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The History of Mikóháza

Archaeological finds from the Polished Stone Age have proved that this area was settled by people early. The territory of the village was untouched by the nomadic Huns and Eurasian Avars. The Hungarians arrived through the Verecke Pass also avoided the place. Although there were several battles nearby between the Avars and their enemies, the ownerless area was covered by peaceful, deep forest until the 13th century.

The history of the village started with the settlement of the Mikó family. According to a decree from 1273 Queen Elisabeth the Kun donated the estate for her faithful vassal Mikó. Historical documents and surveys consider this family name as the origin of the name of the village.

Several data from the 13th and 14th century refer to the fact that the holders of the forest made the peasants do the clearance of the forest. Besides the forest management hunting was also a very important source of living for the settlers. The Mikó family had a dominant position in the foundation of the forest management and the local public life for three centuries.

Luckily, the village managed to survive the 150 years of the conquest of the Ottoman Empire without any martial events. Because of this fortunate position many refugees moved here from the southern parts of Hungary in the 16th and 17th century fleeing from the Ottoman occupation.

As the two important centres of the Reformation Sárospatak and Sátoraljaújhely are near, the new religious theories had a great influence on the people of the settlement. Many people converted to reformed religion. The years of the counter-Reformation brought a religious strife for the village during the reign of István Bocskai. The reorganisation of the Catholic Church has started, and Greek Catholic parishes were established in Abaúj at the end of the 17th century. The population of Mikóháza has become mixed religious. The parish of Mikóháza was established in 1760, and the first church was built in 1769. According to some documents the Reformed Church had had a church here earlier, but it had disappeared without any trace.

A great migration of the population started at the end of the Ottoman conquest, after the defeat of the uprising led by Francis II Rákóczi. The migrants left the village moved to the southern parts of Hungary, but numerous Ruthenian settlers arrived in Mikóháza at the same time. Later some German settler families also moved to Mikóháza from Hosszúláz (Széphalom). At the beginning of the 1970s Jewish families also arrived here from Galicia.

The new holder, the Komáromy family, got Mikóháza in the 1720s. They had a dominant position in the village for two centuries. The historical documents say that the cholera caused many deaths in the first part of the 19th century.

Some documents refer to the fact that the population of Mikóháza helped the Hungarian Revolution in 1848 by making bandage and transportation but they do not mention martial events in the village.

The industrialisation which could be experienced everywhere in Hungary in the last years of the 19th century reached Mikóháza quite late. Agriculture and forest management dominated the economy of the village in that time. In the 1870s many people left their home for the hope of a bright future in America. Lots of them managed to build a new, successful life there, but many of them returned disappointedly.

A remarkable development of the education occurred at the turn of the 19th and 20th century when the Greek Catholic Church established a public school in the village. The local council was established 21 October 1905 and the first board members were also elected then. The wealth and the population of the village were growing this time, numerous new buildings were being built. The years of the calm development and prosperity were only disturbed by a great fire in 1888. The tragic political events of the first part of the 20th century reached the people of Mikóháza, too. Dozens of young men took part in the World War I, third of them never returned. 16 soldiers died on the battlefields from the 45, 4 of them became disabled. Orphans and disabled people could be found almost each family. In 1933 the local people erected a monument with the motif of “turul” (a mythological bird, similar to a falcon) for the memory of that16 soldiers.

During the Hungarian Soviet Revolution in 1919 there were martial events in the village. First the Slovak army then the Red Army occupied the territory. These events were followed by two peaceful and prosperous decades. Agriculture showed also great development in these years.

The peace was broken by the World War II. In autumn of 1944 first the troops of the German army then Romanian and Soviet army troops crossed the village, fortunately without heavy casualties. However, they cause serious damage by their loot. Many soldiers from Mikóháza became POW on the Soviet front line and some of them were captured by the French. The latter ones managed to return home, but the former ones usually died in Soviet forced labour camps. In 1989 the people of Mikóháza signed the names of the 12 soldiers who disappeared during the war on the monument of the war heroes.

The years of the war were followed by the decades of the socialism. The life standard and the cultural level grew in these years. The Electricity Programme of Hungary reached Hegyköz too, so finished the works in 1953 the complete electric system was inaugurated 9 January 1954. The buildings of the local culture centre and the primary school were renovated in 1964. A new building for the local council was also built in 1976. For the local children after school day care programme started in 1968. The main pipes of the local drained water system were laid in 1976. The new kindergarten opened in 1983 and the building of the new funeral home was finished in the local cemetery in 1989.

After the political changes of 1989 a new period has started with a remarkable development of the infrastructure. The telephone network has been broadened, and the piped gas system has been also settled. In spite of this positive development new problems have appeared. The economic crisis caused the increase of the unemployment rate causing a growing economic insecurity for the population year by year.