|Czech Days 1965 were dedicated to Joseph Dvorak for his contributions, which left their mark upon the Czechs of the area, the town of Tabor, and the citizens of this nation and state.
Born in Bohemia, Dvorak came to America in 1885. He moved to South Dakota, near the town of Tabor at the age of ten to live withan older brother.
Dvorak purchased the Tabor Independent, a weekly newspaper in 1905 and published it for forty-five years in both English and Czech language until his retirement. Dvorak put out his first issue as the paper’s new publisher and a month later, wishing to cater to Tabor’s Czech population, began printing a section of paper in the Czech language. His book entitled "History of Czechs in South Dakota," which he wrote in 1920 as part of Tabor’s 50th Anniversary, was translated into English.
Remembered in his community and state as the longtime editor of the Tabor Independent, Dvorak's first love was music. Although he loved music, he felt it was not a profession that would support a family. He attended the Procupius College in Chicago where he learned the printing trade. He also continued to expand his musical knowledge. Although his favorite instruments were the piano and violin, by coupling his natural musical ability with information gained from various musical books, Dvorak taught himself to play nearly every type of instrument.
In 1915, Dvorak used his musical and writing abilities to enter into the area of music composition. He wrote some 100 selections and arrangements. One of the compositions, “The Black Hills Suite” was presented to the conductor of the Rapid City Symphony Orchestra and another; “Corn Palace Festival” was presented to the Mitchell High School Band Director for use during the nation’s bicentennial.
Joseph Dvorak served as Tabor Postmaster in 1907-1908 and was justice of the peace from 1907-1925. Aside from publishing, he was active as a public speaker. During the 40 years, he spoke at 325 funerals in South Dakota and Nebraska, and for 20 consecutive years as Memorial Day speaker at the Czech cemetery.
|Home Town (Tabor, SD)|