Jablonski


When stumped with research or feeling that I need to take a break from specific persons or families, I often browse the online newspapers archived through Google. It’s fascinating to read about the worlds in which our ancestors survived–to connect their lives and backgrounds to historical events or find interesting tidbits that affected their societies and ways of life.

These past few days, I stumbled on a tragic story that affected the entire Polish community in Toledo, particularly the St. Anthony’s parish community. On Sunday, May 3, 1903, a large group of Poles from the Toledo area traveled via railroad to Detroit to attend a festival at St. Joseph’s church in Detroit. Many of these travelers were from St. Anthony’s parish. It seems as if none of the victims were part of my family; but no doubt, my family would have known many of them. Perhaps someone reading here will recognize a name and be able to make a connection to their family.

After a day of festivities, the group gathered at Canfield St. in Detroit about 8p.m. to return to Toledo.  Although this was not a regular stop for the train, it seems as if it was a stop scheduled for that day in anticipation of the large gathering for the festival. However, according to michiganrailroads.com:

“This was not a regular station stop and the train apparently did not send out an employee to flag the track.  At 8:30 p.m., a GTW train from Chicago was heading for Brush Street station.  It was most likely No. 8.  The crew knew nothing abut the train at Canfield Avenue until they were right on top of it and had no chance to stop the train in time.  Hearings showed that the crew on the excursion train were all “off the extra board” and not acquainted with the area and took too much for granted.”

Many persons were injured or killed in this train wreck, nearly all of whom were parishioners of St. Anthony’s. The Toledo News Bee on May 4 and May 5 followed the events and provided the names of the injured and killed. I’ve provided links to the archived stories. While the copy is not perfect, it is fairly readable and too big of a job to transcribe for here. However, here is a list of names that of those injured or killed as was posted in the May 4 edition of the News Bee. (I’ve transcribed the names below, but have not transcribed the description of injuries. Unless noted, victims were from Toledo–a few victims from Detroit were also listed in the article.)

Train accident victims, Toledo News Bee, 04 May 1903

Train accident victims, Toledo News Bee, 04 May 1903

The Dead

  • Frank Rozinski, age 25, 1465 Vance street
  • Watson Ludwick, aged 22, Junction avenue and Forrer street
  • Joseph Shafranski, aged about 26
  • Mrs. Frank Rozinski, 1465 Vance street or Helen Rodzwiecz, aged 19, 3017 Warsaw street
  • Stanislaus Orzechonski, aged 9, 1226 Campbell street
  • _________ Sabieialski, aged 10
  • Helen A. Palicki, aged 22, married, 45 Bronson street

The Injured

  • Mrs. Frank Otremba, aged 20, 826 Detroit avenue
  • Joseph Wozniak, 24, laborer, 1525 Buchanan street
  • Joseph Nitz, 18, laborer, 1306 Nebraska avenue
  • Joseph Kazruske, 18, 1132 Blum street
  • Rose Adamski, 20, 1267 Blum street
  • John Bush, 626 Hancock avenue (East Detroit)
  • Sadie Williams, 2140 Glenwood
  • Joseph Szaruleta, 407 Junction avenue
  • Joe Shafranski, 1109 Campbell street
  • Joe Picard, aged 12, 341 Superior street
  • Unidentified man
  • Mrs. Annie Urbaytis, about 25 years old, 2926 Lagrange street
  • John Malkoski, about 35 years old, 1115 Campbell street, was leading 10-year-old daughter who cannot be found
  • Mary Shafranski, 113 Campbell street, had baby in arms when hit and baby is missing
  • Joseph Jakrziski, 1000 Dubois street (Detroit)
  • Peter Orzechonski, 1226 Campbell street, his wife and two children, Mrs. Orzechonski dangerously and may die
  • James Powlocyk, 1215 Hamilton street
  • Mike Broski, 1715 Austin street
  • Chester Palicki
  • Stanislaus Sarnowski, 1307 Hamilton street

On May 5, the News Bee published an updated list of victims.

Toledo News Bee 05 May 1903 Railroad accident victims

Toledo News Bee 05 May 1903 Railroad accident victims

The Dead:

  • Joseph Szaruleta, 407 Junction avenue
  • Walter Ludwick, of Junction avenue
  • Frank Rozinski, 1465 Vance street
  • Mrs. Frank Rozinski, 1465 Vance street
  • Mrs. Helen Palicka, Lagrange street
  • Anthony Popek, aged 24 years, Tecumseh street
  • Ladislaw Sobieralski, boy, 13 years old
  • Stanislaus Orzechowski
  • Frank Jablonski, married, Campbell street
Toledo News Bee, 05 May 1903, railroad accident victims

