Below are pictures of some of our Immigrant Pioneers, some will show the struggles that they went through after they arrived here. Also some Immigrant Family Histories

(Click on the pictures to see enlargements)

1934 Consevation Corp Company 1531 Medaryville, IN

Many young men were from South Bend area



Oliver Corporation Grey Iron Foundry the War Years Oliver Corporation The War Years Oliver Chilled Plow Fire Brigade1898 (Added 12/20/2005)


Added 01/22/2006

This Picture appeared in the 1918 Oliver Plow Bulletin to salesmen and customers  

Martin Piasecki, age 58 years, 42 years in Oliver service. He started in December of 1876, at the age of 16 years. Martin has filled various positions around the factory. Now he is connected with Forge Department No. 1. His son is with the U.S. Army in France.   George Prowat, 45 years in the Oliver service, starting in the year 1873. George is connected with Forge Department No. 2   Joseph Hazinski, age 67 years, 43 years in the Oliver service, starting March 1875. Mr. Hazinski is a molder by trade and was one of the late James Oliver's special molders.   George Sutherland, (Uncle George) age 74 years, 44 years in the Oliver service starting in March of 1874. Uncle George expects to live to celebrate his 50'th anniversary in the employ of Oliver Chilled Plow Works. Mr. Sutherland is connected with Stock Department No. 2   Fredrick Theodore Wagner, age 63, has been in the employ of Oliver for 44 years, starting in the wood shop in the old Oliver Plant on the Race in April of 1874. Fred is the head of barns and yards, and although getting along in years is very active in Patriotic movements.   Peter Motts, age 58 years, has been in the Oliver employ 42 years, starting at the age of 16 years in the old Oliver Plant on the Race, the same year the plant was moved to its new location. Mr. Motts is the foreman of the Woodwork Department. 

1925 FOP Baseball Team

Added 08/24/2005

Father Valentine Czyzewski - 1877 - 1913

Added 09/16/2005

These Gentlemen all represent First Generation Poles in South Bend Organized for Political Action, They are also a Who's Who  of early 1900 Polish businessmen. For example Mr. Werwinski was a major developer (Real Estate) of the West Side of the city.

William J. " Big Bill" Hosinski & Son   - Updated 10/01/2005

Charles V.Korpal Added 09/21/2005

Added 09/27/2005

Frank S. Bilinski

Source: Home, South Bend 1912 C. S. Beckley 

Added 09/27/2005

Leonard Buysse

Source:  Home South Bend 1912 C.S.Beckley

Added 09/27/2005

Calvert Defrees

Source: Home South Bend 1912 C. S. Beckley

Added 09/25/2005

John C. Gurda - Attorney   Mr. John C Gurda the rising young attorney at law whose handsome offices are located at 302 South Chapin street is a native of Poland, and was borb there October 27, 1871, the son of Michael Gurda and Catherine (Koceja) Gurda. When but one year of age his parents decided to come to America and located at Milwaukee, Wis... where young Gruda was educatedand reared.In 1885 he entered the Jesuit College in that city where he took classical course and spent five years in hard study. In 1890 he went to Detroit Mich.. where he spent two years at St. Marys Seminary and completed the philosophical course. Mr. Gurda decided upon the law as his life profession and entered Kent College of Law at the University of Chicago, where he graduated as a Bachelor of Law in 1899.  In the same year he cme to South Bendand in 1900 began the practice of his profession, in which he has been most successful. He is a young man of rare accomplishment and grace, he is popular with his colleagues. Mr. Gurda was married in 1897 to Miss Mary Kowalskiand resides in his own home at 263 South Chapin street, 

Added 09/27/2005

A. W. Hosinski

Source: South Bend Tribune June 4, 1927 

Added 10/08/2005

Frank S. Hosinski

Although numbered among the younger residents of South Bend the name of Frank S.Hosinski stands on the pages of its later history, for he is now serving as an alderman of the second ward. He is connected with the Oliver Plow Company. He is a native son of the city, his natal day being August 14, 1880. His parents, John and Mary Hosinski, were natives of Poland, but in 1879 left their native land for America,and made their way direct to South Bend, where both are still living. In their family were seven children, four sons and three daughters.

