Hurray Family Photos

Michael Francis Hurray

20Sep1881 Michael Hurray born to Josephus Hurray and Anna (Klapacs) Zahuranyecz in Spisske Podhradie, Slovakia. 
On 25Sep1881 Michael Hurray was baptized Roman Catholic as "Michael Francis".  His God parents listed were named, Joannes and Maria Kralik.

1892-At the age of 10 1/2  Michael emigrated to the United States with his mother and siblings. The story is below.

5Jan1904 -Around the age of 22, Michael married Mary Sidelsky, (Mary was living in Pittsburgh at the time at 831 3rd. St. in Allegheny, PA. with her 2 parents and 4 other siblings.  Mary was the first born of her siblings and she was born in Hungary).  The full story is below:


In 1881 Michael Francis Hurray was born 20Sep1881 to Josephus Hurray and Anna (Klapacs) Zahuranyecz in Spisske Podhradie, Levoca, Slovakia.  At the time, he was the 7th biological child born to Anna (Klapacs/Zahuranyecz) Hurray [Her having had 4 children earlier with Michael Zahuranyecz and 2 with her present husband Joseph]  The father of Michael was Joseph Hurray (Joseph Sr. was born 1841/1845?).

Michael Francis Hurray was the third of 6 children born to Anna Hurray with her first husband Joseph. Michael also had three other “half-siblings”, who were born to Anna Hurray, previously, during her first marriage to Michael Zahuranyecz. Those children were named were Maria (b. 1865), Emericus (b. 1867), Anna (b. 1872), and Susanna (b. 1874).  Anna Hurray Sr. gave birth to a total of 10 biological children during her lifetime. All of Anna's children seemed to be rather industrious, with Michael being no exception. This could have been because of her, and her husband(s)' upbringing, but Michael’s success in life was was also not just handed to him. He had gone through many stages in his life to get to where he was going, and he definitely had to work for it.


Born in 1881

It is always good to repeat the fact that Michael was born in Slovakia in the year 1881 (September 20, 1881). The Town in which he was baptised was called Spisske Podhradie, Levoca, Slovakia. At the time Michael was born, the area known as “Slovakia” sat geographically in the northeastern part of the political boundary named, “Austria-Hungary”, which was named such in the year 1867.  Before that, the area known as “Slovakia” sat within a much large territory, more broadly known as “Hungary”. Michael spent the first 10 and 1/2 years of his life within that region of Hungary known as Slovakia.   Not much is known about how the Hurray family carried about their daily life while living in Spisske Podhradie, but religious life was always at the forefront of daily life for the majority Slovaks back then, and it most likely was so for the Hurray’s as well.  They were known, at least to me, as very "Catholic".  Roman Catholic to be more precise.  The percentage of Roman Catholic's in that area was around ____%.

Much later, Michael’s wife’s sister, Clara Seidel, would tell her family in California that the Hurray’s were from “Royalty”. There are other such stories like that told throughout the years, and we may never know the true answer as to whether the Hurrays were royalty. Many names that end in “ay” in Hungary are associated with a more elite class2, but it’s still not known if the Hurray’s were considered part of that class, but probably so. One of the Hurray cousins, Don Hurray, said that Michael’s mother, worked at the famous old Castle on the hill in Spisske Podhradie until such time that she left for the United States, and that they helped her out when she wanted to emigrate. At around the time Michael was born, the population of Spisske Podhradie was approximately 3,259 persons (Year 1880 figures). Since then, the population has increased by only around 1,000 more persons as of this writing (2021), so the Town has had a relatively small population throughout the years. Even at the time Michael lived there, the town could be considered a “melting pot”, because it consisted of many nationalities and cultures, such as Germans, Hungarians, Rusyns, Poles, Ruthenians (Roma/Gypsies), and Jews as well. At the end of WWII, long after the Hurray’s had emigrated, most of the town’s existing Jewish population was cruely exported to concentration camps (I presume by the Nazi's who came from afar; outside of the town).


