A bit of his family's story from Tim Cuprisin on the 100th anniversary of the birth of his father, John Cuprisin:
John Cuprisin was born in Marblehead, Ohio, on April 3, 1910. To talk to him, you would have pegged him as an immigrant. His accent betrayed a Middle European background. When my dad was two, his father, Petro Cuprisin packed up the family and returned to the village where he was born, Hrabovčík. Today, the village is in northeastern Slovakia, but back then it was in Austria-Hungary.
Family lore says my grandfather got a letter from the village to tell him that his own father, also named Petro Cuprisin had died. My grandfather was the oldest son, and would have inherited the scattered patches of land around the village that made up the Cuprisin homestead. Since arriving in the US in the early years of the 20th Century, my grandfather had worked in a limestone quarry.
But the prospect of land of his own must have been a strong temptation, and my grandparents packed up the family -- my father, his older brother, Andy, and two sisters, Anna and Helen -- and took the opposite of the immigrant journey, returning to the homeland. As the story goes, my grandfather arrived in Hrabovčík in 1912 to find his own father very much alive.
According to this tale, my grandfather's younger brothers were jealous of his success in the U.S. and made up the story. Whether that's true or not, my grandfather and his family found themselves working the family farm on June 28, 1914, when gunshots rang out in another part of Austria-Hungary, Sarajevo, killing the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie.