Bio: Bayuk, John & Balbina
Surnames: Bayuk, Oman, Simonich, Cesnik, Quast, Godec, Palms, Zima, Ormund, Klinke
----Source: Family Scrapbook
John Bayuk was born in Podzemeje, Slovenia, Jugoslavia on August 15, 1875. At the age of 16 he came to America, landing at Philadelphia. He stayed in Pennsylvania for six years, part of that time working in a steel mill in Steelton.
In 1898 he left for Pueblo, Colorado where he worked in a wire mill. In Pueblo he married Balbina Oman on April 8, 1902. They lived in Colorado a few years before moving to St. Cloud, Minnesota where John worked in a brewery.
In November of 1910 they came to Willard, where with other settlers, they carved a farm out of the wilderness. Patience and hard work paid off as evidenced by the farms you see today. Countless trees, stumps and stones had to be removed to develop the cropland which still provides good harvests.
The farm, located just north of the South Mound, is still in the family. Part of it once belonged to Matt Bayuk though he didn't live there. Jake Simonich farmed it for a few years. The house and barn located just east of the present buildings were destroyed by a cyclone in 1918. Dad bought the land and made it part of the farm as it is today.
Cash crops of beans and cucumbers were grown by many farmers. Picking beans under a hot sun and then snipping them in the evening kept many a youngster busy! Having spent so many hours bending over to pick stones and beans, it's a wonder people didn't grow up as inverted V's!
Labor exchange was a common practice. Corn husking bees served also as social events. Picnics with the neighbors were also common and community picnics, especially on the 4th of July were big events. The host family would roast a lamb and others would furnish a variety of foods. On one occasion nearly everybody brought lettuce and bread!
We had no radio but did have a telephone. The last farm to the west to have one, ours was used by many. Private conversations were almost impossible because all the phones on the line would ring and though you were supposed to answer only your own ring, many couldn't resist the opportunity to listen in. Party lines were truly party lines! Mayme recalls that Mr. E. G. Ingham in Willard had a radio and would call to let them listen to the radio over the phone. It was a real thrill to hear music or singing clear from Chicago.
Besides farming, the family was active in the church as were most of the settlers. Dad served as town assessor for many years, a position later filled by William. Ed has served as Town Clerk for 28 years. Dad also was School Clerk.
Dad and Mother lived out their lives on the farm. Dad died April 12, 1946, Mother died February 3, 1957. Of the eleven children, Genevieve and Gertie are no longer with us.
Gertie married Joe Godec. They farmed at Willard for many years. She died November 16, 1969. Joe lives at Neenah, Wisconsin. Dora married Tony Fortuna. Tony died October 24, 1969. Dora now lives in Marshfield.
Mayme married Ignac Cesnik. They worked in Quast's Store, before going to Tucson, Arizona. Retired now, they live in Marshfield.
Joe married Dorothy Palms. Retired now, they live at Rock Dam.
William married Eleanor Zima. Besides operating the home farm, he drove school bus. Retired, he still lives on the farm and drives the bus. Eleanor died June 6, 1978.
Edward married Josephine Zima. Living at Willard, Ed is an Inspector of Weights and Measures.
Frank married Beatrice Ormond and lives in Greenwood.
Florence married Al Klinke. and lives in Greenwood.
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