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SNAJDR, VACLAV

SNAJDR, VACLAV (26 Sept.1847-4 Sept. 1920) was a prominent Czech-American journa1lst and publisher who was active in Cleveland business and politics. Snajdr was born in Ceska Budejovice, Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), the son of John and Appolonice Snajdr. Educated at the Gymnasium School at Mlada and the College of Neuhaus in Prague, Snajdr was forced to flee to Berlin during student demonstrations in 1867-68. In Berlin, he used his journalistic skills by contributing articles to local Czech newspapers.

Snajdr was sent to America in 1869 to solicit funds to support the Berlin-based newspapers but stayed in America instead to edit Czech newspapers in Racine, Wisconsin, and Omaha, Nebraska. In 1873, he came to Cleveland as editor of Pokrok, (Progress) and when it failed in 1877, he established a new weekly Dennice Novoveku (Star of the New Era). In his several newspapers, Snajdr expressed his anti-clerical views as well as championing Czech immigrant literature and art, and his editorials gained national attention from the Czech intellegentsia. Drawn to free thinkers/rationalists, Snajdr wrote For a Better Understanding of Robert Ingersoll in 1904 and Ladislav Klacil, His Life and Teachings in 1908. He sold his newspaper and publishing business to Svet (World) Publishing in 1910.

Snajdr was one of the original organizers of the Pilsner Brewing Company and served as its President from 1903 until 1919 when he moved to Pasadena, Calif. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Broadway Bank and served on the Cleveland School Board.

He married Cecelia Korizek in 1873, and they had 6 children: Slava, Mila, Robert, Celia, Ladimir, and Charles. He died in Pasadena at age 72.


The Vaclav Snajdr Papers, WRHS.

Ledbetter, Eleanor. The Czechs of Cleveland (1919).