Earl says his parents lived in Greenleaf, Brookfield and Renville before moving to Bagley in 1924. There, they bought 160 acres about 5 miles south of town, clearing enough to put up a tent. They built a one-room, tar paper shack for the first winter. The family picked berries and made jelly and jam. Over the years they cleared more land, added a few cows, and raised vegetables, hogs and sheep to eat. Cows were milked and the cream was sold. Victor drove school bus to make a living, even getting elected County Commissioner for one or two terms.
The 1920 U.S. Census lists Victor and Josie in Meeker County, Ellsworth Township, where he is a storekeeper. The 1930 U.S. Census lists them living in Clearwater County, Falk Township, on a farm. Nearby is Frank and Ida Lhotka, his cousin. In 1940, he operated a restaurant in Duluth at 432 East 4th Street. He traded the restaurant for a resort on Gull Lake, north of Bemidji, which he operated for one summer, according to son Howard.
He and Josie moved back to Bagley in 1941 where he bought a pool hall, which he operated for one or two years. They lived in town.
Victor enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing cards. Victor was partner in a cabin on Island Lake near Northhome. Over the years, the partnership included (at times) nephews LeRoy, Archie, Bruce, and son Earl. Archie, Bruce and Earl sold it in about 1970. He died of heart failure while driving his car in rural Bagley, and is buried in Bagley City Cemetery. His death notice was published on the front page of the Bagley Farmer’s Independent on 16 September 1965. It read: Funeral Held for Victor Lhotka Victor Lhotka, a resident of Clearwater County since 1923, died suddenly, Wednesday, September 8. He died in his automobile, an apparent victim of a heart attack. Mr. Lhotka was born December 14, 1890 at Silver Lake, Minnesota, a son of Vincent and Theresa Lhotka. He was married to Josephine Korista at Silver Lake on April 23, 1913. They continued to make their home in southern Minnesota until 1923 when they came to Clearwater County and the community southwest of Bagley where they operated a farm for many years. He and his wife moved to Bagley several years ago and have lived in the west part of town since. Active in community affairs, Mr. Lhotka served a term as county commissioner and also a township assessor. Survivors include his wife, a daughter Pearl (Mrs. Art Hopke) and four sons, Clarence of San Diego, California; Orville of Litchfield; Earl of Duluth; and Howard of Bagley. Funeral services were held at Bagley Saturday, September 11, at the congregational Church with Pastor Phillip Van Wyman officiating. Burial was made in Bagley Cemetery under the direction of the Cease Funeral Home.
- Jerry Lhotka has a newspaper article from 1916 relating that Victor and others had just added the front to his store in Greenleaf.
- 1940-1941 City Directories. Victor, Josie, and Pearl lived at 311 ½ East 5th Street.