he had no children SO there are no descendants left to mourn.
but he IS worth remembering.
1885 - 1934
A small memorial to a memorable Table Rock boy.
There have reportedly been at least three Charles Blechas in the Table Rock of yore. The Charles Blecha of this story was one of the many children of Vaclav and Katerina Blecha. He was born in 1885, and he married Anna Lomicka in 1914. He and Anna had no children. Here he is with some of his family (more siblings were born after the picture was taken). He is the little boy in the white shirt, standing between his mother and father.
in the early 1900s, wrestling and boxing matches were popular
Here's a picture said to be of a wrestling match in the Table Rock Opera House. Sadly, there is no date and no one is identified. But it looks to have been the real deal. The scenery in the background is still backstage. This is in the Historical Society's collection.
charles had an interesting
career at one time.
he was a wrestler.
he was "the big wrestler from table rock."
Charlie Blecha is the wrestler on the left. Is he the same wrestler as in the photograph above? Photograph shared by Debbie Blecha. She and husband Howard got the photo from cousin Arvid Blecha. Photo 8712. Note that it is a photograph by photographer Archer King, as noted by the imprint in the bottom right of the frame; King lived in Table Rock until he married in the mid 19-teens.
april 23, 1909 -
may 12, 1921 Lincoln evening journal
This match took place in the Ideal Theater in Table Rock. The Ideal was the name of the movie theater in those days. The theater saw its grand opening in January 1918. It had no name at first, but after a name contest got the name the Ideal, later was the Roxie, and then simply the Table Rock Theater. More than movies took place there -- plays, band concerts....and wrestling bouts.
In this article, A. C. Jones was the referee, and there were several bouts before Charles took the floor. "Local lads" Cecil Horton and Hollis Burow "made things live for a time," then Harland Taylor and Edwin Freeman went at it "fast and furious." They were followed by a bout between brothers Orville and Glenn Jones and a bout between Joe Branek and Glenn Kent. Then came the main attraction: Charles Blecha versus Jess Marlin.
Charles had by then"made for himself a wide reputation as a wrestler." He was about 36. Read how his match came out:
charlie dies, was not yet 50
March 18, 1934
table rock argus
Athlete and Wrestler
a table rock boy
Thank you to Historical Society member Fran Blecha for this picture. She says it was taken circa 1905 and he would have been about 20 years old.
Read a little more about charles in his memorial on findagrave.com:
Wrestling match in the Opera House, participants unidentified.