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.

THE ACTUAL DATABASE OF THE TREE IS NOW LOCATED AT THE MILWAUKEE POLONIA PROJECT TREE at Tribal Pages. (We still have much work to do, so don't assume that families are shown completely.) YOU DO NOT NEED A PASSWORD TO ACCESS INFORMATION ON DECEASED INDIVIDUALS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Featured Profile #43 - Nicholas Tylicki

Nicholas Tylicki  (1875 - 1950)


We have been discussing the true crime story of  "Sin, Confession, and ... Cover-up?" (Part 1) and (Part Two).  One of the principal actors in that story was a Milwaukee private detective by the name of Mary Tylicki.  As mentioned in the story, there are several woman on the tree who may have been that private detective.  All of them are daughters-in-law of Joseph Tylicki.  One possibility is the wife of Nicholas Tylicki. Nicholas is profiled in Memoirs of Milwaukee County, (1909) edited by Jerome Anthony Watrous,  at page 983:

 
 
Relation to Nearest Featured Profile: Louis A. Fons (Featured Profile #7):  No near relationship.

Path From Nearest Featured Profile:   Louis A. Fons > sister, Rose (Fons) Schramka > husband, Eugene Schramka > mother, Mary (Zynda) Schramka > sister, Balbina (Zynda) Drzewuszewski > husband, Frank [Drzewuszewski] Wood > sister, Mary [Drzewuszewski] (Wood) Tylicki > husband, Nicholas Tylicki


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Status Update - December, 2014

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:


Cielewicz
Czerska
Czinke
Dabrowski
Glazek
Hudomel
Kosciesza
Krawiecki
Panek
Pelczynski
Polewski
Tymczynszyn
Wojtowicz

Profiles Added Since Last Update:  119

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

299)  ….Catharina (Radomski) Wenta > son, Anthony Wenta > wife, Constance (Mucha) Wenta > brother, Frank Mucha (I) > son, Frank Mucha (II) > wife, Stanislawa (Mezydlo) Mucha > sister, Victoria (Mezydlo) Boinski....

300)  ….Frank Mucha (I) > wife, Hedwig (Boinski) Mucha > brother, Stephen Boinski (I)....

301)  ….Frank Mucha (I) > sister, Michelina (Mucha) Maciejewski> husband, Franciscus Maciejewski > brother, Joseph Maciejewski > wife, Maria (Kleczka) Maciejewski > brother, Michael Kleczka > wife, Agnes (Wiza) Kleczka....

302)  ….Stanislawa (Mezydlo) Mucha > sister, Francisca (Mezydlo) Bratkowski > husband, John Bratkowski > sister, Anna (Bratkowski) [Grzybowski] Slaski > son, Raymond Slaski > wife, Helen (Karczewski) Slaski > mother, Rosalia (Dettlaff) Karczewski....

303)  ….John Bratkowski > father, Michael Bratkowski > second wife, Mary (Majdoch) Bratkowski > sister, Frances (Majdoch) Brzonkala > husband, Valentine Brzonkala > brother, Frank Brzonkala....

304)  ....Raymond Slaski > father, Stanley Slaski > brother, Jacob Slaski > wife, Mary (Bratkowski) Slaski > mother, Mary (Majdoch) Bratkowski...

305)  …. Anna (Bratkowski) [Grzybowski] Slaski > son, Edward Grzybowski > wife, Sophie (Slaski) Grzybowski > father, Stanley Slaski....

306)  …. Mary (Radomski) Rendflesh > sister, Julia (Radomski) Szerbat > husband, Harry E. Szerbat > sister, Helen M. (Szerbat) Bratkowski > husband, Larry Bratkowski > mother, Mary (Majdoch) Bratkowski....

307)  ….Harry E. Szebat > mother, Frances (Tarkowski) Szerbat > sister, Catherine (Tarkowski) Komorowski > husband, Albert Komorowski > brother, Joseph Komorowski....

308)  …. Frances (Tarkowski) Szerbat > brother, Frank Tarkowski > wife, Stanislawa (Piasecki) Tarkowski > brother, Michael W. Piasecki > daughter, Arlyn (Piasecki) Gigowski....

309)  ….Joseph Woida > sister Barbara (Wojda) [Hentschel] Radtke > daughter, Grace (Hentschel) Starosta > husband, Edward E. Starosta > half-brother, Benjamin Starosta > half-sister, Dorothy (Kosciesza) Literski > husband, Chester J. Literski > brother, Robert Literski > wife, PRIVATE (Walloch) Literski > mother Anna (Fons) Walloch > brother, Louis A. Fons

310)  ….Elizabeth (Ruszkiewicz) Wierzbinski > son, Michael Wierzbinski > son, Casimir Wierzbinski > wife, Victoria (Piotrowski) Wierzbinski > father, Joseph A. Piotrowski > sister, Josephine (Piotrowski) Woytal > husband, Peter Woytal....

311)  ….Joseph A. Piotrowski > son, Alex Piotrowski > wife, Clara (Janusz) Piotrowski > sister, Irene (Janusz) Parchim....

PCN:  1.08
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
 
Historical PCN Data:
December, 2014: 1.08
November, 2014:  2.58
October, 2014:  2.58
September, 2014: 3.00
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:
 
Jagodzinski Jagadozinski
Janiszewski Janisieweski
Kaczmarek Kaczmasek
Krerowicz Keryrowicz
Majdoch Wajdoch
Majerowski Majierowski
Mezydlo Myzydlo
Mir Mirr Miss
Murach Muzach
Oleniczak Olemczak
Piasecki Prasecki
Szweda Szwedzinski
Wojtowicz Wojtoricz
Zarek Zorek
Zucharski Zacharski

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

A special thanks goes out to the following individuals who contributed to the Project in the past year:


David Modlinski – for information on the Joseph Modlinski family

Cynthia Bud – for information regarding the Leonard Bud (Budzisz) Family

Ann Horzewski – for information on the Drozniakiewicz family

Joanna Białkowska – for correcting my translation of the article on Anton Komorowski and providing translations of other articles from the Kuryer Polski

Chris Stolz – for access to his Stolz family tree on Ancestry.com and for a copy of the Kuryer Polski article on John Pliszka

Mary Jo Bisgaard - for information on Clement Wojciechowski family

Karina Sztanderska – information on the family of Stefan Fons, and a translation of Kuryer Polski article on Frank Fons,

Kathleen O'Keefe – for information on the Joseph Grapczynski family.

