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              Wisconsin Poles are a numerous people. Father Siekaniec states that the Poles arrived in America twelve years before the "Mayflower" docked. Much of his story, built around the parish records of Superior and Ashland, emphasizes the development of Catholic parishes as reflected in the construction of churches and parochial schools in these communi¬ ties. Father Siekaniec presented this paper at the Society's June, 1955, meet¬ ing at Cable.
A Glimpse of Superior on July 4, 1889. Here the Poles Bought the Old Congregational Church Which Was Blessed as the New Polish Church, November 14, 1901. The Parish Was Named St. Stanislaus.
The Poles of Upper North Wisconsin
by fr. ladislas J. Siekaniec, OJM.
When the first Pole came to America or the United States is difficult to say. There is one opinion that John Scolvus (Scolnus) was prob¬ ably a Pole and in the service of Denmark. He is considered the leader, or at least a key figure on the voyage which a probable view puts at about 1476, or some sixteen years be¬ fore Columbus arrived in American waters. Scolnus, however, reached the northern region of the Americas, probably precisely Labrador.^ About a subsequent arrival of Poles we have certainty. A number of them arrived at James¬ town, Virginia, in 1608, aboard the "Second Supply."^ If my memory serves me, I have seen them numbered from six to eleven. At any rate they belong to the founders of the first permanent English settlement in the United States; they arrived on the second ship. For those sophisticates who look down upon anyone who has not arrived in the colonial prerevolutionary times of our nation, I indi¬ cate that these Poles arrived even twelve years before the Mayflower docked at Plymouth Rock.
^For a more detailed study of this question see Jacek K. Furdyna, "Scolvus' Discovery of Labrador," Polish American Studies, July-Dec. 1952, pp. 65-77 (Orchard Lake, Michigan).
^Miecislaus Haiman, "Poles in U.S.," Slavonic En¬ cyclopedia, 982 (New York, 1949).
I am presuming, perhaps wrongly, that the first Pole in Milwaukee was the first Pole in Wisconsin. Michael Skupniewicz arrived there as a youth in March, 1846.^ Since then Polish immigrants and Polish Americans have settled in almost every nook and cranny of our State.
Since the Poles are almost exclusively Catho¬ lic, leads to their presence are fairly easily found in the vital statistics of Catholic parishes. Of course, you have to recognize Polish names or their Americanized mutations.
Clues to Polish historical data in the United States for the last century are still easier to obtain. Generally, when a colony increased to some seventy-five families, they proceeded to request a Polish language parish from the church authorities. Most of the time a church and in the majority of cases a school was con¬ structed. Much of the life and ambition of these early Poles revolved around their parish not only religiously, but socially and culturally. Thus a major portion of the history of a given Polish settlement will be found in the parish records, archives, and chronicles.
It is natural, too, that a study of their his¬ tory will revolve around their parochial ex¬ istence and progress. Their progress on the
'Fe, the Milwaukee Poles, 1846-1946 (Milwaukee, 1946), 1.
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Wisconsin magazine of history: Volume 39, number 3, spring, 1956

84 total pages