St. Cyril and Method Society
The St. Cyril and Method Society of Tower was formed in 1889 by Father Joseph Francis Buh and F. X. Bajec, when Bajec discovered that there was not a local chapter. The local chapter was created as St. Cyril and Method Lodge No. 4 K. S. K. J.
The society was created to support the Austrian miners living in the area. Provisions were made by the Society to help injured miners, as well as bring news and books from Austria to Soudan for the members to keep up with happenings in their homelands.
The original St. Cyril and Methodius Society was created in the Ukraine around 1845 as a secret society to support liberal causes such as freedom of speech and religion. They intended to make sure Russians and Slavs were treated equally, and to stop the oppression of their people.
Father Joseph Francis Buh was a Roman Catholic priest who lived in Ely, Minnesota at the time, and traveled Minnesota in service. A township in central Minnesota is named after him.
F. X. Bajec was a student visiting from St. Paul at this time. He went on to become a pastor himself back in St. Paul and is mentioned in many newspapers across Minnesota between 1889 and 1920.
In September of 1904, Father Joseph Buh sent the Tower Weekly News notice that Tower’s chapter of the Society had set an auction to sell their meeting hall property on Main Street. The lot was purchased in November of the same year by Anton Gornick for $350. It is assumed that Lodge #4 was absorbed into a larger group in Ely as part of the sale.
There are modern-day St. Cyril and Method K. S. K. J. lodges still in the area, in Eveleth, Gilbert, and Duluth. They still support their members with the same services: insurance and health plans, as well as news. Their newsletter, The Voice, has been compiled since 1901.
The Society’s meeting hall was located on lot 16 of block 9, the end of the last block on the north side of Main Street, before the highway departs Tower east for Soudan.
During the time the Society had its hall there, the streetcar ran past the corner, turning north from Main Street onto Alder Street on its way toward Third Street North, then from there to Soudan. According to the Tower Weekly News, there was formerly an opera hall there; the shape of the building as seen on this Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map from 1892 seems to match.
An unused stock certificate, dated 1891, for the St. Cyril and Method Society’s branch in Tower, recently added to the Lake Vermilion Archives collection. A portion has been clipped off the bottom of the certificate; the cut is irregular. There may have been an extra section attached to the bottom, but the certificate itself only has the last digit of the date handwritten on it.
Tower weekly news. Vol. 13, No. 14 – August 30, 1912
23 years ago in Tower – from Vermilion Iron Journal, Aug 29th, 1889
The Austrians at Soudan have recently organized a society to be known as the “Slovenic Society of St. Cyril and Method,” which has for its object Catholicity and fraternal union. F. X. Bajec, a student who is spending his summer vacation at Father Buh’s, on learning that the Austrians here had no organized society, become interested and took the matter in hand with the result of a society with 160 members. The initiation fee is $5 with monthly dues of 50 cents. Provisions are made for aiding a member who has been hurt in the mines. Also a large number of tracts and reading matter have been ordered from the old country for distribution among the members. Mr. Bajec informs us that there are about 36 houses at the mines into which are crowded the 400 Austrians who find employment at the Minnesota.
Rev. Fr. Buh, Anton Stefanich and Paul Verban left this morning for Chicago where they go as delegates from the St. Cyril and Method Society of this city to a convention of that order being held there this week.
I hereby certify that the following is a correct list of the sidewalk assessment on that portion of Main Street not already built by the property owners between Pine and Alder streets:
OWNER. LOT. BLK. AMT.
St. Cyril Metod Soc… 16 9 $24.50
NOTICE TO STOCKHOLDERS.
All persons owning shares in the St. Cyril and Method Society, are hereby notified that a meeting, for the purpose of transacting important business, will be held at the parsonage of St. Martins church on Thursday, evening, Sept. 8th at 4 o’clock p.m,. when it is desired that all share-holders be present.
By order of Jos. F, Buh, Manager.
Notice is hearby given that sealed bids will be received by the undersigned up to 10 o’clock a. m. of Wednesday, Sept. 21st. 1904, for the purchase of lot 16 block 9 (better known as the lot whereon the opera house was located) together with all brick and material thereon. The owners reserve the right to reject any or all bids.
Address bids to Jos. F. Buh, Manager, Ely, Minn.
REALTY MARKET NOT VERY ACTIVE
Brokers Doubtful as to What Coming Holiday Season Will Bring — Architect Predicts Even Heavier Building Activity In the East End Next Year.
Transfers for the week were as follows:
The St. Cyril and Method Society, of Tower, to Anton Gornick, Lot 16, Block 9, Tower…. 350
https://www.kskjlife.com/ – K. S. K. J. Life website