Frank S. Hosinski, the eldest child is indebted to the South Bend Public School system for the educational training that he received, and when about 14 years of age he began work in the Foundry of the old Economist Plow Works, while later for rour years he was engaged in the butchering business. At the close of that period he went to Bremen, Indiana and was employed by a foundry in that city for about four years, after which he returned to South Bend Foundry Company, and later the Studebaker Corporation remaining with the later for six months. Returning thence to the South Bend Foundry Company he served as foreman of the foundry department since the memorable fire, a period of five years , until January of 1907. During all the years of his active business life he has taken a commendable interest in the public affairs of his native city, affiliating with the Democratic Party, and in 1905 was elected as Alderman of the 2nd ward in the city council, receiving a term of four years. He is a man of keen discernment and resolute purpose, and is therefore fitted for the political honors conferred upon him.

In 1901 he was married to Rosalia Piechorowski, the daughter of the late Joseph Piechorowski and Josephina Trzebiatowska of Sobiejuchy, Poland. They have three children, two daughters and a son Clem, who is now deceased, the daughters are Gertrude and Bertha. Mr. Hosinski is a member of the St. Stanislaus Polish society and Treasurer of the St. Joseph County Polish Society. He commands the respect of his fellow men by his sterling worth and South Bend is proud to number him among its native sons.

Added 09/25/2005

George W Kalczynski - Journalist "Polski Goniec"  

George W Kalczynski, one of the leading Journalist of northern Indiana, was born in Haverstraw, New York, January 17, 1872 the son of George W. and Mary (Urbanowski) Kalczynski. In 1877 the family came to South bend remaining for five years during which time George attended a parochial school. On the expiration of that period just after the death of the mother, they returned to Yonkers, New York, where the son resumed his studies. In a few years however he came to South Bend again, where he learned the printers trade on the South Bend Times. In 1884 he went to Toledo, Ohio and purchased the Toledo Courier(Kuryer) continuing its publication for sisteen months as a weekly, when he made it a daily and the name was changed to the Times (Czas). Selling that paper after two months, he went to Chicago, Illinois, and then to Bay City, Michigan where for five months he served as the general manager of the Truth ( Prawda).   For the third time Mr. Kalcznski came to South bend , and with Messr. Dunbar and Elliot organized the Polski Goniec Publishing Company. Messr. Dunbar and Elliott owned a printing establishment to which they added some Polish type and furnished, the means with which to establish the paper, The Polish Messenger (Goniec Polski)was an immediate success, and has continued to the present time , being now a seven column folio, semi weekly and independent in politics. The first number was issued on the 27th of June 1896 and at that time Mr. Kalczynski was literally penniless. but he is now the sole owner of a large plan twhich is equipped with the latest and most improved machinery, conducted by electric power and is valued at twelve thousand dollars. This is the only newspaper printed in Polish language in the state of Indiana. Outside of his paper he is also prominent in Polish affairs, being president of the local Polish Turners M. R.  and was national president of  Polish Turners of America from 1901 to 1905. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Woodmen of the World, St. Stanislaus Society, the Polish Literature Society, known as the St, John Cantius society and the South Bend Press Club of which he is Secretary Treasurer. He is also a member of the European society known as "Powsciagliwosc i Praca" whose object is the bringing up of orphon boys and fitting them for the battle of life. This is conducted by the Roman Catholic clergy and its headquarters are at Miejsce Piastowe in Galacia Austria. Mr. Kalczynski has gained a brilliant success so far on the journey of life and a still brighter future awaits him    

#1 #2

#1 - Paul Kochanowski - Added 09/27/2005

#2 - The store was located at 522 S. Chapin St. This photograph was taken c.1925...the

gentleman in the center is Stanley Kochanowski. Donated:  John Kovach - Added 10/01/2005

