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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 20, 1879The Poles in Chicago
Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about twenty-five thousand. The first Polish pioneers arrived in Chicago as early as 1852; they lived in various sections of the city, virtually strangers, since there was no specific Polish settlement in the city at that time. As most of them were of the Roman Catholic faith, they became affiliated with the German Catholic churches, although a desire prevailed to build a Polish church. In 1869 a club was finally organized to raise funds. Within a short span of time several thousand dollars had been gathered and the erection of a church commenced in earnest. The site was at Noble and Bradley Streets. When the fact became known, hundreds of Polish families from all parts of America and particularly from the Kaschubei in Germany flocked to Chicago. The Kaschubes are of Polish origin. Their language shows much borrowing from the German. These people live in the vicinity of Danzig, Berend, and Neustadt in Upper 2Silesia, Prussia, and represent a low cultural level, due to the Prussian school edict whereby all Polish children must study the various school subjects in German, a language which is strange to them. The Kaschubes are fervent Catholics, frugal and economical. Many of them have ten thousand to thirty thousand dollars.
The first wooden church, later converted into an elementary school, was dedicated in 1869; Reverend Jaskowski was the first Polish priest.
It is generally conceded that most of the foreign people founding a new home on these shores lose all sense of discretion in so far as the word liberty is concerned, due to a rapid change from monarchical to democratic surroundings involving the abolition of class consciousness. Therefore, the new arrivals practiced no self-restraint; self-interest ran rampant, and this fault also manifested itself occasionally among the Poles. A Polish priest sits on a volcano, as it were; every member of the parish intends to rule, and gives 3advice to the priest on how to conduct himself within and beyond the confines of the church. Anonymous letters are a daily occurrence; the Lord have mercy on [a minister] who transgresses and lacks energy--that man is lost. Many of the sixty-five Polish communities of this land could give their own interesting versions of certain peculiar incidents, but in so far as these internal affairs are concerned, I shall enshroud them in secrecy.
The people had conscientious scruples, because they could not order masses to be read for their deceased relatives. Money for masses poured into the church coffers in copious quantities and the impecunious priest became affluent. [Translator's note: This is a literal translation. Possibly the apparent meaninglessness is due to the omission of something from the Staats-Zeitung.] But this egotistical ambition [of the minister] to amass wealth had its repercussions and created enemies. Besides, he had the misfortune of being encumbered with a charming and beautiful "cousin," who today would be called ciotka (aunt).4
Dissatisfaction [in the parish] became rampant; finally a horde armed with cudgels visited the unsuspecting priest and returned with broken weapons. The maltreated disseminator of the gospel fled at that very hour, and a Polish settlement in Minnesota provided a sanctuary.
His successor was the Reverend Bakanowski, an erudite gentlemen well versed in Polish, German, French, Italian, Latin and English. Besides being endowed with a sympathetic sonorous voice, he was endowed with exceptional talents in rhetoric, and his general conduct inspired friendship. To all these mental attributes must be added, unfortunately, bodily perfection. Like Alcibiades, he was the most beautiful specimen of his race. Attendance at his sermons was large; all nationalities congregated at his distant church on Sundays, to listen and admire the "Beautiful Polish priest". Naturally, the fair sex was most numerous. Invitations galore were sent to him, requesting his presence here and there for the purpose of holding religious meetings and consoling beauteous ladies in their parlors. Would it be reasonable to 5condemn the pious man for yielding to his desire to save souls and accepting such offers? Of course not. Among the mass of Polish penitents was a charming, intelligent, lovely lady, wife of a local physician. Above all, it became increasingly important to save her soul. And while religious solace was given here, the sick, and children in need of baptism, waited vainly at home. The doctor's residence was in another part of the city. The oft occurring absence of the priest aroused antagonism. The burden of his duties in the parish induced the priest to obtain an assistant. This brings to the scene the Reverend Wolowski, a suspicious, conniving man, who had lost one arm during the Polish Insurrection against Russia in 1863, according to his version. Scandalmongers assert, however, that Wolowski, caretaker of the war chest of his regimental division, made a trip to somewhat remote regions, supposedly to protect the precious property from Russian marauders; but the Polish patriots protested against the pretext, and as punishment cut off the pernicious arm. With the officiating of this gentleman the halcyon days of Aranjuez came to a sinister end. Envious of his colleague's success, the 6assistant sent a voluminous denunciation directly to Rome.
