Bio: Seliskar, Gregor & Agnes


Surnames: Seliskar, Trobec, Jamnik, Pahl, Manalt, Reddig, Chemagoy, Makovec

----Source: Family Scrapbook

Gregor Seliskar was born in 1877 in Polhov Grades Slovenia, one of ten children. One of his brothers was a priest, Father James Seliskar of St. Cloud, Minnesota another was Dr. John Seliskar of Cleveland. His uncle was Bishop Trobec of St. Cloud, Minnesota. His mother also came to the United States. She is buried in Cleveland Gregor came to Waukegan, Illinois In 1899 where he met and married Agnes Jamnik in 1905. Gregor died in 1947.

Agnes Jamnik was born in 1881 in Cerklje na Dolenjskem, Slovenia. There were six children in the family. Agnes, a sister and a brother came to the United States in 1900 and settled in Waukegan, Illinois. Agnes died in 1957.

Gregor and Agnes owned and operated a tavern in Waukegan. Two sons were born there: Phillip in 1907 and John in 1908. The family then moved to the Willard area and began to farm land on County Road O, between Greenwood and Willard. Two more children were born: Gregory George in 1911 and Mary in 1917. Besides farming Gregor was a real estate dealer for a time. Mary recalls many people staying at their home until they found suitable land.

Agnes told of the early days on the farm when the only woman near enough to visit was Mrs. Paul Susa on the other side of the road. They had trouble communicating, one being German and the other Slovenian, but they were friends and helped each other.

Gregor told of children being lost and people would to help find them. Gregor found one such child, and upon being found the child said, "Imas kaj kruha" (Do you have any bread?). Life was difficult, especially so the first year when the family of four lived in a one room building. The next year they built a house.

Gregor and Agnes had four children. Phillip married Evelyn Pahl. Phillip and Evelyn lived in Waukegan, Illinois until 1945, then moved to the home farm. Phillip died in 1969. The farm was sold to an Amish family in 1978.

John married Jennie Manalt. After Jennie's death John married Mary Lou Reddig. John and family lived in Waukegan, Illinois until 1955 when they moved to Texas. John died in 1970.

George married Olga Chernagoy of Eveleth, Minnesota in 1949. George lived in the Willard-Greenwood area all of his life. He died in 1969.

Mary married Frank Makovec and later moved to the farm in the Bright area near Longwood, Wisconsin. Mary and Frank still live in the same area.

Mary recalls: Christmas Eve neighbors gathered at the Seliskar home and together they went to midnight mass by sleigh. There were bricks, straw and blankets in the sleigh to keep them warm. On returning home there would be plenty of "potica" and hot soup to eat. It was always 4 A.M. before everyone got to bed.

Cows in those days were milked by hand. The barn was a peaceful place, only the sound of the milk squirting into the tin pail and the slight movements of the cows interrupting the quiet. For the Seliskars it was a good time for singing. The sound would start softly and gradually increase in volume until the barn was filled with the music of the contented milkers.

Social life was simple. Neighbors would gather together for birthdays. Each brought something to eat or drink. Sometimes there was a pony of beer. In the fall when the field corn was in the 'milk' stage there would be a corn roast in the back pasture.

Written by Mary (Seliskar) Makovec and Olga (Chernogoy) Seliskar



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