This photograph features the Hillsboro High School  basketball team. The team proudly poses with a trophy basketball marking their championship season of 1900-1901. The name “Bob” is written above the second boy to the left in the back row. Could any of these boy been future Wisconsin Badger basketball players? It is certainly a possibility that one of these guys may have played college basketball with the Badgers. The Wisconsin Badger basketball program played their first game in 1899. In 1906-1907 season they won their first share of a Big Ten championship.The likely photographer of this image is Earle D. Akin. The town of Hillsboro was named for early settler Valentia Hill and his brothers. They arrived in the area beginning  in 1850. Many of the earliest settlers were of German descent. They were followed by many Czech settlers and in fact, Hillsboro was known as the “Czech Capital of Wisconsin”. When the town was settled, it did not take much time for a saw mill to arrive, followed by stores , a blacksmith, a hotel, and a school, as well as a grist mill established  along the Barabee River. In the 1880’s dairy farms and a creamery began business in Hillsboro.

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This cabinet card offers a glimpse back into historical times of the American education system. This image dates back before “teaching for the test” was standard policy for many school districts. Sixteen children are posed in front of their schoolhouse. Their young teacher stands behind his class. The children seem to have dressed nicely for “picture day”,  but at least a couple of the boys are barefoot. F. H.Svoboda was the photographer of this image and his studio was located in Prague, Nebraska. At one time, Svoboda published the first, and only,  Czech juvenile magazine in Nebraska. He was a school teacher and later engaged in photography. In 1909, he began to publish the Schuyler Messenger, which existed until 1920. The Messenger was a weekly newspaper in Schuyler, Nebraska. The town of Prague has an interesting history. Its early inhabitants included many Czech settlers who arrived in America seeking prosperity during the 1880’s. In 1887, the town was built to support a newly established railroad station. The town was built by the Lincoln Land Company and became a thriving community catering to the agricultural economy of the area. The largest business in the town was a lumberyard. The town’s name, Prague, is named after the capital city of Czechoslovakia.