Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 22, 1892The Poles a Survey of Chicago's Polish Population
The Poles, as a part of Chicago's population, belong to those nationalities which are especially outstanding, like the Bohemians, Danes, Swedes etc. The Polish population of our city numbers not less than 60,000. A peculiar characteristic of this nation is their tenacity in sticking together in their different colonies. They live in seclusion as a people, more than any other Europeans, and one feels like a stranger passing through their colonies.
The most extensive Polish settlement is located in the Sixteenth Ward, Noble Street, Elston Avenue etc. In this neighborhood live not less than 30,000 Poles. Almost as large is the Polish colony on Seventeenth Street, Paulina, Laurel and vicinity. The chief factor of their seclusion is the Catholic Church. The largest congregation is the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, located at Ingraham and Noble Streets.
The Polish immigration to Chicago started thirty-eight years ago. Anton Schermann, J. Niemezewski, J. Dziewior, who are still alive, and are honored like patriarchs, were among the first settlers....2
The immigrants of those early years were almost exclusively poor working men; but nearly all of them became well-to-do. The colony grew very slowly until 1873, when large numbers of Poles from Russia and Prussia came to Chicago. At that time the colonies on the south side and in South Chicago were founded. When in 1884 twenty-thousand Poles were banished from their old country, the largest portion came to America, and of these the majority settled in Chicago. The largest Polish population of American cities is in Chicago.
The Poles have eight churches in Chicago, and the largest among them is the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, which has thirty thousand members. The church, the school, the home for the nuns and the priests cover a whole city square. The school is a four story brick building and more than three thousand pupils attend. Eight men teachers and twenty nuns comprise the staff.....Two high schools were also erected by the church recently...and an orphanage.
The two largest associations of the Polish population are the Polish Roman-Catholic National Union and the Polish National Alliance. The interests and activities of these organizations are closely allied to eccleciastical and national purposes. They have branches all over the United States and are also 3active in works of charity. P. Kiolbassa is the president of the Union, and its office of administration is at 141 - 143 West Division Street. This building belongs to the Polish Publishing Company.
The above mentioned company publishes two Polish newspapers, Dziennik Chicagoski, a daily, and the Wiarai Ojczyzna (Faith and Fatherland), a weekly, and is the organ of the Polish Roman-Catholic National Union, which has a membership of about 8,000. The National Alliance was organized twelve years ago. It has 4,500 members, and their slogan is; "Poland is not yet lost."
Besides the already mentioned papers, others are published: the Gazeta Polska, established 1873, the weekly Tygodnik Powiesciowy, the Gazeta Katolicka and the Dzien Swiety.
At present there is a movement on foot among the Poles to erect a monument in Humboldt Park to that great Polish champion of liberty, Kosciusko. The Chopin Choir and the dramatic Club of young people contribute to their entertainment.4
They also have two athletic clubs, and a number of small societies which are active in charitable endeavors under the supervision of the clergy.
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