Bio: Verhunce, Andrew (Andrej) & Franciska


Surnames: Verhunce, Jelenc, Cesnik, Bergant, Morris, Nelson, Kaltinger

----Source: Family Scrapbook

Andrej Vrhunc (Andrew Verhunce) was born on November 30,1872 in Selca near Skofja Loka, Slovenia to Lovrenc and Ana Vrhunc. Franciska Jelenc was born on September 25, 1874, also in Selca. They were married shortly after their arrival in the United States which was around 1899. They first settled in Fleming, Kansas then moved to Corona, Kansas where Andrej worked as a coal miner. Seven children were born in Kansas.

After reading an advertisement in a Slovenian newspaper of land for sale resembling that of Jugoslavia, he bought sixty acres in Gorman, Wisconsin. They settled there on April 26, 1915. One son was born in Gorman.

A prospective buyer asked Mr. Cesnik if there were any rocks in that area as he would need one for his barrel of sauerkraut. He told him there were none and should bring one with him, which he did.

Andrej spent most of the summers working as carpenter. He, John Bergant and a few other men made up a group of carpenters who were taken to their destination on Monday morning by Andrew Jr. and were picked up on Saturday night.

On July 31, 1918 Andrej was killed in a run-away horse accident. He was trampled to death by the horses and wagon. The eight children, ranging in age from three to eighteen years, stayed on the farm with their tubercular mother. She died on October 2, 1919. The children were separated, each going to a different home in the neighborhood.

On July 31, 1965 eight brothers and sisters, who had not been all together for forty six years, held a family reunion in Yorkville, Illinois.

The following address was given by John Verhunce Sr. at that reunion:

"I am happy that we who had been left orphans forty- six years ago are finally united. I thank God, for certainly we could not have traveled all the trails that stretch back to that tragic day of October 1919 without his blessings. Somehow, we must have been given a noble and steady purpose of mind, that enabled us to undergo any peril or danger and thus all arrive here in the autumn of our lives. We have all been fortunate in our health and in the success of our careers, one such career in our family has not been equaled by anyone leaving the Willard area. I thank the wives and husbands of the Verhunces for their confidence in us, their support and guidance. I particularly thank sister Mary and brother Andrew for their everlasting and undying devotion to the Verhunce family which definitely contributed to cementing us together."

Mary Verhunce Morris lives in Joliet, Illinois. Louis died August 26, 1973. Andrew Jr. lives in Morton Grove, Illinois. Valentine lives in Yorkville, Illinois. Frank lives in Chicago, Illinois. Anna Verhunce Nelson lives in Joliet, Illinois. Rudolph lives in Morton Grove, Illinois. John died November 23, 1975.

The Verhunce farm was sold to John Kaltinger Sr. on October 22, 1919.



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