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Antonin William "Anton" Medlenka
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Birth: Jul. 24, 1816, Czech Republic
Death: Aug. 9, 1887
Houston
Harris County
Texas, USA

Anton (Antonin) William Medlenka was born to Antonin Medlenka (Sr) and Anna Sprotz on July 24, 1816. He was born in Mnichovo, Hradiste, Czechoslovakia (formerly was Central Bohemia). He was married to Barbora Fler, the widow of Josef Smid, on October 10, 1843 in Mnichovo Hradiste, Czechoslovakia. Witnesses to the marriage were Karel Werich, a merchant and Josef Rainwatr, a miller, both from Hradiste. A daughter, Frantiska Julie Anna, was born to them on May 22, 1846 in the same town. Franziska was to be known later in Texas as Fannie, the wife of Joseph Pauska and later Charles Culmore. In later years, Anton referred to himself as being Bohemian, but one wonders whether he was referring to the land where he had lived or was referring to his ancestry. The use of the word Bohemia (a German word for Czech) suggests that he might be German speaking rather than Czech speaking. Bohemia had been a part of Austria for two hundred years, and the populace included both German speaking people (of Teutonic and Celtic origins) and Czechy speaking people (of Slavonic origin). Mnichovo Hradiste is located on the Jizero River 40 miles northeast of Prague, the present day capitol of Czechoslovakia, and 22 miles from the German border. The Medlenka family embarked from Bremerhaven aboard the Bremen brig named "Wanderer" that headed for Texas in 1852. The family was listed on the passenger list as a party of four that included Anton, Barbora, Frantiska (Fannie) and either Antonin Vincenc Smid or Barbora's sister Gabriella Broderick who was known to have been on that ship. It's more likely the fourth person was Antonin, the only child of Barbora and her first husband Josef Smid, as he and Anton Medlenka purchased a plot of land on Block 109 in Frostown fronting 250' on Magnolia and 100' on Jackson on June 25, 1853 (Harris County Deed Records Vol. 3 pg 731). An interesting note, an Ellen (?) Brodenick, age 19, is living with the Charles Culmore family in 1870. Could this person be related to Gabriella Broderick? Gabriella is also listed as a sponsor for Anton's child Bertha, born on October 2, 1864. While the exact day of departure is not known, a similar voyage on this ship a year earlier had taken 49 days. The ship arrived in Galveston on December 1, 1852. After arriving in Texas, Antonin lived in a German speaking neighborhood, and there is no evidence that he spoke Czech. Of course, he might have been bilingual in Europe so we do not know weather he was of Germanic or Slavonic origin. In October 1853, the Records of Death at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Houston list the death of a N. Medlenka that was caused by yellow fever. It is believed that this was the death of Anton's wife Barbora as no further record of her has been found. Anton Medlenka married Mary Behrends at St. Vincent's Church on March 12, 1854. To this marriage only one child was born, Charles Peter Bernard Medlenka, on February 29, 1855. Charles was baptized at this same church on March 10, 1855 and confirmed there December 10, 1871. St. Vincent de Paul Church was located on Franklin Street between San Jacinto and Caroline Streets. The church no longer exists, but its records are kept at Annunciation Church, 1618 Texas Avenue in Houston, Texas. It is believed that Mary died in childbirth or soon after as Anton was to marry once again. It is not known why Anton Medlenka traveled to Louisville, Kentucky but on August 17, 1857 he married Christina Bohn in Louisville. Their first child, Frank, was born in Louisville on June 15, 1859. Anton and Christina returned to Houston prior to October 22, 1860 as it was on this date that their next child Fred (Ferdinand) was born. On June 19, 1867 at the Harris County Courthouse in Houston, Texas, Anton Medlenka took the oath of allegiance to become a Citizen of the United States of America. The Medlenka family home for forty years was on the northeast corner of Jackson and Magnolia (now Ruiz) Streets. This site was two blocks north of Franklin Street which was then one of the main streets in Houston. Buffalo Bayou was two blocks to the northwest and Frost Town was two blocks to the northeast. The Houston City Directory lists Anton as a Tobacconist (1867), a Tailor (1870), and a merchant-Tailor (1877). Anna Clay Selke St. Clair, who lived in Frost Town until her marriage, said that she remembered Anton Medlenka as being quite handsome and quite a dresser. Being well dressed was probably part of his business as a tailor and merchant. On August 9, 1887 at 9:20 in the evening, Anton William Medlenka passed away. A copy of his death certificate indicates the cause of his death as GEN. DEB. He died at his residence at the corner of Magnolia and Jackson Streets at the age of 76 years and 16 days and was one of the oldest citizens in Houston. To date, no records or location of his burial have been found however family information has indicated he was buried in St. Vincent's Cemetery on Navigation Boulevard. It was said that when the new church was being built over the cemetery, Leonard Medlenka went to the cemetery to move the body to another location. Upon trying to move the casket, everything had decayed to the point that it was decided to close everything up and allow the church to be built over the remains.

Records are from the Parish Vapno, Birth certificate #1888 from the years 1784-1822, Page 104. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Christina Bohn Medlenka (1838 - 1906)*
 
 Children:
  Frank W Medlenka (1859 - 1901)*
  Ferdinand William Medlenka (1860 - 1916)*
  Christina Medlenka Mathews (1875 - 1920)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Saint Vincents Cemetery
Houston
Harris County
Texas, USA
 
Created by: Beverly Claire Medlenka ...
Record added: Nov 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43855857
Antonin William Anton Medlenka
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Clay Homister
 
 
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