Our Czech Heritage
More than just a Czech flag logo on a license plate or letterhead, we at Sykora Family Ford are proud of our Czech heritage and continue the tradition of hard, honest work that our ancestors brought to this region of Texas from the Czech Republic. Our dealership proudly displays the Czech flag in our logos to honor those that came before us and gave us the opportunities we currently enjoy.
The Sykora family has a long history of working the land, be it here in black lands of Central Texas or in the beautiful countryside of the Beskydy Mountains in Moravia. Four generations of Sykoras farmed lands near the village of Trojanovice in the current day Czech Republic for over 100 years. During that time our ancestors mastered the skills of making many of today’s popular Czech heritage food items such as sausages, various cheeses, sauerkraut, and those famous kolaches. Our ancestors also instilled in each following generation the value of honesty, a hard work ethic and a deep religious conviction.
However, all of those values were not enough to survive and raise a family in the extremely poor economic conditions caused by very bad harvests in the mid 1840’s and the war with Prussia in 1866 that led to many deaths from cholera in the region. After the civil war in America (1861-65) concluded, emigration to America became a popular way for many Czechs to seek a better life. In 1871 Great, Great Grandpa Josef (born on February 3, 1835) and Great, Great Granny Anna Michalsky (born on July, 22 1839) decided to leave their Moravian homeland for the promise of a better life in America.
On April 16, 1871 Josef and Anna Sykora with their six children boarded the SS Frankfurt in Bremen, Germany and after almost of month at sea, they arrived in New Orleans, America on May 12, 1871. From there they traveled to Central Texas and settled in the West area. The Sykoras found this new country to their liking and added seven more children to the six that came from the old country. Josef (Joe) and Anna Sykora lived a full life raising their thirteen children and are buried in the St. Mary’s cemetery in West. Anna passed away on August 7, 1899 followed by Joe who died on February 4, 1907.
The first Sykora to be born in America was our Great Grandpa Alois Sykora born on December 1, 1873 in West, Texas. The seventh child of Josef and Anna Sykora, Alois, grew up in the West area and married Marie Bezdek (born on November 15, 1878) on October 12, 1897. They lived in West for a time and then moved to the town of Bomarton out in the other West Texas. After a couple of extremely tough years out there, Alois and Marie moved back and settled on a farm in Hill County between Birome and Mount Calm. There they lived a full life raising fourteen children and are buried in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in West. Great Granny Marie died on August 13, 1950 followed three years later by Great Grandpa Alois on November 28, 1953.
Grandpa Louis V. Sykora was born on May 18, 1907 on the family farm near West. The oldest son of Alois and Marie Sykora, Louis grew up in West, then Bomarton (in the other west Texas), and finally the majority on the farm near Birome. On October 16, 1928 Louis married Mathilda Knapek (born on October 17, 1907) and together they raised three sons on the family farm near Penelope. As grandkids we enjoyed our time visiting Grandpa and Granny Sykora and marveled at the hard work and tenacity it took to live on a farm. Grandpa Sykora was the last professional Sykora farmer (although granddaughter Kathy and husband Phil Pustejovsky with Phil’s cousin currently operate a massive farming operation near Abbott Texas and still farm the Sykora homestead) as his three sons left the family farm for the greener pastures of city life in McLennan County. Granny Mathilda Sykora passed away on June 21, 1987 followed ten years later by Grandpa Louis Sykora on December 1, 1997. They are buried in St. Mary’s cemetery in West.
Edmund A. Sykora was born on August 28, 1934 on the family farm near Penelope. The second son of Louis and Mathilda Sykora, Dad grew up working on the family farm and graduated from Penelope High School in 1951. On November 21, 1955 Dad married Dorothy Holacka (born on May 25, 1937) and together they raised (Mom might say “still raising”) ten children. Dad worked for a brief time working as a carpenter and then an auto parts clerk in Waco, before moving the family to West to work at Kozelski Motors in 1961. Dad became general manager/co-owner of the dealership in 1968, changed the name to Sykora Family Ford in 1984, and moved the dealership to its current location in 1987. Although he turned over daily operation of the dealership to the boys a couple of years ago, currently Dad spends his mornings at the dealership and afternoons with Mom at home. Often one or two of the 34 grandchildren spend their day with their Granny and Grandpa. Mom and Dad wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Sykora family has come along way from farming the fields of Moravia to selling Mustangs in Central Texas. Throughout the generations, Sykoras have proved to be honest, hardworking, religious folk with a mind on making the community a better place by charity and example. We hope Sykora Family Ford will be judged along with our ancestors as doing exactly that.