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Alois Stratilek
Born June 21, 1851

ALOIS STRATILEK, dealer in general stock, Oxford Junction; was born in Bohemia in 1850; came to America and settled at Buffalo, N.Y., in 1867, and to Iowa in 1873; he opened a store at Oxford Junction in fall of 1373. His wife, Annie Pakorny, was born in Bohemia in 1852; came to America in 1872, and settled at Buffalo, N.Y.; was married in 1874, at Oxford Junction; they have four children—Annie, Linie, Otto and Augusta. Mr. S. now owns, besides the town property, eighty acres in Sec. 29.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 596.

Alois Stratilek, prominent as a representative of the Bohemian element in the citizenship of Oxford junction and this section of Jones county, is proprietor of a general mercantile store and his business activity and diligence are important factors in promoting the substantial growth and upbuilding of the district. Widely and favorably known, his record cannot fail to prove of interest to many of our readers. He was born at Wysoke Myto, Bohemia. June 21, 1851, and is a son of Frank and Katharine Stratilek. The father died when his son Alois was but six years of age. He was a teamster in his native country and also owned a small tract of land there. In the year 1871 the mother came to the United States, where she joined her son, Alois, passing away in his home in September, 1908. She always remained true to her husband's memory, living as a widow for more than a half century. In the family were seven children: Frank, who died at the age of two years; John, who died in Bohemia; Mary and James, who also passed away in the old country; Joseph, who died in Buffalo, New York; Rosa, whose death occurred in Buffalo; and Alois.
After the father's death Alois Stratilek remained at home with his widowed mother until thirteen years of age, when he began learning the cabinetmaker's trade, thus preparing for the practical and onerous duties of life which must devolve upon him in consequence of the necessity of providing for his own support, as the father had left the family in limited circumstances. In 1867, at the age of sixteen years, he accompanied his brother Joseph to Buffalo, New York, where he worked at his trade for six years, being successful there as second foreman in a furniture factory, after which he made his way to Chicago, spending ten months in that city, working for H. Andrews and Company. He was for two months a resident of Davenport, Iowa, and in 1874 he came to Oxford junction, where he has since made his home. It was in April of that year that he established his present general mercantile business, which he has now conducted for more than a third of a century. He purchased his present building twenty-one years ago and has remodeled it, stocking it with a large line of general merchandise, for which he finds a ready sale as his business methods are reliable and his prices reasonable. He also has a warehouse in connection with the store and his is one of the largest commercial enterprises of the town. He is also extensively engaged in the packing of poultry in the winter seasons, and for about twenty years conducted a furniture and undertaking business, but has disposed of it, concentrating his energies upon his general store. He manufactured considerable furniture by hand in the earlier days, while later he stocked his store with goods from the factory. At all times he has manifested the modern spirit of enterprise and progress in the conduct of his interest and his success is the well merited reward of his labor. In addition to his mercantile interest Mr. Stratilek is a director in the Oxford Junction Savings Bank, of which he was one of the organizers.
In 1874 Mr. Stratilek was united in marriage at Oxford junction. Iowa, to Miss Anna Bokorny, who was born in Bohemia in 1853 and at eighteen years of age became a resident of Buffalo, New York, having accompanied her uncle to the new world. The living children of this marriage are: Anna, the wife of John Sobotka, of Oxford Junction; Helen, the wife of Charles Seaton, an editor of Clarence, Iowa; Otto, who relieves his father of the management of the store; Mary, the wife of Henry Louisfield of Oxford Junction; and Tillie, at home. They also lost seven children, one dying in infancy, while the six who passed away in childhood were Aggie, Louisa, Elenor, Gusta, Edith and Victor.
In his political views Mr. Stratilek has been a stalwart democrat since 1867, having changed from a republican to democrat in that year and is active in the party, filling various village and township offices. He has been elected mayor, councilman and township trustee. He has been active in educational affairs; serving for eighteen years on the school board, for though his own opportunities in educational lines were very limited he has always been a stalwart champion of the public schools, doing everything in his power to promote the intellectual development of the community. His fraternal relations are with the Knights of Pythias. He was for many years the foremost representative of the Bohemian life of the community but is now from choice living retired to some extent. He came to Oxford Junction a stranger with a capital of only one hundred and twenty-five dollars. He made and lost a fortune here but is again in substantial circumstances, having acquired a competence which is sufficient to enable him practically to live retired, at the present time leaving the management of mercantile interests to his son. His energy and determination have been salient factors in his record and his history shows what may be accomplished by one who has perseverance combined with a will to dare and to do.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 416.


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