Josip “Joseph” Kos

Josip “Joseph” Kos
birth: 24 May 1875 in Dubranec, Austria-Hungary to Nicholas Milo and Kata Trputec Kos
death: 19 February 1919 in Gary, Lake, Indiana
burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Glen Park, Lake, Indiana

marriage: 10 February 1895 in Dubranac, Austria-Hungary
Jana Kata “Anna Katherine” Grdenich
birth: 21 December 1876 in Jerebic, Austria-Hungary to Janko and Yalza Elizabeta Cvekuvich Grdenic
death: 14 February 1966 in Gary, Lake, Indiana
burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Glen Park, Lake, Indiana

Children of Jana Kata “Anna Katherine” Grdenich and Josip “Joseph” Kos:

  • Vincent (1897-bef 1900)
  • Thomas (1899-abt 1899)
  • Mara “Mary Violet” Kos[s] (1900-1985) m. Ivan “John” Kos[s]
  • Josip “Joseph Stephen” Kos[s] (1902-1993) m. Mary Ann Farkas
  • Doro Kos (1904-1909)
  • Barbara Mary Kos (1914-1995) m. 1st Ferencz “Frank” Weigus m. 2nd Joseph Paul Milosevich

Ancestor here lived in:

  • Gary, Lake County, Indiana

Other Information:

Josip “Joseph” Kos, the middle son of Nicholas Milo and Kata Trputec Kos, was born on 24 May 1875 in Dubranec, Austria-Hungary. The land area has changed names since his birth there; it became Yugoslavia and now, Croatia. Little is known about his early life in the small village outside Zagreb, Croatia where he was raised. He joined the Cavalry and married Jana Kata “Anna Katherine” Grdenich on 10 February 1895 in Dubranac. She was from a nearby village. The couple had five children together but only two born in Croatia survived childhood. While having his horse reshoed one day, Joseph sustained a kick to his chest. He became asthmatic and was let go from the cavalry. Some family stories say he was kicked in the head and became an epileptic. Regardless, Joseph did not want a future as a farmer and decided to seek his fortune in America. He departed from LeHavre and arrived via the ship La Lorraine in New York City on 17 January 1910 with $20.00; he was traveling to meet a friend Mato Krisanic who resided in the U.S. He was noted to be 5′ 6″ with brown hair and blue eyes. Joseph quickly found employment with the Pullman Railroad Company and was sent to Pennsylvania and later Chardon, Geauga, Ohio. He worked for Pullman, crossing the country all the way to California. He was later transferred to Chicago, Illinois. In1913, he sent fare to his wife and children, Mary and Joseph, to join him in the U.S. Joseph took the train from Chicago to New York to meet his family on 5 July 1913. They spent the night in a hotel in the city and took the train west the following day. Joseph, while staying in Chicago, found an apartment in the backroom of a church for his family on 31 March 1913 in Gary, Indiana. The name of the church has been forgotten but the location was on West Ridge Road between Adams and Jefferson Street. There the children were enrolled in school and the family took English lessons. After a short time, Joseph secured Pullman housing and the family joined him in nearby Chicago. Another child was born to the couple in Blue Island, Cook, Illinois. Daughter Mary wed in 1917 and her new husband, Ivan “John” Kos moved into the small residence in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. The growing family decided to seek new opportunity in Gary, Lake, Indiana where Joseph and John found work at I.I.B. Teaming Company. By late 1918 the family had relocated to a rented house at 1521 Garfield Street. Joseph and John would bicycle to work. Both became ill during the influenza pandemic. Although John recovered, Joseph’s conditioned worsened into broncho pneumonia. He died at 7 AM at his residence in Gary on 19 February 1919. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Glen Park, Indiana.

The family had a name change after arriving in the U.S. Manifests show they left Austria-Hungary with the surname Kos and were still using that spelling when their youngest daughter, Barbara, was born in Chicago. Between 1914 and 1917, however, the name was changed to Koss as is shown on Mary’s wedding certificate. Joseph’s death record reflects the spelling Koss. This submitter asked Mary why the name was changed; she stated that it was a recommendation of a clerk at Ellis Island. He said to think about it as most American names are longer than three letters. The family continued to use the original spelling but as they became assimilated, decided to add a letter to their surname. It was at that time that also Americanized their first names. Barbara continued to use the original surname spelling of her maiden name throughout her life.

Submitted by:
Lori Samuelson


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