On the morning of June 5, 1881, Frank Paul Rumreich, with his family in a covered wagon, stopped on a hill by the Red River Valley in the northeastern corner of Dakota Territory and said, "Here, I'll stay." The land where he stopped had a beautiful outlook with lush green grass. That ended a five week journey from Batavia, Wisconsin (now called Eastman), near Prairie du Chien. The family had come to America from Moravia in 1880. Soon afterward, Frank's brother Vaclav and two other families joined them from Moravia.

In 1882, Frank Paul Rumreich with a few other settlers started the town of Pisek. Siblings Marie, Rose, Antoinette and John, and parents Dominik and Frantiska would all come to Pisek in the years that followed.

Why did the Rumreichs come to America? Why did they choose to settle in the Dakota Territory?

In his excellent article, "The Czechs in Wisconsin History," Karel Bicha describes the mass immigration of Czech-speaking Bohemians and Moravians to America from 1848 to 1880. Many of them settled in southeast Wisconsin, near Racine, Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee. Many others settled in southwest Wisconsin, near La Crosse and Prairie du Chien. Within a generation, however, the once pre-eminent attraction of Wisconsin was eclipsed by the prairie lands to the west and southwest.

Click on the image to read the article, and understand why the Rumreichs came to America and settled in Pisek.