PANKUCH, JAN "JOHN" (1869 - 28 Feb. 1952), newspaper editor and publisher active in Slovak organizations, was born in Saris County, Slovakia, came to the U.S. in 1886 and worked as a laborer, grocer, and coal dealer in Cleveland while trying to establish a publishing business. In the beginning he tried to establish newspapers that would appeal to Slovaks throughout the U.S. First was Americky Slovak (1892-94), which failed because of Pankuch's inability to manage the paper's business affairs. In 1894 he established a Lutheran weekly, Cirkevne Listy (Church Letters), which he published for 5 years, finally selling it in 1899 to a competitor, who moved it out of Cleveland. He then founded the Lutheran in 1900, publishing it until 1902; in 1904 the Lutheran was one of several papers that merged to form Slovensky Hlasnik (Slovak Herald), the official organ of the Slovak Evangelical Union. Pankuch was more successful publishing for the Cleveland Slovak community. He published Hlas (Voice) from 1907-47 and Denny Hlas (Daily Voice) between 1915-25. Pankuch was also treasurer of the Slovak League of America during WORLD WAR I, a member of the American branch of the Czecho-Slovak Natl. Council, and in 1937 became president of the Natl. Slovak Society. A Republican, Pankuch was praised for his Americanism and patriotism. He married Rozalia Gasgeben in 1889 and the couple had eleven children: Cyril, Ann, Rose, Margaret, Pauline, John, George, Mildred, Jewel, Irene, and Theresa. Pankuch lived in LAKEWOOD from 1917 until he died.

Ledbetter, Eleanor E. The Slovaks of Cleveland (1918).

Megles, Susi; Stolarik, Mark; and Tybor, Martina. Slovak Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland (1978).

Article Categories