Over the years, and especially in the mid to late 1800’s, the process of “magyarization” had become a persistent force for the people of the entire region of Slovakia. Magyarization caused stress among Slovakians, because it was the process of Hungarians wanting Slovaks to adopt their language and culture, and it ("Magyarization" and the Hungarians promoting it), basically put pressure on “Slovaks” to reject their own heritage in order to assimilate themselves into Hungarian culture. For the most part, “magyarization” was the persistent reason that most people left Slovakia, however, economics was an equally strong and fervent factor, as well as lack of money, jobs, food and food production, and opportunities.


Michael at 7 years old (1888)


In 1888, when Michael was 7 years old and still living in Slovakia, his biological father, Josephus ("Joseph"), left Slovakia for America. Josephus (“Joseph”) first settled in what was called the City of "Allegheny", PA., in the western part of the State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. It is not known why Joseph initially went to Allegheny, PA., but it is likely there were other immigrants who had gone there before him, and came back to Slovakia to say there were opportunities in the U.S.  This was a common reason back then for the men (almost entirely men at that time looking for work) to emigrate. It was very common back in those days for the men to travel first to the U.S. and for the wife and/or family to follow soon thereafter. It was also common for many Slovak’s (approx. 1/4 of them) to return back home, and to go back and forth between the Countries. Sometimes, also, “Company men” from the U.S. would travel to Slovakia specifically to recruit immigrant workers, to entice them to work in the booming industries overseas (The booming "industries" were initially Railroads, and also Steel mills and Coal mines). Additionally, there lots of general neighborhood talk around and within all of the Slovak towns. Talk of a new world called, “America”, where there was lots of work and endless opportunities to be had.


Michael age 7 through 11 (1888-1892).


While Michael was living at home with his mother in Slovakia, presumably attending elementary school, his father, Joseph, was in America making money for the family working in a foundry as an “iron chipper”, which was dirty, dusty work usually in a foundry.  This would mean that Michael's father figure at that time between the ages 7-11 was absent.  It is not known if there may have been a male figure or mentor present in those four years.

March 1892

At the age of approx. 10 1/2 years old, Michael’s mother, with only 3 suitcases of possessions with her, gathered up her family to embark on a long journey from their hometown in Slovakia to Bremen, Germany in order to board a ship there to America.  Their very first leg of the journey, would have been from Slovakia to Bremen, which was a journey made earlier by many other Slovaks before her, and usually on foot. The direct route to Bremen was considered the “legal” method. If someone wanted to get to America “illegally”, they sometimes had to travel farther north, close to Russia, or even in Russia territory first, then go west, which was a much larger, arduous, and riskier journey.


     Anna and her children arrived in the United States on March 23, 1892, at New York Harbor. Her daughter's Anna and Susanna were not directly listed on the passenger list (perhaps one of them, possibly, but it's unclear), however, it is not known if that was a typo or oversight, as there were many people being quickly processed at that time through New York at once.  The two of them could have made a separate journey.  After the Hurray family arrived in New York, their final destination would be Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where Anna’s husband, Michael’s father, Joseph ("Josephus"), had already been living for the past 4 years. The family would have most certainly have taken a train from New York to their final destination, Allegheny, Pa., as in those days, there were very few cars, and the train was considered the most viable means of transportation, and the most efficient.  


Another story, and urban legend, told to me (Thomas Hurray), later by Helen E. Hurray, Michael’s niece, was that the Hurray name originated when the family was on the boat to America and they finally saw land, and someone yelled “Hurray!”.  Not sure how true that is, but Helen did like to kid around a lot.