Judith Eckert – for the Frank Cybulski Descendant Report
 
Allan Deptula - for providing information about Szymon Stanislaus Deptula
 
I know that much of this information has yet to be incorporated into the Project, but I'm working on that every day.
 
 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sin, Confession, and .... Cover-up? (Part Two)

Note:  This is continuation of Sin, Confession, and .... Cover-up (Part One).

February, 1919

John Kinnucan, Sheriff of Leelanau County, Michigan, had a problem.  He actually had a multitude of problems, but one was of over-riding concern.

There had finally been a break in the case of Sister Janina who had gone missing twelve years earlier in August, 1907.  Thanks to information supplied by young Martha Miller, Sister Janina's bones had been located.  The information regarding the whereabouts of the body had been told to Martha Miller by Father Podlaszewski.  How he had come by the information was a story that was shocking because it implicated the past Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Edward Kozlowski, in a blatant disregard of both the civil laws of the State of Michigan and the canon laws of the Roman Catholic Church.

Upon questioning by the authorities, Father Podlaszewski had confessed that in the Fall of 1918, he and the church sexton, Jacob Fliss*, had dug up the bones of Sister Janina from the basement of Holy Rosary Church and reburied them in the adjacent Holy Rosary Cemetery.  Father Podlaszewski had not been anywhere near the area at the time of Sr. Janina's disappearance, so he was not a suspect in her murder.  However, he had not found her bones by accident.  At least three different people in the Church had told him where the bones were buried.  The last had even gone so far as to instruct Fr. Podlaszewski not tell anyone and to move the bones from the basement to the cemetery in the dark of night.  Upon further investigation, it appeared that the source of the information regarding the Sr. Janina's bones had come from Edward Kozlowski who had been a priest in Michigan before he had been appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee in 1914.  Bishop Kozlowski had said more than where the bones had been buried.  He had also stated that Sr. Janina had been murdered by a woman.  He did not state how he had come by this information, but it must have been through a confession.  How else could he have obtained it?

Milwaukee Journal 2/27/1919
Suspicion had immediately focused on Stella (Marciniak) Lipczynski, who had been the church housekeeper at the time of Sr. Janina's disappearance. She had lost her husband at a young age while she was still in Poland, and she had promised him never to remarry.  She had then moved to northern Michigan with her young daughter. Stella was a diminutive woman, but wiry and irascible, and her contempt of the nuns in general, and Sr. Janina, in particular, was well-known.  But here was the crux of Sheriff Kinnucan's problem.  There was no physical evidence to connect Stella Lipczynski to the murder.  Moreover, Bishop Kozlowski had died in 1915, so he could not be called to testify, nor could he provide any further information that might help the prosecution.  Sheriff Kinnucan realized that unless he got Stella to confess again, this time to someone other than a priest, it might be very difficult to convict her.

Sheriff Kinnucan had arrested Stella almost immediately.  She had been once again serving as the housekeeper for Father Bieniawski, but now they were working at St. Joseph's parish in Manistee.  However, despite several days of intense grilling (without an attorney present), she had refused to budge from her position that she knew nothing about Sister Janina's death.  He then tried to trick Stella into signing a blank affidavit on which he could later fill in her "confession."  However, the person impressed to translate for Stella saw that the affidavit was blank and told Stella not to sign it. Sheriff Kinnucan decided he had to try a different tack.

Milwaukee Journal, 2/27/1919
He settled on two alternative methods to get Stella to talk.  The first was that he hired a "spy".  When he went to Milwaukee to interview Stella's daughter, Mary (Lipczynski) Fliss, he had also made a secret stop at the Wilson Detective Agency.  There he engaged the services of a Polish-speaking matronly detective by the name of Mary Tylicki.**  Back in Michigan, she will pretend to be a social worker who is arrested for disobeying the sheriff's order.  She will be placed in Stella's cell with a view to getting Stella to confide in her.  She will spend a total of six days in the cell with Stella.

The second method chosen by Sheriff Kinnucan to extract Stella's confession was psychological intimidation.  He noticed how much Stella relied on her religion to help her in her time of troubles.  She was constantly in prayer.  So he tried to take that support from her by confiscating her rosary and prayer book.  When that failed to do the trick, he took more drastic measures. According to what Stella later told her doctors, the Sheriff tried to frighten her into submission.  In one instance, he shoved Stella into a dark room where the bones of Sister Janina were laid on a table and illuminated by two glowing candles.  The skull, moved by invisible threads, turned toward Stella and the jaw began to move as if trying to speak.  Then Mary Tylicki, hidden somewhere, shrieked, "You killed me! You killed me!"  The Sheriff kept Stella in the room, alone with the bones, for two hours, until Stella fainted.  In another instance, Mary Tylicki turned off the lights in the cell and pulled down the shades.  She put on a long black robe and a mask with the face of the devil.  She began to make eerie sounds.  She approached Stella and pulled two bones out from behind her robe.  "These belonged to Josephine Mezek [Sr. Janina]. You must tell me all you know about her murder," she demanded.  If all this is true, it is no wonder that Stella became slightly unhinged.

The doubts about Stella's sanity increased so much that her trial was delayed so that she could be sent away for psychological testing.  In the end, she was deemed to be sane enough to stand trial.

Her trial, which finally started in October, 1919, was a dramatic affair.  By this time, the murder of the nun had reached national notoriety.  The spectator area was continually packed, and those who were able to get seats were usually not disappointed by the spectacle.  Much of what went on in the courtroom would no longer be allowed under today's standards of judicial fairness.  Bishop Kozlowski's statements regarding Sr. Janina being killed by a woman were heard by the jury.  Although the judge latter struck them as hearsay and admonished the jury not to consider them, it was bound to leave an impression.  The judge also allowed some fellow nuns of Sr. Janina to hold a prayer session over the bones of Sister Janina in the courtroom during the trial.  This must have erased any possible doubts that those were, in fact, the bones of Sr. Janina and not some other poor soul.  The glaring omission from the trial was any mention that Sr. Janina had been pregnant at the time of her death.  Sheriff Kinnucan and the other four men who had been present at the time the bones of the fetus had been discovered had all sworn to keep this matter a secret.  None of them had bothered to tell Stella's attorneys of this crucial fact which may have had an impact on the defense.