Reverend Bakanowski was called to the Holy City to defend himself and did not return. Like Niobe, the not fully converted beauties pined away from secret sorrow, remembering only the past exhilarating moments while hiding from human scrutiny the grief that engulfed them. But vengeance was in the offing for the insolent schemer who so rudely curtailed clandestine bliss. His attempt to found a Polish school--a measure calculated to bolster his waning popularity--proved unavailing. He was doomed, in so far as Chicago was concerned.
The following priest, Reverend Zwiardowski, shortly after taking the reins of the parish, dismissed the sinister chap. The school was not to be abandoned, however.
As dissension arose at the time among the then functioning teachers and the 7priest, and as there existed an absolute dearth of other suitable pedagogues, Reverend Zwiardowski decided to let nuns manage the school. The sisters were mostly Germans and expressed German nationalism in no uncertain terms; it brought a remonstrance. The dissenters found a leader in Mr. Dynsewics, editor of the liberal Polish paper, Gazetta Polska, a publication in existence for the last ten years. Their slogan or, may we say, "the war whoop," was the terse sentence: "In Germany Bismarck Germanizes us, and here a Polish priest!"
The people were so incensed, that the priest, whose health was none too good, considered it advisable to leave his field of activity. The vacancy thus created provided a berth soon after, in 1874, for the Reverend Vincent Barzynski, who still functions in his ecclesiastical capacity. Few leaders faced greater difficulties. There were more than fifteen thousand people of Polish extraction in Chicago at that time, representing every part of the former great nation (in the period of a bygone century--1667 to 1772--this 8former kingdom represented an area of 21,334 geographical square miles), and everyone was imbued with the ruling complex, insistent on telling the minister what to do.
Father Vincent was thirty years old at that time; he came from a highly respected family living in the Russian part of Poland. He attended the best schools in his native land and continued his studies in Rome. He is very eloquent--capable of exacting admiration from his adversaries through his powers of persuasion. He is intelligent, pious, but not a hypocrite, and has an excellent reputation. He is fully aware of the traits of his countrymen and his plans take cognizance of them. In many respects his conduct reminds one of Octavius Augustus: If various efforts meet with indifferent success, then he threatens to leave the parish, whereupon every request is promptly granted, and upon urgent entreaties from the congregation he condescends to stay for a while. Various business matters incident to such a large congregation he has placed in the hands of several committees; but, 9basically, he is the sole leader. "Roma Locuta Est, Causa Finita Est," he tells an occasional opponent who cannot be reconciled to the priestly views. He is on a par with Gregory VII, a man of tremendous will power who would rather perish than relinquish a plan designed to elevate the community spiritually and materially. But, Facta Loquuntur.
Under his capable leadership the Polish school attained increased attendance; six hundred children are at present enrolled and given instruction in their native language by Polish nuns. Music, which in former years induced Polish youths to leave the path of rectitude and seek dance halls, taverns, and other libertine diversions, is now mute.
Since the small church proved inadequate for the large congregation, an additional house of worship was built: The Church of the Holy Trinity, near Milwaukee Avenue. The Poles, living in the immediate vicinity, virtually surrounded the structure with stores, mostly saloons, and this contingent 10later asked the bishop that their connection with the old church be severed and a priest of their own choice be installed. The antipathy of certain Poles toward Father Vincent is attributable to the fact that he hails from Russian Poland and belongs to the Order of the Resurrectionists. Almost the entire Polish Liberal Party, here and abroad, maintain that the priests of this Fraternity show insufficient patriotism, and that their interests are only centered on Catholicism. While this assumption may be partly justified, it is entirely inappropriate in so far as Father Barzynski is concerned. His sermons express fervent patriotism, and the well-edited, ultramontane Polish paper, Gazetta Polska Katolicka, which is published under his direction, always defends Polish interests. Moreover, the numerous changes he inaugurated and, above all, the founding of a Polish high school, give conclusive evidence of the priest's patriotic sentiments.