Michael age 12 to 17 (1892-1898)

For six years, Between 1892 and 1898, the Hurray family initially lived in the “Woods Run” area of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. At that time, “Woods Run” was a major destination for Slovaks, and other Eastern European Slavs in general. “Woods run” had become a common destination for Slovaks, mainly because of “Chain Migration” (The neighborhood eventually became known as the “North Side” of Pittsburgh, after the separately names City of "Allegheny" was incorporated into the City of Pittsburgh in the year 1908.) Chain Migration means that migrants have their employment and/or accommodations arranged by one’s who have migrated before them, which in turn, means each new immigrant is likely to move to that same place based on their social relationship. During the first couple of years of living in the City of Allegheny, Michael and his family were getting acclimated to their new surroundings. However, they also needed to survive and feed the family. It was not uncommon for younger folks forgo school and to go directly to work, and Michael was no exception. He started working at a young age, which, in those days, was really not that uncommon.3


Tragedy in 1899

When Michael was around 17 years old, in 1899, he, and his friend John Jobe, who was 22 years of age, were already working as “Iron Enamelers” in what would eventually become their chosen field or work. In the Summer of 1899, Michael, and his family, had learned of the sickness of his younger brother, Stephen, who had since advanced his schooling to a Monastary called “Nazareth” in Dayton, Ohio, where he was learning to become a Marianist Priest. Stephen was quite ill. Michael’s mom, dad, and brothers Joseph and Andrew were called to Dayton by the by the School administrators to be by Stephen’s side (where he lay dying). They traveled the long distance to Dayton, Ohio to visit Stephen, which at that time was most likely by train, but still quite a long distance. Michael and the other siblings stayed home, presumably to work. The family prayed the rosary with Stephen, as the rosary was always something the Hurray family would turn to in times of need. Stephen tragically died, which had to be quite a shock, and a probable turning point for the entire Hurray family. Stephen was quite revered, and holy, and one of the priests from Nazareth later said in 1925, that Stephen, “was indeed”, being considered for Canonization. The Hurray’s were very much hopeful that Stephen would have made it through his illness, but sadly he did not.


Having had such a loss in the family at Michael’s impressionable age (now 17) years old, would have probably caused Michael, and his whole family, to realize how fragile life ban be. It could have inspired Michael to strive be the successful person he became, however, it seems his parents may have also had a role in “pushing” and encouraging all of their kids to do well and the be successful in life.


Michael at 19-23 years old (1900-1902)-During the years between 1900 and 1902(??), Michael had recently turned into an adult (over 18). Michael’s mom and dad eventually moved into the Beaver County Monaca/Rochester area. Anna’s first son, Emil, (Michael’s step-brother) continued to stay in the Pittsburgh area, and in 1900, he physically built his own house at 2348 McCook St., in Pittsburgh, PA. which is still standing as of today (2021).


Emil Hurray’s house he physically built in 1900 on 2348 McCook St., in Allegheny (Pittsburgh), PA. as it appeared in 2015. (At that time, in 1900, Michael and his siblings lived just across the alley on the right, called Jewett St., in a house that has not existed for a long while (currently a vacant lot).

1903 Map of the corner of McCook and Joliet St. around 1903 (The “Huray” owned lot where Michael lived in 1900 can be seen across Joliet alley, and another “Huray” lot can be seen on the corner of Halsey place and McCook St.)


The Monaca years (1902-1908)


Monaca, Pennsylvania, is a town just NW of Pittsburgh, PA. as you head north along the Ohio river; (to take the original route, drive north from Pittsburgh on either State Route 60 or State Route 51). Having had some experience already in the Sanitary business and with his friend John Jobe, who had even more experience and was older than Michael, they both moved to Monaca around 1902 to work for the United States Sanitary Mfg. Co., headquartered in Monaca, PA. Michael spent about six years in the Monaca/Beaver County area until about 1908. Michael’s youngest brother, Andrew, also worked as a clerk for the U.S. Sanitary Manufacturing Co.”, in Monaca, PA., after he had finished his schooling. Back then, being a clerk at the sanitary would have required having a good education, which Andrew most likely possessed from his schooling in Allegheny City, PA.


