The Czech National Cemetery is located two miles south of Hazen, Arkansas, just off Highway 63 South. It was established 10 November 1895. The urgent need for a suitable burial place for Czech Nationals who immigrated to this area came to the attention of the Czech community when one of their number, J.J. Hondl, was killed by lightning while working in the hay field on the adjacent farm, 27 July 1894.
A square plot of two acres of land was donated by Mrs. John Kocourek, a prominent local Czech National, and local real estate dealer. Mr. Hondl was the first person buried there.
On 10 November 1895, the Czech National Cemetery Association was organized. A president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and a board of directors were elected. The first elected officers:
A constitution and bylaws were drafted and adopted, this prefaced by a preamble, reads as follows:
Whereas a square plot of land containing two acres, located in the NE ¼ of NW ¼ Section 5 - Township 1 North, Range 5 West, on December 27, 1895, by Anna and John Kocourek to the Bohemian National Cemetery Society for the purpose of providing a desirable burial there, and whereas the Czech National residents desire that their dead are laid to rest in the "Same Dignity" as that in which they "Lived" and "Worked", we therefore, the undersigned, organize this association subject to the following bylaws and conditions: [end of preamble]
The two acre area was fenced for many years. The cedar trees, a number of which still stand, were planted soon after the establishment of the cemetery. In 1960, Karl Auersperg became the president, succeeding Albert Skarda, who had served in that office for many years. It was decided to remove the deteriorated fence and fill in the road ditch along the north side of the cemetery. Plans were then made for the construction of an attractive archway over the front entrance, and brick pillars marking the four corners of the cemetery. Mr. William Marak, in cooperation with Mr. Joseph Villiger, the manufacturer, were the designers of the structure. Mr. Charlie Hilsdon laid the bricks and did the cement work. Later, a low chain fence was installed along the front boundary. The material was furnished by Karl Auersperg. The labor was furnished by Karl's brothers, John and Fritz Auersperg, and contributed in memory of their parents and brother.
In 1986-87, Joe Skarda installed an underground drainage system in memory of his parents, Albert and Helen Skarda. A perpetual care fund was initiated in 1986. Its constant growth gives promise of a long, enduring future for our Czech National Cemetery.Respectfully submitted by
Following the death of his father, Randy Skarda, son of the above Joseph Skarda, has inherited the upkeep of this cemetery. If this information has in any way been beneficial to your research, please consider a financial contribution to the perpetual fund. There are always improvements and upkeep to be done.