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 • Rice Lake
 • Barron County
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James Willard Kobliska
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Birth: Sep. 11, 1889
Iowa, USA
Death: Mar. 29, 1975
Middlesex County
New Jersey, USA

James Willard Kobliska, son of James (Vaclav) F. Kobliska and Rosana E. Fencl, was born September 11, 1889, in Iowa. He died March 29, 1975 at his home in Somerville, Middlesex County, New Jersey, aged 85 years, 7 months and 18 days. His body was shipped to Rice Lake, Barron Co., Wis., and buried there beside the remains of his wife in St. Joseph's Cemetery.

On May 21, 1917, James married Elizabeth Dusel, at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Elizabeth was born May 21, 1895, at Rhinelander, daughter of parents born in New York. She died in 1956 and was buried in the family plot in St. Joseph's Cemetery. The "Kobliska" gravestone there is inscribed "Elizabeth 1894 - 1955" and" James W. 1889 - 1975," Their known children were:

John, b. 1919, in Spillville, Iowa
Elizabeth Ann, b. 21 May 1925, in Rusk Co., Wis.

James came from a family of railroaders and retired as the Soo Line depot agent in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, in 1965, after 56 years of service with the railroad. In 1909, at the age of 20, he started his career as agent in Gagen, Oneida County, Wisconsin. Three years later in 1912, he transferred to Starks, Oneida County, Wisconsin, and in 1917 to Kennan, Wisconsin, where he resided for 4 years. In 1921, he transferred to Weyerhauser, Wis., where he was the agent for 11 years. In 1932, he made his last transfer when he moved to Rice Lake, where he was the Soo Line Depot Agent until he retired in 1964.

Newspaper Article

Closes 54 Years
Of Railroad Work

James Kobliska of 27 W. Messenger St. took care of his final trains as Soo Line depot agent here Friday, closing a career of more than half a century with the line.

A native of Iowa, Kobliska comes from a family of railroaders. Both his father and an uncle worked on the railroad in Wisconsin and Jim himself was only 20 when he began as agent at Gagen, Wis. in 1909.

Three years later he transferred to Starks, Wis. and in 1917 to Kennan where he spent another four years.

He was also agent for 11 years at Weyerhauser before coming to Rice Lake to take over as agent here in 1932.

"I've certainly enjoyed every minute of it," Kobliska said. looking back over the 54 years which saw tremendous changes in railroading.

Kobliska was active in social life as well as his job. He is a past president of the Rice Lake Rotary club and has been a member since 1933. A member also of the Knights of Columbus, he has been the council's financial secretary since 1934.

In addition he served a dozen or so years on the school board.

Kobliska now plans to do some visiting with his children. He has a son, John, in New Jersey and a daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Joyce living in Hopkins, Minn. [October 30, 1963, Rice Lake Chronotype, Rice Lake, Wisconsin.


James Kobliska, retired Soo Line depot agent here, died Saturday at Somerville, N.J., where he had made his home the past dozen years. Funeral services were held Tuesday from St. Joseph's Catholic Church here with Rev. Allan Bradley officiating and burial was in the church cemetery.

Mr. Kobliska was born in Iowa Sept. 11, 1889 and moved to Rice Lake in the mid 1930s. He served as depot agent for the Soo here for many years before retiring some 20 years ago. He was active in civic and fraternal organications, serving on the school board for six years and was a past president of the Rice Lake Rotary. He was also long time financial secretary of the Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Kobliska is survived by one son, John of Middlesex, N.J., a daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Joyce of San Diego, 12 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and a brother, Francis of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. [Wednesday, April 3, 1975, Rice Lake Chronotype, Rice Lake, Wisconsin.]

Family links: 
  James (Vaclav) F. Kobliska (1864 - 1938)
  Elizabeth E. Dusel Kobliska (1895 - 1955)
  Elizabeth Ann Kobliska Joyce (1925 - 1986)*
*Calculated relationship
Saint Joseph Cemetery
Rice Lake
Barron County
Wisconsin, USA
Maintained by: Sandi K
Originally Created by: John Christeson
Record added: Apr 04, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7326442
James Willard Kobliska
Cemetery Photo
Added by: John Christeson
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