Czexans, or Czech Texans, settled Texas as early as the 1820s. Josef Lidumil Lesikar helped colonize the state, bringing two groups of about 160 Czechs to Texas in 1851 and 1853 through the port of Galveston. Known as the Father of Czech Immigration to Texas, Reverend Josef Arosy Bergman settled in Texas then wrote letters to Moravian families encouraging them to travel and make their home in Texas. Over 12,800 Texans still speak the Czech language today, characterized by the Moravian dialects, since most Texas immigrants came from Moravia, rather than Bohemian dialects spoken by other Czech-Americans. Today, Texas hosts the largest Czech American population in the U.S. with 155,855.
Czech heritage is still evident today with the infamous Painted Churches, cemeteries with Czech inscriptions, Czech newspapers, heritage museums, polka festivals, and foods like kolaches, sausage, sauerkraut, and more. The 85th Texas Legislature in 2017 designated September 30 as Czech Heritage Day. Here’s my pick of the top Czech towns in Texas in no particular order.
December 14, 2021