Augustin (August Joseph) Hruska was born in August of either 1883 or 1885 in Domazlice, Bohemia in today's Czech Republic. He entered the US through the Port of Baltimore on May 15, 1889 when he was 5. Traveling with him were his mother, Catherine Kristof (34), and his brothers, Josef (10), Matej/Mike (8), and Jiri/George (10 months). August became a naturalized citizen of the US through the naturalization of his father, August Hruska, in Ohio in 1893 (See sources 1 and 2).
He can be seen living with his father, mother, and 7 siblings in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1900 US census, however, it should be noted that here he is listed as "Gustave" (See source 3).
On April 23, 1901, when he was either 16 or 17, August enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 14th Cavalry Regiment in Troop M. With this group of brothers in arm, Gus entered the Philippine-American War to fight the Moros. He likely was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kentucky for training but eventually was sent to Fort McDowell (Angel Island) in California in order to head to the Philippines. August ended his duty in the country and with the US military on May 27, 1904 having been honorably discharged from Angel Island by Pvt. Good. (For more information see: http://angelisland.org/history/ft-mcdowell-aka-east-garrison/).
After finishing his duty in the Philippine -American War in 1904, Gus went home to Cleveland, Ohio and quickly found himself working by day and playing city league and minor league baseball. In 1905, he played for the Eberhard's meaning that he probably worked for the Eberhard Manufacturing Company upon his return from active duty. From various accounts in newspaper clippings, mentioning brothers A. and J. Hruska, August and his brother, Joseph were two of the better and more popular ball players in the Cleveland area. Among various baseball teams (free space list is pending for all sporting teams that the Hruska siblings played on separately and together) that Gus was a part of, the most famous two were the minor league teams of the Akron Champs (between 1907 and 1910) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (rumored).
Not only did Gus enjoy playing baseball professionally with his brother Joseph but he also had some success as a professional bowler alongside Joe and his brother Mike. Not only was Gus was well-known for his baseball skills, but he was also, to a lesser extent, a widely popular semi-professional bowler. He played on several 2 and 5-man teams but was best known for taking down pins with his older brother, Mike, by his side. In fact, the pair answered an open challenge by Cleveland bowling brothers, Louie and Joe Franz, to decide who was the best bowling family in the area. The challenge was chronicled in the Cleveland-based newspaper, The Plain Dealer, in December of 1915. Unfortunately, it is not known at this time who won as the only known mention of this match-up was in the December 21, 1915 copy of the paper. However, it is known, according to the same newspaper (dated March 15, 1916) that Mike and Gus were bested in Toledo by J Fishel and J.J. Feli in doubles competition. The score was 1,112 pins to 1,119 pins. A 7 pin difference from the only two teams to knock down over 1,100 pins during that competition. Also, in this competition were another Hruska sibling duo in brother James and Joseph Hruska who scored just shy of 1,000 pins (either 990 or 999).
On September 4, 1906, August married his first love, Catherine Kopp, and they began to build a wonderful life together. They had nine children together. Unfortunately, the third eldest, George, never made it to adulthood as he died at the age of 10 (See sources 4 and 5).
It would appear that August had a protective streak in him as he is documented as having been a detective for the Cleveland Police Department where he worked as a detective and patrolman between 1912 and 1942. He also put his name in drafts for both World Wars as well as fought in the Spanish American War(See sources 6 and 7).
Catherine and August lived a pretty good life until her death in 1938. At this time, he was left in his home with 5 of his 8 remaining children. It should be noted here that the 1940 US Census only shows 4 children. I would guess that Mary Hruska was accidentally forgotten since she was only 14 at the time (See source 8).
Roughly 10 years after his wife's death, August remarried and had another child with the second love of his life, Marcelle Mccgan. Unfortunately, this love did not produce a healthy child as August Andre died a few days after his birth (see source 9).
On October 16, 1953, Gus became a first degree mason (Entered Apprentice) at Brenton D. Babcock Lodge #600 in Cleveland. A few months later, he passed into the second degree (Fellow Craft) on January 15, 1954. The very next month, he was raised to the position of Master Mason on February 5, 1954. After this he became a member of the Scottish Rite in April of the same year. This is all that is currently known about his dealings with freemasonry.
After a life of ups and downs, August passed away in the Spring of 1964. He was also a member of several fraternal societies including the Scottish Rite and Al Sirat Grotto. A transcription of his obituary record obtained from the Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File is shown below:
Name: Hruska, August Joseph Date: Apr 4 1964 Source: Plain Dealer; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #119. Notes: Hruska. August Joseph Hruska, beloved husband of Marcelle Alta, father of the late Andre August, residence, 1894 Charles Ave. Family will receive friends at the Wm. Abel & Sons Co. Funeral Home, 15317 Euclid Ave., corner of Shaw. Ministerial services Saturday, April 4, at 2 p. m.
1. "Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists Index, 1820-1897," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-37335-22689-30?cc=2173933 : accessed 18 April 2015), NARA M327, Roll 58, No. H620-H634, 1820-1897 > image 156 of 4996; citing NARA microfilm publication M327 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
2."Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K8HS-JW8: accessed 24 Dec 2013), August J Hruska, 1893.
3. "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MMZN-53K : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August Hruska, Precinct B Cleveland City Ward 23, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States; citing sheet , family 39, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241256.
4. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZKP-RYV : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August F. Hruska and Catharina Kopp, 04 Sep 1906; citing Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States, reference p 82; FHL microfilm 886220.
5. "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8GC-TLC : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August Hruska in entry for George Hruska, 31 Oct 1920; citing Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, reference fn 67137; FHL microfilm 1991437.
6. "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K6F8-6FG : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August Joseph Hruska, 1917-1918; citing Cleveland City no 14, Ohio, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d); FHL microfilm 1831858.
7. "United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-24255-13687-84?cc=1919699 : accessed 02 Jun 2014), Howland, Herman - Hudon, Louis > image 1528 of 4305; citing NARA microfilm publication T288.
8. "United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5H1-64Z : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August Joseph Hruska, 1942.
9. "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KW5P-T7G : accessed 24 Dec 2013), Thomas Hruska in household of August J Hruska, Ward 26, Cleveland City, Cleveland City, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 92-646, sheet 8B, family 165, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 3229.
10. "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X6KC-SWT : accessed 24 Dec 2013), August Andre Hruska, 30 Oct 1948; citing , reference Certificate; FHL microfilm 2246537.
Thank you to Michael Hruska for creating WikiTree profile Hruska-52 through the import of export-BloodTree.ged on Jun 8, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Michael and others.
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