***Updated 10.08.2014 to correct an error. I inadvertently indicated that Tony Scymanski’s mother and wife were named Mary Pieczynski. My error, I had not proofread this well prior to posting. Tony was married to a woman named Martha. I do not know her maiden name.****

Geneabloggers has had a World War I challenge. I thought it a good opportunity to discuss a few World War I tidbits I’d gathered a long time ago that have been sitting on my laptop ignored. While I work on my photos of Calvary, I will often research the person whose grave I’ve photographed. No particular reason, I just want to get to “know” those persons–who they were, what they may have experienced, how (or if) there is some possible connection to my family. In today’s post, I am in no way related to those I’ll be speaking of. But I do feel as if they could be ancestors due to their links to Toledo’s Polonia and our shared experiences and extended families.

Some time ago, I had come across Tony Scymanski via a newsclipping from the Toledo News Bee dated January 16, 1919. Tony had enlisted into the US Army at the age of 21. Tony was a member of the 325 Infantry, 82nd Division, having seen action in Argonne. He had written home to his brother, Frank. A reporter got a hold of the letter he had written and placed a piece on Tony in the News Bee:

Tony Scymanski Wounded Twice

Twenty-two days on the field of battle, and only two slight wounds as a result, is the story of Tony Scymanski, who writes to his brother Frank, of Blade st., to say he has fully recovered and hopes that the rumors of an early sailing come true. Scymanski was in the drive thru Argonne, and proud of the record of his division, the 82nd.

“Imagine how I feel,” he says, “when I walk down the street and the French say, ‘there goes a soldier that fought  hard.’ “

Newsclipping Toledo News Bee January 6, 1919 Tony Scymanski Wounded Twice

Newsclipping from Toledo News Bee January 6, 1919 Tony Scymanski

Tony was born in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania to Peter Szymanski and Mary Pieczynski. (I am unsure of where the name change had crept in. His death is recorded as Szymanski but the newsclipping and his stone reads Scymanski.) Tony did return to Toledo to gain employment as an rail inspector for Pere-Marquette and married a woman named Martha.

Tony died in 1948 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Tony Scymanski Veteran Gravestone Calvary Cemetery

Tony Scymanski Veteran Gravestone Calvary Cemetery

Another clipping I’d come across was dated March 7, 1918 about Alois Nowicki, who also was writing home to his brother, also named Frank.

Life In France is Like Camping

“Life here is like camping at Point Place,” writes Alois Nowicki of 1159 Blum st., from France, to his brother, Attorney Frank S. Nowicki. Sam Nowicki, another brother, is with the National Army, and Casimir Nowicki, a third brother, is with an aviation section about to leave for France.

Toledo News Bee Clipping March 7, 1918 Alois Nowicki "Life in France Like Camping"

Toledo News Bee Clipping March 7, 1918 Alois Nowicki

I’m not certain that war time living would be like “camping at Point Place”–Point Place at that time was a sort of middle class resort area in Toledo with beaches and boats and fishing. Maybe Alois did not want to focus on the reality of Argonne, but wrote to reassure his family that he did find something to provide him with a sense of home, however fleeting? Alois certainly did not seem to have an easy time of of it. Per a Veterans Administration Hospital record from the hospital located in Dayton, Ohio, Alois was admitted there for pulmonary tuberculosis in 1925 and was discharged in 1927. By reading this record, one can see that he was admitted to the US Army through Camp Sherman near Chillicothe, Ohio. Camp Sherman was one of about 32 soldier training sites for World War I, and was a significant training site. Nearly 125,000 soldiers had been trained there. In fact, it was the third largest training camp at the time. It suffered a hard hit in late 1918 when the Spanish influenza epidemic hit when over 5,600 men were infected and well over 1,700 died in camp. A number of Toledo soldiers were inducted and trained through Camp Sherman.

Alois Nowicki Veteran's Administration Record

Alois Nowicki Veteran’s Administration Record

The 1930 census places Alois in Pima County, Arizona with a wife, Hedwina and a daughter, Jean (who was born in Arizona). This census record is curious. It reflects no occupation or possible income source for Alois. This indicates to me perhaps Alois never recovered from tuberculosis and was residing there for possible health benefits. (Click the snippet to open in a new tab and enlarge.)

