Local

Footprints of Fayette

A Historical Column From The Fayette County 
Historical Commission and Fayette County Judge’s Office'
 
Jaroslav Haidusek – A Rural Mail Carrier
Submitted By Carolyn Heinsohn
The collection of newspaper clippings kept by the late Norman Krischke of Schulenburg is a virtual treasure trove of history about persons and places in Fayette County. Thankfully, his family donated his many scrapbooks to the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives. The following story, “After 59 Years” written by John Krhovjak, was printed in the March 14, 1976 issue of The Schulenburg Sticker.
“Pictured above is the man who started carrying mail on Schulenburg, Route 4, in 1905. And he started in proper fashion on a brand new motorcycle. [Jaroslav] Haidusek was a very handsome young man and when seated on his shiny, new motorbike, he presented an enchanting picture in the eyes of the beholder. Of course, he carried mail in a buggy and on horseback during inclement weather or when the roads weren’t in shape for his motorcycle. Once he drove his motorcycle into some quicksand by the Schulenburg Oil Mill, fell with the machine, and spilled his mail over a sizable area. Some bystanders rushed over and helped him assemble his mail again. Nothing was damaged and nobody injured. Too bad that helicopters weren’t around in that bygone era for I am sure he would have tried one of them too. He was still single and superbly handsome. Rumor had it that teenage girls waited for the mail at mailboxes here and there on his route. Of course, they had to be there if they were expecting a registered piece of mail or a package too large to go into the mailbox. And besides, girls didn’t get to see a new, shiny motorcycle every day. And the young carrier enjoyed delivering mail to the girls because…oh well, just because.
“I was a small kid then and remember that once in January I ordered a mouth harmonica from J. Lynn & Co. for 25 cents. I was on the lookout for the mail carrier each day and it appeared that the harmonica would never arrive. It was raining one day and I saw something like a huge box on wheels heading for our mailbox. And of all things, it was pulled by a horse. The box or van came to a stop by our mailbox, a door opened, and a hand thrust the mail into our mailbox. Hmmm! What was that? Something from Mars? And my harmonica arrived at long last. This box or van intrigued me, fascinated me, aroused my curiosity, and we investigated this phenomenon a little further. Haidusek was the personification of ingenuity. He, with the help of a blacksmith, removed the bed and top from the springs of his buggy and installed thereon this box or van which they fashioned themselves. It was about 8 x 4 ft. at the bottom and perhaps 4 ft. in height. There were windows, a door, and 2 slits in front for the reins to guide the horse. And there was flap over each slit to keep out the rain and chilling wind. Haidusek obtained a brazier of some kind and filled it with live coals each morning and placed it in his van. He kept warm and out of the weather. Brother, this old man had it made.
“Haidusek carried mail on this route for over 20 years but I guess that at long last he tired of the muddy roads when it rained and bumpy roads when it was dry. Actually he didn’t get to use his motorbike much and this might have gotten him disgusted. He then clerked at the Keuper Bros. and the QP Stores for many years and I would surmise that it was here that most people of Schulenburg came to know him and like him.
“Haidusek married [Aloisia Polk] in 1910 and in 1914 the hand of the Lord touched the young couple.  Mrs. Haidusek was dressing some chickens and had a bucket of hot water on the floor for scalding them. Their 15-month-old son [Alfons V.] backed up and fell into the hot water. He got so badly scalded that he succumbed the next day. This was the couple’s firstborn and only child and the young parents were heartbroken. Yes, ‘into every life some rain must fall.’ Later two more children, a boy and a girl, were born to this union.
“Haidusek was a quiet, unassuming, and unpretentious man and all who knew him were his friends. Jaroslav Haidusek died on Dec. 3, 1957 at his home in Schulenburg at the age of 77. He left his family and all of us the priceless heritage of a good name. The world is a little better because this man passed this way.” 
Jaroslav Haidusek was the son of Ignatz “Hynek” and Johanna Janca Haidusek. Ignatz was a half-brother of Augustin Haidusek, one of the first Czech American attorneys in the United States; the first Czech American mayor of La Grange; a Fayette County judge; legislator; founder and editor of the Svoboda, a Czech language newspaper; president of the First National Bank of La Grange; and a member of the Board of Regents of Texas A&M College. Augustin and Hynek’s father, Valentin, along with their family, were part of the 1856 group of emigrants who founded the community that would become Dubina, Texas, the first Moravian settlement in Texas. 
Sources:
Krhovjak, John. “After 59 Years”; The Schulenburg Sticker, March 14, 1976.
Maresh, Henry R. and Estelle Hudson. Czech Pioneers of the Southwest; Western Lithograph, Houston, Texas, 1934

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