Private Frank Smrcek, Company D


        Frank Smrcek was born in 1842 in Moravia with is now in the Czech Republic. There, Frank received his education, and was fluent in five languages. He immigrated and lived in Wisconsin where he enlisted with the 26th Wisconsin Infantry in 1862. The entry in the 'Descriptive Book of the Enlisted Men of Co. D of the 26th Wisconsin' is as follows: 'Smrcek, Frank, Age 21, Height 5' 10 1/2", Complexion Light, Eyes blue, Hair light, Where born Bohemia, Occupation Farmer, Enlisted Aug 18, Where Racine, By Whom M. Kelble, Term 3 years, Remarks Promoted Corporal July 2 63.'
        He was released after receiving a wound in his left leg at the battle of Resaca, Georgia.
        After the war, he married seventeen year old Antonie Smrcek in 1867. Though she was also born in Moravia, they were not related to each other. They moved to a farm near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about one mile east of Ely. Their first child, Emily Antonie, was born in 1868.
        Frank Smrcek died at the age of 28 in November 1870, while Antonie was carrying their second child. He became ill with 'quinsy', a peritonsillar abscess caused by a bacterial infection. One day while his wife was out doing the farm chores the abscess became so large that his breathing was completely blocked and Frank died. He was buried in the Rogers Grove cemetery in Ely.

Information by Peggy Keck

His Diary.