Crest of the Bukovina Society of the Americas The Bukovina Society of the Americas
P.O. Box 81, Ellis, KS 67637, USA 
Martha McClelland , President
Bukovina Society Headquarters & Museum, Ellis KS 67637

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Vol. 03, No. 4   -   Winter 1993

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Ralph Honas, President
Al Lang, Vice President
Joe Erbert, Secretary
Bernie Zerfas, Treasurer

(This copy of our Newsletter was called The BULLetin when originally published in paper form)

Oren Windholz, Editor
Editorial response to
P. O. Box 1083
Hays, KS 67601-1083

Bukovinafest 1994

Al Lang has accepted the chairmanship of the program committee and will work with his people to put on a great convention. Two International Board members have already written in to volunteer to give talks. Steve Parke has been working on a project for some time, "Naming and Claiming Our Cultural Heritage: Reflections on our Ethic Identity today."  Aura Lee Fergason will give a talk entitled, "Bukovina for Beginners", based on her experience. Work has already begun on programs featuring cooking and other cultural activities.  The same band has been booked for the dinner and dance.  July 14th through the 17th are the dates and Ellis County is the place.

Dialect Research

Dr. Bill Keel of the University of Kansas brought out Professor Klaus J. Mattheier of the University of Heidelberg to meet with the board of the society and visit with people who still speak the German dialects of the immigrants from Bukovina. He was accompanied by his wife, Gisela, and a graduate student from Heidelberg. Also part of the group visiting the society were two graduate students from Kansas University.

Dr. Mattheier spent time at the Center for Ethnic Studies at Ft. Hays University, location of the Bukovina Society archives. He visited there with Leo Weber and Al Lang. During a special board meeting at the Ellis headquarters he and the students talked to Martin Flax, Bertha Flax, and Bertha Riedel. A specialist in socio linguistics, Dr. Mattheier was very pleased to make this first contact with Bukovina Germans in America. He plans to cooperate with Kansas University in creating a handbook for tracing German language. Dr. Mattheier is one of a number of prominent scholars to visit the society.

[Picture not available: Professor Klaus Mattheier, left, enjoyed his visit with Leo Weber during his visit.]

Bukovina People

Stella Hryniuk of St. John's College at the University of Manitoba is a historian Studying settlements of people from Bukovina in Canada. She is interested in receiving information at her address in Winnipeg, MB Canada R3T 2M5. She can read Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German and French. The society has sent her materials and we hope to hear from her again.

Aura Lee Furgason was in Ellis visiting her father and checked in at headquarters. She soon was involved in helping with the last BULLetin mailout and attended the September board meeting.

The Deutscher family held a reunion on September 5th. They will celebrate 100 years in America in the year 2002. They plan to have a reunion every three years and hold it during the annual Bukovina Society convention.

The Bukovina Society board appeared before the Ellis City Council on September 28th to present a plan to enhance the Bukovina memorial in the city park. Oren Windholz presented the society's proposal for lighting and requested sidewalks to the site. The Schoenthaler family pledged a donation for the lighting materials, society members will provide labor, and the City of Ellis approved the installation of a sidewalk to the memorial. The support of Ellis City council members in the establishment of the headquarters and ongoing support was also recognized.

ABC of Brazil

Our good friend Professor Ayrton Goncalves Celestino wrote a letter in early September giving a report of their third annual convention of the Association of Bukovina German Culture. The 3a Semana Bucovina (3a Haluschkifest) was a success with attendance all three days by the Romanian General Consul in Brazil, Mr. Vasile Macovei, and a one day visit by the Austrian Consul, Mr. Walter Jirascheck Ten young ladies of Bukovina descent vied for the title of Bucovina Queen. Chosen was Janaina Schultz for 1993.

We received newspaper reports, memorabilia from the convention, and a book on the history of Rio Negro which includes the element of the Bukovina German migration there. We are to receive videotape and pictures when they are processed. This will certainly be a highlight for the 1994 Bukovinafest. The Brazil Bukovina descendants enjoyed the slides and video of the Bukovina district from Steve Parke and Larry Jensen tours. Prof Ayrton was especially pleased to see the towns of Seewiesen (Javorna) where his great great grandfather Wenzel Schödlbauer was born and Rehberg (Srni) where his great grandparents Adolf and Maria Wolf were born.

The twin cities of Rio Negro and Mafra in southern Brazil, are home to many of the descendants of the immigrants from Poiana Micului in the former homeland of Bukovina. Rio Negro is exploring a sister city relationship with Suceava in the Bukovina District. The mayor of Rio Negro, Hon. C. R. Swarowski, has also expressed an interest to connect with Ellis and Hays.

The Bukovina Society recently mailed a videotape of our past festivals and the editor donated the book Bohemian Germans in Kansas, A Catholic Community from Bukovina.

Picture not available:
This picture and many other articles on the 3a Semana Bucovina were printed in the newspapers of Rio Negro/Mafra. Among the dignitaries were mayors, diplomats and prominent scholars. Aryton Celestino is pictured in the center.