One who has made for himself a place in connection with the activities of life and who has gained a recognition for true worth, is Paul Kochanowski, a prominent grocery merchant of South Bend. He was born in Asha, Prussian Poland, March 15, 1853, and was reared and educated in his home land. But in 1879 he left the home scenes of his childhood to come to America, making his way directly to South Bend, where he secured employment at the Studebaker Brothers Wagon Works. After a time he transferred his skills to the Oliver Chilled Plow works where he remained for a period of four years. Returning thence to his former employers the Studebaker Brothers, he was employed for eight years in the paint department. During all these years he had worked earnestly and diligently had saved his earnings so that in 1891 he was able to engage in business for himself, at that time embarking in the grocery trade. First on the corner of Chapin and Monroe streets, but in 1895 erected his two story brick building at 522 South Chapin street, to which in 1905 he added a store adjoining on the south, and he now occupies both rooms. He also has other property in the city, including his pleasant and comfortable home, and is one of the stockholders in the Cascesco Building and Loan Association.   Before leaving his native country Mr. Kochanowski married Salomea Nowrocka and they have two sons Stanley and Joseph. The Democratic Party recieves his support and co-operation, and he is a member of the Modern Woodsmen of America. In this free land of America he has risen by his own efforts to a position of prominence in the business circles of South Bend, and his credible work thus far in life has won him the respect and commendations of his fellow citizens 

Added 09/27/2005

Lottie A Kolupa - Druggist

The oldest practicing druggist in South Bend, Lottie A Kolupa will become 82 on May 3, 1965, is expecting to end his 58 year career on Chapin street in the next few weeks as a result of an urban renewal project.

A graduate of the Pharmacy school at the University of Notre Dame in 1904, Kolupa, belies his age with his dapper appearance and dancing the Polka at various functions. He has served three generations with medicine and prescriptions. He is the eldest of ten children born to Mr. & Mrs. Aton Kolupa of 123 College street.

Koulpa remembers arriving at the University of Notre Dame in a horse and buggy driven by a priest. Although there was no tuition fee in 1904, he recalls, he was required to pay $25 yearly to participate in Athletics. Approximately 200 young men were enrolled at the college at that time.

Lottie, slept in a hall with 40 other students. The boys would amuse themselves by putting sand or dead animals beneath the covers of fellow students or by short sheeting beds.

He was one of four young men who used foot pedals to ring the large bell in the spire of Sacred Heart church. On June 12 after eight years of study Kolupa and 53 other students heard the graduation address given by Francis Satolli, an Italian cardinal.

Kolupa’s first pharmacy job paid $6 per week working in the Drug Store of Mr. Niedbalski on the west side. Over the next few years his pay increased to $12 and then $18 per week. During his lifetime he never went without a paycheck.

In 1909 he became associated with Otto C. Bastian and operated his drug store at 407 Chapin until it was moved in 1929 to its present address at 401 Chapin. Kolupa, until some 15 years ago rode his bycicle to his drug store every day from his home on Jefferson Blvd.

Kolupa, early in the century became an actor in various plays produced by amateur theater guilds in St Hedwig Catholic Church, of which he is a member. He was also a cornetist in the M R Falcon Brass Band and was one of the singers in the St. Hedwig Church Choir.

“In the old days people didn’t run to the doctor with every ache and pain” says Kolupa, “They came to their Druggist”. There were few pre packaged medicines then and he made his own pills, tinctures, powders, capsules, and fluids. His drug store was one of the few in the area to sell leeches. When a customer had a “Black Eye” the leech was attached to the area to remove the blood.

The Soda Foutain had been a part of Kolupa Drugs since its beginning. A South Bend concern providing the ice cream for the nickel sodas he made and served himself.

Will he Retire? “Positively Not” says Kolupa. He already has two offers from local pharmacist to keep working.

