Contributed by: Cathy McTavish
Joseph Maternoski with one of his Belgian horses in 1915 (1866-1929)
I am still working on this story. The Neta family emigrated from Poland and settled in Pennsylvania before obtaining farmland in Lena, Wisconsin about 1883. They owned about 120 acres on what is now Porcupine Lake Road, just off of County A. The farm is still there and is right across from the Sacred Heart Church, for which the family donated some of the land. Simon was an educated man who loved to read and he owned many books written in Polish. Farm life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s centered around the Porch. I have so many family pictures “on the porch”, that spoke of family life in that time.
His son John was born to Simon Neta and Mary
Westowski in Wisconsin in 1885. He worked at times for the
but most often farmed with his father. He married
for those days - he was 38 and his wife, Adolphine Maternoski was 33,
a spinster back them. Adolphine, “Dafnee”
died when she was only
49 and her two children were quite young. Dafnee was born in
Wisconsin to Joseph Maternoski and Agnes Cywinski.
Adolphine Maternoski in front of the Chicago Field Museum.
Her life has long intrigued me, as it was unusual for a lady of her day. She left home and worked in Chicago, for a “fancy dress store” as a seamstress. She was an independent woman! I have a picture of her a year before she married on her way to the opening of the Field History museum in Chicago. It was fascinating because: #1, a farm girl from Glenmore was there, and #2, because there is nothing around the museum, but hills of gravel, no Lake Shore Drive, no soldier field, “no nothing”!
history of the early Polish family is still incomplete
and I hope to fill in the pieces soon!
1. Adolphine Maternoski, born December 01, 1890 in Glenmore, WI; died December 15, 1939 in Spruce, WI. She was the daughter of 2. Joseph Maternoski and 3. Agnes Cywinski. She married (1) John Neta June 26, 1923. He was born May 26, 1885 in Maple Valley Wisconsin, and died July 10, 1966 in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. He was the son of Simon Neta and Mary Westowski.
Notes for Adolphine Maternoski:
Adolphine was a tall slendor woman, about 5'10".
to her marriage Adolphine live in Chicago with
her cousin Mary Gajewski. She was a saleslady in a dress shop
Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.
Cecilia's mother was bed ridden when she was 4 years old. She spent a year in the hospital in Madison, WI suffering from arthritis. They severed her tedons in her legs, so that she could sit in a wheel chair more easily. The family suffered finacially because of this and my mother has always missed her mother.
About Adolphine Maternoski:
Burial: Sacred Heart Cemetery, Spruce, WI
Notes for John Neta:
In 1935, John and Adolphina hired Martha Pawlak to help run the household. and Martha stayed until John's death. Martha's son Peter Pawlak was raised on the farm along with John's two daugthers.
Cecilia remembers that her father was considered a well off farmer until her mother illness. The expense of doctors and hospitals put their family in finanical peril. However at Christmas when the family was given bushels of fruit, John always split it up, and shared it with families he considered to be less fortunate than himself.
About John Neta:
Burial: Sacred Heart Cemetery, Spruce, WI
Generation No. 2
Joseph Maternoski, born March 19, 1866
in Smielin, Germany; died June 04, 1929. He was the son of 4.
Maternoski and 5. Pauline Skaleski. He married 3. Agnes
3. Agnes Cywinski, born June 1865; died January 14, 1930 in Glenmore, WI.
for Joseph Maternoski:
Joseph became a citizen in 1913, per the Naturalization papers of Brown County Wisconsin, located at the University of Green Bay.
permanent entry number 1409820
Accession number 8497316
Source publication code 3015-5
page number 17
Joseph was born in Smielin In Posen (German Poland) and came to the US in 1872. Joseph and Agnes farmed in the town of Glenmore. Joseph raised Percherons and Belgian horses, which took blue ribbons at the State Fair. He lost his life when one of his stallions kicked him in the knee, the injury becoming infected, gangrene set in and he died at age 63. Genevieve Lane remembers electicity on the farm from their own "Delco" power plant, water was pumped from a wind mill.
of Joseph Maternoski and Agnes Cywinski are:
1 i. Adolphine Maternoski, born December 01, 1890 in Glenmore, WI; died December 15, 1939 in Spruce, WI; married John Neta June 26, 1923.
ii. John Maternoski, born June 11, 1888; died March 31, 1971; married Veronica Drewiski August 1913; born December 18, 1890 in Eaton, Wisconsin; died May 01, 1953.
iii. Antone Maternoski, born April 10, 1894; died July 20, 1960 in Green Bay, Wisconsin; married Josephine De Villers; born February 23, 1893; died November 1985.
iv. Adolph Maternoski, born 1896; died 1938.
v. Bernard Maternoski, born May 09, 1902; died April 21, 1950 in DePere, WI; married Sophie Rosek; born 1912.
