A while back, I put up a series of articles from a book called Poles In Michigan, Volume 1. One subgroup 0f those articles featured or mentioned the Central Citizens Committee (links below) and some movers and shakers who were involved with it. I was recently given some brief bios of individuals mentioned in those articles by a very kind and generous man, Retired Judge Don Binkowski. It is with his consent and approval that I share them with you here. Thanks for sharing your information about these notable PolAms, Don!
I would also like to mention that Don has his own web site on Polish American Labor.
WOJCINSKA, Ewelina (Evaline; Robert’s mother; Mary Ann Osborne’s grandmother) b. in Poland. (d. 1931). M, Feliks. Social worker; activist; patryota. m, sec, Pol Comm, WWI; hon pres, Vet Pol Army Aux. CCC activist. Rec’d Polonia Restituta; Krzyz Zaslugi (gold); Miecze Hallerowskie. Fdr, Polish Ladies’ Relief Soc. Fdr, pres Det Pol-Am Women Cit League (XIX Amend), 1920. Who's Who in Polish America, 1948, p. 499.
WEDDA, Jozef (Joseph) A. b. Milwaukee, WI. Educ: U-Marquette. Journalist. Publ, Praca, 1919-21. ed, RC. m, ch: John.* former chf clk, Det City Clk. m, 1916 Mayor's Charter Revision Committee. Natl Dir, PNA, 1918-22. State Cent Comm (R). Polish Nat'l Rel Comm; "in political circles in Washington, D.C." WWPA 483-4. Olszewski, V.3, p. 296, 337, 391, 404. * [b. Milwaukee, WI, 1911, John Wedda became a designer & illustrator, Detroit, 1940-44; Awards for watercolors, DIA, Amer Inst of Graphics. Selectman, town of Salisbury, Conn, 1963-69. Contemporary Authors, Vol 17-20, (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1976), p. 768. Joseph Wedda Jasna Polana (Bright Meadows [after Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana), 1945. ] OSS.
LESINSKI (orig., LESZCZYNSKI ), Jan (John), Sr. b. Erie, PA (1885-1950). Educ: Pol Sem, Det Bus Col. m, (2) ch: Joan, John Alexander, Jr, Maxine, Delphine, Raymond J., Beverly J., Edwin S. Part, Rozycki & Company; then Leszczynski, with Homer Warren; Hamtramck Lumber. Orgn, Polish Army, W W I; Falcons; pres, Polish Citizens' Comm of Detroit, 1919-32; State comm. in charge of sale of Polish bonds, 1920; secy Polish Nat'l grp, ’25, with Sadowski. Polonia Restituta, highest civilian award. Del, Nat'l Conv (D), 1936, 40, 44. “prominent & best known Pol-Ams in Det.” M: C.C.C.; Pol Bd Amr; Pol Nat'l Dept of Chicago; PNA; PRCUA. U S Congressman, 16th Dis (D), 1933-50. Smolczynski, 1907, p. 162. Burton, 1922, Vol I, pp. 505-06; City of Detroit, '22, IV, 792-9; 1936 WWA 1483; WWPA 261; 1964 ACW W 253; Biog Dir, 1212; 1949 CB 351-53; 1989 Cong Dir 1365. OSS. Obituary, NYT, May 28, 1950, 1:2 LAW, 199 re Leszczynski; 131, 138, 175, 186, 271.
Note, pres of CCC, 1936-44.
KOZDROJ, Chester A. b. Poland (1907-1985). Educ: BS, MS, UD; Warsaw Univ, Poland; LLB, DCL. m, Helen Kiljanski (50th Anniv, ’85), ch: Camilla, Patricia. Instr, Polish Seminary. Dep Probate Ct. Register, 1937-41; Mich St. Labor Mediator, 1942;. Wayne Co. Bd of Super (D), 1933-44. Pd elect work at GROTTO OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES, Orchard Lake Semi. Unsucc. cand. for State Sen (D), ’36; 1st Cong Dist (D), ’44, 1946; Det Council, ’47. Pres, Cen Cit Comm, 1936-44. M: PNA; v.p. O/L Alumni Assoc; pres, Pol Leag Soc Action; fdr, pres, Pol Am Chamber of Comm. Giant in Golden Age of Pol Am activity. WWPA, 230. OSS extensive bio. LAW, 124.
