Narod Polski -- June 28, 1905Death of Peter Kiolbassa
Peter Kiolbassa, one of our most prominent countrymen, not only among the Poles in Chicago, but throughout America, died on June 23rd, an upright and courageous citizen, who will be forever an honor to our name in this country, who will also remain a model for all, an impeccable, honest, energetic worker, a man of good will, a faithful Catholic and a genuine, true Pole.
Peter Kiolbassa, was born in the year 1837 in the village of Swibin in Slazk (Silisia), a son of people of the soil; he came to America with his parents in the year 1855 and settled in the town of Virgin Mary in Texas, where just one year before (1854) there was organized the first Polish parish in America. Mr. Kiolbassa, soon making himself acwuainted with local conditions, began to educate himself enthusiastically 2in the English and Spanish languages, knowing already Polish and German. He was a clerk for some time in the city of Piedras Negras. Then, after passing a teacher's examination, he was the first Polish teacher and an organist in the first Polish school in Virgin Mary. After the outbreak of the Civil War in 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, and served one year in the Cavalry, but after being taken prisoner in one of the battles, he passed over early to the Union Army, where he received in turn the rank of sergeant, sergeant major, officer and captain, in which capacity he served to the end of the war, until 1866, taking part in all the major engagements. After the war, Mr. Kiolbassa joined the police force in Chicago as an adherent of the Republican Party, but when this party seemed to become more and more anti-Catholic and an enemy of the emigrants from Europe, Mr. Kiolbassa went over to the Democratic camp with which he remained without change to the end of his career and life. In the year 1867 he was a sergeant and secretary to the Chief of Police, but after two years he left for the place of his former residence in Texas, where he was once more a school teacher and organist.3
After his return to Chicago, he again served on the police force, and after two years he received an appointment to the Customs department, in which he remained for 16 years, during which time he served two years in the Illinois State Legislature. In 1891 he was nominated and elected treasurer of the city of Chicago, and held this high office with an honor to himself and his fellow countrymen. He endeared himself to the city by turning over tens of thousands of dollars in interest, which his predecessors always kept for themselves by which act he gave a fine example of his unselfishness.
During the whole span of his life Mr. Kiolbassa was alderman, supervisor, building commissioner and commissioner of public works, at which position he remained until his death. These wide and very extensive public activities did not hinder Mr. Kiolbassa from taking a lively and energetic action in the affairs of his fellow countrymen, that is in the interest of the Polish population in Chicago. On the contrary, the late Mr. Kiolbassa was active 4everywhere and worked in every field. He was one of the organizers of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, (oldest Polish Parish in the City of Chicago); he was a member, and for some time president of the Polish Roman Catholic Union. He belonged to the Polish National Alliance, and everywhere he was helpful and accomodating, and everywhere respected and trusted. To his countrymen he was accomodating, at their service and truly friendly. He helped many financially and with advice, so that he was loved by all and his popularity not only amongst the Poles but in the entire city or Chicago was extraordinary. As a Pole - patriot, charitable and sincere, he was also an ardent and devout Catholic. As such he died after a long and very painful illness.
The late Peter Kiolbassa passes from the field of our social endeavors as a doer "Bene Meritus" - well deserving, so that his demise is lamented by our entire Polish-American immigration which will preserve him in its grateful memory. This memory will be the most beautiful monument for the 5one who died on this earth, far away from his Fatherland.
May he rest in Peace.
IV, I F 5, III D, III F
Your search criteria returned no results.