Of course, the dagger to the heart of the defense was the testimony of the "spy," Mary Tylicki.  When placed on the stand, she stated that Stella had confessed the crime to her.  Not only that, Mary Tylicki was able to fill in much of the story that was otherwise missing from the prosecution's case.  For example, in regard to how Father Kozlowski came to his knowledge, Mary Tylicki testified that Stella told her, that she (Stella) had gone to confession in Milwaukee.  The priest who had heard the confession was Father Nowak.  When he had heard Stella's confession, he had been unsure as to whether he could give Stella absolution.  He had told Stella to wait in the church while he consulted with Bishop Kozlowski.  This explained how the Bishop had learned the information.  [If true, Mary Tylicki's story does not explain why both Father Nowak and Bishop Kozlowski would then break the seal of the confessional, supposedly one of the most inviolate rules of the Roman Catholic Church.]  She went on to state that Stella was confused as to why she had been arrested because Stella believed once the Church had given her absolution, she could not be prosecuted by the civil authorities.  Finally, Mary Tylicki testified that Stella's mental illness was all feigned in order to avoid jail.

Stella took the stand in her own defense.  She denied killing Sr. Janina. She denied confessing to Fr. Nowak.   She denied confessing to Mary Tylicki.  She denied telling Mary Tylicki that she was going to pretend to be crazy.

Her denials were not enough.  In the end, the jury took six ballots to reach a unanimous guilty verdict for murder in the first degree.  The judge sentenced Stella to life imprisonment with hard labor.  However, she was pardoned after serving only seven years.  She moved to Milwaukee to be with her daughter.  Just a month after leaving the Michigan prison for the murder of a Felician nun, she was hired by the Felician Order in Wisconsin to work as a cook, and she remained there for the next 30 years.  Stella died in 1962 and is buried in St. Adalbert's Cemetery.

Ironically, the bones of poor Sr. Janina appear to have been lost.  They were first buried in the basement of Holy Rosary Church.  Then Fr. Podlaszewski and Jacob Fliss had dug them up in the dark of night and re-buried them in the Holy Rosary Cemetery.  When this secret had become known, the civil authorities had again exhumed the bones.  They were then used as props to scare Stella Lipczynski, as an exhibit in the courtroom, and as the subject of prayer by fellow nuns.  What happened to them after the trial is not known.  It would have been nice if they had be reburied at Holy Rosary, but there is no record of this every having been done.

Coming Next:  Sin, Confession, and .... Cover-up? (Second Guessing)


Post-script:

The facts of this case formed the loose basis for the play, The Runner Stumbles, by Milan Stitt.  (I have not seen the whole play, but it appears that storyline merges the roles of Father Podlaszewski and Father Bieniawski, or at least assumes Father Bieniawski was the lover of St. Janina. Moreover, it appears that the pregnancy of the nun forms the whole focal point of the play, whereas, in real life, it was a closely guarded secret that was not mentioned at all in the trial.)  The play was made into a movie of the same name, starring Dick Van Dyke, which was filmed near Roslyn, Washington.  The town now celebrates the event with an annual cross-country race.



*Jacob Fliss is stated to be a cousin of Joseph Fliss, husband of Mary (Lipczynski) Fliss.  It is possible the parents of Jacob and Joseph were siblings but I could not document the exact relationship.

**There are several possible choices as to whom this Mary Tylicki may be.  Three possibilities are all daughters-in-law of Joseph Tylicki. (The numbers in parenthesis are the age they would have been in 1919.)  They are Maire (Kuranki) Tylicki (60), wife of Felix; Mary (Paluczak) Tylicki (57) wife of Frank, and Mary (Drzewuszewski)[Woods] Tylicki (40), wife of Nicholas.

You-Heard-It-Here-First Trivia:

Mary Lipczynski Fliss had a daughter Estelle Fliss.  Estelle's first husband was Stanley Bembenek.  He appears to have been the uncle of Laurie Bembenek (aka, "Bambi" Bembenek).  Thus, Estelle may be in the unique position of being both the granddaughter of one woman convicted of a nationally famous murder, and the aunt of another.

Sources:

"Church Politics May Enter Leland Trial," Luddington Daily News, October 21, 1919, pg. 6

"Death Secret Buried With Bishop Here," Milwaukee Sentinel, March 1, 1919, pg. 9

"Killing of Nun Described," Milwaukee Journal, October 18, 1919, pg. 12.

"Late Milwaukee Bishop Named in Nun's Death,"  Milwaukee Sentinel, March 2, 1919, pg. 11

"The Law of the Seal of Confession," on the Catholic Encyclopedia

Link, Mardi, Isadore's Secret, University of Michigan Press, 2009

Link, Mardi, "Where is Sister Janina?", on Wonders and Marvels

"Probe of Death of Michigan Nun May Center Here," Milwaukee Journal, February 26, 1919, pg. 2

Saunders, William, "Secrecy of Confession is Absolute," on CatholicCulture.org

"Seal of the Confessional and the Catholic Church," on Wikipedia

"Witness in Nun Death Found," Milwaukee Journal, February 27, 1919, pg. 1

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Status Update - November, 2014

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:

Blenski
Bojanowski
Borek
Chiebowski
Dubinski
Fac
Gerszewski
Grzechowiak
Gurda
Holznagel
Kaczala
Kaczka
Kalk
Klapczynski
Ksionski
Kuranki
Kurzawski
Lyskawa
Malinger
Mozejewski
Paluczak
Paruzynski
Pierzchala
Przworski
Salaty
Stefaniak
Szkajda
Szynglewski
Vinkowski
Winczynski
Zdanowski
Zylka

Profiles Added Since Last Update:  274

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

287)  ….Nicholas Tylicki > son, John Gordan [Gordan J.] Tylicki > wife, Dolores (Glowczeski) Tylicki > mother, Jennie (Nowak) Glowczeski > Stella (Nowak) Walczykowski > son Harry Walczykowski....