SADOWSKI, Roman Jan, Dr. b. Plock, Poland (1879-1965). Father Jan (d. 1906): prop, bakery, 411 Canfield. m, ch: Leon L., Hubert H., Hedwig A., Harriette. Educ: Pol Sem, Det Col Medicine, 1903; post grad. West side Detroit Phys. M: v.p, PAC; dir, CCC, activist. M: PRCU; fdr, Pol Falcons, #79. Fdr, pres Pol Gray Samaritans, 1915-17. Detroit War comm, 1917; m, Americanization Comm; v.p., Pol Welfare Coun; pres, West Side Dem Club; treas, dir, Orchard Lake; bd dir, Pol Historical Soc of MI, '36; vp, Natl Con Amer Polish Descent, '25; Pol Nat'l Med & Den Soc; orgn, Det Med-Den Arts C, '34; Polish Aid Comm, '39; tres, Pol Sem Alumni, '39. m, Det Plan Comm. Patryota. Biog, Smolczynski's 1907. Order of Polonia Restituta, '20; many awards & honors. MS, ImmigHistoryResCntr, U-Minn, St. Paul, Minn. WWPA 396. FP, Nov, 8, 1959, p. 9A. LAW, 124.
ROZYCKI, Stanislaw Sr. b. Poland (1881-1974). Detroit, 1901. (504) 1950 Canfield. m, ch: Ladislaus, Stanley Jr. [later State Senator], 5 Partner with John Lesinski; associated with Homer, Warren & Co. M: pres. Assn of Poles, Det (merged with PRCU); Sokol, nr. 31; CCC. 1/fdr, Dom Polski. Dr. Sadowski & John Lesinski publ Ognisko Domowe (The Fireside), weekly. Built St. Hyacinth School, '08; St. Albertus School, '16; Denby, Chadsey, Pershing HS's. Smolczynski, 1907, p. 148. WWPA, 386. Swastek, 342.
BORKOWICZ, Msgr. Vincent V. b. Buffalo, NY, (1898-1996). Pastor, St. Stanislaus (grandm Bienkowski’s parish), 39 yrs; Msgr, 1952 . CCC activist. M, Mich Correct Comm, 1934. M, Wayne Co Soc Welfare Bd, 1941. M, Mich State Social Welfare Bd, 1941-57. Fdr, Pol Act Leag, 1929; Cath Leag Assist Poland, 1944; World Medical Relief, 1945. Spon, Polish Youth Cong, 1944; dir, Boys Cl, 41 yrs. OSS bio. PW, 21 July 1995, p. 10; PW 2, Aug 1996, p. 1; 9 Aug, p. 11. Awarded Fidelitas Medal, O/L. OSS.
KOSCINSKI, Arthur Anthony, b. Bobrowie, Poland (1887-1957). Educ: Llb,UM. Lawyer. m, ch: Arthur J.; Valerie M.; Philip A. M: secy, Pol Atty Assn, '14; Advocates; Orch Lake Alum, pres, '39; PNA; Pol Falcons. Chm, PNA Con, Detroit, 1939. Public Adm, 1923-36; m, Detroit Pension Comm, 1934-37; MI Const Rev. Comm, '41; Bd of Wayne Co instns, 42-43; govt appeal agt, Sel serv, bd 7, 1940-45. Unsucc. cand Wayne Co Cir Ct (D), ’35; ’40, ’41; Mich Sec. of State, (D) 1944 (1st Ad Bd Pol Am). U.S. District Judge, East Dis, 1945-57 (1st Pol Am, USA). Fidelitas Medal, O/L, ’57. City of Detroit, 1922, pp. 557-58. WWPA 221; 1954 ACWW 255 OSS. LAW, 114, 124.
OKRAY, John J. (ne Okraj) b. Detroit, 1896 Educ: attended DBU. WWI. m, ch:? Real estate & ins. business. Detroit activist. Unsucc cand State Sen (R), ’24, ’26, ’31; I Dis Cong, (D), ’32. M: pres, CCC; dir, PAC. Helped St. Mary's PAL camp, Memphis. Attended Paderewski's funeral, rep of people of Detroit. OSS bio.
GIBASIEWICZ, Jadwiga, (mother of A. Bonczak) b. Poland (1878-1952). Detroit driving force. Vp, Pol Womens Relief, WWI. Vp, CCC, 1939; m, Komitet Niesienia Pomocy, ’39; chm, Dom Polski Assoc; hon. pres, St. Barbara's PNA, ’39. Pol Women All, 1927, 2d v.p., 1931; State Pres, Dis 5, 1918-1943. Fdr, 2 Pol Women's All chapters, 1917 & ’23; chap named for her, Gr. 671, 1933. Historia Zwiazku Polek w Ameryce, v. I, 1938. Olszewski, V.3. WWPA126. Hist PWAA, 2003, 225-26.
