August 2010


Thanks to John Plenzler, here is a picture of my great-grandmother, Frances Rochowiak Przybylski. Date of photo unknown.

Frances Rochowiak Przybylski

Frances Rochowiak Przybylski

While doing some background research on Toledo and the Toledo State Hospital, I came across a bit of trivia. While searching libraries and documentation online for historical information about the city and the hospital, I found the Biennial Report of the Toledo State Hospital for the reporting period ending November 15, 1909. Here’s a link to the extracted page of the report.

In the report is a record of Joseph Plenzler for working on remodeling the cottages on the campus in February and March 1908. He earned $132.  Using an annual rate of inflation over the past 100 years, he would have earned over $2,850.53 today for this work!

I have a photo of my father while he was in training at MacDill in 1944. What makes this photo special is that my father actually wrote the names of the men in his crew on the back.

Here is the photo, taken June 10, 1944.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

Here is a scan of the legend. The legend is transcribed below the image.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field Crew 22 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field, June 10, 1944
Crew 221

June 10, 1944

Top Row
Left to Right

Pilot Flight Officer Ramsey, California
Co-Pilot Flight Officer Vaughn, New York
Navigator Flight Officer Peck, Pennsylvania
Commander Flight Officer Strickland, Virginia
Engineer Sgt. Tague, Chicago, Ill.

Bottom Row, Kneeling

Assit. Engineer Cpl. Reynolds, Waist Gunner, Oklahom
Radio Operator Sgt. Barth, Pennsylvania
Me (Edward Mierzejewski), Ball Turret Gunner, Ohio
Armourer Sgt Casey, Waist Gunner, New York
Assit. Armourer Sgt. Ratje, Tail Gunner, California

Perhaps a family member or friend of these men may find this picture of interest to them.

My father was a member of the 49th and 96th Bomb Squadrons. For more information: http://www.2ndbombgroup.org/

~~~Update 08.08.2010~~

Note that that I originally posted the wrong burial information for Wladymir.  I confused him with another Walter in the family! The burial record now reflects the correct link to the Calvary Cemetery record. Original post otherwise remains as it was written.

~~~~~

Wladymir (Walter) was the elder brother to my grandmother, Helena Mierzejewska. He was born June 20, 1881 in Borowcze, Poland to Stanislaw Mierzejewski and Anna Keijewska. Wladymir arrived in the US sometime about 1907 or 1908, settling first near Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was married at this time to a woman likely named Bertha and had two daughter while living in Pennsylvania named Sophia (Zofia) and Cezslawa (Charlotte). It was through Zofia’s passport application that I located him first in Pennsylvania. It appears as if Zofia and Wladymir’s second wife (Zofia refers to her as her stepmother on the passport application) traveled to Poland together in 1921 and were leaving Poland in 1924. The passport application provides Zofia’s birth date as April 10, 1909 and states she was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The 1920 census places Wladymir in Toledo, Ohio at 1060 Hamilton with his wife listed as Bernice. Additionally, Wladimir is living with daughters Sophia and Charlotte as well as with brothers Kalixity and Edward. I am unsure of who Edward really is. He may be a brother to Wladmir who returned to Poland or another relative in the family. Another area for research in the future.

I located a manifest for Wladymir returning to the US from Europe via the Saxonia dated March 1, 1924. Wladimir appeared to be traveling alone to visit a friend, Jozef Mozolewski Eichendorfer in Berlin, Germany. His last permanent residence was provided as Berlin, Germany with his stated intention of returning to Toledo, Ohio. His brother, John, is listed as a relative with John’s address as 1763 Buckingham. Oddly, the manifest states that Wladimir is Estonian and Hebrew! See line 2 of the manifest.

The 1930 census places Wladymir back in Toledo, but living at 1060 Hamilton. His wife is listed as Bernice and they are living with daughters Sophie, Charlotte, and Hedwig (Hattie). Hattie was born in December 22, 1918 in Ohio per her state of Ohio death record. Interestingly (as goes the theme for my family), Hattie’s death record lists her mother as a Mierzejewski.