Generation No. 3
Frank Maternoski, born 1820 in Smielin,
Germany; died September 09, 1886. He married 5. Pauline
5. Pauline Skaleski, born February 1827 in Poland; died October 28, 1908 in DePere, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of 10. Mathew Skaleski and 11. Martha Sindzinska.
for Frank Maternoski:
They Lived in Smielin, Germany before Emigrating to the United States from Bremen, Germany on 3/1/1872 on the vessel Herman Smith. They arrived In New York on March 22, 1872 with their family. they settled in glenmore, WI
information was received by My Aunt Gen Lane,
who received it from her cousin, Margaret Wojcik (daugther of John
who in turn received it from Raymon Maternoski (son of August
the Germans from America archives, the arrival date
is listed as 4/4/1872, and the boat was listed as the Smidt.
was a craftsman and bricklayer in Smielin before
emigrating to the US.
The family farmed in Glenmore, Brown County, Wisconsin
of Frank Maternoski and Pauline Skaleski are:
2 i. Joseph Maternoski, born March 19, 1866 in Smielin, Germany; died June 04, 1929; married Agnes Cywinski.
ii. Catherine Maternoski, born November 01, 1855 in Poland; died May 20, 1936 in Green Bay, Wisconsin; married (1) John Gajewski April 12, 1875; born December 24, 1850 in Poland; died August 13, 1892; married (2) Kasimir Maslowski January 15, 1894; born November 1868; died Deceased.
for John Gajewski:
The following article appeared in the Green Bay Gazette on August 13, 1892:
Sudden Death of Gajewski
He Was Found in the Cow Stable Early this Morning with Life Extinct
John Gajewski, who had a saloon on the corner of Main and Madison Streets, was found dead at 8:45 o'clock this morning in the cow stable at the rear of his residence on Madison Street. At 10:30 o'clock last night Mrs. Gajewski went into the saloon to her husband, holding a brief conversation with him. He gave no evidence of being ill and shortly afterwards, his wife returned to the home and retired, thinking that when her husband had closed the saloon at twelve o'clock he would come into the house, as was his usual custom. Sometime during the night, not knowing the time, Mrs. Gajewski awoke and cared for her baby, falling asleep again. When she again awoke it was daylight, and missing her husband, she arose, hurriedly dressed herself and went to the saloon, finding it locked. She then looked about the premises and finally, noticing the door of the cow stable ajar, she went there, where she found the body of her husband in a kneeling posture, his head pressed up against the side of the barn, his side laying in the straw, etc. She raised him up and dragged him to the door, and after calling to the servant girl to bring water, she tried by every means to arouse him, thinking he had only fainted. Failing in this, she ran to the home of a neighbor, A. LeCourt, and called him. He, upon his arrival on the scene, pronounced the man dead.
From the nature of the case, and the position in which the dead man was found, it is not thought that he was foully dealt with, as his gold watch and a small buckskin bag containing a quantity of silver pieces were found on his person.
Papers, notes and other things were found in the saloon, undisturbed.
At 8 o'clock this morning doctors Brett, Munro and Lewis made a post mortem examination and found that deceased died from a stroke of apoplexy.
The deceased was a Pole, aged 40 years, and has been a resident of Green Bay for a number of years during which time has accumulated considerable property. He was a man well-liked by those who knew him, and was very popular among the people of his own nationality, his influence over them having given him the title of 'King of the Poles.' He was an active and reliable [illegible], and at the time of his death he was president of the Stanislaus Benevolence Society, and was always a faithful member of the Catholic church. He leaves a wife and [illegible] children to mourn his loss, the oldest child soon [illegible] years old and the youngest 8 months old.
* * * * * * *
An article in a subsequent issue of the newspaper (date unknown) reads in part as follows:
Saturday morning John Gajewski was found dead in his cow stable by his
wife. Mr. Gajewski owned a saloon on Main Street.
