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Reverend J.M. Trunk - Indiana 1912

Copyright © 1996, 1997, Slovenian Genealogy Society International, all rights reseved

These Rev. J. M. Trunk texts were published originally in 1912. Part 8, History of Slovene Communities, contains significant genealogical information about Slovenian immigrants, the places they lived, the organizations they formed, and the churches they attended.

Translators for the Slovenian Genealogy Society have been working to translate many texts published early in the 1900s that contain significant genealogical information. Our translators are not professional linguists, and they do not complete a translation with rigorous academic oversight. The goal of our translation projects is to make information available to the American descendants of Slovenian immigrants.

If you believe we have made serious errors in translation, please contact us and volunteer your time to us in order to make the corrections. We strive to do good work; we are always willing to correct errors to the extent we can; and we ask others to join us in this worthwhile endeavor.

The Slovenian Genealogy Society collects church histories. Readers with information on Slovenes in the communities listed, the churches mentioned, or other information on Slovenes, can contact:

Slovenian Genealogy Society
52 Old Farm Road
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011-2604

The society accepts donations of Slovene books, texts, and publications for its genealogy library.


Alexandria. The first Slovene emigrants came as early as 1893. They came from Smartno, Novo Mesto and St. Peter na Krasu (St. Peter on Carst). In 1903 there were 50 Slovenes here (four families and 24 single men). They work in factories and attend a German church. Rev. Kranjec paid them his first visit in 1903. I could not find out what the present conditions are like.

Clinton. There are around 12 Slovene families and 30 single men.

Gary. The population of this city is 16,903 and one-half of the population has Slavic roots. There are about 20 Slovene families and around 30 single men. R. Mraz, J. Ivanic, F. Leskvar, J. Kaps and I. Prosenik are storekeepers. L. Smit is a tavern keeper and G. Tavcar is making saddles. The rest of the emigrants have found work in the factories and steel mills. The Slovenes are enrolled into Lodge #124 KSKJ. There is an SNPJ lodge here also.

Indianapolis. In the capital of the State of Indiana the first Slovenes could be found in 1885. Most of them came from Lower Carniola (Dolenjska), from the city of Tolmin and Kanal ob Soci (Kanal on the river of Soca-Isonzo). Now about 800 Slovenes live here. They work mostly in the smelt National Malleable Casting Co. Years ago they attended an Irish Church and Rev. Sustersic would visit them. In 1906 they started building their own church under the leadership of Rev. J. Lavric.

The new church was blest on 28 April 1907. For about one year, up until 6 August 1907, the Rev. J. C. Smolej was priest here. After he left the priests of the Order of Minorities took over the church. The Rev. B. Cicek, OMC, is taking care of the Slovene parishioners and Rev. E. Blok takes care of the Polish. In 1911 a new school building and parish house were built. About 60 children attend school. Their teachers are Franciscan Sisters. 

Slovenes are enrolled in St. Alloysius Lodge #52 KSKJ with 80 members. St. Joseph's Lodge $35 JSKJ has over 70 members. The France Preseren Lodge is affiliated with the National Benefit Association as is the Lodge of St. Cyril and Methodius. Besides the above-mentioned lodges, the Lodge of St. Barbara and Lodge of St. Ann are active here. All together they are eight lodges. The Slovenes are proud of their band called Bell (Zvon), their tamburitza club Progress (Naprednost) and singing society Mountain Paradise (planinski raj).

Kokomo. Mr. J. Hamovec wrote that there are 33 Slovenes who work in a wire factory. They came here on 18 April 1904. The first settlers were J. Hamovec, J. Kink and J. Petkovsek. They came from the village of Vrhnika. Now they have farms. It is a nice place in which to live and they are satisfied with their earnings. But there is no religious life. They attend Masses in an Irish-German church, but there is no one to hear their confessions. There are three benefit societies with some members.

Terre Haute. There are two Slovene families and 17 single men who work in the Malleable Manufacturing Company.

Wabash. In this town there are railroad yards and paper works. Mr. M. Belak mentioned that there are only five Slovene families and four single men. A. Jordan came here in 1904. One year later M. Resak arrived. Two years later Ivan Polajnar came. M. Belak settled down as did J. Tisovec. M. Coke and A. Jordan, who is a hatter, have their own homes. Most of the emigrants work in factories. They attend an English church and there is a German priest who hears their confessions. There are no benefit societies here.

Some Slovene emigrants can be found in Deyer (in 1903 there were over 15 Slovenes here), and in Indian Harbor, Elkhart and Whiting.