288)  ….Nicholas Tylicki > daughter, Charlotte (Tylicki) [Bristol] Marcan > second husband, Erwin Q. Marcan > brother, Arthur M. Marcan > son, Oakley F. Marcan > wife, Hattie (Odea) [Lukaszewski] Marcan > son, Gerald E. Lukaszewski > wife, Grace (Kapczynski) Lukaszewski....

289)  ....Dennis David Zuber > father, Edwin Julius Zuber > brother, Leonard Peter Zuber > wife, Adeline (Rendflesh) Zuber > mother, Mary (Radomski) Rendflesh > sister, Sophia (Radomski) Zdanowski > husband Alois Zdanowski > sister, Helen (Zdanowski) Wielepski > husband, Chester Wielepski > sister, Casimera (Wielepski) Rakowski > husband, Joseph F. Rakowski (II) > father, Joseph Rakowski (I)....

290)  ….Chester Wielepski > brother, Felix Wielepski > Martha (Tuchalski) Wielepski > sister, Esther (Tuchalski) Biedrzycki....

291)  ….Edward Biedrzycki > father, Valentine Biedrzycki > father, Martin Biedrzycki > father, Andreas Biedrzycki > brother, Franciszek Biedrzycki > wife, Anna (Jankowski) [Biedrzycki] Dziekan....

292)  ….Clara (Ryczek) Musolff > sister, Frances (Ryczek) Wroblewski > son, PRIVATE Wroblewski > wife, PRIVATES (Slosarski) Wroblewski > mother, Sylvia (Fons) Slosarski....

293)  ....Raymond Deja > wife, Alice (Maslowski) Deja > brother, Henry Maslowski > wife, Florence (Wroblewski) Maslowski > brother, Bernard Dominic Wroblewski > wife, Dolores (Kroll) Wroblewski > brother, Raymond J. Kroll....

294)  ….Harry Ciezki > sister, Hattie (Ciezki) Rogalski > husband, William [Valentine] Rogalski > sister, Selma (Rogalski) Badura > daughter, Sylvia (Badura) Kabacinski > husband, Joseph Kabacinski > sister, Regine (Kabacinski) Mochalski....

295)  ….Rose (Hapka) Moczynski > father, John Hapka > second wife, Helen (Ornowski) Hapka > sister, Konstancyz (Ornowski) [Mir] Gawin > second husband, Maximillian Gawin > first wife, Helen (Kotecki) Gawin > brother, Adam Gawin > wife, Amelia (Rybarczyk) Gawin > father, Michael Rybarczyk....

296)  …. Konstancyz (Ornowski) [Mir] Gawin > first husband, Paul Mir, > first wife, Agnes (Oleniczak) Mir > sister, Rose (Oleniczak) Paradowski > husband, Roman J. Paradowski > mother, Eva (Brzezinski) Paradowski....

297)  ...Stephen Boinski (I) > son, Stephen J. Boinski (II) > wife, Victoria (Mezydlo) Boinski > sister, Veronica (Mezydlo) Dublinski > husband, Dominic Dublinski > first wife, Appolonia (Mir) Dublinski > brother, Paul Mir > second wife, Konstancyz (Ornowski) [Mir] Gawin....

298)  ….Dominic Dublinski > daughter by first wife, Anna (Dublinski) Michalski > husband, Walter Michalski > brother, Bennedick Michalski....

PCN:  2.58
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
 
Historical PCN Data:
November, 2014:  2.58
October, 2014:  2.58
September, 2014: 3.00
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

Newly-Discovered Changed Names:

Zdanowski to Danow
 
New Alternate Spellings

Biedrzycki Biedzycki
Dargacz Dargaz Dargatz Darga Dargas
Dubinski Dublinski
Dzewiecki Dzewiecks
Dzwikiewicz Drazkiewicz Dzazkiewicz Dzazkiewioz
Glowczeski Glowczewski
Kopydlowski Kopidlowski
Kurzawski Kurawski
Lavalle LaValle La Valle Laualle
Lubawa Lubaez
Luczak Uczak
Marcan Maccan
Mezydlo Mgzydto
Mir Nir Micra
Paluczak Poluszek
Radomski Radonski
Rendflesh Rendflesch
Szkajda Szkejda Skayda Scheide Szkayda
Tylicki Tylecki
Winczynski Wieznski Niczynski
Wroblewski Wroblenski Wroblauski Wroblawski


Friday, October 31, 2014

Sin, Confession, and .... Cover-up? (Part One)

Preface:  Although most of the action of the following history takes place in Michigan, many of the main participants lived in Milwaukee Polonia, either before or after the events described. In fact, the farming community in Michigan which is the scene of the crime was first settled by Milwaukee Poles about 1870.*  Thus, at least some people in Milwaukee Polonia had relatives in the area.

Much of the information in this post comes from the well-researched and interesting book, Isadore's Secret, by Mardi Link.  Anyone wishing to learn more about this tragic event should pick up a copy.

Somewhere in Michigan - January, 1919

Father Edward Podlaszewski was on an unusual mission. Being the only priest at Holy Rosary Church serving the small, Polish farming community of Isadore on the remote Leelanau Peninsula he probably had to preform many roles, but his role on this day was "complex."  On the surface, he was performing an act of a charity.  One of his young parishioners had become pregnant outside of wedlock.  Her parents had come to him for counsel and he had advised them to send her to the St. Joseph's Sisters of Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor where she could give birth and put the child up for adoption.  Her parents agreed, and in December, Fr. Podlaszewski had driven the teenage Martha Miller downstate.  Now, he was bringing her back to the community.  It was a long slow trip, and the two had ample time to talk.  One topic of conversation which hung heavy in the air was the paternity of the child.  Martha had never divulged this secret, not even to her parents.  Only Fr. Podlaszewski knew.  It was he.

However, there was a much darker secret discussed that day.  This one belonged to Fr. Podlaszewski, and the fact that it was known only by him and other clerics or employees of the Catholic Church gave it the sickly scent of cover-up.

