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Kun, Francis



  • Existence: 1825-1894


Francis Kun was minister of the Czech-Moravian Brethern Churh near Ely, Iowa in the years just before the turn of the twentieth century. He is said to have been the first missionary among the Czech peoples in the midwestern states. He was born in Javornik in Moravia in 1825. His father and grandfather were ministers as well. His father gave him private instruction in languages and in addition to Czech, he learned German, Magyar (Hungarian), Latin, and Greek. At the end of his life he could speak and write twelve languages, according to one account. He was ordained in 1849 in the Reformed Church of Moravia and served at a church in Miroslava, Moravia until 1856, when he came to America. While working as a farmer in Tama County he began preaching. He married Anna Budka, with whom he would have nine children. He did not have a church and held his services in the woods. In 1859, he was called to serve a small community near Racine, Wisconsin. In 1860, he moved to Ely, where he remained the rest of his life. He never affiliated with any Reformed denomination in the United States, and sometimes preached in a nearby Lutheran Church. He also ministered to people in Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, and the Dakotas, and tried to visit these places once a year. His own congregation was eventually able to build a parsonage and a church. He started two publications, The Voice of Truth and the Herald, both of which failed. Though these are not mentioned in the biographical sketch in the collection, the library owns two published collections of sermons, published in Cedar Rapids. Francis Kun died on January 6, 1894.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Francis Kun Collection

Identifier: MsC0284

Minister of the Czech-Moravian Brethren Church near Ely, Iowa.

Dates: 1835-1899