For over 150 years, Milwaukee has been home to a large community of people of Polish descent. The Milwaukee Polonia Project hopes to show the interweaving, intertwining family trees that resulted in this community. It is hoped that, eventually, all the families can be connected to one another. The Milwaukee Polonia Project is also a means to explore our common history and celebrate our shared heritage.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Featured Profile #42 - Gerard Paradowski

Gerard S. Paradowski (abt. 1911 - 1982)

Gerard Paradowski was the oldest son of dentist Roman Paradowski (Featured Profile #39) and Rose (Oleniczak) Paradowski.  He was born in Milwaukee around 1911.  He grew up in the South Side and then when to Marquette University where he eventually earned his law degree.  He began his law career in 1934, but it was the Great Depression and times were hard.  Still struggling in 1939, Paradowski decided to join the Wisconsin National Guard to make contacts and hopefully raise clients.  The unit he joined was stationed in the old South Side Armory, and was part of the the 32nd Infantry Division

As a career move, his decision had certain draw-backs, not the least of which was that World War II started shortly thereafter and he was called into active duty.  Even though he was already 30 years old, he went off to fight the Japanese in the Pacific.  He was shot in the thigh while fighting in the Battle of Buna-Gona in December, 1942 and received a Purple Heart.  (For a more detailed account of Paradowski's role in that battle, see "Doyle Finds Buna Push Went Like Clockwork.") He eventually rose to the rank of Major.

After the war, Paradowski returned to Milwaukee and a legal career, but not in the private sector.  Until his retirement, Paradowski spent the remainder of his life working for the public. At various times, he held the positions of assistant district attorney, deputy court clerk, assistant corporation counsel, acting corporation counsel and Milwaukee County's lobbyist in Madison.

But those titles don't begin to described the roles that he filled.  As Jeff Aiken described in his lengthy article in the Milwaukee Sentinel, Paradowski was an "[a]dvisor to judges, Mentor to legislators. Political strategist. Humorist.  The 'Will Rogers of the Courthouse.'"  He was a man well-respected for his knowledge of the law, his common sense, and his eloquence in both written and spoken communication.

Most people's image of a lobbyist is an individual with an inflated ego (manifested in flashy clothes and expensive cars) who tries to persuade legislators not by the merits of their cause but by the amount of their cash.  Paradowski was the opposite of that.  His sartorial choices were dictated in part by his parsimony and in part by his self-deprecating humor.  Why buy a new shirt for $10 when you could get a laundered used one for 50 cents? His persuasiveness when lobbying for Milwaukee County was based on the merits of the cause and the force of his words; not on the power or money that his client could yield. And instead of manipulating legislators, he mentored them - helping new senators and representatives find their feet in a challenging environment.

Paradowski retired from most of his public duties in 1981.  He died just a year later.  He was survived by his second wife, and one of his two daughters.


"County Jail Ruled Out for Juveniles," Milwaukee Sentinel, November 24, 1966, p. 18.

"County's Lawyer, and Friend, Retires," Milwaukee Sentinel, May 26, 1981, p. 3, by Jeff Aiken.

"Ex-County-Official dies,"  Milwaukee Journal, August 31, 1982, p. 19

"His 'club' went on a tropical cruise - to fight a war,"  Milwaukee Journal, October 12, 1980, p. 13

"Official is Acting in Title Only," Milwaukee Sentinel, November 26, 1979, p. 3.

"Paradowski Named to Ethics Board," Milwaukee Journal, June 26, 1981, p. 37.

"Purple Heart Award to Lieut. Paradowski," Milwaukee Journal, May 25, 1943, p. 12.

Relation to Nearest Featured Profile: Roman Paradowski (Featured Profile #39):  Son.

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:   Roman Paradowski > son, Gerard Paradowski

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Status Update - August, 2014

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:


Profiles Added Since Last Update:  201

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

260)  ….Vincent Rosciszewski > son, Harry [Rosciszewski] Ross > son, Donald [Rosciszewski] Ross > wife, Arline (Bessa) [Rosciszewski] Ross > mother, Pearl (Kuligowski) Bessa....

261)  ….Harry Rosciszewski > wife, Anna (Badzinski) Rosciszewski > sister, Helen (Badzinski) Franckowiak > daughter, Sylvia (Franckowiak) Kulwicki > husband, Daniel Kulwicki > father, John Kulwicki....

262)  ….Anna (Badzinski) Rosciszewski > sister, Pauline (Badzinski) Waldoch > husband, Conrad Waldoch > sister, Joan (Waldoch) Ciezki > husband, Edmund V. Ciezki > sister, Helen (Ciezki) Idzkowski....

263)  ….Anna (Badzinski) Rosciszewski > sister, Hattie (Badzinski) Wachowiak > husband, John Wachowiak > sister, Mary (Wachowiak) Stasiewicz....