Why Father Podlaszewski felt the need to share this secret is unknown.  That he confessed it to Martha showed how much he trusted her ability to keep her silence.  However, Martha had gone through a lot in the last two months.  Being torn from her family over Christmas only to have her child torn from her arms had changed her.  She was no longer compliant and willing to abide wrongdoings.  When she reached Isadore and the arms of her family, she disclosed to her parents both the secret regarding the paternity and the other one, the one Father Podlaszewski had confessed to her.  The second was, by far,  the more shocking.  It was a dark secret that carried a web of wrongdoing stretching all the way to Milwaukee and its beloved Polish Auxiliary Bishop.  However, the center of the secret was right there in Isadore, in the cramped quarters of Holy Rosary's basement. It was a pile of bones in a shallow grave covered by heap of scrap wood;  a pile of bones belonging to a long-missing nun and those of her unborn child.


The story begins in......


 Isadore, Centerville Township, Michigan - Fall, 1907

This small, close-knit community is in an uproar.  No one can understand what has happened to the young, vivacious Sister Mary Janina.  The day in August when she disappeared had seemed like any other.  The pastor, Father Andrew Bieniawski, had gone fishing that day, but there was  nothing unusual in that.  Everyone else had much work to do, and that was certainly not unusual.  Everyone appeared to follow their normal routines.  However, late in the afternoon, they began to realize the world had tilted - no one could find Sister Janina. 

Both Fr. Bieniawski's sister and a church errand boy had accompanied him on the fishing expedition.  That had left five people remaining on the church grounds: Sister Janina, two other Felician sisters, the church housekeeper Stella (Marciniak) Lipczynski, and her teenage daughter, Mary Lipczynski. Stella, as always, had much work to do.  In addition to her regular chores, she also had to help Mary sew a dress. The nuns also had much work.  The Bishop was coming in two days to bless their new brick schoolhouse and they had to clean the school, retrieve the decorations from the church basement, and then hang them about the grounds. However, all three nuns were in weak health.  (Sister Mary Janina suffered from T.B.)  So, as was their custom, all three went to their separate chambers to lay down for a nap before their afternoon labors.

The first indication that something was awry occurred when Sisters Angelina and Josephine awoke and went to look for Sister Janina.  Not only was she not in her room, but she had left behind two items that she should have kept with her.....always.  Her long rosary, which should have been cinched around her waist, was hanging forlornly from her door handle, and her prayer book, which should have been in a special pocket of her habit, sat on a windowsill, its pages turned by the unseen hand of the breeze.

Sisters Angelina and Josephine commenced what would be the first of many searches for the missing nun. Each search grew in size and scope from the one that had preceded it. First, it was just the people at the church searching.  In the next several days, the local sheriff was summoned and then, volunteers stood watch throughout the night.  On the Sunday after her disappearance, four hundred people gathered to do a systematic search of the area. When that proved fruitless, Fr. Bieniawski, out of his own pocket, hired a private detective to help solve the mystery.  Becoming more desperate, he also offered a $500 reward and engaged the services of a trained bloodhound.  The dog had become somewhat of a legend in the region based on its ability to find missing (or hiding) individuals. The hound followed a scent into a cornfield, through a swamp and across a road, all the way to a second dirt road, where the trail vanished.  Some searchers (without the consent of Fr. Bieniawski) even brought in a clairvoyant.  In the end it appeared every inch of the church grounds and the nearby forest had been scoured.

All these searches revealed just a few, ambiguous clues.  The bloodhound had led the men to some footprints wandering around the swamp which may have been Sr. Janina's.  A piece of torn cloth, apparently from the habit of a nun, was found attached to a barbed wire fence running along the roadway where the dog had lost the scent.  One dark evening, just after the nun had disappeared, the men standing guard at the church, including the sheriff and a newspaper reporter, had heard what sounded like Sr. Janina singing her favorite hymn.  The eerie voice seemed to come from the depths of the swamp, and instead of inspiring the men to look for her, it raised their hackles.  None of them dared to venture into the night.  Later, a woman reported that she had been walking near the swamp that night and had seen Sr. Janina, or at least a nun, wandering about the swamp,  It was this nun that was singing the hymn.  However, the woman did not approach the nun.  Maybe it was because the strange way that the nun's candle remained steady, and did not flicker in the breeze.

One other piece of evidence was found under strange circumstances.  Two months after the disappearance another nun had to retrieve the decorations stored in the basement of the church.  As she opened the small door to the basement, the sunlight reflected off of something on the ground.  They were eyeglasses, perhaps Sr. Janina's.  But if they were Sr. Janina's how could these glasses, laying in plain view near the basement door, have been missed by the countless searchers who had scoured every inch of the basement in the last two months?  If they weren't Sr. Janina's, to whom did they belong?

In the absence of facts, rumors began to circulate.  Sr. Janina had run off with a man.  Sr. Janina had returned to her brothers in Chicago. Sr. Janina was held captive in a basement (this the statement of the clairvoyant.)  Sr. Janina had been pregnant.  This last rumor was given substantiation by the investigations of the Sheriff.  He had discovered that despite the rule of the Order two men had been seeing Sr. Janina alone in her bedroom.  One was Fr. Bieniawski.  The other was her doctor, George Fralick.  Moreover, it seemed that lately, Dr. Fralick had been seeing Sr. Janina much more than would normally have been needed by someone suffering from T.B.  But all these remained just rumors.

Years passed, and life moved on. In October, 1910, Mary Lipczynski married Joseph Fliss of Milwaukee who had cousins in Isadore.  After the wedding, she and her mother, the housekeeper, Stella, moved to Milwaukee.  In 1913, Fr. Bieniawski was transferred to a different parish, and his sister went with him.  The nuns who had been at the church at the time of the disappearance had left much earlier, just a short time after the event.  They had requested the transfer because they were afraid for their lives.  In just a few short years, there was no one left at the church who had worked with the nun.