Wladymir died June 24, 1975 per a death record through St. Hyacinth’s parish. The death record through the parish is transcribed below:

Name: Mierzejewski, Walter
Cemetery: Calvary
Age: Date of birth: 93
Nearest Kin: Daughter, Harriet Wadas
Died: June 24, 1975
Buried: June 27, 1975
Officiating Priest: Rev. Bede J. Slominski
Sacraments: All
Adm. by: Rev. Frank Slupski

His obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on June 25, 1975 and is transcribed below:

Walter Mierzejewski

Walter Mierzejewski, 93, of 4605 May St., died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital. He was employed by the former Kaiser Jeep Corp. as a machine operator 25 years, retiring in 1953. Surviving are his daughters, Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, Mrs. Charlotte Okurowski, and Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be Friday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Hyacinth’s Church. The Rosary will be recited Thursday at 7 and 7:30 p.m. in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

Wladymir was buried in Calvary Cemetery. The burial record is transcribed below:

No.: 79672
Name: Walter Mierzejewski
Residence: 4605 S. May St.
Age: 93
Cause of death: Prov. Death. Cert.
Date of Interment: 6/27
Grave: N-1/2,  E-1/2
Range or Lot: 215
Section: 42
Funeral Director: Sujkowski
Remarks: 1571

I have little information on Wladymir’s daughters other than some scant marriage information and death information about two of his daughters.

Sophie married Walter Owczarak and she passed away on March 21, 1982. Her obituary is transcribed below:

Sophie Owczarzak

Mrs. Sophie Owczarzak, 72, of Imperial Drive, died Sunday in the Lake Park Nursing Care Center, Sylvania. She worked at the former Electric Autolite Co., Surviving are her husband, Walter, and sister, Mrs. Harriet Wadas. Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Christ the King Church. Scripture services will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Ansberg-West Mortuary, where the body will be after 2 p.m. Tuesday. The family requests that any tributes be in the form of contributions to charity of the donor’s choice.

Hattie married Leo Wadas and she passed away on June 4, 2002. Her obituary from the Toledo Blade is transcribed below (I do not have a scanned or electronic copy of the original obit, but it was posted here):

Published: Jun 06, 2002 THE TOLEDO BLADE

Wadas Harriet R. Harriet R. Wadas, age 83 of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 at Swan Creek Health Care Center. Harriet was born in Toledo on December 22, 1918 to Walter and Bernice MIERZEJEWSKI Harriet retired from Champion Spark Plug where she worked for over 30 years. She was a member of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish. Circle 8-Alliance of Poles, Wroblewski Post 18 Auxiliary, and the Logsdon-Walla Post 639 Auxiliary. Harriet was a kind and loving person who will be greatly missed by all that knew her. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Leo Wadas. Surviving are 3 nieces and 3 nephews.
Friends may call at the Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home, 3838 Airport Hwy. on Friday from 4 to 8:00 p.m. where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. followed with Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. A Scripture Service will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the mortuary.

Finally! I’ve confirmed that John Mierzejewski is a sibling to my grandmother, Helena. Thanks to a piece of information I could not locate–an obituary from the Toledo Blade via Garret–I have a piece of the puzzle.

Here is a transcription of the obituary (it can’t be scanned, poor quality and Google archives does NOT have this):

J. M. Mierzejewski

John M. Mierzejewski, dietitian’s helper in Riverside Hospital, died yesterday in the hospital after a short illness. He was 52.

Survivors are his wife, Theofila, sons, Corporal Milton, Romulus Field, Mich., and Leonard, Toledo; daughters, Mrs. Helen Abrass, Mrs. Frances Lubinski, Mrs. Lillian Gawronski, and Virginia; brother, Wladyslaw; sister, Mrs. Helen Mierzejewski and five grandchildren, all Toledo.

Services will be 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Sujkowski Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

John died December 30, 1945.

Some trivia: Milton was nicknamed “Mackie.” I remember my father talking about him, but did not know how they were related. Dad simply called him “his cousin.”

John and his wife, Theofila, had seven children, one of whom is still living:

  • Helen (1913-2004) (m. Joseph Abrass)
  • Frances (1916-2009) (m. Joseph Lubinski)
  • Lillian (1918-2005) (m. Thadeusz Gawronski)
  • John (1921-1920)
  • Milton (1923-1987) (m. Stephanie Nowak)
  • Virginia (1927- ) (m. Donald Jezak)
  • Leonard (1929-1994) (m. Jeanne Trudell)

More updates later.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 221 other followers