264)  ...Frank Rakowski > sister, Valeria (Rakowski) Kaminski > son, Stanley J. Kaminski > wife, Anna (Wojnowski) Kaminski > sister, Victoria (Wojnowski) Skrentny....

265)  ….Rose (Samolinski) Galaska > husband, Leo Galaska > mother, Frances (Kaminski) Galaska > father, Joseph Kaminski (1-I) > son, Joseph Kaminski (1-II) > wife, Martha (Napieralski) Kaminski > sister, Catherine (Napieralski) Kitzki > husband, Andre Kitzki….

266)  ….Joseph Kapczynski > wife, Anna (Domachowski) Kapczynski > sister, Frances (Domachowski) Wolski > daughter, Clare (Wolski) Kaminski > father, Peter, Kaminski....

PCN:  2.29
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
Historical PCN Data:
August. 2014:  2.29
July, 2014:  3.00
June, 2014:  2.44
May, 2014: 4.5
April, 2014:  4.67
March, 2014:  3.0
February, 2014:  10.5
January, 2014:  2.9
December, 2013:  4.11
November, 2013:  3.89
October, 2013:  2.14
September 2013:  2.9
August, 2013: 2.71           
July, 2013: 4.28
June, 2013:  3.01
May, 2013: 6.33
April, 2013: 3.33
March, 2013:  8.2
February, 2013: 2.1
January, 2013:  8.0
December, 2012: 3.29
November, 2012: 6.0
October, 2012:  12.25
September, 2012:  6.4
August, 2012: 3.89
July, 2012:  4.57
June, 2012:  7.75
May, 2012:  9.33
April, 2012:  16.67
March, 2012:  16
February, 2012:  12.8
January, 2012:  19
New Alternate Spellings:
Golla Gola
Grabarkiewicz Grolarkiewitz
Hien Hiene Hein Heine
Kabacinski Kubaczyuski Kabaczuski
Kaminski Kananski
Krzemienewski Krzemieniecki
Kujawa Kryawa
Napieralski Wapieralski
Rosciszewski Rociszlwska Rodziszewski Rosoisgowski
Waldoch Waldock

Corrected Spellings:

Riusick to Krusick

Monday, July 21, 2014

Featured Profile #41 Jacob J. Litza, Jr.

Jacob Litza, Jr. as published in the Milwaukee Journal

Jacob J. Litza, Jr.  (1879 - 1922)

Somewhat surprisingly, of the two Jacob Litzas (father and son) it is the younger which appears in  Memoirs of Milwaukee County, (edited by Jerome Anthony Watrous ).  Here is his entry which appears at pages 999-1000:

Some of you may remember that his father mentioned in this article was Jacob J. Litza, Sr, (Featured Profile #40.)

Memoirs of Milwaukee County (from which the above article was taken) was published in 1909.  However, it was almost out of date as far as Jacob, Jr. (or "Jake") was concerned.  Despite the fact that it states Jake never aspired to public office he, in fact, did.  Jake started his political climb in 1910 when he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Milwaukee.  He served in that capacity for two years and then was elected to the State Assembly.  He served one two-year term and then went back to his restaurant/bowling alley business.  His 'joint" soon became the hang out for the Polish politicians on Milwaukee's south side.  He also got more involved in his favorite sport, baseball, and by 1918, he was managing the Kosciusko Reds, the team formerly led by Louis Fons (Featured Profile #7)

Despite the fact that Jake., had served as a Deputy Sheriff, he was not immune from having his own scrapes with the law.  While serving as state assemblyman, he was arrested as part of a large raid at a cockfight.  (See, Big Collar at the Cock Fight). Later, during Prohibition, he was arrested in a massive sweep to stem the illicit trade in alcohol.  Finally, in 1921, the room above his café was raided as being a gambling parlor, although Litza himself appears not to have been arrested.

It was just about that time (1920), that Jake got out of the café business, and became president of the Berthelet Pipe and Supply Co.  He served in that capacity for just two years before his death in 1920.

The following is his obituary which appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on November 6, 1922:

Relation to Nearest Featured Profile: (Jacob J. Litza, Sr., Featured Profile #40):  Son.

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:   Jacob Litza, Sr.> son, Jacob Litza, Jr.


"Jake Litza Denies Rumor He'll Retire,"  Milwaukee Journal,  May 9, 1919, p. 27.

"Koskys Go to Sheboygan for the Sabbath,"  Milwaukee Journal, September 15, 1918, p. 25

"Litza, Gus Miller, Olinger, and Eleven Other Plead Not Guilty After Arraignment,Milwaukee      Sentinel, January 5, 1921, p2.

"Nab 20 in Litza Café Building," Milwaukee Journal, May 4, 1920, p. 2

State of Wisconsin Blue Book, 1913 p. 673