However, Sister Janina was not forgotten. The fact that her disappearance had never been solved haunted some individuals and was a thorn in the side of others.  For the sheriff, it may have been a cold case, but it was still open.  He undoubtedly would have welcomed any useful information in the matter.  There were, in fact, several individuals who had such information.  One of these, before his death in 1915, was  the Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Edward Kozlowski.  Bishop Kozlowski had  important information, including the whereabouts of the remains of Sister Janina.  Although he had shared that information with several other individuals, none of them were in law enforcement.  In fact, for at least four years, none of the Church officials who knew about the remains of Sr. Janina shared that information with investigators, and when they finally did so, it was not voluntarily. It could be that was because the source of Bishop Kozlowski's information was not first hand.  It had come from an individual who had knelt before a priest, and in a voice that surely betrayed some fear and anguish stated, "Bless me father, for I have sinned...."

TO BE CONTINUED......

*The source of the information regarding the settling of Isadore, Michigan comes from the article on Centerville Township, Michigan on Wikipeida.  It appears to be corroborated by the records.  For example, Isadore's Secret states that one of the earliest settlers of Isadore, and the person who chose the site for Holy Rosary Church, was Jacob Rosinski, Sr.  The Michigan death record of his son Jacob, Jr., indicates that he was born in Milwaukee in 1872.  (Jacob Rosinski, Jr., played  a minor role in Sr. Janina's tragedy and is mentioned in Isadore's Secret.)  I could not tie these Rosinskis to any family that stayed in Milwaukee.  However, records on the Poznan Project indicate that they originated from the area around Smogulec and Kcynia, Poland which is the source of other Milwaukee families.  Also, as mentioned above, the Fliss family (sometimes spelled "Flees") had branches in both locations.  In addition, Mary Fliss, of the Michigan branch (possibly an aunt of  the Joseph Fliss mention above), married Martin Brzezinski who had been born in Wisconsin in 1875. (Their son Andrew married Katherine Rosinski, daughter of Jacob, Sr.)  Again, I could not find a link between this Martin Brzezinski and any of the Brzezinskis who remained in Milwaukee, but it is quite possible that there is such a link.  Even the family of Martha Miller spent time in Milwaukee.  Her older siblings Elizabeth (1890), Frank (1891) and John (1892) were all born in Milwaukee.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just "Arrested"

The following picture appeared in the November 6, 1922 edition of the Milwaukee Journal.


Mentioned in the caption:

Herbert (or Hubert ) Rosciszewski
Florence (Piskula) Rosciszewski
Frank Biedzycki, possibly Frank Biedrzycki
Joseph Biedzycki, possibly Joseph Biedrzycki
Mike Pszyckowski
Louis Pszyckowski

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Status Update - October, 2014

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:
Barankowski
Belot
Bembenek
Bolanowski
Bolman
Celcycki
Czuppa
Damazyn
Danowski
Dobrzynski
Drzewuszewski
Gadowski
Graj
Jurkowski
Kugacz
Lentz
Lipczynski
Mroczkowski
Naumowicz
Pawicki
Ploch
Polaszczyk
Ratajewski
Scharwark
Sobieralski
Sołtysiak
Soporowski
Teitjen
Tylicki
Zywicki

Profiles Added Since Last Update:  323

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

275)  ….Appolonia (Gazinski) Brefka > husband, John Brefka > brother, Thomas Brefka > wife, Mary (Bolman) [Damazyn] Brefka > daughter, Rosalia (Domazin) Brefka > husband, John Proszkiewicz > sister, Julianna (Proszkiewicz) Kabacinski > daughter, Regine (Kabacinski) Mochalski > husband, Larry Mochalski > sister, Sal (Mochalski) Fons....

276)  ….John Proszkiewicz > sister, Clara (Proszkiewicz) Gorski > husband, Frank Gorski > sister, Rosalia (Gorski) Tatera > husband, Antoni Tatera > mother, Magdalena (Biedrzycki) Tatera....

277)  ....Frank Gorski > sister, Paulina (Gorski) Zalewski > son, Joseph J. [Zalewski] Zale > wife, Josephine (Jagodzinski) Zale > sister, Irene (Jagodzinski) Kitzke....

278)  ….Paulina (Gorski) Zalewski > daughter, Ann (Zalewski) Rakowski > husband, Harry J. Rakowski (2) > Josepha (Komassa) Rakowski....

279)  ….Paulina (Gorski) Zalewski > son, Frank H. Zalewski > wife, Helen (Rakowski) Zalewski > mother, Josepha (Komassa) Rakowski....

280)  ….Paulina (Gorski) Zalewski > daughter, Mary (Zalewski) Plewa > daugther Felice (Plewa) Janowiak > husband Rufin [Raymond] Janowiak > brother, Edmund Janowiak....

281)  ….Helen (Rakowsk) Zalewski > sister, Sally (Rakowsk) [Maciolek] Karolewski > second husband, Anthony Karolewski > first wife, Marie (Napieralski) Karolewski > sister, Catherine (Napieralski) Kitzki....

282)  ….Helen (Grohall) [Switalski] Scheffs > first husband, Antonius Switalski > brother, Frank Switalski > son, Leo E. Switalski > wife, Alice (Fliss) Switalski > mother, Anna (Zynda) Fliss > sister, Maryanna (Zynda) Erdman > husband, Joseph Erdman > father, Dominic Erdman....

283)  ....Joannes Bureta > mother, Marianna (Grzesk) Bureta > brother, Franciscus Grzesk > wife, Anna (Cybulski) Grzesk > brother, Frank Cybulski > daughter, Maria (Cybulski) Stachowiak > husband, Paul Peter Stachowiak > father, Albert Stachowiak....

284)  ….Paul Moczynski > brother, Martin Moczynski > daughter, Phyllis (Moczynski) Bembenek > husband, Paul Bembenek > mother, Frances (Duszynski) Bembenek > brother, John Duszynski....

285)  ….Josephine (Kaczmarowski) Piszczek > father, Joseph Kaczmarowski > sister, Catherina (Kaczmarowski) Klimek > daughter, Anna (Klimek) Tylicki > husband, Walter Tylicki > brother, Nicholas Tylicki > wife, Mary ([Drzewusznewski] Wood) Tylicki > brother, Frank [Drzewuszewski] Wood > wife, Balbina (Zynda) Drzewuszewski > sister, Mary (Zynda) Schramka > son, Eugene Schramka > wife, Rose (Fons) Schramka > brother, Louis A. Fons

286)  ….Walter Tylicki > brother, Frank Tylicki > daughter, Mary (Tylicki) Ratkowski > husband, John Ratkowski > brother, Stanley Ratkowski....

