||Death Removes Pioneer Citizen of Community
Rites for M. Podolak Held at Late Home on Sunday
Funeral services for Martin Podolak who died Thursday, April 12 (1934), were held at the late home here Sunday at 2 o'clock with services in charge of the Z.C.B.J. and M.W.A. lodges, in both of which the deceased had been exceptionally active during his long years of membership. Words of tribute were spoken by J.C. Stepan, vice-president of the Grand Lodge, Z.C.B.J. and by John Buresh, president of the local lodge, by Michael Sourhada for the Modern Woodmen and by E.A. Grimwood.
Mr. Podolak was born in Mladosovich, Bohemia on November 10, 1854. When a young man of eighteen years he migrated to this country and a year after reaching American shores, came to Oxford Junction. Four years later he was united in marriage to Rosa Harazim at Baldwin, the ceremony taking place on October 29, 1876. To this union was born six children. Two sons, Louis and John, each died at the age of 5 years; the four survivors are Mrs. Anna Carter, Mrs. Marie Newton and Miss Rose Podolak, all of Chicago, and Edward Podolak of Maquoketa, and these with the sorrowing wife, two granddaughters and other more distant relatives deeply mourn the loss.
Around the life of Mr. Podolak may be seen a glimpse of the development of this country. To use the thought so ably expressed by Mr. Grimwood in his tribute to the deceased, it can be stated that Mr. Podolak represented the high type character of Bohemian birth which so readily became naturalized and immediately entered into civic and community life and government. In that regard Mr. Podolak brought a vigorous intelligence to the discharge of public duty. He was elected a member of the school board and became so valued a member that he retained that office for 16 years, terminating that tenure of office by his own volition. For 22 years, he was assessor for Oxford Junction and his books in that capacity were of the highest rating of the country.
Although becoming Americanized in the full meaning of the word, Mr. Podolak always retained great interest in the fortunes of Bohemia and of the people of that birth. He was a charter member of the C.S.P.S. lodge of this city which later was federated with the Z.C.B.J. and his council on fraternal matters was sought. For many years he was clerk of the Modern Woodmen camp and was one of but few who locally retained that interest through the past ten years.
When the railroad shops were located here he was employed as a blacksmith and by the time the shops were removed he had become so interested in this community as to desire to remain. To him that meant making a change in occupation and he became a carpenter. Many homes were built by him, several school houses, and his own home in which he took exceptional pride because he laid the foundation for the house in which he lived during his entire married life. A man of strong personality, dependable and trustworthy, his passing has meant a community loss impossible of calculation.
Pall bearers selected were members of fraternal organizations and were Michael Souhrada, Frank Powelka, Frank T. Benhart, John Sazma, Frank Zamastil and John Lasack, Sr. Music at the service was rendered by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kolrik, Mrs. Josie Barrett and Edward Sazma as accompanist. The body was laid to rest in the Mayflower Cemetery.
Submitted by: Jim Kinnally