Toledo News Bee, 05 May 1903, railroad accident victims

Toledo News Bee, 05 May 1903, railroad accident victims

Toledo News Bee, 05 May 1903, railroad accident victims

The Injured

  • Mrs. Mike Stelmaszak, 1417 Forrer street
  • Baby Orzechowski (injured head, and article states that it was predicted that the child would die)
  • Mike Broski, Langrange street, age 18
  • Joseph Szafianski, Campbell street, married
  • John Malkowski, Campbell street
  • Miss Helen Rodziewiez, Lagrange street
  • Rosa Adamski, Blum street
  • Mrs. Frank Otremba, Detroit ave. (of Toledo)
  • Salomea Witkowska, Blum street
  • John Krynski, Forrer street, 18 years old
  • Vincent Pawlaczyk, 1215 Hamilton street
  • Peter Orzechowski, Campbell street
  • Mrs. Peter Orzechowski

The stories provided by the News Bee are incredibly detailed. I encourage anyone interested in this story to read it directly from the the news archive. Reading these scans sometimes is difficult (I so empathize–I have poor eyesight so I want to transcribe whenever possible, but the job is too big to do so for a blog post)–but the stories would provide some genealogical detail for family members. I’ve posted a few of the pictures of the persons involved in this accident as well below.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rozinski

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rozinski

Mrs. Helen Palicki

Mrs. Helen Palicki

Joe Wozniak

Joe Wozniak

Helen Rodzwiecz

Helen Rodzwiecz

When I discovered Sophia Plenzler, a daughter of Joseph and Eva Dauer Plenzler, some confusing information kept appearing. I ran into a number of records that seemed to show she was married to her brother, Frank.  As has been a theme in my family discovery, there is yet another occurrence of duplicate names.

It appears as if both Sophia and her brother Frank each married a Szymanowski. Frank married Sophia Szymanowski. Sophia Plenzler married Stephen Szymanowski. My research led me to believe that Stephen Szymanowski and Sophia Szymanowski Plenzler were siblings.  I located Stephen Szymanowski’s baptismal record from St. Anthony’s parish, dated September 2, 1892. A transcription of this  record is below and it reflects the same parents as Sophia Szymanowski Plenzler’s baptismal certificate (see post regarding Frank Plenzler).

#182
Baptisam
No. currens: 142
Datum Nativ. 1892 2 Sept. Nat. 3 Sept. Bapt.
Nomen: Stephanus
Genus: Mas
Thori: Leg.
Parentes: Szymanowski Michael fil Jacobi et Justina Jablonska, Marianna fil Joannis et Barbara n. Jastruzbska (sp?)
Patrini: Joannes Jablonski et Anna Szymanowska
Adnotates

The 1920 census shows Sophia and Stephen living with Mary, Robert, Frank, and Leo (all single) at 1541 Avondale and notes Stephen as a renter, with Robert as head of household. The 1930 census (page 1 and page 2) shows Stephen and Sophia living at 712 Woodstock (my grandparents were living a block away in the 800 block of Woodstock) and the family has three children:

  1. Leonard, b. 1921, d. 1970
  2. Bernice, b. 1924
  3. Stephen Jr., b. 1925, d. 2010

Stephen passed away July 12, 1966 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. His obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on July 14, 1966. His obituary is transcribed below:

Stephen Szymanowski

Stephen (Steve) Szymanowski, Sr., 73, of 817 Evesham Ave., died Tuesday in the Byrnebrook Nursing Home.

A lifelong Toledo resident, Mr. Szymanowski was a receiving clerk at Kaiser Jeep Corp. more than 20 years, retiring 8 years ago. He was a member of St. Hyacinth Church, the Fourteenth Ward Old Timers Ball Players Association, Pulaski Camp Woodman of the World, and the Council of Elders, Toledo Health and Retiree Center.

Surviving are his wife, Sophia; sons, Leonard and Stephen, Jr. daughter, Mrs. Bernice Dybala, of Toledo, sisters, Mrs. Margaret Rejent and Mrs. Sophia Plenzler, both of Toledo, Mrs. Clara Zion, of Cincinnati, and five grandchildren.

Services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. Hyacinth Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery. The Rosary will be recited tonight at 8 in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

Stephen’s burial location in Calavary is transcribed below:

No. 68920
Name: Stephen Szymanowski
Residence: 1011 Byrne Rd.
Age: 73
Cause of Death: Ca of Brain
Date of Interment: 7/16/1966
Grave: 8
Range or Lot: 193
Section: 44
Funeral Director: W.K. Sujkowski
Remarks: 2095

Sophia passed away November 9, 1977 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Her obituary was published in the Toledo Blade on November 10, 1977 and is transcribed below:

Mrs. Sophia I. Szymanowski, 80, of 4845 296th St., died Wednesday in Flower Hospital, Sylvania. She worked in the maintenance and cleaning department of Gerity Schultz Corp. 23 years, retiring in 1959. She as the widow of Stephen Szymanowski. Surviving are her daughter, Mrs. Bernice Dybala, and son, Stephen. Services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Stanislaus Church. The Rosary will be recited at 7 tonight in the Sujkowski Mortuary.

Sophia’s burial location in Calvary is transcribed below:

No. 82229
Name: Sophia Szymanowski
Residence: 4845 296th
Age: 80
Cause of Death: Prov. Death Cert.
Date of Interment: 11/12/1977
Grave: 7
Range or Lot: 193
Section: 44
Funeral Director: Sujkowski
Remarks: 2553

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