PCN:  2.58
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
 
Historical PCN Data:
October, 2014:  2.58
September, 2014: 3.00
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
 
Newly-Discovered Changed Name
Bolanowski to Bolan
Brzezinski to Brent
Drzewuszewski to Woods
Moczynski to Moshinski
Zalewski to Zale
Zalewski to Raymond

New Alternate Spellings:
Belot Bilot
Biedrzycki Biedrsycke
Bolman Bohlman Bollman Bohnan Wollman
Borzynski Borzinski
Brefka Brewka Breuka
Damazyn Domazin Damaszyk Damazya Damozyn
Drzewuszewski Przewuszewski
Dziekan Dziekau
Fliss Flies
Gramza Grams Sramza Granza
Kaczmarowski Raczmarowski
Kaszynski Kasynski Kascynski Karezynski
Klimek Kliniek
Kugacz Kugatz
Majewski Majerski
Pliszka Pypka Pyszka
Polaszczyk Polarczyk
Reizek Recek
Schramka Szramka
Sołtysiak Szaltyseak
Zinda Zenda
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Paradowski People Of Note

Because we have been highlighting the Paradowski family recently, there are two other people associated with that family who deserve special mention.

Milwaukee Sentinel 11.21.1969
The first is Helen (Gieniusz) Paradowski (abt. 1914 - 1969), the first wife of Gerard Paradowski  (Featured Profile #42).  She set an example for all of us in her volunteer activities.  As some point in her life she held the following positions:  President of Woman's Court and Civic conference of Milwaukee, national president of the auxiliary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and an officer in the Milwaukee auxiliary, president of the American Legion Auxiliary, FDR unit # 444, first president of the local Eagles Auxiliary and president of the auxiliary of the Milwaukee society.  At the time of her death, she was the only woman member of the Memorial Center board of trustees and a corporation member of the Child Care Centers, Inc.  She was a leader in fund drives for the Mother's March on Polio, the Red Cross and the United Community Fund.  Not forgetting to foster the arts, she had also been a board member of the Fred Miller Theater (now known as the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and worked with the Milwaukee Symphony's Woman's League.

Source:  "Mrs. Paradowski Dies, 55," Milwaukee Sentinel, November 21, 1969, pg. 13




The other individual who deserves special mention comes from an Italian family but he married into the Paradowski clan.  His name is probably familiar to anyone who lived in Milwaukee in the late 1960's:  James Groppi.  He was another individual who set an example by his actions, although many of us did not see it at the time.

Father James Groppi started his career as a regular parish priest at St. Veronica's parish in 1959.  (I was actually attending church there at that time, but I was way too young to remember him).  In 1963, he was transferred to St. Boniface, an inner-city parish.  It was there that he saw first hand the detrimental affects of poverty and social injustice.  He decided he must do what he could to correct the situation. 

It is way beyond the scope of this note to try to tell the story of his work.  (Those interested can read the sources listed below, and many others, that can be found about his career.)  Suffice it to say that his activities garnered national attention, and quite a lot of local animosity.  Much of that animosity arose from the historically Polish neighborhoods on the South and East Sides.  One of the things that Father Groppi strove for was the basic principal that anyone should be able to live in the neighborhood of their choosing.  However, that's not the way many in the Polish neighborhoods saw it.  By the 1960's, those neighborhoods were already loosing much of their ethnic identity and cohesiveness as young families choose to move to the suburbs.  This flight meant there was room for non-Poles to move in, but many in those neighborhoods wanted to shut out any non-whites.  The perceived differences of the new-comers generated fear: fear of increasing crime and decreasing property values, among others.  As a leader of the civil rights movement, and one who kept pushing, and pushing and pushing even harder for fair housing, Father Groppi became a lightning rod for this fear and the hatred it generated.

There was one especially regrettable incident in August, 1967.  In what was undoubtedly intended as a provocation, Groppi held a picnic for 250 of his mostly-black parishioners in Kosciusko Park.  An angry crowd of 2,000 whites gathered and jeered at them for the audacity of coming into "their" neighborhood.  The mob threw rocks and bottles at the picnickers.  Police wearing riot gear had to come to restore order.  It was not one of the bright spots in the history of our community.  Now, we recognize that James Groppi was right, and those who opposed him were wrong.  A person should not be denied a house because of the color of his or her skin.  It was sad to see the once vibrant, close-knit Polish neighborhoods decline, but that was caused by many socio-economic factors and not by the individuals who wanted to move into the community.

Without trying to downplay the error of our community, it is also safe to say that the prejudices of the Polish community were probably shared by most of the whites in Milwaukee at the time.  If our reactions to Father Groppi were more violent than others, it may be because it was our neighborhoods that were most "on the front line."  Father Groppi was definitely ahead of his time in his views on civil rights and it was our fault not to recognize more quickly the justice in his actions.

Another belief held by Father Groppi that was not shared by most at the time (and which is still anathema to many, including the Church hierarchy) was the conviction that Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry.  James Groppi carried out that conviction in April, 1976, when he married the woman he loved, Margaret Rozga.  (She is the daughter of Jeanette (Paradowski) Rozga, and a first cousin, 2x removed to Roman J. Paradowski (Featured Profile #39)).  The two had met during a voting rights trip to Alabama in 1965 which only goes to show that the Milwaukee Polish community also had civil rights advocates. The marriage meant that he could no longer function as a Roman Catholic priest.  He thought briefly of converting to the Episcopal faith and the Episcopal Bishop in Detroit offered him a position.  However, Groppi could neither give up his Roman Catholic faith, nor live apart from his city.  Instead, he returned Milwaukee and drove a cab.

He died in 1985 at the age of 54 from a brain tumor.  He left his wife and three children surviving.  His funeral mass was said in St. Leo's Church and he is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery. 