“I have always Loved the Pharmacy Business”

Source: South Bend Tribune

Francis K Czyzewski, 4-4-1965

Added 09/25/2005

Leo M Kucharski, Real Estate & Politics    Mr. Leo M Kucharski was born at Wongrowitz, Posen, (Prussian Poland), November 11, 1864. His father Antoni Kucharski, and his mother Antonia ( Wojciechowska) Kucharski. As a boy he received his education in his native land, and also attended the Seminary at Samter, Posen . In the spring of 1881 young Kucharski decided to come to America, and located at Auburn NY where he remained about six months, when he came to South Bend, where he has since resided and has been prominent in social and business circles.He found employment at the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, where he remained in the carriage department of that industry until 1899. In 1895 Mr. Kucharski engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business and is also local agent for all foreign steamship lines, his office being at 411 Chapin street. He makes specialty of West End residential properties of all kinds and does a fine business. He also makes loans on real estate and places fire insurance in leading companies.   Mr. Kucharski is a staunch Republican in politics and an ardent an enthusiastic party worker. He was elected a member of the Common Council from the sixth wardin 1899, in one of the most bitterly contested political battles. Although the ward was strongly Democratic, Mr. Kucharski carried it, showing his popularityas a conservative politician and citizen. So bitter was the feeling that the result of the was carried into recounts which Mr. Kucharski  sustained. In 1899 he was appointed clerk in the County Auditors officeby Mr John M. Brow, a position he fills to his highest credit.   Mr. Kucharski was married in 1888 to Miss Lottie Dobski and with his wife and three children; Edmund, Stephanie and Thadeus,  resides reside's in a fine home at 1112 Napier street.   Source: History of St Joseph County T. H. Howard, 1907

Source: History of St Joseph County T. H. Howard, 1907

Added 09/25/2005

L.M. Mucha – Educator  and Businessman

No citizen of South Bend enjoys the confidence and high esteem of his associates to a greater degree than does L.M.Mucha, who came to this city in 1891 from his home in Poland, where he was born on the 23rd of July 1863. He received an excellent education in his native land, graduating from its leading colleges and after that he taught school there. Coming direct to South Bend from his home in Poland in 1891, he resumed his teaching at St. Hedwig Schools, thus continuing for six years and he then taught in the St. Kazonider schools until 1905. During that time he also taught history and the polish language at Notre Dame University for two hours each day. Mr. Mucha was appointed a notary public in which capacity he has served for nine years, and his term of office does not expire for another three years. He is also the secretary and one of the stockholders for the Jan III Sobieski Building and Loan Association and in addition to his other various business relations is extensively involved in the insurance business.

In his native country of Poland in 1888 Mr. Mucha was married to Anna Stopka and their two children are Mary and Steve. He is amember of the Modern Woodsmen of America, Branch 83 of the PNA, the St. Kasimier Society, and the Polish Turners, Z.B.1. He has been four times delegate to the Polish National Alliance, and in 1907 was elected commissioner for the State of Indiana. Mr. Mucha has taken an active interest in the development of the resources  of his locality, and as a real estate dealer, steamship agent and Notary, with offices at 822 South Webster, he is well known to the business men of this city


Source: History of St Joseph County

T. H. Howard 1907

Added 12/20/2005

Casmier Neizgodski (1844 to 1921)   This Article appeared in The Oliver Bulletin of May 1916 a mailer to farmers around the country to promote the Oliver product. Casmier will live and work until March of 1921 and pass at the age of 77.

Added 09/25/2005

Vincent Niedbalski,  Druggist   Mr. Vincent the well known druggist at 1200 West Division (Western Ave) is a native of Poland, and was born at Posen in May 1858, the son of Valentine and Victoria Niedbalski. As a boy he was reared in his native country and educated in public and private schools. He lived in Poland until he was sixteen years of age when he came to America and located at Rondout, NY., where he lived for two years, until he went to Port Austin Michigan where he was engaged in the lumber trade and saw mill business. He also lived at Bay City, and in 1878 came to South Bend, where he worked alternatively for the Oliver, Studebaker and the Singer Companies. In 1882 he engaged in the grocery business which he continued for two years, when he entered the employ of Meyer Livingston and later Charles V.  Korpal. In 1893 he started the drug business and studied pharmacy one year under Professor Stanley, now at Notre Dame. He has a nice corner store and a feature is a fine soda fountain. A full line of staple and fancy drugs is carried and prescriptions are carefully compounded. Mr. Niedbalski is a young man of integrity. He was married to Miss Katie Szbowiz, and resides at 1107 Napier street.