Bishop Farley did not accede to the wishes of the Poles desiring an independent church, as Father Vincent and his assistants proved sufficient.11
Increasing dissatisfaction became apparent, resulting in an eventual rift and at long last two parties, steeped in bitter animosity. Church meetings developed into a replica of the Polish Congress, and a threat was made to apostatize. Time and time again Father Vincent advocated reconciliation but to no avail; he was even insulted and, on one occasion, arrested at the behest of some depraved creature.
When all efforts in behalf of peace proved fruitless, the Reverend Father carried the "sanctissimum" to the mother church and left his church to the dissatisfied element. Thus the house of worship remained forsaken for almost a year, when a Polish priest, Mielcuszny, appeared. Many Polish people knew him when he lived in the Grand Duchy of Posen, (Germany). He had been active in New York, but was compelled to resign. Cardinal Closkey objected to the priest's wordly activities, because the latter fitted out a saloon, combined with a dance hall, in the basement of the church; this proved a lively place after church services. Mielcuszny, an accomplished dancer, 12usually opened the festivities.
This priest proved most welcome to the recreants and, contrary to the bishop's wishes, was installed. Intense enmity now involved the two factions, but this is not the place to adjudge theological principles. Suffice it to say, therefore, that according to church canons the installation of priests is one of the ecclesiastical duties delegated to bishops, and this community, in the strict sense of the creed, is not Catholical. After the disgruntled element had affiliated itself with the long-closed church, now given a new lease on life under the leadership of the Polish priest from New York, the parochial domain of Reverend Barzynski again enjoyed the blessings of peace. As the available space provided by the church proved inadequate, a new church was built. Thus far eighty thousand dollars have been spent on construction, and an additional thirty thousand dollars will be required to complete the edifice.
The not overly large mortgage is being paid by voluntary contributions and 13pew rentals, which amounts to approximately eight thousand dollars per year.
The paintings for the church have been entrusted to a talented Polish artist, Zabinski, who came directly from Rome (Italy). His studio is at the parish house. A visit will prove very interesting. Several splendid sketches and the full-size, partly completed painting, "The Death of Stanislaus Kostka," give eloquent proof that a genius conceived them.
For some time Father Vincent considered founding a Polish high school, and to realize that goal he spent large sums of money; however, serious difficulties were encountered. Indifferent success did not deter him, however. Repeatedly he admonished his congregation, and spoke in stentorian tones about public indifference. Finally, the community decided to build a higher institution of learning, and to defray the cost. The school was opened this year, January 2, , and two eminent instructors were secured.14
Professor Stein, thirty years old, passed his examinations with flying colors at the gymnasium in Thorn, on the River Weichsel, and the seminary in Posen. To complete his studies he traveled throughout the greater part of Europe. [In the interim] he taught in Posen and Bromberg at public schools, and academies for young ladies. In America he taught successfully in New York and Detroit. Here, he will give instructions in the German and Polish languages, as well as mathematics.
Professor Wenslow studied at the Jesuit College here; later he studied philosophy.
The institution [the Polish high school] accepts students regardless of religion or nationality. At present forty-three students are enrolled; the evening school register shows seventy-two have matriculated. The future of the school is assured, as attendance increases daily.
The community now entertains the highest regard for its spiritual leader; it 15feels convinced that no personal ambition or selfish interest motivated his action; he was concerned only in the true welfare of his countrymen. Since the storm subsided and outstanding success crowned the priest's efforts, it is expected that the majority of the estranged members will return to the mother church soon.
This brief sketch does not pretend to give all the details which, after all, would be superfluous. I have merely stated facts, because Chicago has many Polish families, and a large number subscribe to this paper. Perhaps I may have an opportunity at some future time to give an account of the Polish community of the South Side, its church, the Polish press, clubs, and, possibly, some interesting details of prominent Polish people who live in our city.
Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about ...
III C, IV, I C, III A, I A 2 b, I A 2 a, II B 2 d 1
Secondary listingsPolish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Own and Other National or Language Groups (I C) ?
Polish // Assimilation > Segregation (III A) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Education > Parochial > Foreign Languages (I A 2 b) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Education > Parochial > Elementary, Higher (High School and College) (I A 2 a) ?
Polish // Contributions and Activities > Avocational and Intellectual > Intellectual > Publications > Newspapers (II B 2 d 1) ?