Michael at age 22 (Marriage)

In 1904, five years after his brother Stephen’s un-timely death, Michael, who had since settled in Monaca, PA, married in 1904. He 22 years of age. His bride was Mary Sidelsky, (The surname Sidelsky was later changed to Seidel), who was two years younger than he. She was around 20 years old at the time. Mary Sidelsky was living on the eastern part of Allegheny City where she stayed with her mom, dad, three brothers, and one sister.   Of her siblings, Mary was the only child that that was born overseas in Austria-Hungary, the rest were born in the U.S.A. It is not known how Michael and she met. Her dad was a “Cooper” at a barrel making company. As was typical for many immigrants, she immigrated to America with her mother in 1891, and she and her mother meet up with the father, Mr. Sidelsky, who had emigrated one year prior, in 1890.


Michael age 22 to 26 (1904-1908)

In the years between 1904 to 1908, Michael Hurray continued to live in the Monaca area of Beaver County Pennsylvania. His new wife, Mary, after being married for two years, gave birth to their very first child in 1906. A son named, Cyril John Hurray.


John Jobe, Michael’s friend and associate, who had also moved to the Monaca area from Pittsburgh, PA., had a child this same year with Michael’s sister, Katheryn (Hurray) Jobe. They named their child Katheryn. It was a happy occasion since they had lost a 2 year old child, named, Albert J. Jobe in 1904, whom is buried in Union Cemetery, Monaca PA.


In the Fall of 1904 John Jobe, patented an invention the he himself invented, that improves the actual construction of the two kilns that are normally used to burn enamel, especially bathtubs (patent no. 774, 478). John Jobe was only 26 years old at the time.


1908-a transitional year


Two years after giving birth to Cyril, Michael and Mary also had another son, Francis Joseph, in March of 1908. Tragically, Francis Joseph died of convulsions after just two months, and after a 4-day illness. 1908 was the same year that in the town of Salem, Ohio, which is about 50 miles west of Beaver County, PA., had recently built a new “Sanitary” facility. Since Michael Hurray and John Jobe, were known in industry circles to have possessed a little known formula for mixing enamel, they were recruited to join it. Michael became the foreman, and John Jobe the Superintendent. Michael, his wife Mary, and first son Cyril moved to Salem, Ohio, and purchased property on Ohio St. (The address numbers were changed in Salam, Ohio in 1928 so the actual dwelling was closer to the corner of Ohio and Franklin).  The new Sanitary in Salem, Ohio was named, “National Sanitary”, and was quite large. That same year, in 1908, Michael’s brother Andrew Hurray also moved to Salem, Ohio from his home in Rochester/Monaca in Beaver County, PA. Michael Hurray and John Jobe were reportedly the first Slovaks to come to Salem, Ohio (reported by Salem News).

National Sanitary, Salem, Ohio from a 1907 postcard photograph.


Life in Salem, Ohio 1909-1915

Michael Hurray was probably the first “Hurray person” to move to Salem, Ohio, starting in the year 1908, and perhaps one of the first documented person of Slovak descent. His father and mother, Joseph and Anna, did visit Salem, Ohio occasionally, but they stayed, and lived, mainly in the Beaver County Area. A year after the death of their second child, Francis, Michael’s wife Mary gave birth to her third child named Mary Agnes. Mary Agnes was born in Salem, Ohio, in 1909.


Michael made quite a splash in Salem, Ohio, for the generally short time he was there. Being of Slovak descent, and his friend John Jobe who was also of general Slavish/Galacia/Polish descent. Michael was the foreman of the plant and John Jobe was the Superintendant. Michael’s grand-daughter Gloria Rummel said to me, in 2021, that Michael also owned and operated a grocery store somewhere in Salem, Ohio as well, however, it is more likely the grocery store was in Ambridge, PA.(near Monaca, PA) at a later date around 1920. He also was instrumental in starting up the first Slovak club (Michael and his brother Joseph were in the first group of men that started the “Slovak Gymnastic Sokol Union” in 1912), which has gone through many, many incarnations since then. t form as the “American-Slovak club of Salem, Ohio”.   Michael’s father had been involved earlier in Slovak benevolent organizations while he was in Allegheny/Pittsburgh, so Michael probably recognized the same need in Salem, Ohio because of the major influx of immigrants to the town who were in search of work in the new factories in town.


