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Message to Croatian Fraternal Union of America

Croatian Fraternal Union of America - Croatian  in Pittsburgh PA

Croatian Fraternal Union of America

(412) 843-0380
(412) 843-0380

Types

Non Profit
Practice Areas

About Croatian Fraternal Union of America

From humble beginnings in old Allegheny City, now Pittsburgh’s North Side, the Croatian Fraternal Union of America, Hrvatska bratska zajednica, has grown into one of the nation’s leading fraternal benefit societies. From a membership of less than 300 in 1894 to an organization with approximately 60,000 members worldwide, our assets in 120 years have grown from $43 to remarkably approaching $400 million.

The history of the Croatian Fraternal Union actually coincides with the history of the Croatian people in North America.

From the beginning, when an itinerant young newspaperman came to Pittsburgh from Chicago in the late fall of 1893, Zdravko V. Mužina attracted more than 300 people to a meeting on Jan. 14, 1894, to organize a mutual benefit society for all Croatians.

While only a handful actually signed up as members and began payment of dues to provide life insurance protection along with accident and health insurance for themselves and their families, Mužina, undaunted, enlisted the aid of Petar Pavlinac and Franjo Sepić to call a meeting of six independent societies on September 2, 1894, to form the “Croatian Association.” The new organization operated under that name until 1897 when a new charter was issued in the name of the National Croatian Society(NCS). It remained the NCS until 1926 when the Croatian Fraternal Union was borne out of the merger of four independent societies – the National Croatian Society, the Croatian League of Illinois of Chicago, Illinois, the St. Joseph Society of Kansas City, Kansas and the New Croatian Society of Whiting, Indiana.

Interestingly, when the Society was founded in 1894, unable to locate 12 Croatians who were citizens of the United States, a requirement of the statute to incorporate a fraternal benefit society, the Society utilized outside affiliates. Therefore, of the original 12 signers, eight were Croatians and four were Czech and Slovak friends who volunteered their services to launch the first Croatian benefit society.

By 1900, the CFU had grown to 8,000 members and by 1912, the Society included 30,000 members.

The first Home Office of the CFU was rented quarters located on East Ohio Street in Pittsburgh’s North side.

Authorized at the 1909 convention, the first Home Office building and printery to be owned outright by the old National Croatian Society was located at 1012 Perry Street (later named Peralta Street) in Allegheny City, PA. The building cost $17,000 and the society moved into its new quarters on May 1, 1910. This building was utilized until 1928, when a new Home Office building was built at 3441 Forbes Street in Pittsburgh’s Oakland district. The CFU ran its operation in the Oakland Home Office from 1928 through 1961 when the present Home Office structure was built at a cost of over one million dollars in Wilkins Township, PA. This structure underwent a significant interior renovation in 1981.

In order to better serve our members and to stand as a testament to our history and heritage, the CFU augmented its property with a multi-million dollar expansion project that was completed in 1994, the 100th Anniversary of the Society. The current Home Office is situated at 100 Delaney Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. The CFU Home Office now includes office space for the Executive Board, employees, editorial department, recording studio, libraries and extensive museum.

Locations

Primary Office Location

pin 100 Delaney Drive Pittsburgh PA 15235

pin (412) 843-0380

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(412) 843-0380