History of St Joseph County T. H. Howard, 1907

Added 10/01/2005 John T Niezgodski, circa 1920

Courtesy of: Jim Dhoore 

Added 03/31/2006

John T Neizgodski


John T Niezgodski

Opportunity for advancement is never denied the business man. There is always room at the front and it is toward that place that Mr. Niezgodski has been steadily advancing until he now occupies a leading position. He was born in Prussian, Poland, August 24, 1872 and in September of 1873 was brought by his parents to America, the family coming directly to South Bend., where John was reared and received an excellent education in the public schools.

When thirteen years of age he began learning the cigar business, and in January of 1898, engaged in the manufacture of that commodity with two employee’s, but step by step he has advanced in the business world until he is now the proprietor of a large manufactory, where employment is furnished to twenty two men. He makes a speciality of a ten cent cigar called the “J.N.” also “The Tramp” a five cent cigar.

He is a thoroughly American citizen, and making the most of his own opportunities has steadily worked his way upwards to success through wisely directly efforts. His political support is given to the Democratic Party, in which he is an active and efficient worker, and for a period of eight years has served as commissioner of Public Safety, being the current incumbent.

In 1896 Mr. Niegodski was married to Tillie Buczkowska and they have four children, Stanislaus A., Edward L., Onupry K., and John T. Jr.. In his social relations he is a member of the St. Casimir Society, The Polish Turners Z B 1, The PNA, The Polish Protective Association of Chicago, The Knights of Columbus, The Eagles, The St. Vincent De Paul Society, The Polish Catholic Federal Society and is a retired member of the Cigar Makers Union. He is also a stockholder in several land companies and in many other ways is interested in the affairs of South Bend and St, JosephCounty.

Added 03/31/2006

Photo Courtesy of Jim Dhoore (Great Grand Son of J.T. Niezgodski The attached photo is of a cigar box from when my great grandfather had his cigar factory. The cigar was called the tramp because, according to my mother, his factory was close to the railroad tracks and had some "tramps" living near it. Later the factory was taken over by I believe his nephew Casmir T. Niezgodski who carried on the cigar brand name "Tramp".

Added 09/26/2005

J. D. Oliver

Source : South Bend World Famous, 1922

Added 09/27/2005

E. Poledor

Source: Home South Bend 1912 C.S. Beckley 

Added 09/26/2005

Clement Smogor

Source:  South Bend World Famous 1922

Added 09/26/2005

Clement Studebaker  
Hon. Clem Studebaker, who, with his brother Henry, founded the great Studebaker manufacturing company at South Bend, had a more far-reaching effect on South Bend than any man who has ever lived here by reason of the great industry which he fathered.  Mr. Studebaker was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1831, and when he was four years old the family moved to Ashland county, Ohio, where the father conducted a wagon shop.  There the boy received his education and learned the fundamentals of blacksmithing and wagon building.  Coming to South Bend in 1850, he taught school for two terms, and then opened a blacksmith shop with his brother Henry, doing business under the name of H. & C. Studebaker.  This enterprise quickly branched out into wagon building, grew steadily, and soon became the leading business of its kind in the world.  The growth and importance of the concern is traced in some detail in the chapter on Manufaturing and Commerce in this work, and will!
  give some estimate of the importance of the company to South Bend.
     Clem Studebaker, engrossed as he was with the multifarious cares of his enormous business, nevertheless had time to take a constructive part in educational and public movements of various kinds.  He was one of the leading Republicans in Indiana, twice being a delegate to national conventions of that party, and on three occasions was made United States commissioner to expositions, those at Paris, New Orleans and Chicago, and at the World's Columbian Exposition he served as president of the Indiana board of managers.  He was amember of the board of trustees of DePauw University for many years, and was president of the board of trustees of the Chautauqua Assembly in 1889-90.  He was chosen by President Benjamin Harrison to represent the Pan-American Congress held at Washington, where he took an influential part.
     He married Mrs. Ann (Milburn) Harper, daughter of George Milburn, a prominent wagon manufacturer in Mishawaka, and their home, one of the finest in the state, is known as Tippecanoe place in commemoration of the famous treaty said to have taken place on the ground it occupies.  Mr. Studebaker was known for his charitiy and benevolence, and as a man, his character was unimpeachable in every detail.