GLINSKA, Susan. Detroit activist; powerful, unrecognized force. 1st pres, Polish Activities League, 1923-25; 1942-52. V-p, CCC; Bd dir, PAC. OSS.
BRZEZINSKI, Adam F., grandfather of Robert B. (1890-1957) Detroit activist. Wyandotte, CCC activist. Det Water Comm, 1938-41. Prop, A. F. Brzezinski Furniture Co., 4815 McGraw, cor, W. Warren. 2nd Natl Comm, PNA. Awarded Polonia Restituta.
SOBIESKI, Joseph. b. Poland, 1877. General contractor. sec, Coun 15, PNA; del, natl con. Natl Comm, PNA, 1924-31. Served with distinction CCC. WWPA 421.
PAWLOWSKI, Jerome I. Physician, surgeon, St. Aubin & E. Forest, Detroit. Educ: Bsc, Msc, MD. Pres, School Bd, Alliance C, Cambridge Springs, PA. Natl Vice-Censor, PNA, 1931-35. Profess orgns. Poland and Her People (Detroit: private printing, n.d.). WWPA 340.
CYMAN, Frank J., Dr. b. Buffalo, NY, 1884. Educ: Colleges; MD, St. Louis U. m, 5 ch. Supt, Dobson Sanitairum, TX, 1911-13. M, Hamtramck Bd of Educ. Hamtramck Health Officer. Est schl for Polish nurses, Gray Samaritans, 1917; aided Polish DP's, 1948. Unsucc cand Mac Co Coroner (R). WWPA 81; Swastek, p. 157.
DZIOB, Francis W. b. Poland. Detroit activist. Del, Science C, Kongresu, 1911. Served with distinction CCC. Pol Army, WW I; nat’l commander, PLAV.?SWAP Sto Lat Historji Polskiej w Detroit 1837-1937 (A Hundred Years of Polish History of Detroit) (Detroit: Polish Centennial Publishers, 1937). An aide to PNA/PAC pres, Rozmarek. WWPA. 111.
OSOWSKI, (listed as Ossowski) Felix A. Detroit physician. (d. 1949; brother to W. T.). Detroit. Educ: MD, Loyola Univ. m, ch: Felicia Hart; Ramona Thielman. Very active in social, civic, and patriotic affairs; est schl for Polish nurses, Gray Samaritans, 1917. m, City Plan Comm, 1928-31; Public Light Comm. WWPA 330.
Note, pres, CCC 1946
CEGLOWSKI, Roman Vincent. b. N.J. (1902-1986). Educ: LLB, DCL. m, ch: Conrad J. Hamtramck Atty; banking. Water Bd Comm, 1944-48. M: 1st exec. bd m, Archdioc, Council of Cath Men, ’42; cir. pres, PRCU; 1938-42; sec & pres. CCC, 1939-46; natl. v.p. Amer Council of Pol Cul C., 53-55; pres, Detroit Civic League, 1950; pres, Friends of Pol Arts, 55; treas, Advocates. Unsucc cand Det Com Coun, 41; 5th St Sen (D); Wayne Co Pros (D), 58; CON CON (D); 6th Dis (Indepen Amer P). WWPA 65; 1973 ACWW 54. OSS. LAW, 193.
KANIA, Joseph L. b. Poland (1897-1953). Detroit Banker. Natl VP, Pres, PRCUA. M: Pol Natl Dept, Wydzial Narodowy); PROSA; pres, West Side Polit C; vp, Pol Amer Council (Rada Polonii Amerytkanskiej); tres, Catholic Leag, 1944. pres, MI PAC; CCC. Fdr, Natl Comm Amer Pol Desc (KNAPP). Comm, Det Pub Lighting, 1930-34. Wayne Co Bd of Super, 1932-33. Unsucc cand for Det Coun, 1933. Polonia Restituta. WWPA 190; Pienkos, 1991, pp. 451-52. OSS bio.
Creative Gene: Central Citizen's Committee, Part 1 of 3
Creative Gene: Central Citizen's Committee, Part 2 of 3
Creative Gene: Central Citizen's Committee, Part 3 of 3
Creative Gene: Polish Art Collections in Michigan, from Poles in Michigan Vol. 1
Creative Gene: The PNA in Detroit, Part 2 of 2