Price Co WI

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Viola Villa


One of the earliest settlers to the area that came to be known as Viola Villa was Jake Miller. He claimed a homestead and the road he settled on was known as Jake Miller Road. Mr. Miller eventually sold his property to Tony Marik.


Another early settler that had a homestead near Mr. Miller was Mr. Shell. Frank Mlejnek, Sr. purchased the Shell property around 1900.


In the early years of the 20th century, a land agent for the Wisconsin Central Railroad, F.”SmileyCmejla, began advertising the cut-over regions up for sale in the area. Smiley targeted the Czech-language newspapers published in Chicago (the Hlasatel and Svornost) along the Hospodar that was published in Omaha, NE.


Mr. Cmejla sold the land for $10/acre or $400/forty acres and received a fifty cent commission per acre sold. Many Czechs moved to the area and purchased land packages from the railroad through “Smiley”. A map of the land purchases was drafted sometime around 1906-1907 that listed all the new Czech settlers who had purchased the land and the Jake Miller road became known as the Viola Villa Road, named after Smiley’s daughter Viola and villa meaning a small village, hence Viola Villa. The area was often referred to as the Bohemian Settlement or the Czech Settlement. Viola Villa Road has since been named County Highway H.


Although most of the Czech immigrants had been trained in a skilled profession in their homeland, many of them bought the cut-over lands so they could own their own farms and be their own boss. Some of the men worked in the logging business while others ventured into community businesses.


In the summer of 1906, as the community grew, several of the settlers decided to form an organization. They called the group the Jenota Ceskyck Rolniku  (Association of Bohemian Farmers). They later changed the name to the Bohemian Slavonian Farmers Association as they gained members from the nearby Slovac community.


To build a hall for gatherings and to raise money for the organization, the new organization hosted picnics and dances. The Viola Villa Hall, as it came to be known, served the settlement well for many years. The Hall became the location for all social activities and gatherings in the Viola Villa community. Events ranged from meetings, dances, picnics, and plays to lectures and even funerals.


The area is still home to many Czech and Slovak descendents. In 1944 the Lidice Monument was dedicated to the memory of the people of Lidice, Czechoslovakia in honor of the sacrifices made by Czechoslovakian people during WWII.


An annual Czech-Slovak Community Festival is held to celebrate the rich heritage of the many people who settled the area and whose many descendents reside there still. Early Settlers of Viola Villa.


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last edited

03 Jan 2010 

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