Alois Nowicki 1930 Census Pima County Arizona

Alois Nowicki 1930 Census Pima County Arizona

Alois died March 31, 1938. I have not found whether he died in Arizona or in Ohio. Nor have I yet located his grave at Calvary. But his wife did apply for a veteran’s headstone and the address provided was in Toledo.

Alois Nowicki Veternas Gravestone Record

Alois Nowicki Veterans Gravestone Record

Recently, I processed a large group of photos from Calvary that had a concentration of those who died from influenza. Noting that they had all died in 1918, I thought perhaps I had stumbled on an epidemic, and I did. I heard prior that there was a Spanish flu epidemic in Toledo in 1918, but hadn’t bothered to learn much about it until confronted with it. When looking up the deaths, many of the causes were listed as “La Grippe”–the term for the influenza that was epidemic in Toledo during the latter part of 1918.

While trying to verify some of these deaths, I’d come across the story below, published in the Toledo News-Bee November 7, 1918 that discussed what seems to be a city-wide quarantine imposed on citizens. As usual, I’ve transcribed the story and included the scan. There may be some genealogical tidbits for someone here. There is a mention of a person named Rose Koralewski. I am unsure of who this lady may be (she is not my grand aunt–that Rose died in 1916). I thought to include it here because I’ve noticed some queries hitting this blog for Koralewski and was thinking perhaps it might be useful to someone.

Here is the transcription, image of scan below.

Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

Influenza Ban is Lifted

All Business Is Resumed; Schools Open Monday

The resumption of all business on Thursday thru the lifting of the influenza quarantine ban, was marked by more than usual activity. Moving picture houses and saloons did especially well, tho the happiness of the saloonists was marred a bit by the news that the state has “gone dry.”

All over the city patrons were able to get their “eyeopeners” in saloons before the sun came up. Street cars carried thousands to work before 8:00. Movie houses were filled before noon.

Theatres Crowded.

The Empire and Keith’s had big houses Thursday afternoon.

The closing order will be entirely lifted on Monday when public, private, and parochial schools will re-open.

On Thursday, 69 additional influenza cases, making a total of 5476, were reported. There were 11 deaths from influenza, making a total of 238, one from pneumonia, making a total of 125.

The Death List.

These were the influenza deaths on Thursday:

La Doria D. Thornburgh, 27, 2324 Fulton; Florence Maltman, 32, 2219 Michigan, Municipal Hospital; Heromin Reznerowicz, 4, 1762 Tecumseh; Jozef Baginski, 1, 40 Pearl, Edward A. Bolton, 36, 707 Western, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Irene Szymanski, 5, 1676 Vance; Rose Koralewski, 48, 526 Pulaski; Audrey M. Ragen, 2, 1323 Utah, Ora Bishop, 22, 1743 Huron, Mercy Hospital, Agatha Canton, 42, 3353 Maplewood, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Joseph Katafiasz, 39, 1110 Tecumseh.

From pneumonia: Ralph Baither, 10, 529 Wabash.

Influenza Ban is Lifted, Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

Influenza Ban is Lifted, Toledo News-Bee, November 7, 1918

Today, more of the backlog from the Calvary photos I have. These are all Jankowski burials. There are Jankowskis in my family tree; but I have not connected these to my family (at least yet).

Maryanna Jankowska

Grave: 2059, Lot: 14, Section: 3

The gravestone is too weathered to completely transcribe. Also the stone states her year of birth is 1867; however, per her death certificate, she was born in 1868.

Maryanna Kubiak Jankowska 1867 - 1914

Maryanna Kubiak Jankowska

Jankowski-Slachciak Family Plot

John Jankowski (husband)
1858 – 1944

Magdalene Szymanski Jankowkski (Wife)
1866 – 1956

Helen Jankowski Slachciak (Daughter)
1900 – 1950

Grave: E-1/2, S-1/2, Lot: 119, Section: 19

Jankowski Slachciak Family Plot

John Jankowski
1858 – 1944
Magdalene Jankowski
1866 – 1956
Helen Slachciak
1900 – 1950

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