[The Tippecanoe Place, the Studebaker mansion on West Washington St., is now a fine dining restaurant.  I've been there to eat on a couple of occasions, and its fun to just walk around the house to see what's there.  When I was in the 4th grade in the mid 1970's, our class got to tour the house before it was converted into a restaurant.  The National Studebaker Museum is still in South Bend, and the entire car collection will be moved to its new facility on West Washington St. (I think) sometime this year.]
  Source: Rick Berkheiser HISTORY OF INDIANA FROM ITS EXPLORATION TO 1922 BY LOGAN ESAREY, Ph. D., ALSO AN ACCOUNT OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY FROM ITS ORGANIZATION EDITED BY JOHN B. STOLL (Volume III).  "Some Prominent Figures in St. Joseph County History", published in Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Historical Publishing Co., 1923, pages 179-180.

Added 09/26/2005

Joseph A Werwinski - Real Estste  

He is best described as a most brilliant success, a just reward of meritorious, honorable effort, which commands the respect and admiration of all. Mr. Werwinski is a native son of South Bend, born on the fourteenth of January 1882, a son of Michael and Amelia (Kiser) Werwinski, the former having been born in Europe, while the latter was born in Laporte county. When a young man the father came to South Bend and engaged in the grocery business, thus continuing to do so until his death in 1889 at the early age of thirty-six years. The mother still resides in South Bend.   Their son Joseph attended parochial school in South Bend, also the normal school at Valpariso   and the South Bend Commercial College, remaining in the last named institution for five years, thus receiving an excellent education. For a short time therafter her clerked in the grocery store, and was also the deputy township trustee under James D. Reid for one and one half years, and then for the following two years taught in the public schools at Crumstown. He then secured a position with the Real Estate firm of Staley & Robinson, with whom he remained for three years and on the 1st of January of 1905 he embarked in that business for himselfon Chapin and Division street. His first venture in this business, however, was at the age of twenty one yearswhen he bought one acre of land naming it Werwinski, which he sb divided and built upon, making a success of the venture. He is now handling one of the largest tracts of land in St. Joseph county, consisting of thritheen hundred and twenty six lots belonging to Clement Studebaker estate, which is known as the Summit Place addition and is located south and wst of the Singer Manufacturing area.   Mr. Werwinski has practically built the West Side, a remarkable feat for such a young man. Out of four hundred and twenty lots in the first and second addition there have been built about three hundred houses, while in the third addition he has up to the present time sold over three hundred lots twelve of which were to be used for a Polish church and school., facing Ohio street. On the summit addition cement walks and curbs have been built. He has recently purchased for a syndicate composed of Horce M. Kauffman, himself and a few other local businessmen, the Kauffman Place addition, consisting of one hundred and thirty three lots in the most prosperous part of the city, within two hundred feet of Michigan avenue, and one of the streets is named Werwinski, in honor of our subject. Mr. Werwinski is also a part owner of this addition and is also the vice president of the Kosciusko Building and Loan Association, one of the largest corporations of its kind in South Bend.   He is a republican in his political views and is the second vice president of the county Republican committee. Fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Columbus, Order of Owls, The Elks, and the Polish Turners, the PNA and the Local Real Estate Board. His is a remarkable career for so young a man. He was left without a father when just a mere boy, and alone and unaided has worked his way up to the high position he now occupies.  

Note: Pictures are from Jim Piechorowski unless otherwise noted

This page was suggested by: John Kovatch, Thank you John for your suggestion in making this a better place to research.

Started: Friday, August 19, 2005 05:34:02 PM

Updated: Friday, March 31, 2006 10:11:59 PM