Ukrainian American Society of Texas


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Ukrainians in North Texas
EARLY TEXAS SETTLERS In 1896 a large group of Ukrainians were on their way to Canada, where they expected to take up homesteads. The steamship agents, however, persuaded them to change their plans and shipped them to Texas instead. On reaching Texas the poor immigrants faced immediate disillusionment. There was no free land available. As they had to do something at once, they turned to the cotton plantations, the railroads, and the coal mines. While looking for work, they discovered Polish communities and settled near them. Since they had no ready cash to buy farms, they rented abandoned plantation land on a share basis. Many Ukrainians still live on and work this land. The largest Ukrainian farm settlements in Texas are near Bremond, Anderson, Marlin, New Waverly, Schulenburg, and Dundee. In most of these communities they raise tobacco, cotton, and grain. As there are no Ukrainian churches or organizations among these people, they are losing their ethnic identity. When Oklahoma was opened to settlement (the Oklahoma Land Rush) they, in company with thousands of native Americans, rushed there, and Oklahoma now has several hundred Ukrainian farmers. (excerpted from Ukrainians in the United States by W. Halytch, University of Chicago Press.)


FROM THE STEPPES TO THE PRAIRIES From the Ukrainian Frontier of the 12th Century to the American frontier of the 19th Century, the Ukrainian name of Petrushewych stands out in recorded chronicles. They are known as a pioneering, adventurous family, never losing their ethnic identity, even on terrain distant from their homeland.

In the 1830s brothers Adolph and Fran Petrushewych, fleeing Czarist Russian injustices, came to the territory of present-day Texas. Known military experts, they soon became actively involved in the Texas struggle for independence from Mexican rule. Frank, Artillery Commander, died in the Battle of Goliad, as legendary as the Alamo and equally as vital in the Texas struggle. His brother Adolph died in a prison massacre by the Mexican Army. The name of Francis Petrushewych may be seen today in Goliad, Texas, carved on a granite memorial in honor of fallen heroes of the Battle of Goliad. (From The Ukrainian Times, October 1975)


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