He was in
the habit of closing up nights at hours ranging from ten to twelve
as business permitted. His residence is located a few feet
saloon in the rear. His family generally retired at about 10
and the door was usually left unlocked so he could enter when the
business was done. Friday night he failed to put in an
Mrs. Gajewski awoke shortly after midnight and finding that her husband
was not in his room, she arose to investigate. She found the
was closed. She then looked about the premises and discovered
the door of the cow stable was open. She went into the stable
was horrified at finding her husband dead, leaning over on hands and
near the wall behind the cow. She pulled him to the doorway
gave the alarm. Mr. LaCourt and Mr. Ed. Forrer were the first
arrive at the scene. Mr. Forrer at once summoned Dr. Munro
who arrived and pronounced the man dead. Justice Brice held a
inquest on the body at 9 o'clock Saturday morning. An autopsy
made in the presence of the Justice and the Jurors by Doctors Brett,
and Munroe. The verdict of the Jury was that deceased came to
death by apoplexy. The funeral occurred Tuesday morning from
Cathedral under the auspices of the Stanislaus Society, of which he was
an honored member; and also had in it a life insurance of
Rev. Father Lan, assisted by two priests, officiated at the funeral
The active pall bearers were Jos. Olejnicaak, John Slot, Wincet
Jakob Malinowski, Wincent Andrzejemski, Jan Brauer. The
pall bearers were Jan Mutza, Aug. Kamalski, Jos. Plajor, S. Ratagski,
Rosinski, John Bartol. The funeral was attended by Grognet's
band. The remains were in a metalic coffin and were laid to
in a private vault at Allouez cemetery. The funeral was a
Mr. Gajewski was born in the village of Krukouck, Province of Possen, Poland, on the 24th day of December, 1850, and at death was 41 years, 7 months and 9 days old. He came to America in 1867 and during the past twenty years has been a resident of Green Bay. He was a very prominent man and held in the highest esteem by all. He was always active in giving assistance to others. He was greatly beloved by his countrymen of this vicinity, and owing to many favors he did them, was called the "Polish Father." He leaves a wife and six children to mourn the sad bereavement of a fond husband and father. He leaves an estate valued at about $35,000.
iii. Valeria Maternoski, born 1857 in Posen,
Poland; died Deceased.
iv. Frances Maternoski, born 1853 in Posen, Poland; died Bet. 1877 - 1947; married Andreas Kwadsinski November 19, 1871 in Dembowo, Poland; born Abt. 1847; died Bet. 1877 - 1938.
v. Lottie Maternoski, born March 19, 1866 in Smielin, Poland; died Deceased.
vi. Juliane Maternoski, born 1863 in Posen, Poland; died Deceased.
vii. August Maternoski, born January 09, 1870 in Smielin, Poland; died September 29, 1938 in Green Bay, Wisconsin; married Antonette Winiecki October 24, 1892 in Eaton, Wisconsin; born August 15, 1872; died September 16, 1937 in DePere, Wisconsin.
for August Maternoski:
This family ran the Union Hotel in Depere, WI
viii. Frank Maternoski, born March 17, 1874
in Wisconsin; died July 07, 1953 in DePere, Wisconsin; married Rose
May 14, 1901; born 1881; died 1982.
ix. Michael Maternoski, born September 21, 1861 in Smielin, Poland; died October 15, 1866.
x. Ignatz Maternoski, born February 06, 1864 in Smielin, Poland; died October 17, 1866.
Generation No. 4
Mathew Skaleski, born Abt. 1799 in
Lodzia, Germany; died April 17, 1862 in Lodzia, Germany. He
son of 20. Szymon Skaleski. He married 11. Martha Sindzinska
1804 - 1849.
11. Martha Sindzinska1, born Abt. 1800; died March 07, 1870.
About Mathew Skaleski:
Burial: April 19, 1862, Dembowo
About Martha Sindzinska:
Burial: March 10, 1870
Cause of Death: Dropsy
of Mathew Skaleski and Martha Sindzinska are:
5 i. Pauline Skaleski, born February 1827 in Poland; died October 28, 1908 in DePere, Wisconsin; married Frank Maternoski.
ii. Simon Skaleski, born Bet. 1809 - 1850.
iii. Kasimir Skaleski, born Bet. 1808 - 1850.
iv. John Skaleski, born May 18, 1833; died June 19, 1936 in Wisconsin; married (1) Catherine Sobiencki; died Deceased; married (2) Lizzie Unknown; died Deceased; married (3) Josephine Nydeck; born 1850; died May 30, 1932.
for John Skaleski:
I find John in the 1920 Census in Hobart, Wisconsin
v. Marianna Skaleski, born Abt. 1825; died September 23, 1870; married Frank Wnuk August 26, 1849; born 1824 in Sadki, Poland; died July 15, 1870.
Generation No. 5
20. Szymon Skaleski, died Deceased.
for Szymon Skaleski:
Information on the Skaleski family comes from Dorothy and Norbert Peplinski.
LDS records from the parish of Dembowo. #585791, 585792'
of Szymon Skaleski is:
10 i. Mathew Skaleski, born Abt. 1799 in Lodzia, Germany; died April 17, 1862 in Lodzia, Germany; married Martha Sindzinska Bet. 1804 - 1849.
1. L.D.S records.