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KOSTORYZ, STANLEY L.

KOSTORYZ, STANLEY L. (1866–1924). Stanley Kostoryz, Czech newspaper publisher and land developer, was born Stanislav Kostohryz on March 12, 1866, at Jemnice near Strakonice, Bohemia, son of Josef and Anna Nosek Kostohryz. He was educated at the Gymnasium at Písek and at Budejovice and traveled to New York in 1886 and then to Chicago, where he worked for various newspapers. In 1888 he moved to Wilber, Nebraska, where he operated a drug and general store. He bought an English-language newspaper in 1898, purchased a Czech type font, and founded Osveta ("Enlightenment"). Osveta began publication as a semiweekly; later it became a daily. Kostoryz enrolled in Western Normal College, Lincoln, in 1889 and graduated with a teaching certificate in 1893. He established the first Czech daily newspaper in Nebraska and was the first to start publishing editions for Czech localities in the state. The Wilberské Listy (Wilber News) was established as a weekly in July 1893. For four years Kostoryz was superintendent of schools at Milligan, Nebraska. He contributed to Pokrok Západu ("Progress of the West") and other Czech publications in Nebraska and elsewhere. As a leader of the Komensky Club at Omaha, Kostoryz asked the regents of Nebraska State University to set up a department of Slavic languages and literature, but was denied because there was insufficient public interest. The club was not to be put off, and agitation continued until a Slavic department was set up in 1907. Kostoryz was a presidential elector from Nebraska, pledged to William Jennings Bryan.

Between 1902 and 1904 he traveled throughout the western United States and Canada searching for suitable areas for Czech colonization. He purchased 7,800 acres near Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1904, subdivided the tract, which he called Bohemian Colony Farms, and sold lots to Czech farmers. In 1910 he purchased an additional 2,300 acres from the adjoining Robertson Ranch. Kostoryz married Alice Ruzicka in 1896 at Milligan, Nebraska, and they had three children, all of whom were brought up and educated in Corpus Christi. Kostoryz was instrumental in the establishment of Kostoryz School in Corpus Christi, and a street was named for him along the side of the Bohemian Colony lands. Development of the lands was successful and profitable. After his son, Ervin, died tragically in 1921, Kostoryz became deeply depressed. He sold out his properties in Corpus Christi, and he and his wife returned to Europe. He died in Czechoslovakia in 1924. See also CZECHS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Corpus Christi Caller, January 18, 1959, November 8, 1964, March 16, 1978. Jan Habenicht, Dejiny cechuv amerických (St. Louis: Hlas, 1910). Estelle Hudson and Henry R. Maresh, Czech Pioneers of the Southwest (Dallas: South-West, 1934). John Columbus Marr, History of Matagorda County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1928). Rose Rosicky, A History of Czechs in Nebraska (Omaha: Czech Historical Society of Nebraska, 1929).

Frank Wagner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Frank Wagner, "KOSTORYZ, STANLEY L.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fko14), accessed November 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.