Michael stayed in Salem, Ohio at least six years, from approximately 1908-1915. His brother, Andrew, only stayed for a very short time in Salem, Ohio. In 1910, at the age of 22, he moved to San Francisco to work for a company called N.O. Nelson Manufacturing Co., which also had a division that made plumbing fixtures. California was a long way by train, but California was known then as another land of opportunity, that was growing. At that time, there were very few persons of Slovak descent who had ventured out west to California, but being young and adventurous, Andrew really had nothing to lose.


His friend John Jobe, and Mrs. John Jobe left Salem, Ohio around 1914 to go work for N.O. Nelson Manufacturing, in Noblesville, Indiana, until around 1918?, when they returned to the Pittsburgh area.   Mrs. Jobe’s mother, Anna Hurray, came to visit them in Noblesville Indiana.


The Mansfield, Ohio years 1917-1921 1


In 1917, after spending about six to seven years in Salem, Ohio, Michael went to work with Barnes Manufacturing Company, in Mansfield Ohio. Mansfield, Ohio is about 100 miles west of Salem, Ohio. He brought his wife and two children Cyril and Agnes, (ages 11 and 8 respectively), with him. They initially lived at 436 W. Fourth St., in Mansfield, Ohio.

436 W. Fourth St. Mansfield Ohio, pic. taken 2021. (The first home in Mansfield that Michael lived with his family).


Not many folks had cars back in the day, and most people relied on trains for long trips, but Michael, being higher up in the Company would have probably had the financial means to have a vehicle by now, however, trains were also still being used as a means of transport. To get to Mansfield, Ohio by car, Route 30 (or the Lincoln Highway), would have probably been the most likely route for him to take from Salem, Ohio to Mansfield, Ohio in those days. A route that still exists today.


Barnes Mfg. was a large factory/foundry. Michael Hurray was in charge of the enameling division at that facility. There is an interesting article published in the Mansfield Times (25May1919) about how that part of the enameling process was performed at Barnes Manufacturing in 1919 while Michael was there. The article gives a mention to him. The Barnes facility was located at the corner of Main St. and Longview Ave. in Mansfield, Ohio. The buildings and property were later acquired by Crane Pumps and it is still operating under that name today (2021). The original enameling building may, or may not, still be in existence.


Three years later after arriving in Mansfield, Ohio In 1920, Michael’s family moved across town to the address of 27 Sheridan, in Mansfield, Ohio. Michael’s children, Cyril and Agnes, would have grown to be 14 and 11 years old respectively by then. Agnes was attending St. Peters School at 104 W. 4th St., in Mansfield, Ohio. While Michael was in Mansfield, Ohio, his parents lived in the Monaca, PA area of Pennsylvania, and they most likely paid visits, but it is not known how often, or whether those visits entailed visiting Salem, Ohio as well.


St. Peter’s Church Mansfield, Ohio around 1917. The School that Agnes Hurray attended was very close to this Church (which still exists today-2021)


A short time later, In November of 1920, Michael moved out of Mansfield, Ohio, and on to Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which is in Beaver County, PA. located just a bit S.E. of Monaca, PA., as you go along the Ohio River. Cyril Hurray, being in his impressionable teenage years of 14+, related later in life in a letter to Philip Hurray Jr., that Ambridge, PA in 1920, was rather far from places like Salem, Ohio, in those days, which made it difficult to visit, which is why, he said, that there wasn’t much interaction with the Hurray’s from Salem, Ohio.



Michael died in 1945.

1. Other names for this town were, in other languages, also known as "Szepesviralja" and "Kirchdrauf".
2. According to a letter addressed to Philip Hurray Jr. in the early 1990's from a Hungarian organization, it was said that "ay" surnames signify something more than just a simple name in Hungary.
3. Later census records indicate Michael may have had up to a 6th grade formal education. Michael's older 1/2 brother Emil, in Slovakia, around 1879, was also "sent" to work at an earlier age presumably by his mother, or with his mothers approval.
3. Slovakia was geographically located inside of what was termed "Austria-Hungary" at the time of Michael's birth.  That dual monarchy began in 1867, 9 years before Michael's birth.