Jiri Peter Jindra, Jr. (George Jr.)

written by Michael Jindra

Jiri Peter Jr. (Georg P. Jindra) was known as a hard worker, an active person who would sometimes walk on the beach from Two Rivers to Manitowoc, even though he was a “hunchback,” possibly from a fall off a high chair when he was a child. He often showed up at homes unannounced, was well-respected, and loved a good time. He didn’t learn to drive a car, because he usually had someone do it for him, or he used horses. Apparently each had some savings in the 1920s, which George put in a bank, while Mary gave as a loan to build the new Lutheran church. George lost his in the 1929 crash, while Mary’s was eventually repaid.

George Jr. was raised Roman Catholic, but after his marriage to Mary Lenhardt attended St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. He may have fallen out with the Catholic church over a dispute over the amount of work he did to build the church in 1894. He did not join St. Peter’s, however, until the 1940s. It is not clear why he waited so long. He may have promised his mother that he would stay in the Catholic Church. When he joined St. Peter’s, he did not have to take the normal catechism course for newcomers because of his long-time presence at the church.

The children of George Jr. and Mary (Anna, Alvin, Alice, George, Walter, Norman, Hilda, Reuben and Oscar) went to a one-room schoolhouse about a mile away, called the French settlement school, because of a number of French families in the area. Most of the children went to school only until they were thirteen, and then helped on the farm or in the home. Both German and English were spoken in the home by this time, because all his older siblings had been to school and learned English by this time. The high school in Mishicot was not a four year school until the early 1920s when an addition was put on the Rockway St. school. Reuben was in the first class (1922) that graduated from the school. Before this, Reuben had gone to a half day German catechism class at church for 2 years, and was confirmed in German, but was held back a year in the public school because he attended the German catechism class.

Sometime between 1903 and 1908, George, Mary and family moved to a 130 acre farm across the road from the present day Fox Hills resort, bordering what is now the north golf course. The farm remained in the family until 1958. The youngest son, Oscar, initially took over the farm work from his father George, and Reuben also helped for a while, after which he worked at Crescent Woolen Mills, Two Rivers for 30 years. Besides horses and chicken there were 31 head of cattle on the farm. The first tractor was a Fordson, then a 1020 IH, and later a John Deere, all powered by fuel oil, but started by gas.

Most of George and Mary’s children stayed in the area.

  1. Anna K. Jindra– 1887-1964 Anna married Herman Stoer, a foundry worker in Two Rivers, in 1910.
  2. Alvin F. Jindra– 1889-1970 Alvin married Leona Meineke.
  3. Alice K. Jindra– 1891-1973 Alice married the Lutheran Pastor, Edward Zell.
  4. George F. Jindra III– 1893-1970 George III was a teacher and later insurance salesman and lived in North Dakota.
  5. Walter Carl Jindra– 1895-1940 Walter was a plumber in Two Rivers, and later was the assistant operator of the filtration plant there. On the evening of March 27, 1940, the family was faced with his untimely death during an accident at the plant. [1]
  6. Norman Henry Jindra– Norman died in 1923 of leukemia.
  7. Hilda K. Jindra– 1900-1976 Hilda remained unmarried and taught in Gary, Indiana before retiring to Two Rivers.
  8. Reuben H, Jindra– 1902-1994
  9. Oscar L. Jindra– 1905-1964

(For details on other family members see Ann Jindra Winter’s 1985 school paper).


[1] see Manitowoc Herald-Times, 3/28/1940

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