Zgoda -- March 30, 1887From Our Press
Chicago Courier, the first Polish daily in the United States, has stopped its presses forever because it was not supported, It is very sad to say that a paper of this calibre, dealing with Polish politics and the welfare of the Polish people, could not be supported by true Poles.
The editor of the Courier, Mr. Sadowski, takes this opportunity to thank the people for their best efforts to keep this newspaper in circulation, and he is very sorry that in spite of the large number of Poles in the United States, this paper had to stop its publication due to lack of support.
This paper supported all the Polish movements, their enterprises, their very lives; still it didn't do enough to exist among their own blood. I hope that everyone who contributed to its downfall is satisfied, because our existence was not one road strewn with flowers.
It is hinted that Mr. Sadowski will be the editor of the new Polish 2newspaper, Poles in America, which will soon be put in circulation in Buffalo.
We do not think that we need a horoscope reading in regard to the value of this new Polish newspaper or the articles appearing in it, because we know the record and the good work of Mr. Sadowski. Therefore we feel that his work will be honest and sincere.
We feel that Mr. Sadowski is broad-minded and can go far in bringing before the eyes of the Polish people the news that interests them most.
In this belief we wish the Poles of America a success, and we send our heartiest wishes to our colleague, and hope that he meets with less misfortune than he did while in the services of the Courier.
Chicago Courier, the first Polish daily in the United States, has stopped its presses forever because it was not supported, It is very sad to say that a paper of ...
II B 2 d 1, IV
Zgoda -- July 25, 1888Polish Club in Chicago
At the 16th political ward where not so long ago the Poles elected their first Polish alderman, Mr. A. J. Kowalski, a Republican Polish club has been established.
The president is Mr. M. Osucha, and the secretary, Mr. I. N. Morgenstern.
We shall have more news about this in our future issues.
At the 16th political ward where not so long ago the Poles elected their first Polish alderman, Mr. A. J. Kowalski, a Republican Polish club has been established. The president ...
I F 2, IV
Zgoda -- June 19, 1889A New Polish Lawyer
We are informed that our young Polish comrade, Maksymilian Drzymata, has passed his examinations at the University, qualifying him for a lawyer's degree.
He is the same person who, at the last celebration of the anniversary of May the 3rd, orated in English about the Polish foreign relations during the dismemberment of Poland.
We are informed that our young Polish comrade, Maksymilian Drzymata, has passed his examinations at the University, qualifying him for a lawyer's degree. He is the same person who, at ...
II A 1, IV
Zgoda -- August 14, 1889Local News
There shall take place in America, in the year 1892, a world exposition for the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. In Chicago there was an active movement in order to try to secure the holding of this fair in our city. The mayor of our city then selected a committee consisting of the most prominent citizens of the state for this aim, so that they could take care of this matter.
From among the Poles only two citizens belong to this committee and they are Mr. Peter Kiolbasa and Mr. Zbigniew Brodowski.
There shall take place in America, in the year 1892, a world exposition for the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. In Chicago there was an ...
II B 1 c 3, IV, I F 4, I F 5
Secondary listingsPolish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Politics > Extent of Influence (I F 4) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Politics > Political Leadership (I F 5) ?
Zgoda -- August 28, 1889American News - World Exposition
There is no doubt whatsoever that this exposition is to be held here in Chicago in the year 1892, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
As soon as there occurred an idea of holding a fair for this occasion, there began a scramble among various cities to receive this honor. Especially cities such as Washington, New York and Chicago, but our city showed its quickness and readiness to meet this event with the aid of the representatives of Congress, who will unanimously vote for Chicago. A large committee has already been selected and is composed of the most prominent known people in the state, who immediately went to work energetically on this affair. From among the Poles selected for this committee were citizen Peter Kiolbasa and Zbikniew Brodowski, an editor. Mr. Brodowski first heard about his nomination for the committee from the papers. Probably if he had known of this before he was selected, he would 2perhaps have refused this honor and placed his position upon someone else, because it requires money to work on this committee, as his salary is small working as an editor for a Polish newspaper. But he eventually accepted this position and will do the best he can, because he does not care to prejudice the Polish name in any way.
There is no doubt whatsoever that this exposition is to be held here in Chicago in the year 1892, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America ...
