers, Czechs conquered the hardships of frontier life, and thrived in the new land. Here they found freedom from oppression, and opportunity for their children. There peoples’ industry and patriotism, with that of other nationalities, helped to make America and Nebraska great.