Historical Details

Bartos, Joseph P. Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/05/2020


by Mrs. Floyd Bartos

Joe Bartos was born in Czechoslovakia June 28, 1882 to Maurice and Joanna Zvasek Bartos.   He had two older sisters, Mary and Anna.   Another sister, Antonio (Tony) and a brother Frank were added to the family when they came to the United States.

The family with the maternal grand­mother came to the United States in 1888. On the trip over, Frank, then a small baby became very ill, they thought he was going to die and would have to be buried at sea but he lived, and is now almost 88.

On their arrival in New York City the oldest daughter, Mary, got separated from the rest of the family and caused a bit of anxiety, but was found unharmed.  They did not speak English, only Bohemian. They were Catholics. Maurice Bartos was of German descent, Joanna of Bohemian.

They settled southwest of Hemingford, Nebr. Three more children, Adolph, Emma and Louis, were born. The family moved to Pawnee County, Okla. where they farmed. One more son, William, was born there. There were 11 children in the family, two died in infancy.

In 1904, Joe came back to Hemingford where he worked as a pumper, keeping water for the railroad engines and run a Drey.

There he met Minnie Wanek.  She taught school at Lawn, approximately 12 miles west of Hemingford. Her parents' home was about a mile from the school, so she walked to and from school.

Minnie Wanek Bartos was the oldest of seven children.    Her father was Joe Wanek, her mother, Mary Planansky Wanek, both Bohemian. Joe Wanek was a county commis­ sioner of Box Butte County when the present courthouse was built and in his later days was the janitor there.

Three of her brothers came to Wyoming: Bill, Louis and Joe. All homesteaded northeast of Lost Spring. Louis didn't stay long, but Bill and Joe lived the rest of their lives here. One sister, Lily (Kennedy) and brothers Amos and Oscar remained in Nebraska. Amos came to Wyoming and lived at the Cody Shippen place at Lost Spring for 1 1/2 years, then returned to Nebraska.

Joe Bartos and Minnie Wanek were married in 1906 at Alliance, Nebr. They rented land and farmed there until 1914.

Their four children were: Ethel,Glen,Floyd and Merle were all born near Hemingford, Nebr. In 1912 Joe came to Wyoming and took a homestead near his brother-in­ law, Bill Wanek, who had come here about three years earlier.

In 1914 he moved his family to Wyoming. They came by immigrant train to Lost Springs. They brought their household goods and livestock with them. They lived in a log house. A few years later built another log house with six rooms. This house still stands,and is now owned by Floyd Engebretsen and has been used for a granary. He bought land from Bill Wanek, Otis Hughes, Louis Wanek and Adair to add to his homestead.

His first car was a Maxwell about 1917.

The children walked to school most of the time. The schoolhouse was moved from time to time to accommodate the most children, it was usually a mile or one-and-a-half-mile walk from home. The teacher quite often boarded at the Bartos’. Estelle Runser Kant was one of the early  teachers.

She was the mother of Walt and Richard and Emma Lou.   Amelia and Marie Frashieser Korkonen and Vesta Ryan also taught there. Mr. Bartos was on the school board for 

quite a number of years.  Some of their early classmates were Ethel (Smith) York, Alvy and Jack Logan, Mary and Margaret (Wright) Parmely and others.

Irving C. Noyce organized a Sunday School and the school house was used for this.

The mail route came from Lost Springs, twice a week. Most all shopping was done in Keeline or Lost Springs, where almost all essentials could be bought, or sent for to "Monkey Wards" or Sears Roebuck.

There were country dances and parties usually a Saturday night dance in Lost Springs, sometimes a barn dance.     Joe Bartos called the square dances and auctioned off the boxes for box socials and few could out- do Joe and Minnie Bartos at dancing a schottische.

He was an avid baseball fan. In his younger days he played with Joe Kuhn, Otto Klemke, his brother Frank Bartos, Joe and Louie Wanek and later at Keeline with John and Martin Mudra. Lots of Sundays were spent this way and every town had a team. In later years he managed a team and his sons Glen and Floyd played on it and also Bud Sylvester.

He farmed, raising wheat mostly for a cash crop and feed for his cattle.  He had a threshing machine and did threshing around the community. He started thrashing with Tom York and a steam engine was used for power. Later he had his own tractor and threshing machine.

There were party line telephones. Everyone on the line heard all the rings and almost everyone listened to see what was going on in the community if they could spare the time.

They always milked quite a few cows about eight or nine months of the year and
usually in the evening Minnie Bartos would walk out and bring in the cows during the summer and fall when the men were in the field and start the chores, lots of times doing them all herself. The sale of cream brought groceries and things for the house.

The winter of 1944-45 we had a lot of snow and there was quite a while they could not get to town so they decided to lease their place and buy a home in Lusk.  In October 1945 they had a sale and moved to Lusk.  They leased the place to Floyd and Wanda Engebretsen.  They later bought the place.

Joe worked for Barney Miller in the pool hall for a time and also for Claude Redding. On Nov. 11, 1954 Mrs. Bartos died. Joe lived in his home in Lusk.   In 1968 he fell and broke his hip, but recovered so he could live alone until Jan. 1969.   He fell again and broke his hip after surgery twice. It didn't heal and he was taken to Michael Manor in Douglas in May where he remained until his death Dec. 18, 1972.  He was a favorite patient according to personnel be­ cause his good humor and ready smile.

Their oldest daughter, Ethel Whitaker Church had six children.  She now lives in Millbrae, Calif.  Her husband, James Church works for United Airlines.

Merle Sylvester Jennings lived in Glen­ dora, Calif. and works in the City of Hope Hospital there. She had five children.

Glen and Lolo (Ruhl) Bartos were the parents of six children (one pair of twins). Glen preceded his dad in death.

Floyd and Esther (Alexander) Bartos had four children. They still live at Keeline, a few miles from Joe Bartos homestead.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Bartos, Floyd (05/09/1911 - 04/17/1988) View Record
Obituary Bartos, Joseph (06/28/1882 - 12/18/1972) View Record
Obituary Bartos, Minnie (08/02/1885 - 11/11/1954) View Record
Cemetery Record BARTOS, JOSEPH PAUL View Record
Cemetery Record BARTOS, MINNIE (WANEK) View Record