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Joseph Kulhavy
Born July 4, 1854


Joseph Kulhavy, one of the representative farmers of Oxford township, whose pronounced success in his vocation is the result of his own labors, was born in Bohemia, July 4, 1854. His parents, Michael and Anna Kulhavy, who were also natives of the same European country as their son, came to America in 1872, locating first in Chicago, where they resided for about two months, then they came to Jones county, Iowa, where the father secured land and died after fifteen years of hard work in this section of the state. His death occurred in 1887, but his widow is still living, having reached the advanced age of eighty-three years. Four children were born to the couple: Joseph, the subject of this sketch; Katie, the wife of Michael Benhart, of Oxford township; Frank, deceased; and Michael, of Oxford junction.
Joseph Kulhavy was about eighteen years, of age when his parents came to this country. He had received a fair public-school education in the land of his birth, and after he arrived in Iowa he assisted his father in making a home for the other members of the family. When he was twenty-five years of age he left the parental roof, obtaining employment as a section foreman on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Twelve years later he bought a farm in Oxford township. It consisted of one hundred and seventy-eight acres and was his home for seven years, when he purchased the place on which he is living today. There were but one hundred and six acres when he acquired possession of it, but in addition to making many valuable improvements in the buildings and increasing the productiveness of the soil he has been able to add to its area until now it embraces two hundred and eighty-four acres. This has been tilled in accordance with the most advanced methods, yielding annually good crops, and an income that is gratifying to its possessor and but another indication of the great power of unremitting industry united with thrift and good management. In the husbanding of his resources, Mr. Kulhavy has had the valuable assistance of his wife, who has cheerfully toiled and saved that her children might have the enjoyment of many comforts and advantages.
On the 3d of February 1879, Mr. Kulhavy was united in marriage to Miss Mary Bees, who was born in Bohemia, August 29, 1857. Her parents, Frank and Anna Bees, were also of Bohemian birth, but came to America in 1863, locating in Jackson county, Iowa, where both passed the remainder of their lives. One of six children born to her parents, through her marriage Mrs. Kulhavy has become the mother of an equal number: Anna T., who is the wife of Charles Motcheck, of Guthrie county, Iowa; Mary, who married A. L. Eldred, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Julie, who is a stenographer in Chicago; Joseph, Jr., who married Vinnie Tyrrel and lives in Oxford township; Emma, deceased; and Frank, who is at home and is a graduate of the Oxford junction high school. All the children, in fact, received a high-school education and two of the girls were engaged in teaching.
Mr. and Mrs. Kulhavy are devout members of the Catholic church and are regular in their attendance at its services. Politically Mr. Kulhavy is a democrat but he has never sought public office, although he is interested in local affairs and never fails to cast his ballot as a citizen of this republic. Fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America, being a member of Oxford junction Lodge, NO. 285, while he keeps in close touch with his brethren across the seas through his affiliation with the Western Brotherhood of Bohemia.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 598.
Note: Joseph B. Kulhavy sends the following additional information:
"Joseph's brothers Michael and Frank, and his sister Katie were also Oxford Junction residents. A number of Kulhavys are buried in the Oxford Junction cemetary.
"Joseph's son, Joseph Jr. (my great-grandfather) was born in Oxford Junction on November 4, 1885 and graduated from Oxford Junction High School in 1903 as the class valedictorian. He was a lifelong resident of Oxford Junction, and died in 1986 at the age of 101. When he was in his late 90s, he was featured as the oldest resident in the area, and his oral history (taken by my late grandfather, Joseph T. Kulhavy) is now in the Oxford Junction library. My grandfather grew up in Oxford Junction before going to college, and wrote entertaining memoirs of his experiences as a child going to the one-room elementary school in Oxford Junction."

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