Bio: Prebil, Frank & Mary


Surnames: Prebil, Skerjance, Zimmerman, Evans, Winkenwerder, Klanchar, Perme, Janz

----Source: Family Scrapbook

Frank Prebil was born in Ljubljana, Jugoslavia in October 1876. When he was a young man he came to St. Louis, Missouri because he had a brother there who worked on the railroad. Soon he sent for his sweetheart from Europe, Mary Skerjance. They were married in St. Louis in August 1904. He didn't like it there so they moved to Ely, Minnesota where he worked in the iron ore mines.

In 1918 they moved to Wisconsin where he bought a farm in the Willard-Gorman area, thinking he would have an easier life after years in the mines. But he was wrong, he had only just begun to work hard, clearing the land for farming. The reason that the Prebil family came to Willard was that when he worked in the mines - 4000 feet underground - he had a narrow escape. At that level there were laterals going in several directions still downward. A large stone broke loose and rolled down the incline so fast that he could not get away. He was pined down.

It took the men eight hours to break the stone up enough to set him free. His shoulder was crushed. The mine doctor suggested amputating it, but he went to see their family doctor and he wired up the broken bones with gold wire. He didn't guarantee his work but it turned out very well. His wife didn't want any more of that so they came to Willard and started farming.

Six children were born to them. Born in Ely were Mary, who married William Zimmerman, both are deceased; Frances married Walter Evans and lives in Chicago; Pauline married Roy Winkenwerder and lives in Watertown, Wisconsin. Frank Jr. married Alice Klanchar and is deceased. Anton (Bill) married Molly Perme and they live on the home farm. Elsie, the only one born in Wisconsin, married Michael Janz and lives in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Mary Prebil died on September 25, 1941 and Frank Sr. died on May 5, 1960. Both were members of Holy Family Catholic Church of Willard. Frank was also a carpenter and helped build many of the barns in the area.



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