II B 1 c 3, IV
Zgoda -- November 20, 1889Polish Hall Named "Pulaski."
Poles in Chicago, in the south central part of the city, always had the idea and ambition to construct a Polish hall in their section of the town. A few weeks ago they purchased four lots, on which there shall stand the Polish hall. Friday, the 15th of November, there was an unusual meeting, at which they chose nine directors. They are Mr. Napieralski, Smietanka, Blaszezynski, Drzymaly, Rosanski, Grzegorzewski, Fruzyn, Marcinkowski, and Maciejewski.
They formed an organization under the name of Pulaski Hall Builders Organization. To this organization in that part of town various groups, organizations, likewise church, gymnastic organizations and the Polish Falcons No. 1, joined in. Good luck.
Poles in Chicago, in the south central part of the city, always had the idea and ambition to construct a Polish hall in their section of the town. A few ...
II D 6, IV
Zgoda -- February 12, 1890[Many Poles Die from Influenza]
Many of the dead in the Central states from the epidemic of influenza which carried off twelve hundred and eight people in Chicago alone between December 23, 1889 and February 1, 1890, were Polish, according to a statement of Dr. Xelowski, a member of the Board of Health.
Many of the dead in the Central states from the epidemic of influenza which carried off twelve hundred and eight people in Chicago alone between December 23, 1889 and February ...
I M, II A 1, IV
Zgoda -- March 26, 1890Election
April 1st is election day in Chicago.
Until 6 o'clock, March 24th, we didn't receive any information as to the candidates selected to run on the Democratic ticket; according to rumors, we know of only one Polish candidate on the Democratic ticket, he is Mr. August Kovalski, seeking re-election as alderman of the 16th ward.
Mr. August Kowalski has held the aldermanic office of the 16th ward for the past two years, and he elevated himself with his own efforts and he gave protection and assistance to his fellow comrades in all their undertakings, and did his utmost to help them in their hour of need.
We can have complete confidence that if he is re-elected he will continue to show his good will and efficient work. In the 16th ward only one Democratic candidate will run for alderman. This is to make sure that Mr. A. Kowalski, a Polish candidate, will not meet any opposition, and be assured of the best possible chance of victory; by this move they are keeping all the votes of the Polish People on the Democratic side, thus avoiding a split in the party's vote.2
We are sure that all Polish Democratic voters of the 16th ward, without any exception, will give their support to Mr. August Kowalski. Candidates seeking other offices are asking all Polish voters for support. Because of the strength in Polish votes, I, Mr. Kowalski, a candidate for re-election am depending on Poles to carry me back into my office.
April 1st is election day in Chicago. Until 6 o'clock, March 24th, we didn't receive any information as to the candidates selected to run on the Democratic ticket; according to ...
I F 1, IV, I F 4
Secondary listingsPolish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Polish // Attitudes > Politics > Extent of Influence (I F 4) ?
Zgoda -- April 02, 1890"City News"
Our paper will be published the day of election, but we cannot help or harm any of the candidates running for office. In the next issue will be published the results of this election.
We would like to impress on your mind one curious fact about the character of a candidate. A Pole, Mr. J.J. Dahlman, received the Democratic nomination for Alderman. He is running for office, as is Mr. August Kowalski, one of his fellow countrymen. We should remember that the answer is that the Polish citizens should not vote in any way that may harm them, but vote for the Polish candidates, regardless of the party or the opponents. We should bear in mind that we should elect more Polish candidates, and not worry about the other nationalities.
We impress upon you the fact that Mr. Dahlman, who is asking the support of all Poles, lives and thrives among them; has had his circulars printed by Simon Levy - a Jewish printing concern, while in his neighborhood are many Polish printers, dealing in Polish and English printing of any amount or size. Can we call this 2"solidarity"? This is the class of people that are seeking our support, so that they may become political figures.
Maybe Kowalski or Dahlman will win in their respective localities, but we are seeking more than ever the election of Mr. Kowalski, a true Pole.
Mr. Dahlman, who gave his work to the Jews, shouldn't expect much support from the Poles.
Our paper will be published the day of election, but we cannot help or harm any of the candidates running for office. In the next issue will be published the ...
I F 1, IV, I C, III A
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