  1. Vice-Mayor of Mafra:Alva(Speaking) The Mayor was out. He is a Bucovinian descendant.
  2. Mr. Frof. Antonio Jose Sandmann-President Institut Cultrual Brazilian Germany (Institut Joethe) in Joethe) in Cunistiba-Parsue.
  3. Peter Froter Longe Schofwschek. He celebrated the Mass. He is Bucovinian descendant.
  4. Ayrton Jameles Celestino.
  5. The general consul of Romania-Prof Vasile Marovei (white)
  6. Mrs Dommitra Russu-President of the Romanian Institut in Paronecuritiba
  7. Mr. Walter Jiroschek -Austrian Consul
  8. Mr. Alceu Ricardo Swanowski - Mayor of Rio Negro (Black)
  9. Mr. Henrique Popp - Professor of the University of Parone
  10. Mrs. Hoda Salamuni- Govenor of Parone Representant
  11. Mr. Riad Salamuni-Prof and ex-Rector of the university of Parone.

Nemechek Neunion
by: Steve Parke

September 4, 1993, was the occasion of an historical event for the descendants of Ferdinand and Agatha (Aschenbrenner) Nemechek. Possibly for the first time since the immigrant family lived and farmed together in Ellis County, representatives of the remaining nine of twelve family lines gathered in Hays, Kansas, for worship, food, fellowship and family history sharing, and of course, fun.

The event, attended by 166 people from as far away as California and Michigan, was hosted by Anna Denning of Hill City. Getting the group together was quite a feat as Ferdinand had 12 children, 72 grandchildren, 250 great grandchildren and many more descendants still being counted today. Guest of honor was Ferdinand's youngest daughter, Theresia (Nemechek) Smith, who at age 88 is the only living member of the homesteading family. The day included Mass celebrated by Fr. Damian Richards at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, dinner at the American Legion Hall, family group pictures, and a slide presentation covering my 1991 trip to Bukovina and Fürstenthal.

Ferdinand, Agatha and seven children accompanied by Grandmother Francisca (Hoffman) Nemechek came from Fürstenthal, Bukovina, Austria, to the United States and homesteaded just south of Ellis in 1898 to improve

their economic situation. Bukovina church records show that glassmaker Mathias Nemechek, his wife Barbara Stark and two of their children, Adelbert and Elizabeth, were in Bukovina by May of 1811 when Barbara, the third of nine children, was baptized in Cacica. Mathias came from Bohemia as did other Fürstenthal logging and glassmaking settlers. His son, Adelbert, begat Ambrose who begat Ferdinand who married Agatha, daughter of Joseph Aschenbrenner and Rosalia Stadler (Stöhr?). Ferdinand's family emigrated but many Nemecheks remained in Fürstenthal. Nemechek descendants are reportedly in Germany today but we have been unable to contact them.

Oktoberfest 1993

Oktoberfests Ellis and Hays were a great success. The weather was outstanding in Ellis and the board and helpers sold out their supplies of Hemetschwangers. In Hays, though cold and windy, all products were sold including a special batch of Zwieback made by Martha Armbruster. Glass mugs, T shirts and hats also sold well.

The board provided the opening. ceremonies in Ellis with the able assistance of Francis Schippers, chairman of the Hays Oktoberfest committee, and Larry Werth of the Volga German Society who has several Bukovina relatives.

[Picture unavailable: President Ralph Honas tapped and poured beer from the first keg for the board members who led the singing.]

Lifetime Club

Our goal is to never have an issue of the newsletter without additional lifers, and to fill the plaque in the lobby of the headquarters in 1994. We are pleased to announce the following and greatly appreciate their investment in the future of our society.

  • 47. Eileen Busek (Mrs. Robert) Weller, Tacoma, WA

  • 48. Constance (Erbert) and John Romero, Dina & Timothy, of Glorieta, N. M.


The following will be directing some of the work of the society and if you want to give them an idea or a helping hand please do.

  • PROGRAM: Al Lang, Chair, Ray Haneke and Darrell Seibel

  • MEMBERSHIP: Ernie Honas and Bob Schonthaler

  • GENEALOGY: Al Lang

  • FINANCE: Bernie Zerfas

  • PUBLICITY: Oren Windholz HOSPITALITY: Shirley Kroeger and  JoAnn Schoenthaler

  • MUSEUM: Ray Schoenthaler


The board is sending out a call for the donation of a pot belly or similar heating stove. The museum room still has the chimney intact from the original stove. We do not need it for heat, but would make a great attraction to the room.

The notice in the last newsletter brought an offer for an air conditioner from Frieda Massier of WaKeeney. This has been picked up and brought to the headquarters by Ray Haneke and Ray Schoenthaler and will be in use next summer in the chapel side for programs. A second air conditioner was donated by Lifetime member Mary Agnes Lang-Wagner and it will be helpful because the chapel room really needs two units to cool it off. Also thanks to Bernadine Linden from Alden for donating glass shelves and counter tops to the museum.

Bukovina Cooking

Submitted by Julie Honas


  • Put in crock 10 gal. water and let set 20 minutes.

  • Add 1 can warmed malt, 6 lbs. sugar, 1/2 pack yeast, 1 tbl. pickling salt.

  • Let ferment until it stops bubbling.

  • Bottle, adding 1/2 tsp. sugar to pint bottle.




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