Gabalėliai Lietuvos Lietuviškos vietos ir paveldas užsienyje

Vestvilis (Ilinojus)

Vestvilis [Westville] XX a. pradžioje buvo anglies kasėjų miestas ir dauguma iš jo 2500 gyventojų buvo lietuviai. Daug jų uždarius kasyklas išvyko į Čikagą, bet ir šiandien lietuviai čia tebesudaro 4,7% iš ~4500 žmonių. Čia iki šiol veikia lietuvių kapinės (Cemetery Rd., Unionville; įkurtos 1909 m., prie įėjimo parašyta "Skirtos Maiko 'Raudonojo' Laito atminimui" [IN MEMORY OF MIKE "RED" LAITAS]). Ant senų kapų daug lietuviškų užrašų (pvz. "Iliarus Urniezius mire 29 Rugsejo turedamas 66 metus amziaus paejo is Laumenu kaimo Kaltinenu parapijos, Taurages apskricio. Lai buna lengva sios salies zemele ilsetis. Mire 20 rugs. 1920 m.")

Mažyčiame Vestvilyje buvo net dvi lietuvių bažnyčios, deja, abi nugriautos: Šv. Petro ir Povilo katalikų (pastatyta 1897 m., uždaryta 1989 m.) ir senkatalikių, nepripažinusių Vatikano I susirinkimo rezultatų, Šv. Kryžiaus (1914 m. įkurta buvusioje presbiterijonų bažnyčioje, 221 W. Main St; uždaryta ~1960 m.; nugriauta ~2000 m., varpas perkeltas į lietuvių kapines, buvęs parapijos namas dabar gyvenamasis). Apie ano meto tarpusavio konfliktus net išleista angliška knyga "Trumpa didžiojo lietuvių barnio Vestvilyje, Ilinojuje istorija" ("A Short History of a Big Lithuanian Row in Westville, Illinois") - ji aprašo ir kunigo Mikalausko savižudybę / nužudymą.

Click to learn more about Lithuania: Ilinojus Leave a comment
Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I happened to find this article at the Fort Wayne, IN library, one of the best places in the US for genealogy. It was from the Fort Wayne News, Tues. Eve., April 12, 1904, page 5, column 1. There’s a good chance that he’s buried at Sts. Peter & Paul at Westville IL, unless he was returned to Lithuania…? Doesn’t appear in FindAGrave.
    —————————————————————-

    MYSTERY AROUND THE DEATH OF BOY
    MAY HAVE BEEN MURDERED ON AN EMIGRANT TRAIN.
    FOUND DEAD ALONG TRACK

    Mystery surrounds the death of John Fanuszus, the Russian boy, aged nineteen years, found dead last week along the Wabash railroad between Fort Wayne and Peru, mention of which was made in the News. He was in company with a car load of emigrants, which passed through this city on Wabash passenger train No. 7. William Snyder, a brakeman on a freight train, discovered the body of Fanuszus beside the track. The Russian’s head was found buried four inches deep in the mud and the back of his head was broken open. The car load of emigrants was attached to the rear of the train, and, so far as can be learned, none of the train crew saw the boy fall off.
    Where the body was found there is straight track for three miles, so the movements of the train are not supposed to have thrown Fanuszus off. While the emigrants were at the station here some of them seemed to be angry, and this, together with the fact that none of the foreigners have inquired about the welfare of their countryman, leads some to believe that Fanuszus was struck in the head with some blunt instrument and then thrown from the train. The coroner is of the opinion that death was instantaneous. Fanuszus had a ticket to Westville, Ill., and in his pocket was found the card of Petras Tanuses, at Westville, Ill. The body is being held until Tanuses is heard from. {end}

    • Return of the body to Lithuania was I think very unlikely in those times. Very costly and hard to organize for relatives in Lithuania who were likely illiterate peasants.

      Also at those times it was generally considered that if a person goes to the USA it is for life or at least for decades. It was usually impossible for most emigrants even to visit homeland, as that would have required a ship journey – both costly and extremely time consuming (it would have been possibe only after getting out of job rather than on holiday). It was much different from today when we have relatively affordable and quick jet planes.

      I am not sure where he was buried, it may be yet another plausible option that he is buried somewhere near Fort Wayne where his body was found.

  2. I AT ABOUT 1980 VISITED HARTHORNE OKLAHOMA,WHICH AFTER MEETING SPEAKER OF THE US HOUSE OF REP. STATING THAT MANEY LITHUANIAN- AMERICANS LIVED I S/EAST OKLA .AND THAT A RANCHER OF LITHUANIAN HERITAGE WAS JUST IN HIS OFFICE ; CARL ALBERT SUPPORTED ALL THINGS ABOUT LITHUANIA.I VISITED HARTSHORNE AND MEAT THE MAYER MR SMITH WHO WAS LITH-AMER. WHO TOK ME TO THE CHATOLIC CEMETERY WHERE 1/3 OF THE GRAVE STONES HAD LITHUANIAN NAMES ,WITH ITALIAN COAL MINER GRAVES, I LEFT TWO BOOKS ON LITUANIA AND VYTAUTAS THE GREAT AT THE LOCAL LIBERY;THE MAYER TOLD ME OVER 200M MLITHUANIAN COAL MINERS WORKED AT THE CHOUNIE COAL MINES WHICH LITH WHERE I MAJORITY; I HOPE OUR YOUNGER LIT6H-AMER HISTORIANS WILL VISIT THIS REGION AND WRITE ABOU THIS HERITAGE IN OKLAHOMA !!!


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.