Sources:

Balousek, Marv, "James Groppi: Radical Priest and Unpopular Hero," in Wisconsin Heroes, excerpted at Madison.com

Folkart, Burt A., "James Groppi, Ex-Priest, Civil Rights Activist, Dies," L.A. Times, November 5, 1985

Fr. James Edmund Groppi at Find a Grave.

Gurda, John, The Making of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Historical Society (1999, 2006, 2008)pgs. 365-76.

Heise, Kenan "Milwaukee Activist James Groppi, 54Chicago Tribune, November 5, 1985

Ivey, Mike, "Father Groppi's Legacy Demanded Stinging Speech, says Rozga," from The Capital Times

"James E. Groppi, Dead at 54; Ex-Priest Led Rights Fight," New York Times, November 5, 1985

James Groppi on Wikipedia

Stotts, Stuart, Father Groppi:  Marching for Civil Rights, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 2013



Monday, September 15, 2014

Violence in the Family - An On-Going Problem

As the recent high profile cases of NFL stars Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice proves, domestic abuse continues to be a problem in our society.  It is a problem now, and it was a problem in 1902 when the following article ran in the Milwaukee Journal:

Originally published in the Milwaukee Journal on May 28, 1902

As stated in the article, domestic violence had become so prevalent back then (three cases in one week), that the judge had decided that all violators would receive the maximum sentence.  However, the "full sentence" back then was only six months.

The family mentioned in this article appears to be the family of Thomas Brefka and Mary (Bolman) [Damazyn] Brefka and her daughter, Rosalia (Domazin) Proszkiewicz.  A look at the records concerning their family offers a little more insight into this situation.  For one thing, it appears that Mary Bolman was pregnant at the time of this incident.  The beating occurred on May 27, 1902 and Mary gave birth to her next child on October 5, 1902.  Second, although the current cases in the news concern wealthy individuals, the above article appears to be a family in dire straights.  That is surmised from the fact that six of Mary's children died in infancy.  Once again showing the domestic violence cuts across all classes.

It is not known what ultimately happened to this family.  It appears that Mary was pregnant again within a couple months after Thomas' release.  However, by the 1910 census, Mary and Thomas are not living together.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Status Update - September, 2014

New Family Names Added Since Last Update:


Bieszk
Branski
Chalupnik
Cholowinski
Cukierski
Jozwiakowski
Jurkiewicz
Karulewiczowa
Krola
Majerowicz
Mosciski
Patelski
Pieprzyk
Pilarek
Przybylka
Rockernagen
Sinicki
Snuski
Sokol
Starczewski
Ulatowski
Vaneska
Zolecki

Profiles Added Since Last Update:  210

New Intra-Connections  (Lucht to Fons):

267)  ….Albert Paradowski > daughter, Mary (Paradowski) Rudzinski > husband, Andrew Rudzinski > sister, Frances (Rudzinski) Antoniak > daughter, Rose (Antoniak) Kleczka > husband, Edmund Kleczka > mother, Agnes (Wiza) Kleczka > sister, Anthony JohnWiza....

268)  ….Albert Paradowski > son, John Paradowski > daughter, Jeanette (Paradowski) Rozga > husband, Charles A. Rozga > father, Stanley J. Rozga > brother, Francis [Frank] Rozga > daughter, Hattie (Rozga) Latus > husband, Harry F. Latus > mother, Catherine (Myk or Mick) Latus > sister, Francisca (Myk or Mick) Komorowski > husband, Frank Komorowski > father, Jacob Komorowski....

269)  ….Francis [Frank] Rozga > son Joseph Rozga > wife, Mary (Jozwiakowski) Rozga > brother, Frank Jozwiakowski > wife, Clara (Rozga) Jozwiakowski > sister, Hattie (Rozga) Latus....

270)  ....Joseph Rozga > son, Eugene Rozga > wife, Marcella (Borzymowski) Rozga > mother, Maryanna (Meller) Borzymowski > father, John Meller....

271)  ….Joseph Rozga > daughter, Cecelia (Rozga) Larkin > husband, Edward [Laskowski] Larkin > sister, Catherine (Laskowski) Piszczek > husband, Joseph Warren Piszczek....

272)  ….Clara (Michalek) Konieczka > husband, Bernard J. Konieczka > sister, Barbara Bronislawa (Konieczka) Miller > daughter, Betty Jane (Miller) Michalek > husband, Frank Michalek > mother, Mary (Sikora) Michalek....

273)  ….Leona (Grosz) Lucht > brother, Edward Grosz > wife, Irene (Konieczka) Gross > sister, Stella (Konieczka) Podlaszewski > husband, Casimir Podlaszewski > father, Frank Podlaszewski > half-brother, Vincent Podlaszewski > son, Alex Podlaszewski > first wife, Clementine (Wodkowski) Podlaszewski > brother, Alvin Podlaszewski > wife, Gladys (Gapinski) Podlaszewski > sister, Casper [Casimer] Gapinski....

274)  ….Josephine (Kaczmarowski) Piszczek > sister, Rosalie (Kaczmarowski) Brzezinski > husband, Frank Brzezinski > sister, Blanche (Brzezinski) Baranczyk....


PCN:  3.00
(For an explanation of the PCN - "Project Completeness Number") see Status Update - February, 2012 and Status Update - March, 2012)
 
Historical PCN Data:
September, 2014: 3.00
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:
 
Branski Ranski
Brzezinski Breszinsky Brzezinske
Cukierski Cukier
Jarentowski Jaranowski
Jędrzejak Jendrzejek Jedrzejek Jedrsejek Jeudrzyek Judrzejek
Jozwiakowski Gozewiakowski
Krajenka Krafenka
Luczac Luczak
Maciejewski Marciejewski
Majerowicz Majrowicz
Miller Muller Milkes
Sokol Sokul
Ulatowski Matowski
Zolecki Żołecki Zalechi Zalecki

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.


Sources:

"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:

Balinski
Bialkowski
Britka
Gawin
Gonia
Grzywacz
Jazembowicz
Koszewski
Krubeski
Krzemienewski
Machkiewicz
Okruszynski
Pokrzewinski
Usterbowski
Wajer

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.

 Sources:

"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