Bio: Artac, Michael & Johanna (Immigrated from Slovenia)


Surnames: Artac, Lusina, Nagodi, Cesnik, Kauchnick, Kokaly, McCormack, Pakiz, Ruzic, Haug, Gosar, Routar, Greening

----Source: Family Scrapbook

The Artac’s lived in the same Jugoslavian town, Borovnica, at Notranjskem, Slovenia, for 300 years. Michael Artac was born on September 15, 1878 there, son of Jacob and Margaret Artac.

At the age of 24 he was drafted into the Austria-Hungarian Army. When on leave he took off for America, to Braddock, Pennsylvania, and from there to Waukegan, Illinois.

Ivana (Johanna) Lusina was born November 15, 1888 in Urhnika, Slovenia to Joseph and Frances (nee Nagodi) Lusina. At age 18, in 1906, she traveled alone on the Breman (German) ship lines to America and to Waukegan, Illinois, where she had friends. There she did housework.

Michael Artac and Ivana Lusina lived on 8 kilometers apart, across the mountains in Jugoslavia, but met in Waukegan, Illinois, where they married in 1907. Jennie was born to them in 1908 and Amelia was born in 1909. In February of 1912 they moved to Willard, but went back to Waukegan because they ran out of money. They had purchased land from Ignac Cesnik Sr., the real estate agent, and felt he didn’t deliver what he had promised.

Michael worked in a wire mill and Johanna did dressmaking to earn enough money to come back. Another daughter, Angeline, was born in Waukegan in 1911. In February of 1912 they moved back to Willard. They came by train to Fairchild, and rose a hand car to Willard. John (Happy) Routar and Michael Artac worked the hand car to get there. Daughters Jennie and Amelia were tied on so they wouldn’t fall off. Mother Johanna held baby Angeline in her arms.

They purchased 60 acres of land northwest of Willard in the town of Hendren in 1910. Later they bought 40 more acres. Michael, Johanna and children lived with the Kauchnick family for 6 weeks while their own house was being built. There were no roads to their farm, and they had to carry goods from Willard through the woods.

They had only one cow, which lived in a barn which was attached to the house. Jennie remembers one time it rained so hard the cow and calf had to be moved into the house. Jennie also remembers one time that they ate corn meal mush almost every night, and they ate skim milk poured over potatoes boiled in their jackets. They sold the cream which was transported by train to Fairchild. They “picked stone” for entertainment. The Catholic Church had 3 summer picnics every year that they went to.

Two sons, Frank in 1913, and Ludwig in 1914, were born in Willard. They went to school at the North Willard School on Frank Kokaly’s property in the town of Hendren. Jennie didn’t speak English, only Slovenian, when she started school at the age of 7. Her first teacher was George McCormack, who later became a doctor at the Marshfield Clinic.

Angeline took piano lessons from Mirko Pakiz. She ordered a tamburitza from Cleveland, Ohio, and he taught her to play at age 16. She died in June of 1959 of a brain tumor. She was married to Ivan Ruzic.

I, Emily (Amelia) was married to Ernest Haug in 1931 in Willard. We live in Milwaukee.

Jennie Artac lives in Milwaukee.

Frank married Mary Gosar in 1946. They live in rural Greenwood.

Ludwig Artac lived and farmed with his parents. He purchased their farm when they retired. He married Josephine Ticer Greening in 1954. He died July 11, 1979.

Ludwig’s son, Michael, owns and lives on the home farm. This is a third generation farm and in 1981 will be in the family 71 years.

Father Michael died in 1965 and Mother Johanna in 1969.



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