SHORT HISTORY OF TADEUSZ KOSCIUSZKO SOCIETY
On October 10, 1930, ten men gathered at the home of Lawrence Jagoda and planned to organize the Society. Nine of these men became Charter Members and they are as follows: Bruno Kleczkowski, John Pehota, Frank Nowotynski, Lawrence Jogada, Jacob Golen, Peter Gasior, John Klick, Edward Click and Joseph Drega.
At this meeting a temporary committee was elected with Bruno Kleczkowski – Chairman, John Pehota as Financial Secretary and Frank Nowotynski as Treasurer.
The next meeting was called for December 14, 1930 at John Boresnski’s hall. The purpose of the meeting was explained and by unanimous vote it was agreed to name the men’s society Tadeusz Kosciuszko; the women’s society, Catholic Daughters.
Thirty-five men and twenty-three women joined. The men’s section elected officers as follows: President – Bruno Kleczkowski; Vice-President – John Golen; Financial Secretary – John Pehota; Treasurer – Frank Nowotynski and Recording Secretary – Thomas Makuch.
The women’s society elected the following: President – Josephine Otfinowski and Financial Secretary – Anna Warzecha. The officers took the oath of office and promised to work for the growth of the Society.
After collecting the first dues it was agreed to make an offering for a mass. John Borenski’s hall was rented where meetings took place every second Sunday of the month. The Society acknowledged its gratitude to John Borneski for giving the Society the opportunity to grow financially. In 1934 a building lot was bought from Albert Mysling and building begun. Joseph Zajac, John Pehota and Stanley Lis were chosen as builders. The Society acknowledged it’s gratitude to the builders and all the members who worked for very small wages.
The carpenters were paid 35 cents an hour and their helpers 25 cents. Each member donated two days work. With God’s grace and goodwill of the members, the Society entered the new quarters where further development was continued. The hall was given to the youths for playing basketball. The Society bought uniforms for the baseball team. During every Christmas season a program was arranged so that children would get a present from Santa Claus. Religious instruction was given for four years by the Felician Sisters with the permission of Father Soltysek.
The Society gave aid wherever need existed. It always answered the appeals of local societies and other organizations such as the American Red Cross, Cancer Society, Tuberculosis Society and others. The Society helped and continues to help within its means and along with this, the organization grew in number of members and financially.
In 1956, an addition to the building was undertaken with extensive modernization. A building committee was elected with Frank Jagoda as Chairman. This committee working with many members saved the Society a large sum of money.
The Society during its years of existence had the following presidents: Bruno Kleczkowski, Frank Nowotynski, John Kokoszka, Valentine Tokarz, Walter Rembis, Edward Ogorzalek, Joseph Ogorzalek, John Nowotynski, Theodore Sieracki, Francis Drega, Walter Kokoszka, Joseph Cekala, Robert Jagoda, John Piantek. Bruno Kleczkowski held office of president for many years for which the Society expressed its gratitude with a gold Bulovia watch.
The women’s section had four presidents before it was integrated into the men’s society in January of 1963. The names of the presidents of the women’s section were as follows: Josephine Otfinowski, Helen Skryzniarz, Teofila Nowotynski, Genevieve Bugaj. The women’s section organized a theatrical circle and sponsored plays and socials which aided the growing society financially.
Our respects to the organizers whose persistence in organizing and instilling in our youth, the foundation of love of God, their faith and Country.
SHORT HISTORY OF TADEUSZ KOSCIUSZKO
Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born February 12, 1746 in Poland. After completing school with the Jesuits, he attended the Cadet School in Warsaw. He completed school in three years and was commissioned Captain. Because of his brilliance, he was sent to Paris to further his army engineering studies. In 1773, after the first partition of Poland, he went to Paris and then to America. He reported to George Washington as a volunteer. He built fortifications protecting the port of Philadelphia.
Next, he built fortifications on the right bank of the Hudson near Saratoga. His work helped bring an American victory. For two and a half years, he worked on fortifying West Point. He made the fortress so formidable that the English did not try to capture it. With his aid, Charleston was captured and the revolution was won. For his 7 years of work, he was honored with the rank of General, a pension and large grants of land.
In 1784, he returned to Poland and took part in the proclamation of the May 3rd constitution. He abolished feudal land holding on his estates and fought several battles to gain Poland’s freedom. France honored him with citizenship when he left the army after the war.
He returned to Poland to lead the revolution of March 24, 1794. He issued the famous proclamation freeing those who fought from serfdom. He won several battles against Russia, Prussia, and Austria, but treachery of one of his Generals ended the revolution with the defeat at Maciejowice.
After 2 years as a prisoner in Russia, he was released and went to England and later to America. He was greeted everywhere as a hero fighting for individual freedom. He settled in Switzerland where he died, October 15, 1817 at the age of 71. He was buried in Poland where a grateful nation built a monument near Krakow, in his honor.